Seniors: Staying Current With Worldwide Travel

Feb 28th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

In a recent WSJ an travel article focused on “Who’s the Best.”  A World Travel Awards 2010 gala was held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. It’s one of six to eight awards banquets the company holds each year. The award for the best airline in the world goes to … Singapore. And Eithad. And Asiana. And British Airways, too. The best airport in North America is Portland, Ore., Chicago O’Hare, Detroit and even Atlanta. The best airline in North America is American Airlines. No, make that Air Canada. Or Continental, Virgin America or Alaska. Care to add your choice? 

The travel world is overbooked with awards these days, with some two dozen organizations around the world giving out annual awards for the “best.” Each has different selection criteria, different funding and different judging, so they end up with different results. What they do have in common: money. Though most award programs say there is no connection between winning and paying, many ask airlines to buy advertising, survey results or tables at banquets, pay licensing fees to use award logos or results, purchase sponsorships or even provide free tickets. So the awards doled out to airlines, airline alliances, hotel companies and credit-card firms have proliferated.

So the next topic the WSJ addressed was the Middle Seat Terminal.  Scott McCartney writes The Middle Seat every Thursday. The Wall Street Journal’s Travel Editor, Scott has been on the airline beat since 1995 — long enough to see it go from bust to boom and back to bust. He also writes a blog on travel at The Middle Seat Terminal.  A recent article he wrote was called, Does It Take a Fee for Airlines to Offer Decent Service? Have you noticed airlines are losing fewer bags these days? It’s hard for travelers to really see a difference, but maybe you are surprised when your bag shows up and you feared it hadn’t made the same flight you just flew. But there really has been a change in airline baggage handling, as a recent Middle Seat shows.  It is just fun site and I invite you to check it out.  In another blog he writes “2010: A Year of Turbulence in Air Travel Passenger Traffic Up 3%, Tarmac Waits Down; Fees Account for Two-Thirds of Airlines’ Profits. Wow. That’s good to know…or is it? And FYI, here one can read Fresh Ways to Earn Miles and Perks.

A recent flight story recants Spilled Cup of Joe Causes Terror Fear. A spilled cup of coffee left 241 passengers grounded on a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Frankfurt when it created communications and navigation problems aboard a Boeing 777. Flight 940 diverted to Toronto, according to a report from Transport Canada, the nation’s civil aviation authority, after one of the plane’s pilots spilled coffee in the cockpit. A United spokesman said flight turbulence prompted the mishap. You just never know what you are up against when you are in the air.  The old axiom “expect the unexpected” rolls in to fruition. This site is a must for senior travelers to check out periodically to “see what’s going on up there” in air travel today.     jeb



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