I just spent $102 a day to rent a car in Houston –
Last week I attended a convention in Houston, Texas. Because the airport is so far from downtown I figured I would be way ahead by renting a car versus taking a taxi or Uber. Boy was I wrong. At first glance the $46 a day rental rate seemed quite reasonable. But when you add $20.74 a day in taxes and fees charged by every Tom, Dick, and Harry agency of Government on top of that daily rental rate you come up with a $67 daily rental rate. Can you believe that included in that rate is an $11.61 to help Houston pay for the Minutemaid baseball stadium? How does renting a car have anything to do with paying for a sports stadium? My next cost was $19.55 or $4.89 a day for gas. To add further insult to injury I stayed at the Westin Downtown Houston which was only a short 3 block walk to the convention hall so I was required to pay a $30.31 a day valet parking fee. That made my total cost of renting a car of $102 a day or $408 for the four days. WOW!
Airline service has gotten worse despite airlines spending billions on improvements –
Last weeks’ Executive Travel weekly travel alert survey of business travelers asked, “How would you rate the current service levels provided by the airlines today compared with 5 years ago?”. Over 42% of the 853 travelers surveyed the week of February 15, 2016 reported that airline service was worse (37%) or much worse (5%) in the last 5 years. Only 17% surveyed said that airline service was better (16%) or much better (1%). 41 percent of those surveyed said airline service was about the same compared with 5 years ago. I was really surprised to see these negative numbers as I personally feel the airlines have seen a dramatic positive change in culture as well as service. This must frustrate the heck out of the airlines as they have spent billions updating their technology, improving on-time arrival, and the onboard experience. It appears the majority of travelers do not acknowledge the changes as dramatically different from 5 years ago. CLICK HERE to read to survey results and press release.
I need your help! –
I need you to answer this simple two question survey this week.- The only thing we ask of our readers is to help us each week by taking a 10 second survey. PLEASE CLICK HERE. Thanks so much to the 853 people who helped us with the survey listed above.
United’s Stroopwafel has officially beaten DL and AA’s Biscoff cookies as best airline snack-
For years I have been bragging about Biscoff cookies that are offered by Delta and American Airlines as being the best airline snacks in the world. Now there is a new #1. United airlines just recently added snacks to their flights and the morning snack is a Stroopwafel by Daelmans. This amazing snack is a soft, toasted thin waffle filled with caramel, cinnamon and real bourbon vanilla. These snacks are made in Holland and I can’t wait to find a place to buy them in the states.
Travelers offer split opinions on question asking if airport experience is getting better-
The second question posed in the Executive Travel weekly travel alert survey mentioned above was, “How would you rate the overall airport experience today (checking in, parking, security lines, food service, etc) compared with 5 years ago?” There was almost a three way tie with 34% of those surveyed say airport service is worse. 34% saying it is the same and 32% saying it is better. This survey also has me scratching my head as I see how the lines at check-in are much smaller with the implementation of kiosks, etc. Perhaps the one overriding frustration continues to be the long security-check lines. I personally feel the airports have seen a dramatic improvement in services, food service and retail opportunities. I actually have started to embrace a longer layover at some connecting hub airports to enjoy a nice meal. CLICK HERE to find out more about the survey.
Cuba, Italy, European River cruising, British Isles and Hawaii are the hot destinations in 2016 –
Americans are ready to explore the world this year and we are seeing strong demand for crossing the pond and visiting our neighbors in Europe. Ireland, Scotland, and Great Britain are joining annual favorites Italy and river cruising as the hot spots in Europe. Cuba is in the headlines almost every week and the new commercial flights are making visiting there much more easy and affordable. And of course old reliable Hawaii, with its romantic tropical weather, fun and sun is always at the top of everyone’s bucket list. Please call one of our friendly travel advisors at 402-435-8888and let them help you plan the perfect vacation this year.