Travelers beware of basic economy fares being sold by the Airlines

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The big three airlines are all moving to try to sell more and more services in addition to the price of your airline ticket. Toward that end Delta, American and United Airlines have all announced they will be offering “basic’ fares that strip out all of the added features of normal tickets. These new fares cut out a lot of services that if people are not aware of they will be madder than a hornet when they find out the lower fares do not include; carry-on luggage, seat selection, boarding priority, flight changes, upgrades or mileage plus credits. To me it makes no sense to save $20 – $30 and lose all of these benefits. Ironically, the airlines are reporting even though they lower the price for these “basic economy” airfares they actually make more money as people actually pay more to pay for the extra services after the fact. United Airlines, to their credit is working hard to try to educate people of how these new fares are different from the past.. CLICK HERE to see a nice chart explaining the pros and cons of these new fares.

Airline bumping hits a 20 year low –

Despite what you saw and read about airline passengers getting involuntarily bumped from oversold flights earlier this year it turns out that the airlines have all dramatically decreased the number of passengers involuntarily bumped during the second quarter of 2017 to a 20 year low. United Airlines received a big black eye in April when they suffered a very public nightmare when a passenger was physically removed from an oversold flight. Since that time United and other airlines have aggressively implemented policies where fewer and fewer people are bumped from a flight. For example United had 957 bumps in April and only 46 in June. Ironically, many people think that Southwest Airlines has few if any bumps however they had 2642 bumps during the first 6 months of the year. They promised they would be eliminating overselling of flights however they have not told us when they will implement this groundbreaking commitment. The good news is that the DOT reported that only one person in 19,000 is ever bumped from an oversold flight. READ MORE HERE.

Some hotels in NYC start restricting non-guests from using lobby restrooms –

Points, Miles & Martinis is reporting that on a recent trip to the W Hotel in New York City that they were unable to use the restroom as it required a room key to gain entry. With thousands of visitors a day it seems the hotel wants to limit the number of people using their restrooms. I can understand that up to a point. I for one have always tried to use hotel restrooms as they tend to be a lot cleaner than public restrooms or even restaurant facilities. Even with a keyed entry if you are patient enough to wait until a hotel guest comes by with a key you can probably slip in at the same time. I have also noticed at several new restaurants in NYC that they have about 8 private restrooms for one person each instead of a men’s and women’s restroom. I really like this idea. With this approach men and women simply queue up and wait for the next door to open. This offers outstanding privacy.

Government raises per diem rates for government travel in 2018 –

The GSA recently announced that they are increasing the amount that federal employees will be reimbursed for travel expenses from $142 a day to $144 a day. This represents $93 a day for lodging and $51 a day for meals Ironically there are 332 non-standard areas that have per diem rates higher than the standard rates listed above. This is amazingly low amount as business travelers will pay almost twice this amount when accounting for hotel, car and meals. CLICK HERE to see all the info about the 2018 GSA per diem rates.

Wow! I am seeing some amazing deals for up-to 65% off on travel to Mexico, Hawaii and the Caribbean this winter –

Some big sales end this Thursday for travel in January, February and March. It looks like many resorts are trying to fill up early by offering big discounts (up to 65% off) if you make your reservations by Thursday, August 17, 2017. Call one of our friendly travel advisors at 402-435-8888 if you want to get away from the ice and cold this winter.

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