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Dirty Secrets of the Travel Industry

A friend recently passed along an article to regarding dirty secrets of the travel industry. I spend a fair amount of time on airplanes and in hotels, so I found some of the ‘secrets’ interesting. Some interesting points from the article:


(Photo: Confidential Folder via Shutterstock)

Airlines lie about estimated arrival times. Airlines have to report departure and arrival statistics to the US government. One way to look good is to pad times on the gate-to-gate times. So if it takes an hour and thirty minutes to fly from Airport A to Airport B, an airline may say that trip will take  two hours or more. Some of this takes into account time on the ground at each airport.

What really bothers me about this is more times or not when you arrive early, you stop short of the gate because another plane is still at your gate. The line that drives me nuts is when a flight attendant says, “Folks, we have arrived in Dallas 25 minutes early, so next time we are late, let’s just call it even.” Um, no. It doesn’t work that way. Plus, if we are still sitting on the plane, have we really arrived early? That’s clearly a NO.

There are pretty much only three rental car companies in the United States. This I already knew, but didn’t think much about it. There have been a lot of mergers in the airline industry that are very public: American Airlines combining with US Airways; United Airlines being swallowed by merging with Continental Airlines; Southwest Airlines and AirTrain merging.


But the same has been happening with car rental companies. Enterprise owns National and Alamo; Avis owns Budget and Zipcar; and Hertz owns Dollar and Thrifty. Why this major industry consolidation hasn’t been getting a lot of press is beyond me.


Enterprise’s Drive Alliance

Hotel beds are disgusting. I previously wrote about the secret life of hotel pillows, but hotel mattresses can be just as gross. How often do you think hotels change mattresses? Do you think they are waterproofed? (Answer: Not often and No. Enough said.)

Flight attendants may delay your flight on purpose. This one surprised me a little. When in-flight crew get delayed, they may get paid overtime. So if a flight is already late, they may delay it even further to ensure that their overtime pay kicks in.

To read the full article, check it out here: 9 dirty little secrets of the travel industry.

Did any of these “dirty secrets” surprise you?

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