#1 For years when one purchased an airline ticket that entitled them to a seat assignment; they could check a bag without cost, and you were allowed a carry-on bag as long as it fit in the overhead compartment or under your seat. Now, on most airlines, they have their lowest or “basic” rate at an attractive price but you are not allowed any upgrades or schedule changes, you are the last to board, and seats cannot be assigned until you check in. And, if you are willing to pay a higher rate, they have also been blocking off the aisle and window seats for an additional extra cost, so when one wants to make a reservation, and reserve a seat, all the seats are “blocked off”.....except, of course, the middle seats. Very confusing and frustrating. To get away from this mess, one can travel on Southwest, but the problem there is that Southwest doesn't fly everywhere, for sure out of Abilene!!! And we are not able to issue tickets on Southwest unless they are traveling with a hotel package.
#2. The U. S. Passport Office made an announcement last week that processing a passport application is now taking at least 8 weeks to get it back instead of the previous 6 weeks. The reason for the increase in time is that there has been an unusual amount of not only new passport applications but also increased renewals. Another cause of the delay is attributed to a reduction in staff. My editorial comment is, why don't they hire a few more folks? One way to get it back quicker is to pay for it to be expedited, which would reduce the time by 2-3 weeks.....but you'd have to pay an additional $60.
#3. Do you know which destination is the one most Americans are flying to this summer? It is Cancun.....for the fourth year in a row!!! The Airlines Reporting Corporation tracks the tickets issued for summer travel and Cancun won out again. I couldn't believe they beat out Las Vegas who came in fifth place. New York was second and Orlando was in the third place slot. A rundown of the top ten includes London at number 4 followed by Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Seattle, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Chicago captured 10th place. Because of the negative publicity around Punta Cana, I'll bet they'll lose a little stature in the next few months. And I'm guessing that Las Vegas was so low is because since they were measuring summer travel; it's too blooming hot to be in Las Vegas during the summer time!!
#4. Our president had a meeting with the Brazilian president a while back and they reached an agreement that saves a lot of hassle for Americans wanting to visit Brazil. Until their agreement, Americans not only had to have a passport, but they also had to secure a visa, which took a lot of time and effort and most of the time a little more money. A visa is a document issued by the country giving the traveler permission to visit their country. Now, all that is required for U. S. citizens to visit Brazil is a passport....all those interested in soccer are happy campers!!!
#5. Another one of those airline snafu's. Everyone wants an exit row seat, especially those 6'3” guys, plus some others that I can't judge since they are on the phone. Of course those seats carry with them an extra cost, so the persons are willing to pay extra, however when they get on the plane, there is no way they would be able to help in case of an emergency. They have to be able to lift a 45 pound door and perform other duties, and a 450 pound person or a 90 year old woman could not handle the assignment required of an exit row passenger. Here they've paid for the exit row privilege but can't handle the responsibility that goes with it, so then the flight attendant has to work it out. Good luck!!
The experienced travel advisors are experts in travel hodge-podge, we deal with it daily, so give us a call at 698-1421 or come by 4150 Southwest Drive and let us help you with your vacation plans....we manufacture your vacations to fit your specifications!!!