7 Travel Trends We Wish Would Go Away
As many reasons as there are to love travel, it’s rarely ever perfect. In fact, sometimes it’s exactly the opposite: What with airlines and hotels slapping on endless fees, long airport security lines getting longer, and TSA rules becoming ever more confounding—not to mention the recent (and troubling) episodes of violence on flights—there are some aspects of travel that can make you want to swear it off forever.
But we don’t recommend retiring your carry-on: Instead, it sometimes helps simply to vent about our shared misery. Here, 7 travel trends that have dominated the travel industry recently—and why we would love to see them disappear.
1. Pricey resort fees
Great room rate? Check. Swanky pool? Check. Basic amenities like in-room coffeemakers? Check. And then … you read the fine print, only to discover that your seemingly perfect resort has an ugly secret: It charges resorts fees for amenities (and necessities) that used to be included in the rate: use of the swimming pool or fitness center, or even the in-room safe and coffee maker. And over the past year, resort fees have been on the rise in popular destinations including Florida, Hawaii, and Las Vegas, where they frequently add an extra $25 to $35 per night—which seriously weighs down your expenses.
Our solution? Hotels should be required to declare up front the total amount of their room rate and extras like these maddening resort fees, just as the airlines were required to do several years ago with taxes and other charges. That way, travelers won’t be blindsided when they get the bill. In the meantime, it never hurts to ask at the front desk about removing these pesky fees.
2. Frumpy travel clothes
In the glory days of air travel, flying used to be an occasion that warranted your Sunday best: dresses, suits, and fancy shoes. These days, however, it’s not unusual to see travelers slogging through the airport in their ratty pajama bottoms.
Hey, we get it: When you’re logging a lot of hours on planes (trains, and automobiles), staying comfortable is a high priority. But that’s no reason to pull on the old sweatpants and tank top. Fortunately, ExOfficio makes it easy to look good on the road without sacrificing wardrobe practicality. Its clothing is designed with the stylish traveler in mind: Pull on the Zhanna Legging with a Wanderlux tee or the Venture Pant with an Isoclime hoody, and you’ll look and feel great, no matter how long your flight.
3. Ever-changing TSA rules
It’s a routine familiar to anyone who has flown more than a couple of times a year: To get through airport security, it’s shoes off, shoes off, jackets and belts off, laptops out, liquids in clear plastic bags (no more than three ounces per container, though)—and, finally, emptying your pockets. If those weren’t difficult enough to keep straight, every airport seems to execute those rules differently: In some, it’s ok to leave liquids in your carry-on, for example, but in others they must be in their own plastic bag.
And the TSA is shaking things up again with new procedures that require passengers to remove items like snacks and paper from our bags.
These new rules are expected to be rolled out following the summer travel season.
And it gets worse if you live in Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, or Montana: In these states, your driver’s license may not suffice as a form of identification, thanks to a new law that will be enacted in early 2018. Bottom line: If you haven’t gotten TSA PreCheck yet, there’s no time like the present.
4. Airlines charging for "extras"
Remember the days when your airline ticket covered you, your suitcase, and even a meal? Those days are long gone. Now, a ticket will get you on board, but if you generally travel with luggage, checking it will most likely cost you around $25 per bag. And the airlines haven’t stopped there: Some are starting to charge for carry-ons, and you’re more likely to have to pay for any seat that isn’t a middle one. Before long, they’ll be charging for a pressurized cabin.
5. Fights on planes
Ever since the shocking video went viral of a United Airlines customer getting literally dragged out of his seat and down the aisle by airport security, it seems like fights are breaking out on planes left and right. First there was the brawl on the flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles*_. *_Then, the fistfight on a plane bound for Burbank. Then, the uproar in Fort Lauderdale after dozens of Spirit Airlines flights were canceled or delayed. We know travel mishaps can really get the blood boiling. But United Fight Club? No thanks.
6. Airlines overbooking flights
That same infamous United Airlines incident brought another lousy aspect of travel to harsh light: Airlines frequently overbook flights, which creates situations in which paying customers are asked (or physically forced) to give up their seats. Yes, it makes economic sense for airlines to sell more tickets than they actually have space for to account for no-shows, but screwing up people’s travel plans (or dragging passengers off flights) isn’t exactly a way to build loyalty among customers.
7. Upscale hotels charging for WiFi
It’s a scenario that can quickly take the excitement out of staying in a swanky hotel: getting slapped with Wifi charges on top of your pricey room fee. Yes, it’s low-hanging fruit for high-paying business travelers, but something about this just isn’t right, especially when free Wifi is a given at most budget and mid-range hotel chains—and even some campgrounds. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution: Many hotels waive the Wifi fee if you join their loyalty programs.
Originally written by RootsRated for ExOfficio.