These 2 Words Are Ruining The Travel Service Industry

The travel industry is all about customer service. As a business, you provide a service to your customers. That may be transportation on an airplane, train, bus or car. It could also be a place to stay like a hotel room, villa, Airbnb or campsite. You may be responsible for feeding those visiting your town at a restaurant. Lastly, you may be providing an essential need or travel service like acting as a guide or working at an entertainment facility, historic place or a park. All these jobs are front line service positions that directly impact how much a traveler enjoys his or her trip, regardless if it’s for business or pleasure.

Back in the old days, it was easy to measure how well your customer service was doing. If the service you provided was done well, people would return. If you did really great, they might even tell their friends and you would then have more customers. If your service was bad, the customers wouldn’t come back. If you were really horrible, you could be sure they would tell everyone they knew and eventually you wouldn’t have any business left.

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What changed? Continue reading “These 2 Words Are Ruining The Travel Service Industry”

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Margaritaville Expands, Easy SPG Points, The Newest Harry Potter Ride, Getting A Free Night At A Better Hotel + More

Hi y’all! Here are some travel articles we’ve read this week that we thought you might find interesting!

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Don’t forget to join our Facebook Group, where we talk about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel-related articles you may not see otherwise, etc. We’d love to see you there!

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just two or three times a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel  articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are Delta’s “Preferred” Seats and Should You Pay Extra to Sit There?

Knowledge is power, or so Schoolhouse Rock taught me during my youth.

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While flying home from Charlotte on Delta, I knew we’d be on an MD-88 aircraft.  I generally don’t mind this type of aircraft for shorter flights because it has a 3-2 seating arrangement. With that, I can choose to sit on the side with two seats and then Sharon can have the window (her favorite) and I can have the aisle (my favorite). Plus we have the bonus of not needing to worry about who will sit in the middle seat. One of the downsides of that plane is the overhead bin on the two seat side is smaller and doesn’t fit many carry-on bags. Everyone has to put their larger bags on the side with three seats, since those are larger bins and those who board later usually have to gate check their bags because all the space has been taken.

I didn’t want to have to gate check a carry-on bag if I didn’t absolutely have to, so I found a way to board the plane with one of the first boarding groups. Here’s how I did it:

Continue reading “What Are Delta’s “Preferred” Seats and Should You Pay Extra to Sit There?”

Visiting The Places in Salzburg, Austria Where They Filmed “The Sound of Music” (Without a Tour!)

I’ve been a fan of “The Sound of Music” (SOM) movie for pretty much my whole life. My first attempt at improvised harmony was to “Edelweiss” when I was 10 (my dad was SO PROUD!), and I have memories of singing “I Am 16 Going on 17” when I was, like, 3 or 4, and thinking someone that age was SOOOO OLD!☺ Visiting Salzburg, Austria, and the locations where they filmed parts of the movie, has been a bucket list item of mine for YEARS. So when Joe suggested in mid-late 2015 that we go there in mid-late 2016 as part of my “‘Ending with a zero’ birthday year,” I jumped at the chance.

In researching where to go and what to see, my first place for research was not a what or Continue reading “Visiting The Places in Salzburg, Austria Where They Filmed “The Sound of Music” (Without a Tour!)”

How Get Platinum Status, Last-Minute WDW Reservations & More

Well, it’s FINALLY the weekend…and what do you know, it’s Cinco De Mayo, too! WOO HOO! Here’s a review of the articles we wrote this week, all in one convenient place.

Joe wrote about:

And Sharon wrote about:

Don’t forget to join our Facebook Group, where we talk about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel-related articles you may not see otherwise, etc. We’d love to see you there!

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just two or three times a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel  articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

Even I Can Get Lured Onto The Loyalty Hamster Wheel

loyal

adjective  loy·al  \ ˈlȯi(-ə)l \

Faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product

That’s the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s definition of loyal. I think it’s important to remember this when we talk about loyalty programs. Whether it’s airlines, hotels, rental cars, restaurants, gas stations or Amazon.com, the goal of these programs is to make you loyal to their product. Even more, they’re designed to increase how loyal you are and they’re really good at it.

It used to be that you were loyal to a company because of the product they offered. That might be due to any of these reasons:

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Service

Companies decided that instead of competing only on those areas, they wanted to add another variable and the loyalty programs were created. Over the years, the programs have added many reasons for you to be “loyal” to them. Some can be viewed as rewards but others can often look more like punishments for not being loyal.

  • Discounts for members of programs
  • Special treatment on the phone and in person with dedicated staff for members
  • Upgrades to the product received
  • Free perks for members (when buying directly from the company)
  • Rewards (when buying directly from the company)

I can see the last two as being extras for members but they can also be seen as punishments for those who look for a lower price elsewhere. You might pay more by booking directly but that’s what you need to do to prove loyalty. But wait, I thought I was getting rewarded for loyalty, not having to prove that I’m loyal by paying extra. That’s not how it’s supposed to work?!?!?!

Continue reading “Even I Can Get Lured Onto The Loyalty Hamster Wheel”

May The Fourth Be With You: The Star Wars Themed Scum and Villainy Cantina

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.
We must be cautious. – Obi Wan (Ben) Kenobi

Ever since I first saw the Facebook page from the Scum and Villainy Cantina pop-up bar in Los Angeles, I was convinced I wanted to go. To my surprise, Sharon was interested in going as well.

 

At first, the location was only selling tickets for two months and you needed to purchase admission in advance and then reserve the date you wanted to go. Living on the other side of the continent, I just couldn’t make a trip there on a whim. So I kept following their website and their Twitter and Instagram feeds, hoping for more information. First they extended for a month, and then another. I knew this pattern…they were following the Sleep No More playbook, where the event says they’ll be open for a limited time so you’re made to feel the need to attend now before they close, and then they extend and extend. I kept hoping it would continue.

Continue reading “May The Fourth Be With You: The Star Wars Themed Scum and Villainy Cantina”