Tag: Chris ElliottView All Tags
We're not much for moaning about how awful air travel has gotten because, uh, what can we really do about it, right? Actually, travel troubleshooter Christopher Elliott has come up with four big fixes that can make your next trip at least bearable.
First and foremost, know your stuff before you even book:
It's not easy to predict whether your flight will be canceled before your departure date, but you can make an educated guess. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics is a terrific resource for someone who wants to connect the dots. For example, it publishes a list of the most-delayed flights and of holiday flight delays.
Elliott also says it's smart to know what's in your airline's contract of carriage; it's another great piece of advice. After all, you can't argue with the gate agent if you don't know what's up!
One of the most interesting--and underreported--aspects of Chuck Thompson's book "Smile When You're Lying" was his discussion of Peak Oil and its potential effect on the travel industry. And whether or not you believe the theory that we will soon tap the world's petroleum reserves and begin a long, disastrous decline into a carbon-free future, you can't deny that the price of oil has dramatically increased over the past year.
You'll only be able to try it at LaGuardia for now, but Delta has rolled out its first e-boarding pass. You'll now be able to check in and get past the TSA screeners using nothing more than your web-capable mobile.
Of course, a few airlines already have this service--including Air Canada, Continental and Japan Airlines. But it looks like it's really starting to catch on in the States, which begs an important reminder: Charge those phones before you head to the airport!
· Delta Testing Cell Phone-Based Airline Check-in [Crave]
· Delta Partners with TSA to Launch Paperless Mobile Check-in [Official Site]
· TSA and Continental Airlines Expand Paperless Boarding Pass Program [Official Site]
· Paper Is Out, Cellphones Are in [NYT]
· The Problem with Paperless Boarding Passes? [Elliott]
Spirit Airlines may be trying to whittle away its customer service department by removing important email address of Spirit execs and closing down their call center. But they can't get by Chris Elliott who received tips from Spirit insiders of the names, phone numbers and emails of Spirit execs who can help you.
Now that these execs have been "outed," we're not so sure how long those extensions and addresses will stay valid. All of these "hiding from the customer" shenanigans by Spirit can't mean anything good. As Elliott points out, the same thing happened at Skybus right before it shut down.
Then again maybe Ben Baldanza is taking his "Reply All" lesson to the extreme.
Frontier / Richard Branson / Virgin America / Chris Elliott / Airlines / Airline Bankruptcy / → All Tags
So now Frontier has filed for bankruptcy, though the carrier won't be shutting down operations during its "restructuring." That means it's time for people on the WWW to start the guessing game as to who's next. Chris Elliott leads the way this morning with a few ideas--complete with odds of bankruptcy. (Sorry, Sun Country, but 2 to 1 is pretty bad.)
Noticeably absent from the list is Virgin America, which some industry analysts say is a candidate for closure. But maybe Elliott left VA off his list because Richard Branson is making the media rounds, talking up his American carrier:
They're doing well ahead of budget and we're very happy with the performance... If you sit here in three or four years time, it'll be flying to all the major American cities.
Well. We'll see.
Given how rapid the Skybus implosion was--and how up-and-down all this renewed Delta merger talk is--we're gonna sit out this round of speculation. If you've got any real info on what's next, you'll find us at the airport bar.
Tired of kids ruining your Disney World vacations? You're in luck! Tireless consumer advocate Chris Elliott, who visits Disney, like, all the time, says Victoria & Albert's restaurant will stop letting in tots under 10.
But rather than give knee-jerk criticism, Elliott realizes that this is actually a great move by Disney, which gets plenty of adult guests along with all those kids:
I've been to Victoria & Albert's, and it's a first-rate, five-diamond establishment where men are required to wear jackets and women must wear dresses or pantsuits...Saying "no" to kiddies isn't such a bad idea. After all, the adults need their own playground, too.
· Victoria & Albert's [Official Site]
· WDW's Swankiest Restaurant Bans Kids [Orlando Sentinel]
· Kiddies Verboten at Disney World Restaurant [Elliott.org]
· Disney World Restaurant Bans Children [AP, via Google]
· Disney Travel coverage [Jaunted]
Chris Elliott rocks. Are we just saying that because he named us one of the most influential travel bloggers of 2007? Nope. On more than one occasion travel's true ombudsman helped crack Skybus, serving up the executives' phone numbers so stranded passengers could at least call someone.
Chris serves dutifully as the arbitrator of travel customer service queries daily in every media imaginable. Television, radio, Interwebs and even print. He's the Diddy of travel, with his hands in a bit of everything, and the bottom line is if you aren't listening to his conversations you're probably missing something.
Calling Skybus? When pigs fly...
Yesterday, after giving it considerable thought, Chris Elliott published the phone numbers of Skybus' top executives. His thinking went that if the airline asks that people email rather than phone in complaints, the company should respond to those emails. Chris says Skybus wasn't doing that, and went ahead with giving consumers the contact info they needed to resolve problems.
Until the Skybus people changed their phone numbers.
So stranded and wronged passengers were stuck again, and Chris stepped up with more ammunition: cell phone numbers for the same five Skybus execs. There's no telling how long until they change these, too, but for now it's Chris 2-Skybus 1.
[Photo: InterAir Media]
When it comes to the travel media these days, you're more likely to get a list of quick bite-sized info than a lengthy essay expounding the virtues of some far-away land. But then again, sometimes all you want are the down and dirty facts. These five lists would do Sgt. Joe Friday proud.
[Photo: NG Adventure]
Skybus / Chris Elliott / Airlines / Flight Attendants / Skybus-Flight-Attendant-Tryouts / → All Tags
We wonder, if Emirates Air, an airline that is all about high class, is hiring "hot, young flight attendants", does that mean Skybus, an airline about no-frills, the exact opposite of Emirates, is hiring the inverse of hot young flight attendants? Looks like we will find out on May 11.
Skybus will be interviewing for flight attendants between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. this Friday at the Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corp., 1111 E. Broad St. in Columbus, Ohio.
Furthermore, Skybus will be hosting interviews for flight attendants beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the Fort Rapids Holiday Inn, 4560 Hilton Corporate Dr., on the East Side.
Skybus Airlines' low fares have already resulted in 200,000 bookings since the Columbus anchored carrier started selling tickets April 24.
Oh, and if you go to the tryouts, send along photos and reaction.
· Skybus [Jaunted]
· Skybus hires employees as it gets ready for departures [Columbus Dispatch]