Friday, September 6, 2013

9 Dirty Secrets from the Travel Industry

I found this article about some dirty secrets the travel industry probably wants to stay hidden. Some are actually dirty and others are just tricky. You can find the original article here.

Airlines Lie about Estimated Arrival Times
How many times has your plane taken off late only to "make up the time" in the air and arrive on schedule? Turns out, your pilot might not be speeding through the sky: Airlines often say a flight will take longer than it really does in order to inflate their on-time-arrival stats. 


On our first flight back from Hawaii we left about an hour late and somehow arrived on time so we could catch our next flight...now I know its a trick they play!


There Are Really Only Three Rental-Car Companies in America
Avis owns Budget and Zipcar, Hertz owns Dollar and Thrifty, and Enterprise owns Alamo and National. 


No wonder they all have the same price. 

Your Plane Is Probably Old
The average age of the major airlines' fleets including American, Alaska, Delta, Southwest, United and US Airways is about 14 years old. American and Delta have the oldest planes averaging 16 years old.

Aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia told CNN, "From a safety standpoint, a lot of the older planes were built tougher, and with proper maintenance, there's no reason why a plane can't stay safe for 25 to 30 years."

I don't ever feel nervous or scared when I get on an old plane, I'm usually bummed since they have less amenities (like each chair having a TV).  

Some Cruise Lines Are Harming the Environment
At sea, untreated cruise-ship waste (including raw sewage) can legally be dumped directly into the ocean as long as it's at least three miles out from shore (think about that the next time you're swimming).

Pilots Are Overworked and Underpaid 
A typical workday in the life of a regional airline copilot — one who makes about $28,000 per year to be on duty 12 to 13 hours a day, four days a week, often enduring a long commute and even sleeping in the airport just to get to his first flight.

Hotel Beds Are Disgusting
It's bad enough that most hotels don't change the bedspreads between guests (only the sheets), but did you know that the mattresses themselves are probably pretty filthy as well? Many hotels don't use waterproof mattress covers to protect the mattresses from the millions of skin cells, bodily secretions, bacteria, dust mites, and other allergens that guests leave behind.


I even asked for ours to be changed when were staying at the hotel in-between houses. They said it wasn't a problem but they never cleaned it or replaced it.





Flight Attendants May Delay Your Flight on Purpose
"If a flight is late, the airline might have to pay us overtime. If the flight is going to be late anyway, we've been known to delay it even further in order to make sure overtime kicks in, which on our airline means up to double the hourly pay. We might find some minor defect in the aircraft or use some other ruse to make up for the money we don't get paid waiting for takeoff." 

Some Hotel Housekeepers Polish Glasses with Furniture Polish
Housekeepers cleaning hotel-room drinking glasses with Pledge. Apparently it keeps glassware looking spotless and streak-free — so you may want to admire the sparkle and drink from disposable cups instead.


I will now wash all my hotel glasses before using them!

Airplane Water Might Not Be Safe to Drink
Tests conducted by the EPA a few years ago found that 14 percent of tank water in planes tested did not meet federal safety standards and contained bacteria like E. coli. Some airlines use tank water for more than just the airplane bathrooms. They use it to make coffee and tea, to fill the large bottles of water on the beverage trolley, and to make ice. Thankfully, not all airlines follow these practices. But do you really want to chance it?


Note to self: always bring you own water!


Do you have any experience with any of these dirty secrets? 



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