After a hard afternoon of jet skiing yesterday, my friends and I came off the water right as the sun was descending in the horizon over the ocean. The sun sets in Thailand in a more vibrant, distinctive way than most other places in the world that I have seen, and quite honestly it can be intoxicating.
As we collected our belongings and paid the 1,300 baht fee (roughly $40) for the afternoon rental, we started talking about travel– my friends are returning to Europe tomorrow on Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, which was recently voted ‘the world’s best air carrier’ at the 2009 World Travel Awards.
Our conversation made me realize that I had not touched on travel secrets in a while, so I thought I would make a few suggestions if you are considering some holiday travel.
It’s no secret that most airlines are short of cash. They’ve come up with creative ways to raise money through checked baggage fees, ticketing fees, increased change fees, and of course, the fuel surcharge.
My favorite was Bratislava-based Sky Europe’s ‘payment fee,’ which as the name suggests, charges a fee for the passenger to make a payment. It makes me wonder if they were planning to charge a fee for someone to pay the payment fee… No wonder they went out of business.
The newest cash-raising craze for airlines is to sell miles or points within their award programs. Points can subsequently be accumulated and traded in for free tickets, and even extend beyond the airline to the rest of their alliance.
American Airlines, for example, is a member of the ‘One World Alliance,’ which is also comprised of British Airways, Royal Jordanian, Japan Airways, Malev Hungarian, Mexicana, Spain’s Iberia, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific, Finland’s Finnair, Australia’s Qantas, and Chile’s Lan.