Evo­lu­tion of travel means a lot of ex­tra fees

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - TRAVEL -

You could count on a gen­eral de­gree of sta­bil­ity at the des­ti­na­tions trav­ellers wanted to visit most. Then, air­lines — par­tic­u­larly in the U.S. — dis­cov­ered a paved road to pros­per­ity with an­cil­lary fees and oil prices. Places such as Egypt, Tu­nisia, and to some ex­tent Rus­sia, which count on tourism for their economies, sud­denly be­came coun­tries fear­ful and fairminded tourists no longer wished to visit.

With each change within a travel com­pany comes a large mea­sure of pub­lic­ity that af­fects con­sumer at­ti­tudes to­ward the com­pany, the style of travel or in­di­vid­ual ac­tions within travel pat­terns. Ex­tra fees here to stay on cruise lines

Some time ago, most of the world’s cruise brands in­sti­tuted spe­cialty restau­rants aboard their ves­sels as a way of gath­er­ing ex­tra rev­enue.

Is the food not good enough at the many restau­rant op­tions al­ready avail­able on most ships? Of course it is! But add the word “culi­nary” to a new restau­rant with the name of the chef tied to it, and a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of peo­ple will will­ingly pay the ex­tra fare for the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Noth­ing is more en­joy­able than a nice break­fast brought to your cabin by a friendly at­ten­dant. That used to be free, but now cruise lines are testing re­ac­tion to a small room-ser­vice charge on some of their ships.

Even some not-so-spe­cialty foods like chicken wings and shrimp by the pool will cost you ex­tra on some ships.

Now they’ve got rolling, there will be no end to ex­tra fees in the com­ing years. Pas­sen­ger sham­ing ever popular

Whether they’re aboard an air­craft, on a ship or at a re­sort, many pas­sen­gers who carry on boor­ish and un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour are un­der the false im­pres­sion no one back home will ever find out.

With the ad­vent of smart­phone video cam­eras, this be­hav­iour can be silently cap­tured with­out the per­pe­tra­tors know­ing their fam­i­lies, and thou­sands of oth­ers, are about to bear wit­ness. The run of shame be­gins as soon as the video is posted to YouTube, and the peo­ple who first see the dis­turb­ing ac­tions make sure they for­ward it to all their friends via so­cial me­dia — there is now even a pas­sen­ger-sham­ing page on Instagram. The doc­u­men­tary that changed an in­dus­try

Vis­its to SeaWorld were stan­dard fam­ily-va­ca­tion fare — a thrill for chil­dren and adults alike to see the gi­ant whales jump and dive.

But on Feb. 24, 2010, ev­ery­thing be­gan to change when 40-year-old trainer Dawn Brancheau, was killed by an orca whale in front of hun­dreds dur­ing a show in Or­lando.

My own grand­chil­dren were in the au­di­ence the day be­fore, and to this day their par­ents have not told them of that in­ci­dent, know­ing how up­set­ting it would be to them.

Crit­ics have al­ways ar­gued con­di­tions at SeaWorld were not ac­cept­able for crea­tures of this size.

What re­ally sent shock­waves through the in­dus­try was a well-pro­duced doc­u­men­tary called Black­fish.

It was played over and over again on CNN and be­came avail­able on Net­flix and other chan­nels.

SeaWorld did what it could to min­i­mize the pub­lic­ity and ar­gue its point of view, but it is gen­er­ally ac­knowl­edged at­ten­dance dropped at many of the parks af­ter the film’s re­lease.

SeaWorld has now launched a sort of come­back cam­paign that fo­cuses on the theme park’s ded­i­ca­tion to care for their an­i­mals and mam­mals in their parks.

The parks have al­ways pro­vided ex­cel­lent en­ter­tain­ment and opin­ions are ex­treme on both sides of the de­bate about whether th­ese kinds of shows should be al­lowed. But it is note­wor­thy how one medium is be­ing used to suc­cess­fully shame peo­ple, while an­other does the same to or­ga­ni­za­tions. Wel­come to the space age

“There’s no room for my carry-on in this over­head bin!”

Th­ese are words you will hear on just about ev­ery full flight since air­lines in­sti­tuted charges for the first checked bag.

More and more peo­ple are try­ing to avoid the charge by try­ing to pack as much as they can in their carry-on al­lowances. At times the frus­tra­tion is pal­pa­ble, as cus­tomers try to push and squeeze their bags into spa­ces that just can’t fit. A so­lu­tion may be around the cor­ner.

Boe­ing has in­tro­duced a new de­sign that can be retro­fit­ted into air­craft, start­ing with the 737s.

Branded as Space Bins, the new de­sign claims to free up 50 per cent more space that can be ded­i­cated to car­ryon bag­gage. The new de­sign steals a few inches of head­room and changes some of the closing door and hinge mech­a­nisms on planes.

Delta air­lines has al­ready started in­stalling them in its 737 air­craft, and sim­i­lar de­signs for other air­craft are likely to fol­low.

For­ward your travel ques­tions to askjour­neys@jour­neystravel.com. Ron Pradinuk is pres­i­dent of Jour­neys Travel & Leisure Su­perCen­tre and can be heard

Sun­days at noon on CJOB. Pre­vi­ous col­umns and tips can be found at www. jour­neystrav­el­gear.com or read Ron’s travel blog at www.that­trav­el­guy.ca.

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