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Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

US Passport Fees Are Going UP!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on July 10, 2010


The US Passport office will officially increase the price of a United States Passport on Tuesday July 13, 2010. The new fees will raise the price of a passport by approximatly $35. The chart below outlines the new fees.

Remember, you need a passport to leave the United States. You cannot travel to a foreign country on your drivers licenses. It amazes me that people in the US think that they don’t need a passport to travel around the world.

But get you passport before July 13 and you will save $35!

Passport Fee Chart

Passport Fee Chart

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United Airlines Needs Customer Service Lessons

Posted by thetraveldoctor on June 20, 2009


United Terminal at O'Hare

United Terminal at O'Hare

This has got to be the height of how not to treat a customer. My daughters Mother-in-law purchased 2 round trip tickets for my daughter and her husband for their honeymoon. They were headed to Rome, Italy from Chicago. The best fare and connections were through Toronto on Air Canada. The entire itinerary was on Air Canada except for the first leg of the trip which was from Chicago to Toronto. This leg was a code share flight with United Airlines. That means that United Airlines operated the flight, but the ticket showed an Air Canada flight number but also said “Flight Operated by United Airlines.”

The tickets were purchased about 4 months ago. During that time, United Airlines had a major schedule change and canceled a large number of flights. One of those flights  was the Air Canada code share flight that my kids were on. Now you would think that United would have let us know that the flight was canceled. That would have been the proper thing to do, but remember, this is United, an Airline that does not know what the words “Customer Service” means.

So let’s jump ahead to the night before the flight. I ask my daughter what the flight number was so I can check the times and maybe even get them checked in and get a boarding pass. She gives me her itinerary and I proceeded to look up her flights, but I could not find her first flight number. So I checked all the flight from Chicago to Toronto and I found that her flight did not exist anymore. So I tried to check her in on the United website. But it was not able to check them in as the website said that they did not have a flight from Chicago to Toronto. Now I am really worried. So we call Air Canada. They tell me that they have rebooked them on a United flight to Toronto at 110PM. So I felt a little better, but I still didn’t trust United. So I  called United Airlines Reservations. By the time we got to a real person I was very nervous. I gave the United reservation agent the reservation number and I was told the flight was an Air Canada flight. I told the agent, “No it is your flight, because it is a 737 aircraft and Air Canada does not have any 737’s. The agents argued with me for a few minutes, but then agreed with me that it was a United flight. I hung up, but I still was not feeling very good about this, as it was still not showing the flight correctly in the United reservation system.

The No Customer Service Gate Check In

The No Customer Service Gate Check In

Fast forward to the next day. My kids arrive at O’Hare Airport at 11AM for the 1;10PM Flight. They get in the International check in line and they wait, and wait and wait. After 50 minutes in line, they get to the kiosk and try to check in. But my fears come true and it will not let them check in. It says on the screen “Cannot complete check in, Please see agent.” So they turn around and grab an agent and she tells them they have to go and stand in yet another line to see an agent. They have now been at the airport for 1 hour trying to check in. The next line has at least 40 people in it and only one agent working the line. It takes them 40 minutes to get to the agent. Once they get to the agent, they are told  by the agent “You are too late, I cannot check you in, there is only 20 minutes before flight time. Go to Air Canada, it’s their ticket.” Can you believe that! And she was rude on top of it. They told her that they have been waiting almost 2 hours in LINE! There was no response from the agent. So they gathered up their luggage and  walked from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2, which is a long haul.

The Air Canada Agent they finally checked in with could not have been nicer to my Daughter and Son In Law. She could not believe that United treated them so poorly. She apologized and booked them on an Air Canada flight at 2PM and up graded them to First Class. This is the sign of a Class Airline. United can learn a lot about customer service from the Ticket Agent at Air Canada. Because if you don’t treat your customers with respect, then you won’t have any customers. And if you don’t have any customers, you won’t have an airline. Just some food for thought United!

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Southwest to Launch Minneapolis flights from Chicago

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 4, 2008


 

Southwest Airlines in flight

Southwest Airlines in flight

Southwest Airlines announced on Wednesday that it will launch new service between Chicago Midway and Minneapolis St. Paul beginning in March. Southwest is moving into the Minneapolis St. Paul market right at the time that Northwest and Delta are expected to merge. This merger is expected to reduce service for Northwest at Minneapolis.  

Southwest is a great carrier and then know what they are doing. They would not launch service into a new market if they didn’t think they could make a profit. The Minneapolis market needs a good low cost carrier as fares to that city have been very high and with the entry of Southwest, it will bring fares down in the market.

Southwest plans to release more details about the Minneapolis service in the coming months.

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The House of Morons – US House Fails to Save Our Economy!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 29, 2008


 

The US House where the Vote Failed!

The US House where the Vote Failed!

I need to take a moment to vent my frustration regarding the failed vote for the US bailout plan today (Monday Sept 29, 2008). I have always had faith in our government that in the end, they would do the right thing. Well, today they didn’t. They let the entire United States and the World down. While they were fighting about a 700 billion bailout package, the market tanked. And because of the drop in the market, instead of the taxpayers shouldering a 700 billion bailout package, they were hit with a LOSS of 1 Trillion dollars. That’s right ONE TRILLION DOLLARS! This effects the elderly, the middle class, the poor, everyone in the United States. 

 

Here is what the Congress did today. They had a train wreck and they showed up at the scene. There were people hurt and dying and instead of treating the people, they decided to let them all die and they walked away. What the Congress in effect did today was kill the economy world wide. What a bunch of Morons. Do they need to get a good slap up the side of the head? What is wrong with them?

What you need to do first thing on Tuesday morning is call your congress person and tell them to get it together and pass the bailout before there is nothing left to bailout! Tell them if they don’t pass it, then you won’t vote for them ever again.

This has really, really, really upset me, because it is going to hurt the very people these congressmen say they want to help. They just DON’T GET IT!!!!!    

GET IT DONE MORONS! AND GET IT DONE NOW!!

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