Q&A with Aoife O’Riordan, Associate Editor
Welcome to 2023! With a new year comes new adventures, and we all look for travel inspiration to create new memories. As someone who loves unique tours and experiences not typically found in the average travel guide, I’m asking what unusual and interesting places and experiences you recommend from your past travels? For context, I loved venturing on a Jack the Ripper tour through East London at night, led by a yeoman of the Tower of London, and always fondly remember visiting a small town called Augusta in Montana and getting to know the people and establishments there.
Tell us. Email us at [email protected]
In our December 2022 issue we announced the 2022 GT Tested Reader Survey awards. We asked: Did your favorite brands make the winners’ list? One reader wrote in:
As someone who has flown United Airlines for years, there was no doubt it would receive my vote for the upcoming GT Tested Reader Survey awards. When I read the airline made the winners’ list, I was thrilled, as this airline has truly done a lot in the last few years across different sectors, from its frequent-flyer program to its diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
I will continue to support United Airlines moving forward and am so glad it is being recognized.
IAN DAY, VIA EMAIL
DOT Orders Airlines to Issue $600 Million in Refunds
In the Nov. 16 issue of eFlyer, we told readers the Department of Transportation recently ordered several airlines to issue refunds to passengers for delays and cancellations. We asked: Have you experienced a cancellation or delay in the last two years? Did you request a refund? One reader wrote in:
We were denied a refund for December 2021 from Tucson International Airport to LAX. We had to fly to LAX and stay overnight in Los Angeles each way to travel on Alaska Airlines between LAX and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport. That trip canceled because of COVID-19, and Alaska had no problem with the refund.
MARY PEACHIN, VIA EMAIL
Will Resort Fees Become a Thing of the Past?
In the Dec. 7 issue of eFlyer, we told readers about President Joe Biden and the Federal Trade Commission’s plan to crack down on resorts charging resort fees. We asked: Have you stayed at a hotel where the property charged you a resort fee? How much was your resort fee? One reader shared feedback:
Yes, it is ridiculous I have to pay resort fees when I am a Lifetime Titanium and should get everything free with the exception of my hotel rate. I am staying at Orlando World Center Marriott in March for 13 days, and they are telling me I have to pay an additional $586 in resort fees. I am paying $300 per night, too. I hope something can be done, along with baggage fees when flying.
STEVE HESS, VIA EMAIL
Are Airport Strikes on the Rise?
In the Dec. 14 issue of eFlyer, we told readers about recent airport strikes across the United States and the world and their effects on travelers and airlines. We asked: Have any airport strikes affected your own travels in the past? One reader shared:
In November I was flying back to the United States from London and went through London’s Heathrow Airport. I flew with American Airlines, and my entire journey at Heathrow was relatively smooth … that is until I landed back in the United States and realized my bags had not made it on the plane.
Turns out there was a massive strike at Heathrow terminals 2, 3 and 4 while I was there, and I didn’t know about it. Apparently, hundreds of ground handlers went on strike, resulting in a massive backup of luggage. I eventually received my luggage two days later. Luckily,
I had nothing urgent I needed from these checked bags, but I’m sure other passengers did and found it difficult with this strike affecting the arrival of their luggage.
TILLIE HUGHES, VIA EMAIL
Updated daily, our blogs offer readers an inside look at the lives, travels and interests of the GT staff. Last month we featured blogs about our GT Tested Reader Survey awards in Los Angeles; a visit to Wilmington, North Carolina; an exciting, football-filled trip to Dallas; and fun cocktails in festive mugs and cups. One of our staff even biked from Chicago to Michigan, while another embarked on a ski adventure in Vermont with friends and family.
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