Entries Tagged 'Travel Tips' ↓

Airtran’s Awful Promotion: Crazy Eights

I usually open Airtran’s frequent emails about good deals on fares, and their A+ Rewards program. I’m a big fan of Airtran, and I fly it whenever I can, but this latest marketing “promotion” is just awful.

Are you kidding me?! My fare will end in 8? What kind of promotion is that? Now, I understand that all airlines are struggling, but is this really the best they can do? Dear Airtran, stop it with the ridiculous emails for stupid promotions that have absolutely no value to me.

Rental Car Minimum Mileage Scam

Budget Car RentalThis last weekend I flew to my home town of Grand Rapids and rented a car from Budget, because it was the cheapest, at $52 dollars after fees and tax. In order to get the keys, I had to sign an interesting document though. It stated that I had to drive the car at least 75 miles or else I would be faced with an additional $75 dollar charge.

This doesn’t make any sense to me. Why would they want me to drive the car further? This they didn’t tell me about this when I made my reservation, and since they didn’t make it very clear when I was actually getting the car, I’m classifying this as an Awful Scam. It’s only because I read the fine print of what I signed that I knew to drive the car around for awhile before bringing it back.

Awful tip of the day: Don’t use Budget to rent cars.

Atlanta Airport (ATL): The world’s most awful airport

Atlanta International Airport

ATL might not be the world’s most awful airport, but Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is officially the world’s busiest airport. This doesn’t mean, however, that your layover in Atlanta has to be an unpleasant one. Here are some tips to make your visit to ATL a little more tolerable.

  • The T Concourse: ATL’s best kept secret. At any time day or night, Concourses A, B, C, D and E are bound to be packed. You will see people sleeping in the hallways, lines with 20, 30, or 50 people in them waiting to get into bars or restaurants, and a smoky haze across the concourse from the “contained” smoking lounges. If you’re anything like me, you’d rather find a nice quiet corner of the airport than deal with this mess. Well, the T Concourse is what you’re looking for. All the way at the end of the shuttle line (or a 6000 foot walk from the E concourse), it is far off the beaten path. There is no smoking lounge, which helps makes breathing here almost tolerable. There aren’t quite as many bars and restaurants here, but there are a few, and they are almost never busy! Also, since Concourse T is the international concourse, the chances of striking up an interesting conversation with someone from overseas over a cold pint of Guinness are good. The last time I was in this concourse, I don’t think I saw a single passenger. I did, however, see plenty of pilots and airport personnel taking their breaks here.
  • Don’t take the shuttle. When migrating from one concourse to another, you might be tempting to join the crowd and pack yourself into the shuttle that runs between concourses. Unless you’re really lazy or have health problems, I’d suggest walking it. There is one long hallway that connects all the concourses, and it has one of those “flat escalator walking accelerator” things, so it take about the same amount of time as the shuttle anyway.
  • Check out the art show. If you have some time to kill before your departing flight, be sure to head down to the hallway between the A and T concourses. There are some impressive works of art displayed in the middle of the hallway and on the walls.
  • Check your gate. It seems that every time I am in this airport, my gate changes on me. Be sure to check out the flight information monitors before heading out to your gate, as they may change even within minutes of boarding.

Keep checking back for more tips for dealing with awful travel situations. I have plenty of ideas to share. Also be sure to check out Jim’s Travel Tips for some excellent travel advice from another seasoned traveler.