Travel Foibles: Part 6 (of too many to count) USA Today

I will admit to being a fan of newsprint.  Something about leisurely reading of the daily rag is something that I enjoy.  At home, we subscribe to the local newspaper, and read it every day.  While I read the NY Times everyday online, I still subscribe to the local fish wrapper.

As a product manager, I also travel.  A lot.  Hotels all over the USA, and the world.  Invariably, they come with a local paper.  In the US, if you are lucky, you will get a complimentary copy of the Wall Street Journal (although I enjoy reading that a lot less now that it is a Murdoch paper, but that is a tale for a different day).  However, you are about 99% likely to get a copy of the USA Today. 

Blah.

Seriously, I suspect that if the gratis copies provided to hotel guests were eliminated, the circulation is probably about 50 copies daily.  Why do I dis the USA Today?  It seems to be a purposely bland paper.  It tries too hard to be neutral in its editorial stance.  Its selection of stories is guaranteed to be non-offensive.  Even its opinion page strives to have a completely neutral balance.  Add that to the WHITE newsprint that gives it a more of a magazine look and feel, and you get a waste of words.

I usually glance through it, but as with a meringue, it is fluffy, but ultimately unfulfilling.

 

Travel Foibles: Part 3 (of many) – Rental car agencies

You know how hard it is to get a compact or ecnomony car?  

First, the travel agent seems to guide me into a midsize.  It is the “Corporate Standard”.  Really?  We have a standard class for rentals?

Next, the jockey working at the counter says “An economy car.  Are you sure?”  

After I say Yes, they then say “Well, for $5.00 a day, I can upgrade you to a fullsize, or an SUV”  #FAIL.  To me, an upgrage is a Posrche GT3, or a Bugatti Veryon.  Maybe a Bentley.  It isn’t a hunk of american steel in too big of a body size.

I really am just doing a few 10 mile trips, and back to the airport.  Yes, I will fill the tank (and not pay the $8.00 a gallon “convenience” fee).  Just give me the base econobox.  Really, it will be OK.

  • Exception.  When I am in Texas, I always upgrade to the sedab with a V8.  You gotta get up to speed on the freeway PRONTO.

Travel Foibles Part 1 of (many)

As I approach a million miles on United airlines, and lately have struggled to earn even premier status on their Milage Plus program, I am accorded the benefit of “Unlimited Domestic Upgrades”.  This is a nice touch.  But I have yet to receive this “benefit” in the last 2+ years that they have offered it.

Why is this bullshit, you might ask?  Well, today, I was dutifully waitlisted for the “free” upgrade.  I was # 23 in the queue.  There were 12 seats.  So, even if First Class checked in empty, I am not going to get an upgrade.  Pretty scummy, eh?

I prefer the days when I had coupons, and I could exchange them on long enough flights.  This new mechanism is really just wishful thinking.  

And they wishfully think that I will remain loyal?  Ha!