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-   -   When the engines stop the whining you hear is a travel journalist (

alanRow May 21st, 2007 09:27 AM

When the engines stop the whining you hear is a travel journalist

wally34949 May 21st, 2007 10:25 AM

If you can't travel light, go on a cruise.

toedtoes May 21st, 2007 12:45 PM

What a whiner! When I was reading the story, I immediately thought "there's a catch to that excess baggage charge" - it was vague. If, as a seasoned traveler and travel journalist, he didn't have the sense to ask questions regarding a vague charge, then he deserved to be "cheated."

WillTravel May 21st, 2007 01:00 PM

I agree - the whining is excessive. A quick bit of web research or a post here would have cleared up the point.

rkkwan May 21st, 2007 01:53 PM

So, he's a travel editor at a major media outlet, yet he knows nothing about these fees? easyjet and Ryanair didn't just start operating this year.

And he didn't read through the details when booking a ticket?

Also the way I understand it, two of them carrying around 170lb of stuff total?

AAFrequentFlyer May 21st, 2007 01:58 PM

R/T walk up fares on Eurostar is ~$250 each. He could have told easyJet to stuff it, catch a train to London (another $40) and a taxi to Waterloo (let's say another $20). So at the end of the day he could have saved over $500, although somewhat inconvenient, still worth it.

I also question the amount of luggage???

and at the end of the day, he could still have written his little whiny article but at least he wouldn't look so stupid.

alanRow May 21st, 2007 02:20 PM

<<< And he didn't read through the details when booking a ticket? >>>

He got a (ex-?)staffer to do the booking

BTilke May 21st, 2007 02:57 PM

I wonder if he hectored the Today show into paying for the charges. If not, they better look closely at his expense reports, bet he finds a way to make them pay somehow.
It was a lot of whining, but the general point (buried in all his complaining) about the tight baggage allowances is something to keep in mind for people who fly "regular" carriers transatlantic to London and then switch to a budget airline for a flight to the Continent.

ET May 21st, 2007 04:02 PM

Perhaps I am missing something here, but I really don't understand why this man is being attacked. I think he was doing a public service by pointing out something that could be a major problem for an inexperienced traveler. What is so bad about that?

WillTravel May 21st, 2007 04:13 PM

ET, my problem is that he's blaming the airline rather than taking responsibility for himself. This is an important point, but he shouldn't malign EasyJet and Ryanair.

toedtoes May 21st, 2007 04:24 PM

ET - if he had written the article saying things like "read the fine print", "not all bargains are really bargains", etc. it wouldn't have been so bad.

But he came out charging that the airline company is purposely lying to people and cheating them out of money, etc. He made it a personal attack. And the only one who did something wrong was him for not verifying a non-specific charge before agreeing to it (when he checked the box).

marigold May 21st, 2007 04:40 PM

I think the charges are ridiculously high. Maybe the marketing people who put these rules together think they're being perfectly clear, but I doubt it. I think these rules should be transparent, not requiring magnifying glasses to read the fine print.

Say right up front: WE WILL CHARGE YOU MANY, MANY BUCKS .... that will undo any savings you may reap from our lower airfares.

Kiwi_acct May 21st, 2007 05:37 PM

I have just read the article and believe the man is a fool. The websites for both Easyjet and Ryan air are most explicit in outlining what their baggage policies are. They could not be clearer. 20 kgs on Easy Jet and 15 on Ryanair.

He is also wrong about Air France. The baggage allowance in Tempo class (economy) is 23kgs within Europe. He does not get to carry another bag as well. The only way he would is if he was flying in from the USA.

For a man who puports to be a travel writer he knows next to nothing about travel.

There is an old addage that goes something like;

"better to keep ones mouth closed and have people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

The writer of the article has firmly placed himself in the later category.

mrwunrfl May 21st, 2007 05:42 PM

They had 70 (2x15+40) kilos of luggage, about 154 lbs, for a two day trip and he says he "had been careful not to overpack".

He was taking the trip to check out Easyjet, as part of his job I guess, and he did no research. Didn't read the fine print. That blunder means that he didn't write the article he set out to do - a report about flying on Easyjet - and only wrote about the luggage limit.

He said the luggage policy is "intentional, greedy and mean spirited". Obviously it was intentional - they want to keep their costs low. They are not a cargo carrier.

Jeff_Costa_Rica May 21st, 2007 06:05 PM

As a travel journalist myself, I've had a couple of incidents like this happen to me over the years, both matters that I should have been aware of. When I write about them, I present it as: "Oops. Do I have egg on my face! I should have checked into this matter before I traveled. Make sure you do too, dear reader." Yes, I would happily have accepted that angle on his story. But this blaming everyone but himself for what happened? Please ... And, yes, 70 kg of luggage for a two-day trip? What's up with that?

BTW, alanRow, I love your title for this thread. I wish I had thought of it. :)

ET May 21st, 2007 06:24 PM

Well I guess I'm vastly outnumbered. I still think he provided a public service to the inexperienced traveler, but this is a very tough audience and it appears I am in a minority of one. Heaven help any of us if we ever make a mistake like that and decide to post about it. I certainly understand now why some people are afraid to post on Fodors.

toedtoes May 21st, 2007 06:59 PM

ET - it's not the mistake that's been made that's the problem. It's the way he writes about it.

If he had written the article as Jeff indicates "oops I sure made a mistake there - don't let it happen to you", no one would take issue.

But instead, he writes the article as if it was some sort of bait & switch scam by the airlines - it wasn't. He writes that he is not to blame for any of it - he is. If he's such a knowledgeable traveler that he writes travel advice articles, he really shouldn't get huffy when he makes an amateurish mistake - he did.

andrews98682 May 21st, 2007 08:14 PM

The tone of the article is whiney, but he does have some valid points:
1) Airlines like Easyjet and Ryanair may not be good options for people from other continents who are probably on long trips and, therefore, not packing light.
2) Beware of the luggage fees. U.S. airlines get ripped for their (lack of) service but they don't charge such astronomical weight penalties -- not even budget carriers like Southwest.

The problem is his point gets lost because of the tone.

alanRow May 21st, 2007 10:17 PM

<<< not requiring magnifying glasses to read the fine print. >>>

The "fine print" is 2 clicks from the home page - easier to find than on most airlines websites

FainaAgain May 22nd, 2007 10:16 AM

Well, the "small print" may be confusing for an american as it's in the metric system. How many journalists can easily convert kilos in pounds and centimeters in inches?

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