Where’s that darned car lot?

What’s most important about renting a car? It’s not rate, size of car, or even courtesy. It’s being able to return the car when you’re done with it.

Better seat choices on United? Oops

Yippee. United has changed its policy on seating upgrades for Continental elite flyers. It was too late for me (flying home the other day from Singapore), but the “new benefits will begin to roll out in mid-2010.”

Making sure you can hear the safety briefing

Here’s an odd one: On my recent US Airways flight into Washington National, I couldn’t hear the safety briefing. Why? Because a guy three rows behind me was talking loudly, non-stop, during the briefing. He was in a pilot’s uniform. A first officer. And he wouldn’t shut up.

Making amends? Ask before you give

The hotel I was staying at made a significant mistake on my food. A major screw-up that, under different circumstances, could have led to an industrial-strength lawsuit. But they apologized profusely and said they’d take corrective action. Fair enough; thank you.

When’s an elite not elite at all?

What are some of the benefits elite fliers typically get? Preferred boarding. Waived baggage fees. And better seating assignments. Unless you’re flying United.

C’mon, lighten up on JetBlue!

The only thing worse than bad satire is an organization that doesn’t recognize satire and responds to a joke seriously. That’s what happened with the JetBlue “Bigwigs” campaign, which drew a ridiculous or humorous or intellectual response from the Alliance for Aviation Across America.