Why a consumer voice is important in travel industry dealings — transparency, comparison shopping, privacy

Today two organizations that most consumers barely know, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Open Allies for Airfare Transparency, are sitting down in Miami to discuss the future of travel distribution. In consumer-speak, they are discussing setting new technical standards that will ultimately determine how travelers will be able to purchase airline tickets, extra fees, hotels, rental cars, cruises and packaged tours.

Will price pandemonium change the travel industry?

Flash sales, twitter sales, geo-located promotions, computer coupons, computer group discounts, facebook groups, private sales, online travel agents, global distribution systems, airline reservation systems, direct connect, passenger value scoring and travel agents are all ways and systems to purchase travel. Chaos is growing in our pricing. Nothing is certain. Is a deal a deal?

Are customized prices next for the travel industry?

Do the computers running the airline reservation systems recognize you and offer a different price depending on your buying habits? Sometimes it seems so and technology can do it. When prices come up different between different customers, it makes you wonder.

Paris to New York in 1953: “This says it all”

If you’ve ever wondered how we ended up here, with sub-standard airline service, angry passengers and disgruntled employees, here’s something to consider. It’s a receipt for a Trans World Airlines flight from Paris to New York — in 1953.

McDonald’s curious math

Why does a sausage and egg McMuffin and a small coffee cost 20¢ more than the “combo” version with the same sandwich, larger coffee and fried potatoes?