4 New Year’s traveler resolutions

Ned Levi has four new year’s resolutions for travelers which can enhance their sojourns. Ned wishes everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

Do you trust GPS directions?

We’d entrusted our route to the Google Maps app on my iPhone; it had never steered us wrong. The program assured me that yes, the winding road between Santa Maria and Interstate 5 was the fastest, most direct route to our destination. It even showed me the gas stations along the way: a Texaco, an Exxon and a Chevron. Wrong on all counts.

Four secrets for upgrading your next vacation

Sure, the latest customer surveys suggest customer satisfaction scores have plummeted to their lowest levels in years. (How bad is it? In one notable case, the industry celebrated a customer-approval grade of C-.) And if you read this column, you can try to count the many times the travel industry has let its customers down.

What’s going on with the airlines’ dress codes?

Armando Alvarez’s first class upgrade was revoked by a United Airlines gate agent, because the gate agent said he was dressed too casually to sit in first class. Ned Levi explores airlines’ dress codes.

Upsell tactics — legitimate or bait-and-switch?

JetBlue, Frontier, Northwest and United are among the airline leaders in the art of upsell. This practice allows the airlines to keep a low price available in sales channels to entice customers to buy, then they offer upgrades for larger seats, inflight entertainment and food.