As we wind to closing out 2011, a look back at the top stories read this past year on ConsumerTraveler.com shows us a mix of topics from passport rules and regulations to consumer problems and travel rules to Top 10 lists. These stories are either stories that evoke the most passions at the moment, and change the course of Washington bureaucrats, such as our coverage of passport issues in the spring, and pats on the back to airlines when they go beyond the call of duty as in the case of Southwest airlines last January. Right in the mix are stories that travelers use for help while traveling such as credit card rules, connecting flight tips and dealing with lost IDs when faced with TSA.
Our readership is diverse in the sense that we serve everyone from airline executives and congressional staffers to very frequent fliers struggling with an airline industry that is squeezing the fun out of traveling and travel agents working to provide the best quality vacation or flight for their customers.
This most-read list also shows a resonance of basic topics that travelers find helpful, even after several years, or interesting. Some of these “most-read” stories confound me, but what readers find interesting is easy to see. This tally tells the tale.
Thank you for reading over the past year. ConsumerTraveler has arrived at the top eschelon of travel sites because our contributors have something unique and important to say. We also try to collect some of the lighter side of travel, daily news tidbits and destination information that can add something different to anyone’s travels.
If you have any suggestions about stories for the future, please add them to the comments. We’ll try our best to research and publish them.
1. State Dept. wants to make it harder to get a passport
2. Southwest Airlines pilot holds plane for murder victim’s family
3. Forbes lists Top 10 most-visited U.S. cities
4. Oh my, I lost my ID. How am I going to get home?
5. 7 credit card rules in Europe: U.S. magnetic strip vs. smart chip — both should work
6. 5 important connecting flight considerations
7. Gate-check your luggage and avoid baggage fees
7. Is Southwest’s EarlyBird check-in worth $10? The answer is …
8. World’s top 10 tallest Ferris wheels
9. Memo from an angry flight attendant
10. 10 Gut-buster restaurant challenges for free food
11. Some questions, and a few answers about United’s mysterious Global Services program
12. Southwest Airlines’ onboard WiFi pricing — free or $5
13. Celebrity Cruise Lines — sailing solo with “All-you-can-drink packages”
14. Tipping treatise — Do you tip your hotel maid? The flight attendant?
15. Baby bald eagle cam, in the nest, real time, 2010
16. A decade later: Flight Attendants — Still 9/11′s unsung heroes, victims of airline impersonalization
17. 10 best tourism advertising campaigns and videos
18. TSA ID requirements — security theater not security
19. Pack your bags to avoid security hand inspection loss
20. CEO 2010 pay at major and regional airlines — do they deserve it? Take our poll