Travel Detective: How to Get the Best Service and the Best Deals from Airlines, Hotels, Cruise Ships, and Car Rental Agencies [NOOK Book]

Overview

Renowned travel authority and NBC Today show travel editor Peter Greenberg shares his insider secrets.

Americans now travel more than ever before. Yet as our traveling has increased, the service we receive from airlines, hotels, and other agencies has deteriorated dramatically. Industry surveys reveal what you already feel: growing dissatisfaction among travelers of every age, income, and education level. We've been abused by the travel experience. Peter Greenberg is here to ...

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Travel Detective: How to Get the Best Service and the Best Deals from Airlines, Hotels, Cruise Ships, and Car Rental Agencies

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Overview

Renowned travel authority and NBC Today show travel editor Peter Greenberg shares his insider secrets.

Americans now travel more than ever before. Yet as our traveling has increased, the service we receive from airlines, hotels, and other agencies has deteriorated dramatically. Industry surveys reveal what you already feel: growing dissatisfaction among travelers of every age, income, and education level. We've been abused by the travel experience. Peter Greenberg is here to help. The Travel Detective tells you the things most travel agents can't — or sometimes just won't — tell you. In his characteristic friendly and conversational tone, Greenberg tells how to find the secret walk-up fares that can save air travelers hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on last minutes flights; which coach seats on which planes are better than first class; the secret rule to know to avoid being bumped from a flight, which cruise ship brochures lie; which credit card companies are fastest — and slowest — to come to your aid in a foreign land, or worse, in the U.S.,; which hotels have the best — and the worst — fire and crime safety records, and how you can protect yourself; how to negotiate the best hotel room deal; which hotels have the worst water pressure in their showers (and better yet, how you can get great water pressure, even at those hotels); and much, much more. Accessible and entertaining, The Travel Detective gives you the information and tools you need to make every trip an affordable pleasure.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588361288
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/3/2005
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 874,336
  • File size: 601 KB

Meet the Author

Peter Greenberg is the travel editor for NBC's Today show. He is also the chief correspondent for the Discovery Network's Travel Channel and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler magazine. He lives in Los Angeles, but he's never home. Go figure.
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Read an Excerpt

Most of us love to travel. That's the good news.

The bad news: We hate the process of travel.

We've been abused. And after each trip, we tell ourselves we'll never do it again.

And yet, we can't wait to do it all over again. And we do.

To many people, travel remains a voyage-or a flight or an Interstate trip-of discovery. But to most of us, travel remains a ritual of reassurance. Where there's a whim ... there's a way. And even though we hate the process, we continue to travel.

In 1999, more than 1.3 billion people traveled by air. The average American traveler is 44 years old. Of all American adult travelers, 49 percent are men, 64 percent are married, and 48 percent have children.

We travel to escape, or to explore, or to rest. Travel is, for many of us, an exercise in renewal, or a test of our limits. And some of us travel, simply, because we CAN.

And we DO. In a recent American Express study of 200 developing and developed countries, travel and tourism were found to be the biggest industry. In fact, if travel and tourism were a country instead of an industry, its gross national product (GNP) would rank among the top five in the world.

As an industry, it is one of the world's largest employers-one of every eleven jobs worldwide is held by someone in the travel business.

I've been traveling since I was six months old, when my parents took me on a very long DC-6 flight from New York to Los Angeles.

Since then, I've flown on virtually every commercial aircraft ever made, from DC-3s to Comets, Fokkers, Ilyushins, Fairchilds, and Boeings.

Over the years, my passports have bulged with the entry and departure stamps of more than 120 of the world's 187 countries.

And many readers of this book have passports that are fatter than mine.

There has been an exponential jump in the number of travelers and in the frequency of their trips.

In 1978, at the beginning of airline deregulation in the United States, only about 17 percent of all adults had ever taken an airplane flight.

With deregulation came dozens of new airlines. Airfares started matching bus fares, and the numbers of passengers soared.

Today, more than 84 percent of adults have flown. An impressive number, but also a scary one because a majority of that 84 percent feel abused by the process.

But the key question remains: Are we tourists or travelers?

To me, the definition of tourist is victim waiting to happen. I know very few people who define themselves as tourists. Instead, they call themselves travelers. But that doesn't mean they're good travelers.

I always get a laugh on Mondays. That's when my incoming-call volume soars.

Nearly everyone who calls is angry. They've just returned from a trip and there were problems.

And the calls seem to share the same structure, language, and intonation.

"It was a HORRIBLE flight," one will say. "The service was TERRIBLE." And, they add, they will NEVER do it again.

"Really?" I respond. "A horrible flight?"

"Absolutely," they answer. "Horrible."

"Let me ask you something," I continue. "At any time during your flight, did the airplane hit a mountain and disintegrate?"

"No..."

"And when you landed, did the wing hit the runway and did you cartwheel and explode?"

Again, "No."

"And," I conclude the questioning, "are you calling me from your. . . destination?"

"Yes..."

"Well, hang up the phone. It was a GREAT flight. You arrived!"

A funny thing then happens between the time my phone rings on Monday and the time it rings again-the same person is calling-on Thursday.

The person who had insisted that his or her experience was horrible on Monday, that he or she would NEVER do it again, is now in a mild panic.

Why? Because it's THURSDAY and he or she is desperate for the information necessary to get to the airport, get out of town, and try it all over again!

We have become a nation of travel junkies. And our addiction seems to be incurable.

And yet, for many of us, the decisions involving the PROCESS of travel are flawed. We have a serious entitlement problem. Half of us don't think we're entitled to anything when we travel. And the rest of us think we deserve EVERYTHING.

Result: A nation of unhappy, but addicted travelers.

So, what do we REALLY want when we travel?

Chances are, if you've traveled lately, you now have a list. You may not have written it down or committed it to memory, but you've got it-your list of all the ways a trip can be ruined.

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2002

    Very Good Info for those who aren't Jaded....

    This book has some truly good information for those who are new to the compulsory business travel world, or who simply see themselves as beginning a period of frequent leisure travel. Perhaps some of the knowledge seems "simple" or "obvious" to those who have logged voluminous airline miles, and have previously gleaned the information through trial and error. I would dare say though, that for every person who already knows the true "Ins-and-Outs" of the travel world, there are 10 who do not! This book is for them (us). Forget the School of Hard Knocks, travelers, the author provides the answers to the quizzes in advance. I'll be getting my "A" in Airline travel without the previously pre-requisite semesters of overpaying, line-standing, and teeth nashing. Hurray for The Travel Detective.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2002

    A Must Read for Travelers

    I found this book very informative and entertaining. I suggest all travelers, beginner and experienced, to read this book. It helps you get bargains and tips you on how not to avoid those airline annoyances in an easy conversational manner. In a word, 'Great!'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2001

    if i could give less stars i would!!!

    I am an avid traveler, done so for almost a decade. The methods to gain bargains were broad and ineffective in my opinion. Maybe better next time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2001

    Change the title to 'For Brand New Travelers'

    Only if you have never traveled would this book be of any use. The material could have easily fit into a magazine article. If I thumbed this at a book store I would not have purchased it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2001

    Not much new in this book

    There is not much new in this book. The meat of the text could easily have been writtn in 20 pages. The book is almost 400 pages of the author's stories. I would not buy this book if I would have looked throught it first.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2001

    Invaluable!

    Loved this book! I read it in one day and remember almost all of the great tips for travel. This is a must have.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2001

    read it before you plan your next trip

    the best part is that the author doesn't say which website or airline to choose for a cheap fare -- instead he tells you what strategies to use to save money no matter where you buy the ticket. there is so much good advice in this book, and lots of stories about what goes on that travelers never hear about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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