Kirk Cassels' Weekly Wrap of User Comments: September 7 - 11

There's a lot of wind and rain in New York City today— as if spirits are flying and crying at the same time. As our country continues to move on from the September 11, 2001 tragedy, we must never forget the day and the people affected. So today, I'd like to publicy remember Tyler Ugolyn, an All-American high school basketball player and a world-class friend to me and so many others. Ty had a way of making many of us smile and laugh, even during the toughest of times. So as much as I did not wake this morning in the snarkiest of moods, it's time to have some fun with the comments some of our readers posted this week. Love and miss you, #34.

More Messing with Miss Texas

In July, Miss Texas USA Brooke Daniels traveled down to Cancun in Mexico to assist in the Miss Spain contest, which had been moved south this year because of the economic strain of production at home. While many at the pageant were appreciative of Daniels' support, it appears that several readers were not that impressed with her (or her sister)— inclusing Lisa Laney, who commented:

I was there also and the sister was knocking the drinks down and she is def not 21. Oh, in Mexico I guess it is OK! Mama don't care. THey were all wearing loads of makeup and you could tell the hair was fake. Sister is desperate.

ME-OW! The Daniels girls must have done something outrageous, because this isn't the first time that aggressive comments were posted about them. Seeing that no one has come to the defense of the beauty queen and her sister, one must wonder if they were stand-up representatives of their state and country.

I Lost My Hotel Rate in San Francisco

This economic downturn has consumers and travel professionals scouring for and obsessing about the best rates and bargains one can find, and I don't blame them. So when Carole inquired about some discrepancies between information she found and information George Dooley shared in an article about the top 10 wallet-friendly hotels in the country, I empathize with her concern. She wrote:

not sure were you got the info for the Orchard garden hotel, San Fran. but i checked the rates and for Oct. they start @ $296.00. is there a special site for these rates?

As much as I empathize, Carole, I must point out the George cites from where he got the information (TravelPost) in the very first sentence of the story. Also, perhaps travel to San Francisco is in higher demand in October when compared to the spring. After all, the month of October brings the San Francisco Jazz Festival to town, along with Fleet Week, 49ers games, Giants games, and more. I bet that's got something to do with the price difference.

The War Against the Machines Rages On

Anytime someone posts a comment about the competition between human travel agents and online travel agencies I get excited because it gives me an excuse to drop a sci-fi cinema reference, as I have in the past with The Terminator and Transformers. So this week, I'm just going to share the trailer for the upcoming Bruce Willis movie, The Surrogates, which looks kind of cool.



And now back to the comments.

When reading about the competition between travel agents and online tour sellers, Vijay Rimal, a tour operator from Nepal, shares some encouraging words for agents, saying:

Being a tour operator i think online sale is good for the customers, but there is risk factor, might be the customer will not have when they land in their destination. So passenger must verify the agent.

Although Vijay is just one person (at least I assume), it's good to see that U.S. agents aren't the only ones analyzing the benefits that a human brings to the table when planning a trip for clients.

Meanwhile (although the story isn't necessarily about competition between humans and machines), a recent article about positive data from an online travel agency, as well as an online travel platform, that hints that the demand for leisure travel is increasing, struck a chord with a reader named treebadger, who shared:

it's got to be all inclusive nowadays, great article

With the peace-of-mind and value that all-inclusive resorts can provide these days, it's hard to disagree with Mr./Ms. treebadger, especially when an all-inclusive operator such as Sandals is expanding. Hopefully, it will be more than all-inclusives that soon begin to rebound out of the recession. And yes, although I am subjective, it is a great article. You can always count on Dooley to deliver solid industry reports, and we are going to miss Alexia Dellner, who interned with us for months before returning to her homeland in Sweden.

As always, you can discuss these topics and more in real time at AgentNation, the only social community online for ALL types of travel agents. Sign up or log in now!

See you next week, friends.

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