David J. Danto


Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion




eMail: ddanto@IMCCA.org      Follow Industry News: @NJDavidD           


Expectations – July 2023


  When you walk into a fast-food restaurant you’re generally not looking for pretty tablecloths or fancy waiters.  You get in line, get your burger, and maybe find a table and bench where you can eat it.  However, if you walk into a fancy steakhouse you do expect nice linens and fancy table service.  It’s all about restaurants setting and meeting our expectations.  Over the last three decades or so our expectations from travel have fallen through the basement…and I guess that’s just how the industry wants it. 

In my early days of traveling, I used to be a member of frequent travel groups – online and in person – and we’d talk about things like how to get upgrades more frequently, the types of linens and wine glasses we’d want to see on a flight, making sure we got our welcome gift or amenity at hotels, etc.  Traveling a lot was difficult on our health and our families, but there was some glamour involved in the experience (even if you flew in jeans or sweats – the glamour was in the experience.)

Now, as a million (and a half) miler, I realize our expectations have been completely reset.  The things we look forward to and hope for are much less about glamourous perks and much more about survival. 

Think about what we hope for now as we fly:

·   I hope it won’t rain because somehow planes forgot how to fly in the rain.

·   I hope my aircraft will have seats with real seat-back pockets where I can put my stuff, not tiny mesh ones.

·   I hope my flight won’t be cancelled, because if it is it may be days before I can be rebooked.

·   I hope there is a chair I can sit on near the gate while I wait.

·   I hope I won’t be sitting near any crazy people on the ground or on the plane.

Think about what we hope for now as we go to a hotel:

·   I hope the room I reserved is actually available.

·   I hope the room is clean and housekeepers are actually available at the hotel.

·   I hope the room air conditioner will work well enough to keep the room comfortable.

We are paying more than ever before for travel and hospitality services and getting less than ever before.  And, whether or not they admit it, I believe there is collusion between the providers which keeps the quality of services artificially low.  Any firm could come along and clean-up the market by just treating customers as if they deserve good service, yet no firms do.  The industry has artificially kept the experience terrible to hope you pay for an upgrade (which then only makes the experience bearable.  “Good” is wayyyy out of reach.) 



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I miss the days when the industry cared about good service.  Like I said in my last blog, the only way the travel and hospitality industry will stop ripping-us-off with poor service and gouged prices is if we stop paying them to do it. 



This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.

All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.

Copyright 2023 David Danto


As always, feel free to write and comment, question or disagree.  Hearing from the traveling community is always a highlight for me.  Thanks!