I woke up this morning snowbound. It will be a white Christmas. Reflecting on a year's worth of travel and assorted adventures, I thought "What would Santa do?" Here's a quick, down and dirty 2013 Travel Naughty/Nice List. First, the lumps of coal part:
- TSA... for making us all feel like terrorists.
- Customs & Border Protection... for making us all feel like terrorists without a smile.
- United Airlines... for all the wonderful things you don't do.
- American Airlines... for dumping your employee pensions on us taxpayers.
- Delta Airlines... for being late, bumping us and losing our luggage.
- Carnival Cruise Lines... for leaving 4,200 passengers adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Vladimir Putin... for taking the fun out of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
- The Amazing Race... for exposing Americans to exotic international destinations and making fun of them.
- Chinese Tourists... for becoming the 21st Century version of the "Ugly American Tourist."
- The Tea Party... for closing our National Parks to travelers for 16 days.
- Dubai... for their continued self-aggrandizement.
- U.S. State Department... for continuing to make Americans the only people in the world who can't visit Cuba.
- Anthony Bourdain... for moving to CNN and losing your edge. (We miss you.)
- Instagram... for making travel postcards obsolete.
- Weekly Travel Newspaper sections... for your continued unimaginative, cookie-cutter, revenue-seeking stories (ie. Hawaii, cruises, fall colors, Disney, Mexico, Vegas, etc.)
- Travel Channel... for not showing travel.
- Credit card companies... for charging us foreign exchange fees, transaction fees, ATM fees and 21 percent interest.
- Boeing... for not getting all the bugs out of the 787 Dreamliner before we flew in it.
- American Express... for closing down your travel store locations.
- Southwest Airlines... for not being like those other naughty airlines (see above).
- The Amazing Race... for exposing Americans to exotic international destinations.
- FCC/FAA... for allowing us to use our PEDs in-flight, finally.
- Yapta.com... for letting us know when our purchased flight cost has gone down and how to get a refund.
- Alaska Airlines... for treating your customers with genuine kindness and bumping us up when you can. Thank you!
- Rudy Maxa... for continuing to pass on your travel know-how to us amateurs.
- Pauline Frommer... for her always refreshing takes on travel destinations.
- Johnny Jet... for his unbridled travel joy.
- Peter Greenberg... for helping travelers save money.
- HuffPost Travel... for constantly giving us fresh travel tidbits.
- The Global Scavenger Hunt... for 10 years of putting on a great around the world travel adventure competition.
- National Geographic Traveler... for all their great travel and adventure ideas.
- Christopher Elliott... for constantly looking out for us travel consumers.
- Scott McCarthy... for constantly amazing us with his Wall Street Journal's "Middle Seat" column.
- Brazil... for hosting the World Cup.
- Seth Kugel... for continuing to share his travels around the world on Frugal Traveler.
- The New York Times... for the In Transit blog.
- Ben Mutzabaugh... for his tireless "Today in the Sky" USA Today blog.
- Travel & Adventure Show... for exposing hopeful travelers to so many possibilities close and far away.
- Aung San Suu Kyi... for finally letting us visit her beautiful country, Myanmar.
- Google Earth... for continuing to surprise us.
- KAYAK.com... for helping us weed through the connections and numbers.
- TripAdvisor.com... for your reviews (even the fake ones we know are written by the properties).
- Cathay Pacific, Singapore, Thai and Emirates Airlines... because you know how to treat your customers.
That's my 2013 Travel Naughty/Nice list, who's on yours? Merry Christmas everyone.
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