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The Travel Detective: How to Get the Best Service and the Best Deals from…

von Peter Greenberg

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Renowned travel authority andNBC Todayshow 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 Detectivetells 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 Detectivegives you the information and tools you need to make every trip an affordable pleasure. From the Trade Paperback edition.… (mehr)
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“Don’t advertise yourself as an American,” advises Peter Greenberg early in The Travel Detective. But to get the best out of this book you’ll need to be one, or at least to be a frequent flyer between US destinations since a petty and mean-sprited struggle against fellow passengers and against equally mean-spirited US airlines forms much of its subject matter.

Greenberg is the travel editor of NBC’s Today show, and “the nation’s preeminent expert on travel and travel-related issues”. He offers to teach you how to beat airlines, hotels and car rental companies by using their own secretive rules, and if he stuck to that the book would be a third of its current size, and much better.

His advice falls into three main categories: useful (don’t call hotel group 1-800 numbers as they never have the best room rates), useful only until enough people have read this book (how to get round the lack of frequent flyer reward seats on a chosen flight), and “Well, duh!” (buy travel insurance, take books and games to amuse children, jet lag is not a myth).

But Greenberg dedicates much of his first chapter to telling his American audience just how stupid they are, and quoting research to prove it. Recent horrific events may have established a temporary close season on the Canadian national sport of ridiculing Americans, but once they become fair game again, there's plenty of ammunition here.

Unfortunately, having demonstrated that his countrymen couldn’t find the rest of the world even if given a map, he goes on to say, “The U.S. State Department is no longer cautioning Americans about travel in the Soviet Union within a 100-mile radius of Chernobyl.” It may perhaps have noticed, unlike Greenberg, that the Soviet Union disappeared more than ten years ago.

There’s other evidence of sloppy editing, such as the repetition of particular points, sometimes as little as two paragraphs apart. The book is written in a folksy style which suggests much of its material has been patched together from broadcast scripts, as does the pointless inclusion of an interview with Jay Leno, and set phrases from television such as, “Meet David Phillips,” which look odd in print.

There’s also a schoolboyish tendency to pad the book with lists, and he’s as tiresomely fond of CAPITAL LETTERS and exclamation marks as any Internet spam-writing illiterate!

Sprinkling his text freely with statistics, he doesn’t always seem to have a good grasp of their meaning. The news that 187,283 Americans injure themselves or die stepping out of their bathtubs each year does highlight the relatively low risk of overseas travel. But Greenberg fails to understand that the choice is not either to step out of a bathtub or to travel overseas, unless it’s assumed that Americans never bathe when abroad.

“Want to get angry?” he asks. Since apparently 47% of US frequent flyer points are earned from the purchase of other goods and services, the average collector spends at least US$11,750 shopping, and at least US$2000 on air tickets to qualify for a free flight—“That’s one very expensive coach ticket.” Only later does he consider that the frequent flyer has enjoyed US$13,750 in goods, flights, and other services, as well as the free ticket. Don’t get angry, get realistic.

There’s enough here for a useful pamphlet, but not for a book. There is however one piece of advice you’ll find invaluable: If there’s unrest, “head for the Canadian Embassy.” ( )
  peternh | Dec 18, 2014 |
Anything you ever want to know or should know about travel of all kinds
  AnneliM |
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Renowned travel authority andNBC Todayshow 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 Detectivetells 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 Detectivegives you the information and tools you need to make every trip an affordable pleasure. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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