Good Airline Fees? Some Are Worth the Money
As self-described "adventurous grandparents,"
Until they got some bad news from their tour operator: They were too old for the tour they had selected.
Gap Adventures of
To travel is to be discriminated against, of course. Separating passengers and guests by age, income or gender is hardly new; whether it should be happening is an ongoing debate that some travelers seem to be having with greater frequency.
Although a Gap representative told the 50-something Broomes that they could either cancel the tour or continue as planned, Trevor, a retired police officer from
I asked Gap about Broome's grievance.
"Further, in subsequent e-mail communication with Mr. Broome, I offered to reimburse for any out-of-pocket expenses should he cancel," he said. "All of these options are fair and reasonable, I believe."
It's difficult to find any real data on discrimination in the travel industry. Perhaps the most reliable numbers come from the airlines.
Not all of the discrimination is blatant. Consider
But some of the discrimination is overt.
For travelers with disabilities who think that they are being discriminated against, there are places they can turn to for help, according to
"If problems occur, either to you or to someone else, be sure to report them immediately and in great detail," he said. "Using the organization of your choice, seek help in publicizing the discrimination you experienced or witnessed and register the act of discrimination with the appropriate authorities."
I may be getting ahead of myself -- after all, I plan to write about this subject again soon -- but I agree that talking about discrimination is certainly the first step to ending it.
I admit I have mixed feelings about this subject. While some kinds of discrimination are unconscionable, others are understandable. No one objects to gender-specific bathrooms, for example. And suggesting that a couple like the Broomes take a less strenuous
Likewise, is it discriminatory to ask an oversize person to buy an extra airline seat, deny someone a rental car because he or she is under the age of 25 or charge a security deposit on a room when you're traveling with a pet?
You can debate those questions on your own. Meantime, say something when you see discrimination on the road. It's a good place to start.
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(c) 2010 Christopher Elliott
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