While everyone is doing nice best of and worst of lists, I thought I would do my Grinch list. These are companies or classes of company who have managed to make Travel and Technology as bad as it is. Yes I know it’s a long list there were a lot of special mentions of players who should be on the list but aren’t – but have a read. Remember this is tongue in cheek! (well partially anyway).
- (Joint) Travel Agents and Airlines for having no cojones to complain and fight back when presented with outrageous GDS contracts (see #8). Note this is not addressed to every single airline nor agency but the majority of these classes who have already either accepted or are guilty of the sin of rolling over their contracts and not reading the small print – true there is a lot of it. You know who you are, shame on you!
- Airlines (and other product sellers) – for not openly compensating intermediaries for the work that they do. Oh yes and airlines for calling their alliances SEAMLESS service. Stop telling porky pies
- Apple – For wasting my time and also for making products that only work their way. (They get a special dispensation for making very cool products). For allowing a whole raft of bad Apps to appear and not worry that they either don’t work or are actually bad for the consume
- Facebook – for wasting time and creating an addictive product . OK but their real sin is in destroying several good words in the language. These include Friend, Like etc. Also for turning nouns into verbs. For destroying the ancient art of Biography, Teacher is not amused.
- (Joint) Oracle and Microsoft - For screwing up the JAVA product, not fixing the bugs in the latest version that doesn’t work with Windows. And they don’t know why (I do – you are too lazy to fix it). I could go on about Larry Ellison but I am keeping this to companies.
- DiscoveryMedia (and all the silly people who are in the sordid American Muslim affair) The whole issue is an insult to decency and common sense. There is guaranteed freedom of worship in the USA. This whole episode is an affront to everyone not least of which are Muslims. No need to sensationalize it. What next American Mormons? American Unitarians? American Nuwaubians?
- Travelport (in particular) - For their Agility Program – Way to go boys for screwing the travel agents especially the little ones. Let’s see you dig yourself out of this hole! I really pity the spin meisters at Travelport who have to justify this.
- GDSs (in general) – Oh boy where do I start. Let me just pick on a few items.
- For subscriber contracts which tie agencies to inefficient and restrictive agreements that prevents competition
- For Airline FCA contracts ditto reason as 8.1
- For failing to create an open model that allows ALL airlines to participate fairly. Thus in putting out an incomplete product they have made it harder for the consumer to shop. On the other hand the meta search companies love GDSs for creating their niche.
- Generally putting out bad products and telling the world how innovative they are. ‘Nuff said
- For taking airlines money and putting it into the market and forgetting that this does create a skewed economic model.
- And a special “Thank You” for making travel agents drug addicts who now can’t live without your incentive fee revenue.
- Lawyers (my perennial favorite) – For causing so much trouble. This year special mention to the 100 lawyers involved in the Sabre side vs AA. For 2012 I am keeping an eye on the lawyer teams in patent trolls who are going to make innovation WAY harder. And yes this is Travel and Technology I am discussing.
- And this year’s winner the 2011 Grinch of Travel - Google – For so many things. For perpetuating the myth that they do no evil. I love their latest charm offensive. For putting out products and calling them beta. For telling everyone that Google Flight Search is comprehensive. For wasting my time. For tracking my every move. For telling me that they have decided what I need to see (can you say censorship?). For Schemer (no comment but don’t be sucked in), for inaccuracy and failing to have a high enough quality standard and then expecting me and all the other consumers to fix their crap for them.
Bah Humbug! Ebenezer is really happy and thanks you.