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Why do people come here and ask----

---if they have enough time to make an airport connection, AFTER they bought the tickets?

(add your own puzzlers to the list)

Posted by
8906 posts

...because they are looking reassurance, tips, and advice from more experienced travelers who have been through the same predicament. Nobody's perfect.

Posted by
8889 posts

1) Why don't they look on the airline or airport website?
2) Why don't they give the necessary information:
a) Where are they flying from
b) where are they flying to
c) Is this one through booking or two separate bookings?

But "Why don't they give the necessary information" is a problem with many posts. For example

  • Why do they ask visa / passport questions without saying what nationality they are?
  • Why, when you come back asking for more info for clarification, do some posters never give an answer? Providing help should be a dialogue.
  • Why do people say "{common Germanic placename}, Germany". Of course it is in Germany, there are lots of places of that name in Germany. Which one do you mean? (Same applies to French-, Italian- or whatever common placenames).

[End Friday afternoon rant - no personal criticism meant]

Posted by
6174 posts

People like to either rationalize a bad choice or beat themselves up needlessly.

Posted by
631 posts

for Michael's benefit I'll rephrase the question - why don't they ask for advice from the experienced BEFORE they spend over $2000 on tickets

and my own addition to the list: the questions so basic they could get an instant answer from Google. And why anyone bothers to give a detailed answer.

Posted by
2465 posts

and my own addition to the list: the questions so basic they could get
an instant answer from Google. And why anyone bothers to give a
detailed answer.

I'm sometimes tempted to reply "Google is your friend". And add a roll eyes emoji. But that would be rude.

There may still be people unfamiliar with the Internet ( I'm giving people the benefit of the doubt)... But I think sometimes there's a certain amount of laziness. Why spend time looking it up for yourself when you can just ask on a forum?

As for the OPs question, I think some people get a little caught up in a frenzy when making their bookings, and may be inexperienced. Then after the fact they suddenly realize they may have a problem. So they come here for help. Yes, it would be better to ask before making their bookings, but c'est la vle.

Posted by
1068 posts

I know this is not an answer to the OP who (I think) actually asked: What kinds of puzzling questions do you see on these boards? But my thought about the way this thread is going: People ask questions which can be researched or are unbelievably broad or contain almost no relevant information because at least one (often several and usually many) people here will try and answer them. Example, My family is going to overseas again, where should we go? and within a day there will be 15 answers.

Posted by
552 posts

The questions that puzzle me are the ones about a person's own credit card or bank card. Wouldn't it be best to call the credit card company or bank to ask that question instead of a bunch of strangers? I'm also puzzled by questions from people who have booked airfare before researching where they want to go or what they want to see when the get there.

Posted by
15 posts

Some people ask if they have enough time to make a connection after they bought tickets because the airline changed their flight times (has happened to me), they read somewhere else someone saying XX wasn't enough time and are looking for tips/reassurance/etc, some people ask because they actually thought when they book flights all through one airline that the airline would actually believe there is enough time to make a connection and then heard it may not be from other travelers. Not everyone asks the question simply because they didn't bother before they bought tickets.

Posted by
8906 posts

BEFORE they spend over $2000 on tickets

I'd that's a moot point, as 9 times out if 10 it's not an issue. Just taking 60 seconds out of your day and saying "don't worry about ive been to that airport multiple times with a similar connection time" seriously bums people out??

Posted by
2762 posts

But sometimes it IS an issue, especially if they are flying on separate tickets. So simply saying "you'll be fine" is a disservice, when what they really need to do is change their flights if they can.

Posted by
11562 posts

Cjean makes some good points. Inexperience with travel in general, with productive internet searches, language barriers and other factors can raise some seemingly needless repetitive and easily self-answered questions.

As far as certain types of info, there's a lot of incorrect, outdated material on the net so it's all too easy for the inexperienced traveler to become confused or to be wrongly steered. It's sort of frustrating - when it's one of the those oft-repeated questions - that so many don't realize that just a scroll through very recent threads on the same topic would provide answers to most of those? Oh well, that's what we're here for, I guess! :O)

Sometimes I suspect posters with the easily googled question just want to connect with other humans out there. I'm OK with that.

To be fair, responses can be lacking detail as well? Just telling someone, say, that they need to pre-purchase tickets to attractions but then not telling them how/where to do that leaves them hanging. Giving them links to official sites provides the right tools for the job. IMHO, those links are really important when their trips are long enough in the future that they need to reference them down the road for the most current info. It also steers them away from a lot of 3rd-party providers that can come up in a google - but look "official" enough - and which aren't the best resources.

A lot of the weather questions do make me scratch my head a bit, though!

Posted by
2762 posts

Here's another:

"How many dollars should I take to change into euros?"

If someone has found their way to this forum, haven't they read enough to know the answer is always " don't do that, use an ATM."

Posted by
974 posts

Like a PP stated some people do not know how to sort through the weeds to drill down to the information they need. When they attempt an internet search (aka google -just one search engine) they received so much conflicting/overwhelming information that they don't know what to believe so they turn to a source they know and trust to get a reliable answer. Sounds pretty simple to me.

Also people believe don't think that an airline or 3rd party service (like Expedia) would sell them airline tickets with such a small connection time that it would be difficult to impossible to connect. Some people have not traveled internationally and don't understand ticket structures (Boy have I learned a lot on these forums!) and are maybe in the initial stages of their trip planning and after doing a small amount of research are reading over and over that you need 2-3 hours connection time and then freak out when they find out they have 1 hour and 59 min.

Posted by
7173 posts

I really love the questions of "I have a dilemma and need to choose between options A or B". Then when advised to choose A they instead choose B.

Yep - just love those.

Posted by
11681 posts

So I am guilty of asking a weather question recently, compounding my error by naming the location as "Wien", which has now been labeled as "pretentious" in a different thread. In my defense I will simply say that I was not trying to show off; I have been practicing my somewhat rusty German to get ready for the trip, and fell into the habit of saying the city name in the native tongue. My bad!

As for the weather question, I specifically stated I was not looking for a forecast or prediction. I simply asked what s likely, in terms of extremes, the third week for September. I had already consulted online resources on historic weather data for Vienna, such as this:

https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/austria/vienna/historic?month=9&year=2016

Very specific and helpful, but limited to one year ( last year), which may have been an outlier. I found another site which simply gave "average" high and low temps for the whole month in one number: high of 19, low of 10. I will just say that averaging temperatures for each day over a transitional month like September produces a meaningless figure for my purpose.

What I was seeking was advice from personal experience, over time, with the weather in Vienna during this specific time, to help with packing decisions. We will already have hiking and cool weather clothing, plus ran gear, as we will be hiking in Slovenia' s Julian Alps prior to the Vienna visit. I need to add "city clothes" for Vienna and wonder how much, if any, hot/warm weather I should anticipate. It is a question I can easily answer about my own city, and happily do on a different travel forum when visitors ask what it is like here in late September. Coincidentally, Seattle and Vienna lie at very similar latitudes (47 and 48 degrees, respectively), but I cannot draw any conclusions from that as our climate in Seattle is so well moderated by the nearby Pacific Ocean. Not could I draw from my own experience in Venice in October, as again that city has a maritime climate. But I did make the mistake of overpacking with warm clothes for that trip----most of which went unworn--- and I do not wish to repeat that mistake.

Anyway, I was surprised by the (mainly) dismissive replies I received, in the same vein as "Google is your friend"---not at all responsive to the actual question I asked. So please give the newbies a break, even if you cannot afford the same courtesy to someone with long experience on this site.

Rant over.

Posted by
11154 posts

More than once, I've given people links that I was able to find easily, and they have come back and thanked me, specifically saying they hadn't found the website on their own. So what seems "obvious" or "easy" to me, or some others here, may not be easy or obvious for everyone.

Posted by
1180 posts

You know what they say:
"Different strokes for different Völker"

Ha ha (if I say so myself)

And btw, keep in mind that kleptomaniacs don't laugh at puns because they take things literally.

Posted by
1304 posts

Lola, I hate that that happened to you. I wish people who come across questions that they don't like would just choose not to respond, instead of being snarky or mean.

It may be true that some people find the use of the local vernacular to write place names to be pretentious, but I've never seen anyone actually called out for doing that (except on Kaeleku's amusing thread -- at least I found it amusing, and I didn't think anyone intended it to be mean ).

People ask questions on this forum because they are seeking an answer. Why they want their question answered isn't really the point. If we can help them by answering their question, or by pointing them to where they can find the answer, or by assisting them in providing better information so that they can get the information they are asking for, then why should we second guess their reason for asking.

It's true that a lot of the questions posted here make me roll my eyes. To me, in many cases, it would be easy to find the answer via Google. Or sometimes I think it's a poor question to ask because it makes bad assumptions or will likely steer them in the wrong direction. I usually just don't answer those questions.

But I think those who answer are often just as bad, if not worse, at sharing their opinion as if it were fact. We should all stop telling people that anyplace is a "must-see" or is "skippable." Tell them it was one of your favorite places, or tell them you didn't enjoy it, and tell them why, and let them make up their own mind (just as you did).

How many of you have agreed with every bit of advice you got from Rick Steves' guidebooks? I've stayed at some of his recommended lodging that I thought were dumps, and some that I thought were delightful. I've visited sites he highly recommended that I didn't enjoy, and others that I thought were way better than he suggested. We read guidebooks to get a sense of what a place is like so we can decide if we want to go there and how much time to spend there. We should keep that in mind when answering questions on this forum.

We should stop dispensing travel advice as if it were gospel and share enough information to help others make smart choices. We should help people make their own decision, not tell them what to decide. If they ask for a recommendation, by all means give them one if you have one, but make sure it doesn't come across like the only good option if it's just based on your opinion.

I'll step off the soapbox now. Sasha, thanks for opening up this thread. There are definitely lots of puzzlers, from both the askers and the responders!

Posted by
108 posts

Why do people come here and ask? Probably because they want answers. A better question is why is there a gang of travel forum police waiting to pounce on someone for not reading every post dating back to 1987, or actually having the nerve to go against the advice of the all-knowing travel forum experts.

Posted by
925 posts

And sometimes tickets are changed by the airline after purchase, so the lovely layover that one planned for may be cut much shorter.

Posted by
2762 posts

Celfan----I am fine with people asking questions---that is why I frequent this forum, to try and help answer.

My question is why people ask about connect times AFTER they buy their tickets. If the answer is they need more connect time to be safe, they will have to pay a change fee to correct the mistake. It is so much simpler to ask before one makes the mistake.

Posted by
767 posts

Perhaps the airfare was so good and they acted on impulse? Or they have realized their mistake and want to weigh the pros and cons of risking it versus paying to change the ticket? They just bought the ticket and are still within the 24 hour window where they can change?

Google is not always right or up to date. The answer is sometimes more complicated than you can get with Google. The forum provides the benefit of a people with travel experience that can add a certain clarity or qualifying remark to the question that Google can't.

It is not everyone's job to judge the question. Answer politely. Ask clarifying questions politely, if needed. Move on.

Posted by
1010 posts

Please bear with me.

Some years ago, we were planning to convert our attic into living space. We had a question about whether there was enough headroom to do this. I went on a DIY website and asked about the size of the new floor joists we'd have to install in order to span a certain length. There were tables out there that said to span X feet, you need to use a 2x10 joist, etc. My question was whether there were any alternatives that were smaller and might allow a few more inches of space for the height of the finished room. I thought it was conceivable that a manufactured beam or a metal beam could be substituted for the type of wood that the tables contemplated. I was flooded with snarky, know-it-all replies that said, "The fact that you even asked this question shows that you are not competent to undertake this project." A few people politely replied that i shouldn't be put off by the snark, but then answered my question: No, there weren't any practical alternatives.

This experience encouraged me to do two things: 1) Avoid asking some questions, and 2) Try to be polite and supportive when I saw a question I thought I could answer or help with. I really don't understand why others seem to get offended by basic questions.

Posted by
2092 posts

The endless "what are the must-sees in _____?" drive me bonkers. It's very easy to find out the top attractions in any place by searching on the internet--to be honest, my first stop is Trip Advisor if I don't yet have my RS guidebook in hand--and one person's must-sees might be quite different from another's. By the time I make up my mind to visit any place I've usually had a long-standing desire to visit for numerous reasons and then I fine-tune it by checking to ensure I don't miss anything else I might like.

Posted by
2381 posts

Mea culpa here-I realized I asked a question that had already been answered on the Forum-that is why there is a Search function! But people nicely answered my question anyway!

Posted by
11681 posts

Thanks, Agnes. I did not see that menu at upper right to change the year.

Going back 6 years for the corresponding week, I see 2016 was indeed an outlier, with highs well above 70 at midday and almost up to 80 one day. 2012-2015 were cooler, with midday highs in the low 60's, and some rain. 2011 was warm like 2016.

I will just add two lightweight dressier tops to my existing wardrobe and should be ready for anything.

Posted by
12103 posts

@ Lola...Since you'll be in Wien, two restaurant recommendations here: Schnitzelwirt at 52 Neubaugasse, a 10-15 min walk from the corner of Mariahilferstraße and Neubaugasse. No credit cards in contrast to other Wiener restaurants and closed on Sunday.

The other one is located in a heavily frequented tourist area, Am Graben, not that far from the Stephansdom, called "Reinthaler's Beisl" at Dorotheergasse 4, (a side street off of Am Graben). Also no credit cards but open Sundays...good prices, great food if you're after Schnitzel, both locals and tourists go there. Both places I've been to more than once on this last trip.

Posted by
2229 posts

I think this sometimes happens after booking simply because prior to booking, it's still a dream, it's still not quite real. After you click buy, it's real, and one's powers of analysis instantly improve, like an innate self defense mechanism.

Posted by
2525 posts

"I'm sometimes tempted to reply "Google is your friend". And add a roll eyes emoji. But that would be rude." Rude or not, when I am able to answer a question with a single, simple Internet search...it does make one wonder about the lazy rating of some posters.

Posted by
6801 posts

These two in the title and I just move on without a click--
Is _____ worth seeing? How the heck do we know what's worth anything to you!!
Where should I go? Now that's a first-world problem.

Posted by
246 posts

We should never judge someone's book by the chapter we walk in to. Questions are asked in a sincere manner from those looking for advice. None of us are born knowing all and learn by seeking. I've learned a lot from this forum and I hope others will benefit from my experience.

Posted by
7681 posts

Specifically to answer the question ( which I realize is not actually a question) sometimes an airport's minimum connection times are not actually doable or recommended by frequent travelers.

Delta will often offer me a 38 minute connection either outbound or inbound thru Salt Lake City (SLC). I know from experience it is doable if the stars are aligned but it makes me a nervous wreck so I won't book that any more. As a rookie I did book it because it was offered on the airline website and I would have thought Delta wanted me to make my connections. After reading a lot, I might have asked on a forum if that was really doable from folks who might have traveled thru the same airport.

This forum attracts a lot of first time travelers who genuinely don't know and who also don't know what they don't know to ask about.

I, too, am of the opinion that if a question annoys me I usually will move past it.

I hope no new forum member is put off from posting.

Posted by
362 posts

I've seen plenty of posts on multiple travel forums about connection times. Most of the posts seem to be from people who have traveled infrequently or who have been terrified by horror travel stories from other travelers.

The airline is required to sell a minimum connection time. That doesn't mean it's a comfortable connection time, and there's a world of difference between making a connection in Nashville vs. Atlanta vs. an airport in another country for many travelers who don't have a lot of experience.

I see it as more of a question of 'tell me this will be okay' from non-veteran travelers. And while I'm not as well traveled as many people on this forum, I try to reassure them that they will still get from point A to point B. I remember being that new to air travel and being that confused.

And doing a web search for connection times at X airport doesn't always deliver results which a newbie traveler understands the same way that people who have made that trip understand it.

My two cents. Then again, I think everybody should travel more. And I want to encourage it where possible. ;-)

Posted by
11562 posts

Questions are asked in a sincere manner from those looking for advice.
None of us are born knowing all and learn by seeking.

Well said, Julie. It costs nothing to be nice, and none of us are required to answer any post we don't wish to?

As far as the eye-roll goes, I am a complete knob when it comes to sorting foreign public transit. Train systems, especially. Train travel is not common where I live so what is second nature to Europeans has me in fetal position when faced with transport websites, although some are easier than others. I'm sure some of my muddle-headed questions have produced a few eye-rolls from travelers/citizens who use them a lot!

Posted by
1068 posts

It costs nothing to be nice, and none of us are required to answer any post we don't wish to?

True. I normally just ignore questions that seem unbelievably simple, too broad, lack information, information is readily available etc. Occasionally I will respond with something like "a guide book would help you narrow that down" in an attempt to help them gain some information to make better decisions. But if the question is specific etc., I have some relevant information and no one has already provided the information I have, I'll try and answer it.

Posted by
7144 posts

One of my puzzlers are people who respond with the same info that's already been given multiple times as though they were the first to say it.

Posted by
1068 posts

Well, if you were looking for puzzlers, one of my biggest is people who bring up "dead" topics. Someone asks "What is a good 'over the shoulder' day bag for someone who packs light?" The OP gets 30 answers. Three months later, someone adds "I use a....." Hmmmmm.

Posted by
13962 posts

One of my big puzzlers (and I'm trying not to be snarky, but I guess it's a little cheeky to say it here) is - - -

Why do people post questions on the Trip Reports forum? When I saw this thread, I honestly thought that was going to be the gist of the post.

Why people resurrect posts - 2 obvious reasons. First is that a spammer has posted and brought the thread to the top and people respond without looking at the dates. Second is that someone has come to the post after using the search function (which IMO is kinda lame) because they are new to the forums and have tried to follow the instructions.

Avi - thanks for my smile of the day.

I come here to be helpful (well, I also like to tell people what they should do - and they are free to ignore me). If I'm in a good mood and the poster seems to be genuinely looking for help but not quite sure how to ask, I'll chime in. I appreciate someone who gives lots of info in their query, but I also realize that a lot of people either don't want to "waste" our time/patience by lots of details they don't realize are relevant. Or maybe they don't realize that they'll get better answers by telling us more. Sometimes I spend a few minutes googling to find info that someone's asked for and think to myself "why couldn't they just do that themselves" but who knows? Maybe we regulars here are more proficient at doing the research. Maybe they just don't know where to start. Maybe they're lazy. Does it really matter why they ask what they do?
Or if they ask "the right way?" Hey, maybe what they're saying is, I think I've got a problem, what are my options, but it is shorter to just say "can I do this" and it comes out misunderstood. You and I don't have to answer. If the question or a comment annoys you, JUST MOVE ON. Anyway, that's what I do. (except this once :-)

Posted by
11562 posts

...but I also realize that a lot of people either don't want to
"waste" our time/patience by lots of details they don't realize are
relevant.

I think you're right, Chani. A lot of people who neglect to include the details are first-time posters, and are probably first-timers to ANY travel forum. I suspect that they simply don't understand that some of those missing details can be critical to the usefulness of the responses? Most experienced forum responders here do a good job of prodding for the larger scenario.

Really, the only thing that annoys me sometimes are the posters who want help, are given a LOT of help from many of you, but don't find it necessary to engage in the discussion they initiated or even acknowledge the effort.

Posted by
8889 posts

Sometimes I spend a few minutes googling to find info that someone's asked for and think to myself "why couldn't they just do that themselves" but who knows? Maybe we regulars here are more proficient at doing the research.

I think there is a skill in knowing what to google for, and how to spot the relevant results (knowing what you are looking for) and what to ignore as rubbish.
If somebody asks about hotels in (for example) Munich, I would search for "Hotel in München" (as per recent posts about using local names), and I would ignore all the hotel agency sites, which is probably the first half page, until I found the local tourist board site which lists all the hotels in München. And that site is probably in German (but with an English option) so the original questioner would have ignored it.
Another example was a post by someone who said they were "Visiting Kew Gardens in London in the Fall", had searched for information and found nothing. The trick here is that "Fall" is not the name of a season in England, it is called "Autumn". Search for "Autumn in Kew" and plenty of results appear.

Posted by
11613 posts

If I relied on information I received from my bank/credit card company only, I would have made a lot of mistakes. Sometimes someone who has just had a similar experience to the question posted can be very helpful, even if it is anecdotal.

Posted by
4654 posts

I've sometimes responded to threads with "[[[XXX]] is right" just to reassure people who might not trust a single person responding.

Posted by
331 posts

OK, I am one of the guilty ones--I did it a few weeks back--so I will respond.

In my case, I booked my flights using airline points. At booking, I was fully aware that the connection time was hardly optimum, but the options were limited unless I wanted to use an inordinate number of points (which I do not want to do).

So why did I ask? I guess I was looking for some reassurance or hope that, yes, I could make my connecting flight (in this case, in Rome to Berlin). And depending upon the likelihood of my making the connecting flight, I was trying to decide whether to simply go with a carry-on (which I do not like to do), or go ahead and check in a larger suitcase. In other words, I was trying to get as much information about the odds of my making or missing the connecting flight, so I could plan accordingly.

And incidentally, if my flight from Atlanta arrives at 8 am in Rome, do I have time to--never mind.

Posted by
504 posts

Why do people ask about other posters' behavior in a section that is supposed to be about trip reports?

Posted by
7144 posts

Maybe to increase the odds that people who post questions here will see and read it?

Posted by
13962 posts

Thank you Dav for reinforcing my comment. Guess I wasn't snarky after all ☺

Posted by
331 posts

And Chani, another reason that people might ask questions on these forums when information is readily available over the Internet is that on these forums they trust the source. There are a number of persons, such as yourself, on the RS forums who have established a reputation for being both knowledgeable and generous in the advice they offer. These forums are a tremendous resource for those thinking about and planning travel in Europe.

Posted by
9419 posts

So much good stuff!

Why do people come here and ask----
---I have X days in [name a city]. What should I see there?

My take on this is why did you plan X days if you had no idea what to see. I do not respond to these questions. The person needs a guidebook first.

One of my puzzlers are people who respond with the same info that's already been given multiple times as though they were the first to say it.

Me too, Tim! If I see others have done a good job and I have nothing to add, I don't add.

I really love the questions of "I have a dilemma and need to choose between options A or B". Then when advised to choose A they instead choose B.

Right up there with those who post a draft itinerary full of one-and-tow-night stays, get responses based on personal experience, then decide to change locations every night or two anyway and disregard the advice so caringly given.

If I'm in a good mood and the poster seems to be genuinely looking for help but not quite sure how to ask, I'll chime in.

Great, Chani! I "go dark" now and then because I find myself irritated at the lack of thought or research prior to seeking free advice from the experts. I know I will be snarky so it is best to be quiet for awhile. Then the Forum lures me back, irresistibly.

Posted by
433 posts

I agree with Richard "These forums are a tremendous resource for those thinking about and planning travel in Europe."

And endlessly entertaining. And generally very civil.

Why does the 4.5 months since my last European adventure feel like an eternity?

Posted by
11613 posts

From Laurel:

"I 'go dark' now and then because I find myself irritated at the lack of thought or research prior to seeking free advice from the experts. I know I will be snarky so it is best to be quiet for awhile. Then the Forum lures me back, irresistibly."

So that explains your occasional absences!

Posted by
331 posts

And I may be guilty as well of having asked about A or B, receiving a recommendation of A, and selecting B. But my decision had nothing to do with being obtuse or ungrateful.

Nothing to do with these forums, but years ago, planning a trip to Europe, I exchanged a number of email communications with an acquaintance who had moved to France and had travelled extensively through Europe. All of his comments were worthy of and given serious consideration in my trip-planning. But there were instances when, after fully considering his itinerary recommendations, I decided to go somewhere different. His comments were considered. They were appreciated. And they helped me make the itinerary decisions I made, though they were not the itinerary decisions that he had recommended or would have made.

Unfortunately, the person offering assistance became upset that his recommendations were not fully accepted, and I have not bothered him since that time with questions about travel in Europe (or anything else).

My point is that most asking questions are not looking to have decisions made for them. They are looking for information to help them make decisions.

I can understand responses that the person seeking help needs to provide more information for responses to be made or to be meaningful. But if the questions engender true irritation, you probably should not respond.

Posted by
5013 posts

The original question was about asking for information AFTER plans have been made. I think partly its because many people don't find the forum until they've made travel arrangements. Sometimes flight plans are made based on cheap airfares, and without a basic understanding of geography. Then they start to think about it.

I think that, for the new post-literate world, asking questions in social media (i.e., getting others to do your basic research) is the first step of planning. Like asking a group of strangers in a bar/pub/kneipe/tavern what they think, as opposed to going to the library (or even online) and reading - or reading the wealth of info on sites like RS first. Many people just don't have the ability to communicate questions in writing, very well, so you have to try and guess what they should have asked instead of what they actually asked. Its great that there are people usually willing to help, but I'm not sure that some people recognize the difference between asking for factual answers and opinions.

Posted by
9419 posts

So that explains your occasional absences!

Zoe - That and moving house this year.

Posted by
101 posts

To answer the original question, I just feel that it can take hours of searching airfares to find a good itinerary. There is a lot to research and balance: exactly which days to travel, which route to take, whether some of it should be by train or car, which airline to use, what the different fare classes mean, and the all-important baggage fees and carry-on limitations. For me, it is such an exhausting process that when I finally find a good fare I'm tempted to grab it quickly. Even though I now know that is not smart.

In addition, I now book a lot of flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal There is often no option to tweak the individual flight times, as they only offer a subset of what is available through booking direct, so I often don't have much choice about layover times. At this point I know it's worth researching this ahead of time; if the layover time isn't sufficient I simply pass on that itinerary.

But I can't blame anyone for assuming that the offered itineraries are all feasible. I even ran into this once when booking through a travel agent. A family member also had the same problem when using a third-party agency. In both cases, we were able to call the airlines to get this fixed, but it was a hassle.

Posted by
386 posts

I've participated in this forum for several years and it is a true community. I recognize the frequent posters from a number of the country threads and sometimes relate little anecdotes to my husband. There are some people who are just passing through and some who are 'residents'. Like any community, you find a breadth of perspectives and communication styles. But I do sometimes wince a little at the attitude contained in a response. Being a community, It somehow seems worse for the question poster to have dared to enter this community and become chastised publicly. If the potential responder finds the question very annoying, my hope is that they just don't answer or provide gentle guidance on how to improve. In that way this forum will be a more welcoming experience than many other experiences on the web. After all, isn't the reason most of us are here is to share our love of something we enjoy? ..and get some help.

Posted by
97 posts

So, as a rookie traveller who has asked that very question, I have a few ideas: 1) There is a LOT of information on the web and sifting through the flood of data Google returns is difficult when the traveller has no frame of reference. We depend on the experienced to help us know what is relevant. 2) We think we know what we are doing, but sometimes get it wrong. Better to find out stateside, I suppose. 3) Airlines change schedules. Sometimes we book too early. We had enough time, then our connecting flight was moved up by over an hour. I was hoping to avoid a change fee for my incoming flight. 4) Assumptions made by connections computers are not made clear. 5) As a rookie, you sometimes don't know the questions to ask to get the information you need. You don't know what you don't know. 6) When airfares change frequently sometimes we jump the gun.

I appreciate the support of generous travelers who have gone before. Your knowledge is so helpful and you are kind to take the time. I hope you continue to be patient with us.

Polly

Posted by
1352 posts

Well said Pollyhrae:) I sometimes find myself not having patience with newbies - I just don't respond generally, but it is good to remember that we all had a lot of questions when we first started traveling! (and still do sometimes)

Posted by
12103 posts

Buying tickets for peak season in the summer, I pay the rock bottom Economy price to be squeezed in a sardine can for 11 hours direct; the problem is I've never paid over $1,600, one time and it was a bit over that amount. Mostly I pay in the $1,500 range, which is not very favourable. This last trip form May to July the air ticket cost a bit over $1,100, a much more agreeable price. If the price were two thousand, that might force me to reconsider depending on how desperate I am for the trip that summer.

Posted by
524 posts

A principle of adult learning is that adults dont really take in information until they need it personally.
that explains why , while I may have read about the Swiss rail passes 20 times on this board, its not till Im going to Switzerland that it sticks. thats why people ask questions that were discussed before.
When people ask : is it worth seeing xxx ?, or what would you see in ??? its because a) its good to get people takes on someplace that were actually there 2) its an interesting conversation.

Dont we all love to chat about our travels and give advise?

Posted by
5313 posts

Pollyhrae has the best answer -- airlines sometimes change a fully researched acceptable connection into ... something else. And rather than finding out at the airport that your connecting plane left without you, it's wise to get "expert" advice in time to fix it.
Now about questions like "what countries are close to France" ....

Posted by
3295 posts

"Why do people come here and ask --"

a question where they have already decided what they want the answer to be and then get angry at the answer they get which does not equate to their pre formed answer?

Some people have done that and get downright hostile when they are told what they don't want to hear. Do they have a (large) bet going with someone that depends on the answer? Or is it that they just don't like being told they can't do what they want? One a while back ranted on about us telling them how to raise their children. The question and answers had nothing to do with any of that. Then the entire topic got deleted.

Strangeness.

Posted by
11681 posts

What a great thread.

I do like the response above, that sometimes people ask if they can make a connection simply because the airline has changed the schedule. Not because they booked a too-short connection. Makes all the difference in how I view the question.

Posted by
440 posts

More annoying is why do people ask questions in the review section. This is highly annoying such as Great restaurants in Rome so I click on it thinking I can make a note of these for the future, but no they are asking if anybody knows any great restaurants. Highly Annoying