5 Travel Questions That Are Rarely Asked

Things that make you go hmm.

  1. How come flight attendants have to pick up the cups they serve drinks in prior to takeoff, but they let me keep the Starbucks coffee I brought on board myself?

  2. If Delta, United, and American award points as a multiple of the price paid for your ticket, why do they call those points ‘miles’?

  3. If liquids are so dangerous, why are they tossed together in a bin next to the security checkpoint instead of dealt with by a hazmat team?

  4. Why don’t airlines who base elite status on revenue give credit for tickets purchased but not flown?

  5. Why do rental car companies have to cable ALL of a vehicles keys together? If you lose one key this way you lose them all. Whose pocket exactly are these supposed to fit in?

I might as well add, echoing Gallagher, “why do we drive on parkways, and park in driveways?”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The car key one I think I know the answer to, or at least the received wisdom. If a car is rented as a one-way, having all the keys with the car makes more sense than have the keys get split up given that the car may never go back to the first location.

    However, this implies that there isn’t a franchising system in place where the car would have to (eventually) come back to its owner. In which case keeping the spare with the ownership documents makes far more sense.

    In fact, thinking about it, keeping one of the keys with the ownership documents, wherever they may be, makes far more sense, so maybe the reason I heard is flat wrong…

  2. On rental cars, they will charge you if you lose the keys. Losing one set of keys cost them money on the resale market as they can cost $300+++ for the second set. I assume they figure if you lose them you might as well lose both otherwise they might not notice if you just handed back one set. A lot of rental car companies will store extra stuff like the owner’s manual under the spare tire also.

    Good point on the war on water. Maybe the TSA could just revamp the rules. If you want to go through security with water or other liquids over the current limit you have to drink some in front of the TSA agent and then you can pass through. That would eliminate having to throw it away and if it’s drinkable it likely wouldn’t be dangerous on the aircraft.

  3. What’s irritates me even more with rental car keys is that even in a case you rent car to be driven by 2 drivers – they sort of give you 2 keys, but there is virtually no way to actually split them among drivers. Only one driver can have keys at a time – both of them. So stupid.

  4. If you lose a chip key, the dealer will reprogram new keys, and change the car’s codes “for security”. So you need to have both keys reprogrammed, regardless.

  5. I split my keys in Rapid City , S D & upon return they charged me some ridiculous fee. ( $ 45 ) after getting home I called 1-800 any had a major discussion & vociferously told them there was a couple of things that were plainly written in the contract ( fees ), extra cleaning ( sand ), & ?something? else , but n-o-o-ooooooo mention of the keys being separated. . . . They refunded my fee. . . .

  6. @Christian. They were rhetorical. However…

    1) Because government regulation is always stupidly inflexible
    2) Because they used to be miles based and, now, “miles” still markets better than “points”
    3) Because refer to number 1
    4) Because this might, overall, reduce their income
    5) Because laziness

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