Airlines are making huge investments in the media and in social media in anticipation of future passenger traffic growth. They have a long term vision in mind of capturing the entire travel sector, which would require more than just airline service to get there. To do that they must keep up with the latest trends and practices in the travel and leisure industries, particularly as they relate to passenger traffic and travel destinations. They know that their actions (and lack of action) could directly impact the bottom line of their customers and their companies. Many times they act before they think.
Airlines are able to make very prudent investments in this media given the enormous volume of information surrounding the airline industry. In many instances, you’ll find exclusive airline news coverage by travel and leisure magazines with a strong focus on airline deals, new aircraft orders, labor agreements for pilots and overall trends in airline business. This is especially important when it comes to destination-based travel, which accounts for most of the airline business. The labor situations for some of the world’s best-known names are anything but good, yet the carriers have continued to insist on operating even when faced with widespread public relations disasters.
As an example of the type of thing that the media tends to ignore, a recent article in Travel & Leisure Magazine focused on Carnival’s recent kerfuffle with its cruise ship employees. While some of the particulars in the article may have been exaggerated in hindsight, such as an incident in which an employee reportedly urinated on the deck in full view of other passengers, the overall story line was highly critical of Carnival and what it did not do. It was almost as if the folks at Carnival realized that the company had created a lot of negative press by being lax in addressing complaints by its employees and then being too quick to appease their publicity-shy counterparts. It certainly didn’t help that the company’s own ships had caught fire in the past, forcing it to cancel a number of cruises.
The lesson? Don’t listen to the airline press releases. They are not as objective or unbiased as you might think. Instead, trust your own sources of information (such as fellow passengers on an airplane) for the most accurate information available. Then use that information to your own advantage. Get as much information as possible from those who know the inside story so that you can make the best decision for yourself.
When it comes to getting information about Carnival cruise ship reviews, the easiest place to start is with your own travel agent. There may be specific things the agent can tell you about the ship that you won’t learn anywhere else. In addition, many times an agent will have direct access to the airline’s news releases, so that they can pass along information to you directly. Additionally, an agent often has personal knowledge of other cruise ship passengers who can give you a history of the line and specifically the crew on board the ship. Finally, an agent will know the latest updates about Carnival ships and can get you first hand information about their reputation.
No matter which source of information you choose, your first stop should be the travel desk at your local airline. While they may not have the answers you’re looking for, they’ll at least be able to provide you with some suggestions and resources. Also, don’t rule out the internet. Whether you use Google, Bing, Yahoo, or another search engine, there’s almost no limit to the information and reviews you can find online.