Royal Caribbean launched the world's biggest cruise ship, the Allure of the Seas, on December 1. The behemoth sleeps 5,400 people and weighs 225,282 tons.
(Courtesy Royal Caribbean International)
In 2010 airlines took à la carte pricing to the extreme, with Spirit airlines levying from $20 to $45 each way to carry luggage onto a flight and Ryanair telling the world that they will eventually charge £1 or €1 to use a lavatory mid-flight. Overall, U.S. airlines soaked passengers for $3.9 billion in surcharges in the first half of the year alone.
In a victory for fliers' rights, the U.S. Department of Transportation began enforcing its new requirement that U.S. airlines return their planes to the terminal after three hours on the tarmac or face fines of up to $27,500 per passenger.
(Librado Romero/The New YorksTimes/Redux)
Flight attendant Steven Slater called it quits in a spectacular fashion—he activated the emergency slide, grabbed a couple of beers from the galley, and slid down the chute. His escape, in addition to making him a household name, cast a spotlight on flight attendants nationwide who feel that they are unfair victims of passenger "air rage.
(NY Daily News/Getty Images)
Mergers were big news in 2010 as airlines rushed to cut competition and capacity. United and Continental tied up, becoming the world's largest airline, and Southwest Airlines announced it would buy AirTran.
The BP oil spill stretched on for months, affecting travelers, hoteliers, and small businesses. Most disturbing of all is that most travel insurance policies did not cover vacation cancellations resulting from the spill. The reason? Beaches remained open, so the cancellations were considered "voluntary," and voluntary cancellations are seldom covered.
(Erik S. Lesser/epa/Corbis)
Bedbugs are on the rise. New York tops the list of infested cities, followed by Philadelphia, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Chicago. The good news is that these pests, though annoying, don't carry diseases. In spite of the fact that they're spreading, your chances of encountering them are extremely low.
This summer New York City passed a law banning "no-tels"—homes and apartments marketed as short-term rentals without the city's approval (the ban begins in May 2011).
"Thousands of J.K. Rowling fans flocked to Universal Studios Resorts in Orlando to see her famous characters and scenes brought to life in rides, shops, and restaurants at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which opened on June 18."
(Courtesy Universal Orlando Resort)
TripAdvisor, the top site for critiquing hotels, found itself under review this year. Stories came to light of hotel managers attempting to manipulate the site's rankings by hiring people around the world to post fake, positive reviews about properties.