Travel bailouts: Airlines, hotels and travel agents all got them. Shouldn’t the public?
CLOSE Reporters and experts from across the country and the USA TODAY Network help answer America’s most urgent questions about the $2 trillion stimulus package. USA TODAYTravelers are furious. During the past month, they’ve watched the travel industry line up at the trough for government handouts. A $500 billion loan fund for hotels and $50 billion for airlines. Travel agents who book airline tickets can apply for $25 billion in loans and loan guarantees.Yeah, that’s billion with a “B.”And what did America’s taxpayers get for it? Not much. President Trump signs $2 trillion stimulus package: What’s in it for travelers?Travel companies didn’t have to promise to fix their abusive policies. Airlines may continue charging outrageous fees and squeezing us into small seats. Tour operators are allowed to force us into ridiculous contracts when we book a vacation. And hotels can keep on charging “gotcha” resort fees.In fact, many travel companies just turned around and retroactively changed their refund policies to allow them to keep even more of your money. “I’m really fuming,” says John Kovacs, a retired consultant and frequent traveler based in Denver. “They get a bailout and continue to force us into hamster-size seats.”So what would make travelers less angry? Well, maybe we