United Airlines holds plane so passenger can say goodbye to his dying mother

Kerry Drake’s mother was dying. She’d suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for decades and the drugs used to treat her condition had decimated her immune system. One morning his brother called him to say her time had come. Drake caught the next United Airlines flight from San Francisco, where he works for the federal government, to Lubbock, Texas, via Houston.

Why is it so hard to get the airline seat assignment you want?

Here’s a question that’s crossed every airline passenger’s mind at least once: Why is it so hard to get the airline seat assignment you want?

Beth Shadur wants to know. She doesn’t like the aisle seat. So when she flew from Chicago to New York recently, her husband, an elite-level frequent flier, tried to find her a window seat.

Lured by a $200 Southwest Chase Visa credit. So where is it?

The Southwest Chase Visa credit offer Valerie Schreck saw looked too good to be true, as affinity credit card offers often do.

Apply for the card now, the pop-up on Southwest.com promised her, and she could save $200 on her flight.

She applied for the card, only to discover the offer was too good to be true. The $200 credit never showed up.

A berry good time in Southern California, Temecula edition

Temecula may be one of California’s best-known wine regions, but I’ll always remember it for something else: the fresh fruit we harvested on a recent visit to this out-of-the-way Southern California destination. That’s right, we saw the horde of tourists go one way, and we went in the other direction.

You can’t negotiate your Hotwire discount after you click confirm

Just in case you’re wondering, you can’t negotiate your Hotwire discount after you click confirm.

Eden Benbow found that out the hard way when she recently booked a Hotwire “blind” deal. Once Hotwire revealed the name of her hotel and the rate, she discovered she hadn’t gotten such a good deal. And she asked Hotwire to do better.

Why are these #$%@! annoying ads following me around? How do I make them stop?

No matter where she clicked, the annoying ads followed Suzanne Wolko.

Whether she was visiting her favorite travel blog or a booking site, a colorful image for a five-star hotel in Chicago popped up, “almost taunting me to click it,” says Wolko, a former corporate travel manager who lives in Philadelphia.

Taken from her Southwest flight to the hospital against her will — who pays?

Sue Burgess began to feel sick on a Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix to Albuquerque earlier this year, and after a rough trip in which she filled several barf bags, she was sent to a hospital after the plane landed. She’s fine now — turns out she had the stomach flu — but there’s the small matter of a $9,000 hospital bill.

Stuck next to two screaming toddlers in first class — can I get a refund?

If Jody Clark’s recent United Airlines flight from Houston to Vancouver had been a scene in a movie, it probably would be the one where the protagonist is finally pushed to the brink of a nervous breakdown. She says she was stuck next to two screaming toddlers in first class no less, and she wants a refund.

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