New on Elliott: No refund after a hurricane, an illegal ticket and blacklisted for criticizing a kiosk – Sponsored by

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There’s so much to share with you this week, I hardly know where to begin. I’m just back from New York, where I met with the publisher of my upcoming book Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals. The book hits the shelves in early December, so we’re starting to get very excited about it. By the way, you can pre-order your copy right here.

I also have some pretty unbelievable cases to share with you, including the hopeless case of a guy who wanted a refund after a hurricane, the airline that sold a passenger an “illegal” ticket, and the TSA’s latest PR blunder. I also help someone who has been blacklisted by our government for daring to criticize a kiosk.

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Related story:   What's new on Elliott? Bad bargains, ticket tricks and chronic complainers


Case dismissed: Canceled our tour after a hurricane — how ’bout a refund?
When hurricane Irene plowed through the Northeast late last summer, she didn’t just leave half of New England underwater. The storm also ruined a vacation or two, including the tour of Niagara Falls Jim Allendoerfer had set up for his fiancee and her family.

Ridiculous or not? Airlines charge fees to use my credit card
When it comes to airline fees, you’ve probably stopped asking yourself, “What’s will they think of next?”

Is this enough compensation? My airline ticket is “illegal” and all they’re offering is a voucher
When you buy an “illegal” airline ticket — which is to say, a ticket that violates a carrier’s booking rules — the penalties can be severe. It’s not uncommon to have your frequent flier account suspended or for your travel agent to receive a debit memo, demanding the fare difference.

Can this trip be saved? No hotel refund after a sudden death
A death certificate can be a trump card for travelers who want a refund. Whether you’re locked into a nonrefundable hotel room or a consolidator ticket, proof of a relative’s death can loosen the rules — if not get them waived entirely.

TSA watch: Are screeners preying on sick passengers?
The latest TSA horror story comes by way of Lori Dorn, a human resources consultant in New York.

Psst! Here’s the secret to a successful travel blog
It’s not a lecture. It’s a debate. That, in a nutshell, is the secret to a successful travel blog.

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Related story:   May 23, 2007

Customer Service

Whats your problem? Help, I’ve been blacklisted by Global Entry
George Percivall has been blacklisted by Customers and Border Patrol. Why? He got into an argument with an agent over a malfunctioning kiosk. How do you get off the blacklist?

The smarter consumer: How to find any manager online
Barb Staigerwald got an unexpected email one Saturday morning. Her hotel reservation in San Diego had been canceled without any explanation.

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Related story:   What's new on Elliott: Good airline fees, where to find cheaper car rental rates, and DHS wants to know if you're a terrorist

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at Read more of Christopher's articles here.

  • Jes Baru

    book, it is as illogical as anything else I have experienced in my encounters with some of this government organization’s personnel. Jes BaruLongwood, Florida

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