New on Elliott: The truth about the poop bomb photo, how to get a refund and a kitchen that isn’t color-coordinated – Sponsored by

Here’s the online version of Elliott’s E-Mail. If this doesn’t display correctly, why not switch subscriptions to my RSS feed or my daily e-mail newsletter?

Please check out our underwriter, Florida Vacation Auction, where you can save up to 80 percent off retail on resorts, hotels and attractions in the auction and 20 to 30 percent via Buy Direct. No cost to use unless you win or buy. Register using promo code “Chris Elliott 2011” to get a $25 credit towards a winning auction. Details here.

Wow! Look at On Your Side. My advocacy blog and wiki, On Your Side, is back! It expands my mission to other consumer issues beyond travel, and offers you a chance to become part of the action. Please sign up for the daily newsletter or RSS feed or, if you’re interested in helping consumers, register for our volunteer newsletter.

CheapCaribbean update. I have an update on a previous Travel Troubleshooter column that involved an all-inclusive vacation booked through As I mention in a follow-up story last week, CheapCaribbean offered the customer a refund, a fact I learned after I had filed the column.

What I’m reading. This week’s highlights include my Washington Post column on refunds, my exclusive interview with the photographer who took the infamous poop bomb photo and a brand-new edition of What would you do?


Is this enough compensation? A $225 check for my lost luggage — you’re kidding!
Maybe we should start calling this the lost luggage column. Last week, we tried to untangle the case of a skier who lost his gear in Telluride, Colo. Today, meet Rita Rosenfeld, whose luggage was misplaced by Alitalia on a trip to Italy.

Related story:   If the TSA is so good, why do you feel so bad?

TSA baby pat-down photographer: “I’ve never seen anything quite that bad”
Jacob Jester is the Kansas City pastor who took the infamous “poop bomb” photo of two screeners at Kansas City International Airport patting down an eight-month-old baby on Saturday. I spoke with him about the incident, and the ensuing firestorm, this afternoon.

Can this trip be saved? I missed my connection — how about some compensation?
If you miss a connection and you’re flights aren’t on the same reservation, you’re normally out of luck. But Duane Perry’s circumstances are anything but normal.

Want a refund? Read the policy
It looked like a lost cause.

TSA Watch: After Osama’s death, are screeners spreading confusion and fear?
The TSA’s response to Osama Bin Laden’s death last week couldn’t have been less clear — or more self-serving.

On Your Side

New at On Your Side: phone companies
We’ve added another industry category to On Your Side: phone companies.

Silence isn’t golden: 6 things a disgruntled customer won’t tell you
Ah, the things unhappy customers keep to themselves. If only they were as transparent as they claim the companies they’re fighting aren’t, life would be so much simpler for this consumer advocate.

Yet another meaningless list: The 10 “best” companies in America
It’s not that I don’t believe the 30,000 members of the general public surveyed by Harris Interactive are telling the truth, when it comes to the most reputable companies. It isn’t even that I don’t think the winners deserve to be highly ranked.

CBS Interactive

What Would You Do? Help, My Kitchen Isn’t Color-Coordinated!
What should a grout-coloring business do when a customer’s kitchen turns out all wrong? It’s not as simple to resolve as it sounds.

Related story:   What should be included in an airline ticket?

“Do-Not-Track” Bills: Bad for Business — and Customers
While privacy advocates are pushing Congress and state legislatures to pass online privacy measures, a close look reveals many of these bills may worsen customer service.

Advertising Reality Check: Are You Leading — Or Lying?
New media offers new opportunities to get your advertising message to customers. But are you crossing a line? Where is the line, for that matter?


Need travel insurance? Please check out our underwriter, — Voted the best travel insurance comparison site. Squaremouth is easy to use with powerful sort & research tools. 250+ travel insurance plans. Click here for more.

See you online! If you’re not following me on Facebook or Twitter, then you’re only catching half the conversation. Join me for a lively discussion about travel, customer service and anything else you might find interesting. Remember, if you love opining about travel — and let’s face it, who doesn’t? — then you’ll want to be come part of my new travel panel.

Our underwriters — Offers affordable, private and fully customizable tours to China. If you are traveling to China with family members and friends, you should give them a try. Get details here. — Lets you search the best travel deals, then book your cheap airline tickets with one of its many partners. Check out – #1 For guaranteed online airport parking reservations. Low rates on short stay and long term parking. Compare and save today!

Travel deals — Get up to 80% off. Refer a friend and get $10. Go to

Related story:   These double standards have gotta go!

Travel Insurance Review — Where you can get articles, reviews, and guides to help you find an insurance policy that will fit your individual travel needs. You can buy directly or use its comparison site to find a trusted and reputable travel insurance provider. Get more information.

Travel Insurance Services, which has been protecting travelers since 1973 by providing coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, baggage insurance, and more. Choose the right option for your next trip. Visit Travel Insurance Services. — Which helps you fly first class for the price of coach. Get more information.

Skooba — Which offers award-winning tech/travel carrying cases and accessories. Discount code ELLIOTT20 gets you 20% off and free shipping on orders of $50 or more. Visit Skooba.

International Airline Tickets — Find discount airfares to many destinations worldwide at — Steve, Deanna, Becky, Mary give you one-on-one advice at 1-888-407-3854 or visit us online. Contact them now.

Luggage Pros – Buy luggage, bags, briefcases, travel accessories and more. Use coupon code ELLIOTT for free shipping on any order. Get more information here.

Want to feel the love of nearly 100,000 weekly readers? Please ask about our corporate underwriter program. Send me an email.

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.

%d bloggers like this:
Get smart. Sign up for the newsletter.