What’s new on Elliott: Car rental craziness, DOT rule details and the $7.8 billion question – sponsored by Floridavacationauction.com

By | June 8th, 2010

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?

Notice anything different? I have a few exciting new projects that I can’t wait to tell you about this morning. I’ve tweaked the design on Elliott, my site dedicated to advocating for travelers, to make it even more readable. You’ll also notice a new site that just entered the “beta” testing phase. It’s called On Your Side, and it’s an ambitious, collaborative project that will help you get better customer service anywhere — not just in travel. (I need volunteers to help with it, so if you’ve always wanted to make a difference, here’s your chance. Send me an email for details.) Also, please don’t miss the first three installments of my 11-part dissection of the Transportation Department’s new customer service rules for airline passengers. Here’s part one, two and three.

Visit Florida for less. Please check out our underwriter, Florida Vacation Auction and 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 Elliott to get a $25 credit towards a winning auction. Details here.

Buy the best travel insurance policy now. Please visit our underwriter, TripInsuranceStore.com – Offers detailed trip cancellation travel insurance information. Call Steve, Deanna, Becky, Mary or Teresa directly at 1-888-407-3854 for personalized advice or visit it online.

Moneysaving secrets they don’t want you to know. What are your secrets for saving money when you travel that they don’t want you to know about? Share your tips for saving money on airline tickets, cars, cruises and hotels that the industry would prefer you not know. Please send me a note and don’t forget your full name, city and occupation.

Related story:   Elliott's E-Mail/October 7, 2008

The real Southern California is only one week away. On June 17, we’re shifting into “travel” mode when we visit Southern California for two weeks and write about it (look for more here and on National Geographic Traveler’s blog, Intelligent Travel. Want to suggest a destination? Just shoot me a note. I’ll see you this summer!

Let’s connect. Interested in keeping up with the very latest in the world of consumer travel activism? Please follow me on Twitter (I’ll follow you back). I’m at @elliottdotorg. Or friend me on Facebook.

In this issue. Car rental craziness. Plus, new details on DOT rules and the $7.8 billion question.

New posts

Car rental craziness: 6 odd rules and how to steer clear of them (MSNBC)

The $7.8 billion question (The Washington Post)

Do predators want to buy your “pre-foreclosure” house? (On Your Side)

“This isn’t the right time for people to be going to Thailand” (Elliott)

New rules would require airlines to meet “minimum” customer service standards (Elliott)

Warning: Airline sites can’t read your mind, no matter what they say (Elliott)

Right hotel, wrong room (Elliott)

Government will require airlines to offer “complete picture” of ground delays (Elliott)

Our underwriters

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.

Booking Advisor — Do you know you can save money with your hotel reservations? Booking Advisor helps you find the cheapest hotel prices among more then 30 booking agent sites. Get more info.

Related story:   A surprising 70 percent of air travelers support National Opt-Out Day

Internationalflights.com – Dedicated to bringing you cheap international flights and international travel to destinations all over the world. Find the best rates in seconds.

MyRatePlan – Where you can compare credit cards offering travel and mileage rewards programs. Earn up to 25,000 bonus miles. Earn one or more miles for each dollar you spend on purchases. Here’s more information.

FirstClassFlyer.com — Which helps you fly first class for the price of coach. Get more information.

Skooba — 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.

BestTravelDeals.net — Where you can find a community for travelers who are interested in stretching their travel budget. If you want to vote, submit a travel deal, or comment on a travel deal, please register (it’s FREE!). Get the details here.

Squaremouth.com — 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.

Cheapflights.com — Lets you search the best travel deals, then book your cheap airline tickets with one of its many partners. Check out Cheapflights.com.

If you want to feel the love of 80,000 weekly newsletter subscribers, you can become a corporate underwriter, too. Here’s how.

We want your feedback. Your opinion is important to us. Here's how you can share your thoughts:
  • Send us a letter to the editor. We'll publish your most thoughtful missives in our daily newsletter or in an upcoming post.
  • Leave a message on one of our social networks. We have an active Facebook page, a LinkedIn presence and a Twitter account. Every story on this site is posted on those channels. The conversation ranges from completely unmoderated (Twitter) to moderated (Facebook and LinkedIn).
  • Post a question to our help forums or ask our advocates for a hand through our assistance intake form. Please note that our help forum is not a place for debate. It's there primarily to assist readers with a consumer problem.
  • If you have a news tip or want to report an error or omission, you can email the site publisher directly. You may also contact the post's author directly. Contact information is in the author tagline.