What’s new on Elliott? Creative car rental fees, “refundable” nonrefundable tickets and a sculpture experience

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This week’s burning question: kids on planes? Should they be allowed? If so, what do we do with them? Kids-only sections? Sedate ’em. Let ’em run free? Please share your thoughts, and don’t forget to include your full name, city and occupation.

Broadsided! If you thought airlines were the worst offenders when it came to fees, wait until you see what car rental companies have been up to. In my MSNBC.com column, I name five creative car rental fees you’ll want to avoid the next time you travel. And in this week’s Travel Troubleshooter, find out what happens when a hotel guest is charged twice for her room — once by her now-bankrupt travel agent, and another time by the resort.

Norefundable refundability? When you don’t use a nonrefundable airline ticket, what happens to the taxes? Can you get those back? Actually, you can. Here’s how one passenger did it. Also, Colorado clamps down on Prime Travel Protection, the beleaguered trip protection services company. Delta Air Lines tries to explain its double standards. United Airlines redefines the word “day.” And a credit card company sticks a traveler with a $1,390 gas bill.

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Business travel secrets. Wow, what an interesting weekend! We had a chance to stay at a “new build” Hyatt Place in Lake Mary, Fla., which resulted in a blog post on 10 things I love about Hyatt Place. We also shot a video on how to survive a business travel hotel with kids, which you may find useful, or amusing — or both. On our new family travel site, Souvenirist, we documented our visit to the Kissimmee, Fla., Sculpture Experience, which was a lot of fun and made for another interesting video.

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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 chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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