No, Uber doesn’t owe you a free flight to St. Martin

David Kresl found out the hard way that Uber’s ride scheduling window is a guideline and not a guarantee. His Uber driver arrived late to take him to the airport. And now he wants the ride-sharing service to pay for his sister-in-law’s trip to St. Martin.

Huh?

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.

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.

You’ll never do business with them again? We’ll see

So you’ll never do business with them again?

We see it all the time: “I’ll never fly that airline.” “I’ll never rent cars from that agency.” “This is why I never book a travel reservation through that company.” “I never stay at a hotel in that chain.” Many of our stories and forum threads contain some variation of “I’ll never do business with” some company.

OK, that’s certainly your choice. But here’s why you should keep it to yourself.

This is war! Whose side are you on?

Unless you read the federal register for fun, you probably missed the Oct. 2 regulatory review by the Department of Transportation. It invites comments from the public as the agency considers “existing regulations and other agency actions” to evaluate their continued necessity, determine whether they are crafted effectively to solve current problems, and evaluate whether they potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources.

Sounds pretty innocent, right?

Our pilot’s sudden illness caused a flight diversion. Is this an “extraordinary circumstance?”

A sick pilot is definitely an unusual circumstance on a flight. But is it an “extraordinary circumstance” that would exempt the airline from having to compensate the passengers, such as Frederick Brodzinski, for expenses and losses?

Where is my refund, Hawaiian Airlines?

If there were a movie titled “Escape from Hawaii,” Chaya Friedman could be the star. She and her husband are stuck on the island of Molokai and miss their connection in Honolulu to get home to the Chicago area. She is forced to buy tickets on another airline in order to make it to Honolulu on time. Can our advocates help her get reimbursed for her expenses?

You’ve never heard of these people, but they’ve changed the way you fly

Their advocacy results in big, embarrassing airline fines. They’ve helped create federal agencies that make air travel safer. And they’ve brought competition and transparency to the skies.

Get smart. Sign up for the newsletter.