Here’s why you shouldn’t show up late to the gate

When Stephen Oualline and his daughter arrived at the gate in Kona, Hawaii, for their Alaska Airlines trip San Diego, they were told that the plane had already departed. After a rebooking and an unplanned overnight in Oakland, Calif., Oualline wanted the airline to reimburse him for the money he spent to get them home, but it refused. Now he wants us to help him — but can we?

Kids on planes. What could possibly go wrong?

It’s a story that Carrie Calzaretta’s 14-year-old son, Tyler, will probably tell his kids someday. This summer, the Calzarettas paid American Airlines an extra $300 for their son to fly round-trip as an unaccompanied minor in order to join a 10-day educational tour of Belize. When thunderstorms delayed his flight from Miami to Newark, the airline offered to re-book him for the next morning — but not to provide a hotel room for the night.

Best checked luggage policy? Hands down, it’s Southwest Airlines

Airline luggage has been making headlines recently, whether it’s US Airways’ controversial decision to add a $5 convenience fee to some checked bags or Alaska Air’s luggage fee/guarantee. But which airline has the most customer-friendly policy when it comes to checked luggage?

Get smart. Sign up for the newsletter.