A berry good time in Southern California, Temecula edition

Temecula may be one of California’s best-known wine regions, but I’ll always remember it for something else: the fresh fruit we harvested on a recent visit to this out-of-the-way Southern California destination. That’s right, we saw the horde of tourists go one way, and we went in the other direction.

Here’s why you shouldn’t purchase two one-way tickets to save money

Many travel sites claim you can sometimes save money by booking two one-way airline tickets instead of a round-trip ticket. But is there a downside to this practice?

How about a refund for these downgraded seats, Qantas?

Stan Shopa is disappointed to miss his Qantas connection from Los Angeles to Melbourne. The airline rebooks him on a flight the next day — but downgrades his seat from premium economy to standard economy. So shouldn’t he be entitled to a price adjustment?

No, this is not the “worst Airbnb story” we’ve ever seen

When Jennifer Tudor rented an apartment in a Brooklyn brownstone through Airbnb, she may not have understood what to expect. Unfortunately, this led to an unpleasant rental experience for her — and for the owner. Now she wants all her money back. Is this reasonable?

I was forced to buy a $20,000 diamond on my Royal Caribbean cruise. How do I return it?

During her recent Caribbean cruise, Kathy Hoffarth purchased a $16,000 diamond in Jamaica. At the next port, she exchanged it for a larger, more expensive one. Now that she is home she doesn’t want that diamond, either, and she wants her money back. But is that possible?

How to tell if you have a qualified travel agent

Yarisa Smith knows she has a good travel agent.

“He’s made cruises and European trips special,” says Smith, a manufacturer’s representative from Dallas. “His itineraries and attention to detail have made every trip flawless. He’s even managed to successfully intervene when acts of God have waylaid my plans.”

Yet you might not know by looking at Clark Mitchell, who works for Dallas-based Strong Travel, whether he’s the real deal. Yes, his agency is cited as a source for its travel expertise by mainstream news outlets. It also prominently lists its membership in Virtuoso, an exclusive travel agency consortium.

But until now, there’s been no instantly recognized certification that says an agent is legit. That may be about to change.

Got a complaint about the travel industry? It’s got one about you, too

“I’m weary of those entitled passengers who are continuously whining and complaining,” says Lisa Thomas, a veteran flight attendant based in Denver. “I feel like telling them, ‘Take some responsibility for your choices.’ ”

Thomas’s comments, made to me after a recent column about the rise of fees in the travel industry, triggered a fascinating debate. Many travelers say that they think fees are out of control, particularly in the airline business. The top 10 airlines collected more than $28 billion in revenue from extra fees and services last year, up from about $2 billion a decade ago, according to a recent study by the consulting firm IdeaWorks.

At the same time, many in the industry say that they think people are getting exactly what they paid for: a quality product at a ridiculously low price. Industry employees like Thomas suggest that travelers have become spoiled.

Insider tips on how to file a travel insurance claim

If you’re reading this, chances are something horrible has happened while you’re on vacation — a health scare, a disruption, even an unexpected death.

Maybe you’ve phoned your travel insurance company and the wheels are now in motion for a claim. And you’re wondering: What now?

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