A stranger on my bus tour made me sick. Can I get a refund?

When Gayle Hackner takes a Trafalgar bus tour throughout Spain and Portugal for 13 days, she is disgusted that a man and his young son in adjacent seats appear to be sick. Their constant coughing irritates her. The last straw comes when she becomes ill on the last day of the tour.

The real reason why Silicon Valley is the world’s most elusive tourist attraction

Silicon Valley draws me to it like a powerful magnet, with its Mediterranean climate, irresistible culture of innovation and iconic technology brands that have defined a generation. It pulls in my whole family, which, like many Americans, lives in a world defined by Apple, Facebook and Google.

Are you as confused as these travelers about United’s upgrade system?

When Marco Lippman booked his United Airlines ticket for a flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt, Germany, he received a message that “four tickets were left at this price” that qualified for upgrades. But when he tried to upgrade his ticket, he found himself on a waitlist. And United’s website still contained a notation that upgraded tickets were available.

Expedia never confirmed my ticket and I had to buy a new one for six times the price

When Anne Maertz receives emails from Expedia indicating that her upcoming flight on Norwegian Airlines is “booked and confirmed,” she takes the online travel agency at its word. But when she arrives at the airport, Norwegian claims that she doesn’t have a ticket. Can our advocates help her get a refund for the new airfare she was forced to purchase?

An Olympic journey and family reunion in Rio

When Rio de Janeiro was named a finalist city for the 2016 Olympic Games, I was filled with anticipation and excitement. As a long time member of NBC’s Olympic production team, I knew that the city’s selection could be my first opportunity to revisit my grandfather’s sister’s family, who I had not seen since I was in my teens.

When Southwest Airlines follows its contract of carriage but a traveler does not, we won’t get involved

When passengers arrive late for or miss an outbound flight, they’re considered “no-shows.” That’s an industry standard policy. All remaining flights, including their return, are automatically canceled. Their ticket is worthless.

TripAdvisor advertised a cancellation policy, but the hotel won’t honor it

Adelaide Northrop’s preferred accommodation in St John, U.S. Virgin Islands, is unavailable so she books an alternative hotel through Tripadvisor that is advertised as having a zero penalty cancellation policy. When her first choice suddenly offers her a reservation, she happily confirms. The problem? Tripadvisor charges her a $911 cancellation fee.

We love a happy ending

When James Davies and his wife return from a trip to a house that smells of rotten food, they call Sears for the third time in two years for help with their Kenmore appliance. This time, they want a replacement instead of another repair, and the company’s customer service staff refuses. So Davies hits the web.

Norwegian Airlines says that a defective part caused our cancellation. Can I get compensation?

First, Michele Matarese’s flight was canceled. Then it was delayed for for two days. And finally, Norwegian Airlines refused to reimburse her expenses, claiming that the cancellation was due to an “extraordinary circumstance” — a defective part.

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