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.

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?

After our emergency landing, shouldn’t United provide me a meal and a hotel?

A mechanical failure causes Timothy Spinner’s United Airlines flight to make an emergency landing. Although the airline promises to reimburse Spinner for bag fee, meal and hotel expenses after his return home, he can’t get anyone at United to respond to his claims. Can our advocates obtain reimbursement for Spinner’s incidental costs?

What to do if your vacation is disrupted by a terrorist attack

Julie Hanahan had just checked into the Citadines Las Ramblas, an apartment hotel along Barcelona’s famous La Rambla pedestrian mall, when she heard shouting and sirens.

“People were running by and screaming,” says Hanahan, who flew to Barcelona from Chicago last week with her husband and two children to board a Mediterranean cruise.

Only seconds before, a van had plowed through pedestrians on the tree-lined thoroughfare, killing 13 and injuring 100. Hanahan’s daughter watched the aftermath from her hotel balcony. “We were on the back of the hotel, thankfully, so she did not witness the van going by,” Hanahan says.

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.

Can you help my neighbor with this invalid United ticket?

When Silvania da Silva booked air tickets on United and Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras through the online travel site OneTravel (a brand of Fareportal), she expected to be able to board her flights. But Azul denied her boarding, saying the fare hadn’t been paid — even though she had paid for her tickets when she made the booking.

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.

We booked a cruise and then learned how long it would take to get to the port

When Carole Schachter and her husband booked a cruise vacation in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, they were looking forward to winding along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. But they didn’t factor travel time to the ports of embarkation and disembarkation into their plans — or a penalty for canceling their trip.

Get smart. Sign up for the newsletter.