The pandemic canceled my yoga retreat! Why can’t I get a refund?

Because of the pandemic, Erin Parisi’s tour operator canceled her yoga retreat last year. Does she have to accept the rescheduled trip? And if she doesn’t, will she lose most of her money? Read more “The pandemic canceled my yoga retreat! Why can’t I get a refund?”

If the host promised me a refund why did Airbnb refuse?

The host of Carl Baeuerlen’s planned Airbnb vacation rental offered him a refund last May because of the pandemic. But Airbnb says he can’t get his money back. What’s going on here? Read more “If the host promised me a refund why did Airbnb refuse?”

All the reasons why you can’t get a refund for your destination wedding

All Melanie Brown wanted was a refund for a destination wedding in Belize last summer. All she got was excuse after excuse after excuse.

It’s something else to keep in mind one year after the COVID-19 pandemic sank large segments of the travel industry. Salvaging your refund may mean navigating an excuse factory that hotels and other companies have hastily built to keep your money.

Brown’s experience is also instructive because it’s a map that shows you how to bypass these bogus reasons for pocketing your deposits — whether it’s a refund for a destination wedding or just a hard-earned vacation. Read more “All the reasons why you can’t get a refund for your destination wedding”

How can I get a refund for this nonrefundable hotel during the pandemic?

After the COVID-19 outbreak, Noemi Freeman has to cancel her trip to Greece. Does this mean she can’t get a refund for the $592 she paid for her nonrefundable hotel? Read more “How can I get a refund for this nonrefundable hotel during the pandemic?”

How to avoid vacation rental cleaning fees? Do this before you check in

If you’re planning a vacation rental stay, you need to do one thing before you kick off your shoes and unpack — if you don’t want to end up with surprise cleaning fees. Grab your phone and start taking pictures.

Lots of pictures.

I speak from personal experience. I just checked out of a vacation rental and got broadsided with one of the most outrageous cleaning fee claims in my career. More on that in a minute. Read more “How to avoid vacation rental cleaning fees? Do this before you check in”

Where is the refund for my upgrade that never happened?

How long does it take to get a refund for an upgrade that never happened? Margaret Carroll has been waiting four months for hers. Can we help move things along? Read more “Where is the refund for my upgrade that never happened?”

Where is the 125 percent cruise credit Royal Caribbean promised me?

When Royal Caribbean cancels Rich Kanuchok’s voyage to New England and Canada, it promises him a 125 percent cruise credit. But when the voucher arrives, it’s clear that the cruise line’s math is way off. Now Kanuchok just wants a full refund instead. Is that allowed? Read more “Where is the 125 percent cruise credit Royal Caribbean promised me?”

Losing your case: Did you get what you deserve?

Do you ever lose a case?

That’s the most common question I get from readers. And it’s understandable since my nationally syndicated travel column has an almost perfect track record. The answer, regrettably, is yes — I’m also an expert at losing cases.

Even more regrettable: Sometimes, I deserve to lose. Read more “Losing your case: Did you get what you deserve?”

TAP Air Portugal rescheduled my flight — can I get a refund?

TAP Air Portugal reschedules — and then cancels — John Schmidt’s flights and he wants a refund. So why is the airline only offering a voucher? Read more “TAP Air Portugal rescheduled my flight — can I get a refund?”

How consumer complaints work: The guide they don’t want you to read

To really understand how consumer complaints work, you need to know Murphy’s Law.

No, not that Murphy’s Law. The other one. That would be Dee Murphy, who contacted us after losing almost $4,000 on a trip.

Murphy — still talking about the other one — contacted me this weekend to thank me.

Sort of. Read more “How consumer complaints work: The guide they don’t want you to read”