Why is travel so expensive now? You probably won’t like this answer

Mary Barbuto wants to know why travel is so expensive right now — specifically, for rental cars. A one-week rental of an SUV at Fort Lauderdale International Airport next month will cost $134 per day, or $1,171 total.

“I can’t believe how outrageous the prices are for rental cars,” she told me. “Either they are very expensive, or the locations don’t have cars.”

It’s not just cars. Almost all travel, from airfares to vacation rentals, is getting more expensive. There are various reasons for the price increases, but there’s one that applies across the board. And you’re probably not going to like it.

Warning: Wear a mask or get banned from Uber — guaranteed!

Adrianna Allen just got banned from Uber for refusing to wear a mask while using the ridesharing service. She says she’s been falsely accused and has worn a face-covering during all her trips throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Now Allen wants the Elliott Advocacy team to ask why Uber banned her, and also get her premium membership reinstated. But with three separate drivers reporting her for refusing to wear a mask, that seems like a tall order.

Can we figure out what’s going on here? 

Why we use real names in our stories

Maybe you’ve noticed that we use real names in the stories we publish on this site. And maybe you’ve also wondered why we do that. Shouldn’t people be able to air their grievances with a company without having to disclose their full name?

Does Global Entry work? Here’s what the government doesn’t want you to know

When the federal government proposed a trusted traveler system years ago, I got into an argument with a well-known travel writer. He claimed a program like Global Entry that subjected you to a background check and stored your biometric data would never fly.

He argued that the government had no interest in collecting that information and keeping close tabs on its citizens. (Reprint)

If you get sick on a bus tour, can you get a refund?

If you get sick on a bus tour should the operator give you a refund — even if you completed the entire trip? Gay Hackney believes so.

She says that two fellow travelers aboard the bus appeared ill during her 13-day tour through Spain and Portugal. The father and son’s constant coughing irritated her. But the last straw came at the end of the tour when she woke up sick herself. Now that she’s home, she wants to know if Trafalgar owes her a refund for this unpleasant bus tour. (Updated Jan. 2021)

An eBay gift card scam is running wild. This is how to avoid it

Here come the eBay gift card scammers — and just in time to steal your cash before the holidays. But the Elliott Advocacy team is here too, warning you about these swindlers so you can avoid their trap.

We’ve received many pleas for help from distraught victims of this particular eBay gift card scam throughout 2021. They’ve lost hundreds and even thousands of dollars to this scheme. These consumers all want the same thing: to retrieve their stolen money from the anonymous predators who tricked them.

But is there any possible way to do that? (Originally published Jan 2021:  Counting down the top 10 articles of the year)