Here are the important differences between a vacation waiver and travel insurance

There are many differences between travel insurance and a vacation waiver. Christopher Benson learned about those differences in a hard way.

When Benson and his wife, Betty, planned a trip to Paris, Orbitz offered them a “vacation waiver” option that looked a lot like travel insurance. But it wasn’t. So when the Bensons tried to invoke the waiver, it didn’t work as they expected. Lufthansa would not refund their tickets from Chicago to Paris. Read more “Here are the important differences between a vacation waiver and travel insurance”

This is why the bad service you get is your fault

Bad service is your fault. If you’re stuck in an uncomfortable airline seat or have to pay an exorbitant resort fee for a hotel stay, you don’t have to look too far for the reason. Just find a mirror.

At least that’s what travelers like Gene SirLouis, a manufacturer’s representative from the District, believe. “We want everything cheaper and cheaper and cheaper,” he says. “That’s why the size of an average airline seat is smaller than the size of an average human. We have to take some of the blame.” Read more “This is why the bad service you get is your fault”

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen on a flight?

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen a passenger do on a flight?

If you said, “Change into pajamas midflight,” then maybe you were on my red-eye from Orlando to Frankfurt, Germany, during which a passenger disappeared into the restroom and emerged in a nightgown. Read more “What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen on a flight?”

This is how to get great airline service

Want to get great customer service even from the airlines? Use your “pleases” and “thank yous” – and don’t expect too much.

You can score excellent service, even in the worst conditions, by understanding your airline, minding your manners and taking care of a few basics.

Read more “This is how to get great airline service”

Will your travel insurance cover you when you need it?

If you think your travel insurance policy will cover you on your next trip, you might want to take another look. Travel insurance doesn’t cover everything. Truth be told, it might not cover anything.

The list of exclusions is long and includes everything from pregnancy to scuba diving. When you buy travel insurance, it’s important to make sure you understand what it does — and doesn’t — cover. Don’t wait until the last minute to review your policy. By then, it may be too late. Read more “Will your travel insurance cover you when you need it?”

Warning: Here’s where you’ll find the most fake hotel reviews

More than one-third of online hotel reviews are fake, new research from fraud detection company Fakespot suggests. The troubling study of phony hotel reviews also shows that you’re more likely to be fooled in some American cities than others. Read more “Warning: Here’s where you’ll find the most fake hotel reviews”

These cruise itinerary changes ruined my trip! I want a refund

The cruise itinerary changes on Iris Fennel’s recent Baltic Sea journey completely ruined her trip. She says Norwegian’s Breakaway sailed right past three out of five of its scheduled ports of call. Based on that ratio, Fennel has calculated NCL should give her a 60 percent cash refund.

But does the cruise line owe Fennel anything for these changes to the itinerary? Read more “These cruise itinerary changes ruined my trip! I want a refund”

He left his gun in a rental car. Now he’s on the Hertz Do Not Rent list

Niebes Castillo should have known better than to leave a loaded gun in the glove compartment of his rental car. After all, he’s a truck driver and, as a driving professional, should be aware of the rules of the road. But there’s enough gray area to warrant a closer look at a case that landed Castillo on Hertz’s Do Not Rent list. Read more “He left his gun in a rental car. Now he’s on the Hertz Do Not Rent list”

Is it wrong to use reward points awarded to you by mistake?

If your loyalty program awarded you $140,000 in reward points by mistake, would you start spending them?

Well, If you’re Robert Shaw, the answer is yes. He found that giant bonus in his Expedia rewards account and quickly booked himself a flight to see the world. But then the Expedia security team contacted Shaw to, ahem, discuss the error, and he developed some second thoughts.

Now he wants the Elliott Advocacy team’s help. But for what? Read more “Is it wrong to use reward points awarded to you by mistake?”