Here’s how to miss your dream vacation to Greece

Want to miss your dream vacation? Then just do what Ralph Lantz did. He booked his dear friend a flight to meet him in Greece. But all of her Mediterranean plans suddenly ended at the check-in counter. There, an insurmountable passport problem revealed itself — the name on her passport did not match her ticket.

Now Lantz wants to know how he can get his money back for this aborted trip.

Think that free trip insurance is all you need? Think again

When Monique Tubb’s adult daughter was injured while vacationing in Colorado, she canceled the rest of her trip and flew home immediately. Tubb was confident that her UnitedPlus Explorer card’s complimentary trip insurance would cover all the additional expenses. It didn’t. And now she wants to know why her full claim was not paid.

“I should know better” — stung by Travelocity’s fine print

Sometimes even our own advocates fall afoul of fine print. Andy Smith, our chief copy editor, found himself in this trap during a recent trip to Costa Rica. Smith admits that he should have taken the advice we offer other readers of this site. Had he done so, he would have read Travelocity’s fine print — and he wouldn’t be out $126.

Here’s why you shouldn’t show up late to the gate

When Stephen Oualline and his daughter arrived at the gate in Kona, Hawaii, for their Alaska Airlines trip San Diego, they were told that the plane had already departed. After a rebooking and an unplanned overnight in Oakland, Calif., Oualline wanted the airline to reimburse him for the money he spent to get them home, but it refused. Now he wants us to help him — but can we?

Was this a Spirit Airlines computer glitch or just user error?

Alison Boan believes that a glitch in the Spirit Airlines reservation system caused her return flight to be booked on the wrong date and increased her ticket price. Just hours later, when she discovers the problem she calls the airline to switch to the correct flight. So why isn’t she allowed to do so?

This United Airlines refund request has dragged on for two years

Maureen Spurr’s United Airlines refund request has dragged on for two long years. It looks like she’ll never get her money back. Or will she?

Two years ago, she planned to fly to San Luis Obispo, Calif., for Christmas. After falling ill and landing in the hospital, she canceled the trip. Her doctor wrote a letter confirming she was too ill to travel. She sent the letter to the airline with her refund request.

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.

Why you should always, always read the fine print on a travel insurance policy

Before Bonnie Solberg booked a South Dakota vacation, she thought travel insurance might be a good idea. It was.

An even better idea: reading the fine print on her travel insurance policy before she bought it.

Solberg’s tragic story is a case study in policies that look great at first glance. But a closer examination of the fine print reveals that they may not protect you when you need them most.

Becker’s Lodge won’t extend my credit after the wildfire

This is a story about red tape and inflexibility, starring a wildfire, a small British Columbia inn called Becker’s Lodge, and one of our readers.

It is also a story without a happy ending but plenty of lessons — including the need for lots of research before you make a reservation.

He found a great rate on Rentalcars.com. But then he signed the Europcar contract

John Mardall signed a Europcar contract that added $135 to his car rental bill in England. He wishes he hadn’t. He shouldn’t have. But he did.

Mardall’s case is a cautionary tale about car rental agreements and the difference between a quote and a contract. It is also a frustrating exercise in “gotcha” travel pricing from which there is no easy way out, at least for him.

Here’s how one man’s girlfriend troubles led to big Sprint problems

There are cases and then there are cases. Keontae Moore’s problem, which involves a Sprint phone activation, girlfriend troubles and money, is a case.

I’m not entirely sure what kind of lesson this story teaches. In fact, I’m not even sure what this case is about. I’ll tell you the story and then let you decide.

Orkin says there were no bedbugs in our hotel room — so what bit us?

When George Paddock’s wife woke up in their hotel room with small red welts on her legs, they immediately thought the worst — bedbugs! But, when they reported their concerns to the hotel staff, the room was inspected by Orkin Pest Control and no bedbugs were found. So why is Paddock now asking for almost $3,000 in damages?

American Airlines reopened the plane’s door for us — then kicked us off!

Kathleen Mastergeorge says that she and her husband were “harassed” and “bullied” off their American Airlines flight by the lead flight attendant. She wants compensation for the cost of the flight. But we’re not going to help her get it.

‘Unless your mother is dead, there’s nothing we can do and this conversation is over’

When Kim Davidson’s mother fell deathly ill just before a planned vacation to Greece, she asked Swiss International if she could postpone the family trip. But sometimes, what an airline says and what a customer hears are not the same thing. Now Davidson wants to know if she has any chance at a Swiss refund.

I nearly froze in my Florida VRBO rental! Can I get a refund?

When an unexpected cold-snap threatened Nora Allen’s plans for a semitropical getaway, she tried to make the best of it. That is until she discovered that the advertised heating in her VRBO rental was nonfunctional. She tolerated the plummeting indoor temperature for several days before she abandoned the condo. So why won’t VRBO refund her money?

A Carnival cruise filled with memories (just not the good kind)

Stacy Benton expected her recent Carnival cruise to be filled with memories that would last a lifetime. And it was — just not the good kind. She says her wheelchair-bound mother-in-law had no access to a bathroom during the 5-day cruise. And now she wants a refund for this cruise nightmare.

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