Holland America kept 100 percent of my airfare — can it do that?

Cruise refunds. There, didn’t your blood pressure just go up? Mine sure did.

Cruise refunds can be an endless source of frustration for travelers like Jeff Grill’s in-law’s, who missed their Holland America ship in Venice, Italy, recently. They knew they were going to lose the value of their cruise. But their airfare? When Holland America pocked that, they were surprised.

Under Holland America’s cruise contract — the legal agreement between you and the the company — any airfare refund should have been passed along to the customer. Rule 4 says, “[If] the air transportation we arrange is unavailable or otherwise fails to materialize, our sole liability will be limited to refunding the air add-on paid or cruise only credit.”

But that didn’t happen.
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If it’s changed 2,472,916 times since January, no wonder we need a site like Yapta

The most volatile airline ticket prices in America are between Atlanta and Las Vegas, a new survey by Yapta has found. Fares between those cities changed an astonishing 2,472,916 times since the beginning of the year. That’s roughly once every six seconds.

No wonder ticket prices drive us nuts. And no wonder we turn to sites like Yapta to track fares.

No human can do it.
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The low airfare that vanishes in a click

Now you see it. Now you don’t.

When you’re airfare shopping, attractive prices can vanish in a split second. Just ask Jim Doll, a systems engineer in Atlanta, who recently tried to buy a ticket to San Francisco on AirTran Airways’ Web site. He found a one-way fare for just $130, but by the time he’d toggled over to Orbitz.com to see if he could do better there and then clicked back, the price had changed.
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