Here’s why it’s important to read those confirmation emails

Barbara Smidt booked two tickets to Australia to celebrate a special birthday with her husband. But as they were excitedly putting the final touches on this trip, they were shocked to discover that United Airlines had no record of Stephen Smidt ever having a ticket. So what do the confirmation emails say? Read more “Here’s why it’s important to read those confirmation emails”

How about a refund for these downgraded seats, Qantas?

Stan Shopa is disappointed to miss his Qantas connection from Los Angeles to Melbourne. The airline rebooks him on a flight the next day. Unfortunately, he soon discovers that he and his wife will be sitting in downgraded seats for the 17-hour flight. Shouldn’t he be entitled to a price adjustment? Read more “How about a refund for these downgraded seats, Qantas?”

A sincere apology to the sadomasochistic sharks who practice bondage

Now there’s a headline I never thought I’d write.

In one short week, it seems I’ve offended sadomasochists and great white sharks with my commentary. I feel an apology is in order.
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An Australia tour that wasn’t meant to be

Question: My friend and I recently booked a tour of Australia, New Zealand and Fiji through Grand Circle Travel. The trip never happened, and now it looks as if it never will, even though I bought travel insurance.

Our flight from Boston to Los Angeles was delayed because of a mechanical problem. When it was fixed, we couldn’t fly because our crew had timed out. The flight was eventually canceled.

The soonest our airline could get to Los Angeles was five days later. I called Grand Circle Travel, and a representative instructed me to call her back when I knew our new flight plans so they could connect us with the rest of the tour in Australia.

We found another flight from Washington, and took a bus from Boston to Washington. We made it as far as Maryland before the bus stalled outside of Baltimore — another mechanical delay. We missed our flight.

At this point, we had no connection on Qantas from Los Angeles and had lost the majority of the Australia portion of the trip. One of the most important things we were looking forward to was swimming in the Great Barrier Reef and taking underwater photographs. We decided to cancel. My insurance company only refunded me $750 of $5,400 I spent. Is there anything you can do to help? — Rebecca Canter, Portland, Maine

Answer: Your trip really wasn’t meant to happen. Trust me on this. After two mechanical delays and a missed flight, can you imagine what would have awaited you in Australia? Think of that swim on the reef. Think great white sharks and box jellyfish.

Aren’t you glad you stayed home?
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Help! My balloon trip refund is up, up and … away

balloonHere’s a balloon disaster with a happy ending.

Michael Buss and his fiancée booked a balloon trip this spring through a company called Go Wild Ballooning in Melbourne, Australia. When strong winds prevented them from taking off, they asked for a refund. They never got one.

Was Go Wild keeping their money?
Read more “Help! My balloon trip refund is up, up and … away”