Did Viking offer enough for my missed connection?

Barbara Shurr’s European riverboat cruise was “wonderful” — until the very end.
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Stop obsessing over airfares, and buy now

Should I wait for a fare sale or buy my airline ticket now?

That’s the question I’m most frequently asked as a consumer advocate. And it’s most often asked now, just as readers are starting to think about their summer vacations.

“How far out would you advise purchasing tickets to London from Baltimore-Washington?” wonders Anna Fansler.

“Should we book soon, or can we wait for possibly cheaper deals that might come through?” asks Laura Schwingel.

I won’t keep you in suspense, ladies: Book your tickets soon.
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Double trouble on a Cabo getaway

Question: I recently booked a trip for my family of five to travel from San Francisco to San Jose del Cabo through Expedia.

My 80-year-old parents, who live in New York, planned to join us to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. I suggested that my dad book through Expedia as well. My father called and said that he was having some trouble getting through the prompts and he asked if I could help him book the trip. So, I booked the trip for my parents and requested that Expedia forward all confirmations to my dad’s e-mail address.

Three days later my dad phoned to say that it didn’t look like his trip was confirmed, so he asked me to check on his itinerary. I looked it up and it did not appear to be confirmed. I called Expedia and they suggested my parents call their credit card company to see if their account had been charged. If it had not, we would need to re-enter the credit card information. My parents called their credit card company and were told that a charge had not posted. I then re-entered the credit card information and saw that the tickets were showing “confirmed.”

Three days later, my mother called to say that she contacted her credit card company to double-check that the charge went through and was told that US Airways had placed two charges on her account. My parents immediately called for help. I contacted Expedia, thinking it was a simple mistake and after spending no less than three hours on the phone with their customer service rep, was advised that US Airways was unwilling to remove the additional booking. Can you help us? — Lisa O’Brien, Novato, Calif.

Answer: Expedia should have only made one reservation for your parents. When it became clear that there were two, the online travel agency should have issued a quick refund.
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Overcharged for my overrated room on Hotels.com

Sometimes, the Internet isn’t the best way to book a hotel room.

That may be something of an understatement for Karen Berg, who recently tried to reserve a room in Miami through Hotels.com. She ran into so much trouble, including being overcharged multiple times and then getting accommodations that she didn’t expect, that she’s having second thoughts about ever buying online again.
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Booking an airline ticket online for the holidays? Read this first

stockholmHere’s a cautionary tale for anyone buying an airline ticket for the holidays, and a little advice: Pay attention your bank account balance. And be patient.

Kelly Lukanen, can I hear an “amen”?

Lukanen recently tried to book a ticket from Minneapolis to Stockholm on Orbitz. Not only did the initial purchase fail, but she found $835 of her hard-earned money tied up in a mysterious transaction.
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