We want a refund for our canceled Hawaii flight

Ann and Francis Mason’s bucket-list trip to Hawaii is cut short when Francis’ father unexpectedly passes away. Can they get a refund for their unused airline tickets?
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Delayed by a day – is that the best US Airways can do?

It’s a six-hour flight from Phoenix to Maui. Unless you’re Steven Kruczek.
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What to do when things go “awry” with your Hotwire booking

Elsa Chung’s Hotwire booking goes “awry” after her promo code doesn’t work and the hotel isn’t what she expected. What should she do?
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Hey, where’d the money go for my Hawaii condo?

Maridav/Shutterstock
Maridav/Shutterstock
Today’s question isn’t about whether I should try to mediate Deb DiSandro’s case. She paid $3,203 for a vacation rental in Oahu that she obviously didn’t get. I’m going to try to help her.

It’s more a question of who has her money — and who is responsible for her refund. That’s where I could use your help.

One year ago, DiSandro pre-paid for a condo at the Ko Olina Beach Villas Resort. There were numerous warning signs from the very beginning. The owner wanted to be paid in full by PayPal weeks before she checked in. Initially, he didn’t want to honor the rate that DiSandro saw online for the two bedroom unit on the top fourth floor on the north side of the oceanside tower, but then agreed to, as a favor.

It just didn’t look right. And sure enough, it wasn’t.

“About two weeks before our June arrival, the person we rented the condo from called to tell us that we no longer had a place to stay,” she says. The unit had gone into foreclosure and was now owned by a bank.
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My Hawaii vacation rental is infested with ants – can I get a partial refund?

Irin-K/Shutterstock
Irin-K/Shutterstock
Maybe David and Mary Sue Conner didn’t tell their rental homeowner they were in Oahu for a family vacation of a lifetime. But when you drop $25,000 for a one-month stay in Hawaii, and the whole ohana is there, that probably goes without saying: this is a special event, and everything needs to be perfect.

It wasn’t. The problems ranged from minor, such as a faulty air conditioning unit and a broken dryer on the owner-managed rental, to something many guests would consider a real deal-breaker: insects. Lot’s of ’em.

“We noticed as we were unpacking that there were ant traps throughout the house,” remembers Mary Sue Conner. “We didn’t give it much notice since we were in the tropics and bugs come with the territory. But on the second morning my husband noticed that the window sills in the great room had piles of ant hills across the entire length. It’s almost 30 feet long. We found ants everywhere.”
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