And now, the comeback

This week’s most popular stories involved cruise ship passengers being dumped at a foreign port because of medical problems.

I’m not surprised. I think these problems resonate with you because you’re curious about the comeback. Did they make it home safely? Did the cruise line ever compensate them? Were they just stuck?

I’m curious, too.
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Secrets for navigating crowded skies and clogged roads during the holidays

Did you know that the average American will spend more than seven hours getting somewhere for the holidays? At least that’s what a new survey by SC Johnson suggests.
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Do I deserve a refund for a “minor” problem on my river cruise?

Bill and Mary Lou Haas were looking forward to a peaceful European river cruise booked through Vantage Travel during the Christmas holidays. But their expectations were figuratively shattered when they found several unexpected guests would be joining them on their vacation: kids.
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Did TSA turn off its scanners again to keep things moving during the holidays?

That’s the question asked by Tom Westerman, who flew from JFK to Atlanta on Dec. 23 and returned the 30th. Both were among the busiest travel days of the year.

“We saw the scanners at both airports and they were just turned off,” he says. “I didn’t see anyone else going through them on other lines. At JFK they had a rope across them to prevent people from going through. At ATL we were just directed to go around them.”

When I heard from Westerman, my initial thought was: “Oh no, does this mean I have to write another post about the TSA?”

The topic is so old that media outlets are starting to recycle stories.

Then I flew on Jan. 1, and wouldn’t you know it — the Rapiscan Secure 1000s “backscatter” X-Ray machines were powered down and roped off at our screening area in Orlando, too.
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“The results were nothing short of remarkable”

united3After last Sunday’s Washington Post column, in which I suggested travel companies were being more charitable at this time of year, incredulous readers wanted to see proof. “Where’s your evidence?” one traveler demanded.

Well, to those of you who think the Grinch works for your favorite airline, let me introduce you to Raj Wadhwa, who was trying to help his mother fix a flight on United Airlines. United wanted to charge her a change fee. I’ll let him explain the rest:
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If you’re nice, maybe you’ll get a seat next to Santa

seat2Go on, ask your airline for a favor — maybe an upgrade to business class or a waiver on a ticket change fee. While you’re at it, see whether your hotel will offer you a suite for the price of a standard room.

The answer could be yes.

No, really. In an effort to spread a little cheer, ticket agents and front-desk workers are known to bend a few rules during the holidays. This year, they’ll probably be doing it more than ever, perhaps with the reluctant blessings of their bosses.
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