Space wars are shifting to the human rights front

Do you have the right to room on a plane?

If you answered “no,” you’re probably with the majority of American travelers. After all, airlines are private companies, and you always have the option of paying more for an upgraded seat, don’t you?
Read more “Space wars are shifting to the human rights front”

Are cruise lines doing enough to protect their passengers?

Pat Busovicki’s Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Dream almost ended in a nightmare.
Read more “Are cruise lines doing enough to protect their passengers?”

What are your rights as a hotel guest?

If you’re staying at a hotel, your rights are spelled out in your state’s lodging laws and in the property’s terms and conditions. But don’t lean on those for better customer service. I explain what to do.

Why do airlines hate it when you know your rights?

Plume/Shutterstock
Plume/Shutterstock
Information is power.

No industry understands that better than airlines, which parcels out information about itself on a need-to-know basis, if it does at all. Don’t believe me? Then maybe you weren’t one of the thousands of air travelers affected by last week’s polar vortex, and who were stranded and left in the dark about their flights.

To get a true idea of the airline industry’s tortured relationship with information, consider what happened to Melissa Buchanan when she booked a flight for her mother from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Montego Bay, Jamaica.

“I inadvertently selected the wrong destination on her booking,” she says. She phoned Spirit Airlines to ask it to cancel her flight, and it told her that any changes or cancellations made after confirming a reservation carry a fee of $125 through its reservation center or $115 if done online.

But Spirit neglected to mention one very important detail.
Read more “Why do airlines hate it when you know your rights?”

Whaddya know about airline passenger rights? Not much

pcruciatti / Shutterstock.com
pcruciatti / Shutterstock.com
Beyond the fact that you don’t have too many, what do you know about your rights as an airline passenger? If you said “not much,” then you’re in good company.

Like Judy Williams. When the airline lost her luggage en route to a conference in Asheville, N.C., a representative promised to find it. But by the time she was reunited with her suitcase two days later, she’d already attended a professional conference wearing jeans and a T-shirt — not ideal attire for an attorney.

Did I say attorney? I sure did. Even someone who practices law doesn’t necessarily know her rights.
Read more “Whaddya know about airline passenger rights? Not much”