It’s time for a 24-hour rule for hotels

Marcie Derosas’s hotel problem was solved within minutes of contacting me. Read more “It’s time for a 24-hour rule for hotels”

Tarmac delay rules are not “backfiring”

This airline industry is erupting with reports of a study that shows tarmac delay rules are backfiring on passengers.

They aren’t.
Read more “Tarmac delay rules are not “backfiring””

How airlines plan to have their way with fare disclosure

The U.S. House of Representatives’ suspension calendar is an unlikely ground zero for a midsummer battle over airline ticket advertising. But then, almost nothing about the oddly named Transparent Airfares Act, a bill championed by the domestic airline industry, has followed a likely trajectory.
Read more “How airlines plan to have their way with fare disclosure”

When to bend a rule — and when to break it

Kesu/Shutterstock

Rules are meant to be broken, right? Well, you might be forgiven for thinking so if you’re a regular reader of my work.

As a consumer advocate, I routinely help people bend rules when circumstances warrant it. Of course, that brings out the usual chorus of rule-lovers, trolls and haters, who accuse me of threatening the foundations of Western civilization by convincing a company to waive its often ridiculous policies.

But rules are important. Just ask Congress, which is on the verge of shutting down half of the U.S. government because of disagreements over the budget and healthcare reform. As I write this, I’m in Washington sitting next to a government executive who is worried sick that her office will be shuttered tomorrow. It probably will be.

The law-and-order folks have a valid point, once you get past their often angry personal attacks. Some rules are not meant to be broken.

For example, here’s a request I received from Mary Anne Fontaine on behalf of a friend who flies once a year and had found an inexpensive ticket on Allegiant Air.
Read more “When to bend a rule — and when to break it”

Here we go again! Another tarmac stranding incident — beware of outraged talking heads on TV

It seemed eerily familiar: A JetBlue aircraft, a freak storm, passengers stranded on an aircraft for hours — and all happened near the media capital of the world.

Except that it wasn’t Valentines Day 2007, the infamous ice storm that cost JetBlue its golden reputation, made a small-minded mainstream media obsessed with tarmac delays and led to tough but largely unnecessary new government rules on tarmac delays.

It was happening right now, in real time.
Read more “Here we go again! Another tarmac stranding incident — beware of outraged talking heads on TV”