Help! My Hotwire hotel is in a dangerous neighborhood

Ashley Norris’ hotel reservation on Hotwire is a surprise — and not a good one. The hotel is in a neighborhood that’s not exactly known for its safety. Can she get a refund?
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Your customer data isn’t safe, but here’s how to protect it

Would it surprise you if I said consumers don’t believe the personal and financial data they submit to corporations is safe?
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Is it finally safe to take a cruise?

Nan/Shutterstock
Nan/Shutterstock
If you’re one of the 303 million Americans who won’t take a cruise this year, you might want to reconsider your vacation plans. This may be the time to head out to sea.

The reason has little to do with cruise prices, which are rapidly sinking. The average cabin for two costs just $143 per night, according to Priceline. That’s down 13 percent from last month and a four-year low.

It isn’t even the barrage of bad publicity from a series of embarrassing mishaps, including last year’s sinking of the Costa Concordia and Carnival’s infamous “poop” cruise earlier this year, which some say is pushing prices downward as cruise lines vie for your business.

The real sea change has gone practically unnoticed, as the industry is finally getting its act together in many small ways.
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Is your credit card safe at cruising altitude?

Maybe it was the Bloody Mary that got Jean Shanley into trouble on a recent flight from Louisville to Las Vegas.

She paid for the $5 beverage with her American Express card and then slipped the card back into her pocketbook, where it stayed for the rest of her vacation. When she returned home, Shanley, a sales associate for a department store in Burlington, Ky., found $1,300 in fraudulent charges on the card — and she suspects that Southwest Airlines is responsible for the security breach.
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How safe is a cruise? Even after new law, it’s hard to say

The Costa Concordia / Photo courtesy EU.
As Carnival Corp. announced plans to salvage the Costa Concordia last week, the world’s attention focused again on cruise safety — or rather, lack of it.

The Concordia struck a reef off the coast of Italy in January and partially sank, claiming the lives of 32 passengers. Carnival will refloat the hull in a $300 million salvage operation said to be the largest in history.
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