When Kim Wacek switches from AT&T to Comcast for a better rate, AT&T counters with a better offer. Then the company fails to honor its new rate. Can this bill be fixed? “AT&T lured me back with a great rate, so where is it?”
Question: We booked a ten-day vacation package in Cancun, Mexico through Hotels.com that included air, hotel and a rental car. Taxes were included in the price of the rental car.
When we arrived at the Hertz rental counter, we were told there was an additional tax of about $55. I paid the additional tax at checkout, expecting to be reimbursed from Hotels.com.
I’ve written two emails to Hotels.com, but both have gone unanswered. When I called the company, a representative told me the $55 charge was a “deposit” that would be returned to me. But a call to Hertz confirmed it was a tax and no refund was due.
“An extra $55 for taxes on my pre-paid car rental? Seriously?”
Note: You’ve probably noticed two things about today’s post. 1) It wasn’t available this morning; and 2) We’re back to Disqus 2012. The two are not related. We had server problems this morning. Disqus removed the ability to view comments on mobile from the “old” version, so we were forced to upgrade. (I am very unhappy with Disqus, but feel I have no choice.)
What’s an immigration stamp worth? If you said $61.55, you must know Nancy Bestor. She’s been fighting with her credit card over a tax refund after a recent trip to Italy, and she wants me to help.
“I couldn’t get a customs stamp — is a refund out of the question?”
Question: Last year I settled my mortgage debt with Fifth Third Bank here in Ohio. After a short sale of the house, I had a deficiency balance of more than $50,000, but through a collection agency, I settled for a $10,000 lump sum payment.
“My bank sent me the wrong tax form — and now it’s ignoring me”
To say that air travelers spend as much time complaining about fees and surcharges as they do flying might not be much of an exaggeration. And now the airline industry wants you to add another complaint to that list: taxes.
“Airlines claim passengers are overtaxed — but are they?”
How far will an airline go to make an extra buck? Fudge a few numbers on their taxes, maybe?
“Are airlines lying about taxes?”
Rochelle Peachey is no stranger to high taxes and fees on airline tickets. A frequent flier between Miami and London, she routinely sees government charges that double the price of her ticket.
Not when she flies domestically, though. Here, taxes add about 20 percent to the cost of a fare.
But all that might be about to change. The Obama administration’s deficit-reduction plan includes a new mandatory $100 surcharge per flight for air traffic control services, which airlines would pay directly to the Federal Aviation Administration. The fee, however, would almost certainly be passed along to customers. The plan also raises the passenger security tax from $2.50 to $5 per non-stop flight, and eventually to $7.50.
“Another tax on air travelers? It’s nonsense”
Departure taxes are the final “gotcha” when you’re flying. Just as you’re getting ready to board a flight back home someone asks you for money, and threatens to deny you boarding if you can’t cough up the cash.
Fortunately, most departure taxes are already built into the airfare. For example, when I visited St. Lucia in 1993, I was told that if I didn’t come up with the money, I couldn’t fly back to New York. I had to stop by an ATM and pay up. But last month when I flew from St. Lucia to Miami, the $26 departure tax was included in my airfare.
Eduardo Castresana wasn’t so lucky on his recent trip to Peru. The country’s departure tax — about $6 — should have been included in the TACA airfare he purchased through Orbitz. He says for some reason, it wasn’t.
“Is this enough compensation? Orbitz splits the difference on departure tax”
Should Congress limit the taxes a city or municipality can impose on a rental car?
It’s a question elected representatives are likely to take up soon, as they consider the End Discriminatory State Taxes for Automobile Renters Act of 2009. The law, which is backed by car rental companies, would limit the excise taxes a municipality can impose on rental cars.
Cities are fighting the measure, saying it would curb their ability to raise money and represents an unwanted federal intrusion.
But a survey of more than 600 travelers conducted last week by this site and the Consumer Travel Alliance suggests drivers are on the side of car rental companies.
Asked if Congress should freeze the discriminatory excise taxes imposed by some cities, 78 percent voted “yes.” Only 21 percent rejected the idea.
“Drivers want Congress to curb car rental taxes”
Which American cities impose the highest discriminatory travel taxes on lodging, car rentals, and meals? A new survey by EconFirst Associates and the NBTA Foundation reveals the answers, and you probably won’t guess the winner — I mean, loser.
Did you say Portland, Ore.? If you did, it’s either a lucky guess, or you get around, or you live there. P-Town’s discriminatory taxes against travelers added up to a whopping $21.55 a night. (Discriminatory taxes are calculated by excluding general sales taxes to count only taxes that target car rentals, hotel stays and meals.)
“America’s taxing destinations: Cities that sock it to travelers”