Yunnie Son’s mother sends $1,450 via Chase QuickPay to what she thought was her daughter’s account. It wasn’t. “My mom used Chase QuickPay and accidentally sent $1,450 to a stranger”
As she paged through Viking River Cruises’ glossy brochure one recent afternoon, Diane Moskal noticed a new way to save money: If she booked the Waterways of the Tsars itinerary sailing from Moscow to St. Petersburg with something called an e-check, the cruise line promised to knock $100 off the fare.
An e-check is an electronic debit to your checking account, and it’s billed as a quick, convenient way to pay for your vacation that is “as easy as providing your credit card number,” according to Viking.
But like any smart traveler, Moskal wasn’t content with that explanation. “I see that the cruise lines advocate consumer savings if you pay by e-check,” she says. But she also found several complaints online, which made her hesitate. She wondered: Are e-checks safe?
“Are e-checks a safe way to pay for travel?”
As Ralph Santopietro sees it, Delta Air Lines had him over a barrel when he tried to change the dates on a flight from Myrtle Beach, S.C., to Hartford, Conn.
A ticket agent in Myrtle Beach offered to rebook Santopietro, a retired high school teacher, on the new itinerary. But his $238 ticket credit would be all but consumed by a $200 change fee, and then he’d have to pay a $538 fare difference.
How about transferring the ticket to his cousin, who would take the flight as originally planned? Nope, said the agent, citing security restrictions on ticket name changes.
“I didn’t like those choices,” he says.
“Should airline tickets be transferrable?”
Question: My wife and I are booked on a Viking River Cruise. We plan to go from Washington to Moscow three days early, take the river cruise to St. Petersburg and remain there for three days before going on to a four-day stopover in Paris en route home. It is because of the diversions and deviation that Viking is attempting to set aside its responsibility to comply with what its literature apparently states.
“The Travel Troubleshooter: Help, my river cruise transfers are sunk”
Why can’t you change the name on your airline ticket?
Chayaron Hantalom wants to know. He’s a first-year law student at the University of Wisconsin, and last month, he booked tickets to fly from Madison to Los Angeles for himself and his girlfriend.
“Unfortunately, on the ticket back from Las Vegas to Madison, I put my girlfriend’s last name as my last name,” he says. Neither Orbitz, through which he bought the tickets, nor Delta Air Lines, the carrier they’re flying on, will fix the error.