Let’s hear it for the travel fakers

Let’s talk about travelers who feign injury, illness and even death to get preferential treatment: the travel fakers.
Read more “Let’s hear it for the travel fakers”

American Airlines told me the fare was $169. Then it charged me $1069

Dale Allen and his girlfriend are looking forward to a tropical vacation in Cancún. Unfortunately, they arrive at the airport too late and miss their flight. Wanting to leave immediately, they buy one-way tickets at the American Airlines counter. Allen is sure the agent said that the tickets cost $169 each — so why is his credit card charged $2,400? Read more “American Airlines told me the fare was $169. Then it charged me $1069”

A berry good time in Southern California, Temecula edition

Temecula may be one of California’s best-known wine regions, but I’ll always remember it for something else: the fresh fruit we harvested on a recent visit to this out-of-the-way Southern California destination. Read more “A berry good time in Southern California, Temecula edition”

Rudeness runs rampant for travelers. Is it your fault?

It was a random thought at the end of a recent column about unfriendly TSA agents. “I wonder if the rude agent is a reflection of an even ruder traveler,” mused David Kazarian, a pharmacist from Tampa.

It started a debate with a real purpose. Read more “Rudeness runs rampant for travelers. Is it your fault?”

How about a refund for these downgraded seats, Qantas?

Stan Shopa is disappointed to miss his Qantas connection from Los Angeles to Melbourne. The airline rebooks him on a flight the next day. Unfortunately, he soon discovers that he and his wife will be sitting in downgraded seats for the 17-hour flight. Shouldn’t he be entitled to a price adjustment? Read more “How about a refund for these downgraded seats, Qantas?”

How early should you get to the airport? Here’s the answer

Want to start an argument? Tell your travel companion you won’t be arriving two hours before your flight.

Go on, try it. I’ll be right here. Read more “How early should you get to the airport? Here’s the answer”

Travelers, here’s what to expect in 2018

Fellow travelers, it’s not too soon to start thinking about your 2018 itineraries. Read more “Travelers, here’s what to expect in 2018”

It’s been a wild year for travel. What’s ahead for 2018?

Travel bans. Shootings. Viral passenger videos.

No one will forget the past year in travel. How could they? But what does it all mean for your 2018 trips? Read more “It’s been a wild year for travel. What’s ahead for 2018?”

How to tell if you have a qualified travel agent

Yarisa Smith knows she has a good travel agent.

“He’s made cruises and European trips special,” says Smith, a manufacturer’s representative from Dallas. “His itineraries and attention to detail have made every trip flawless. He’s even managed to successfully intervene when acts of God have waylaid my plans.”

Yet you might not know by looking at Clark Mitchell, who works for Dallas-based Strong Travel, whether he’s the real deal. Yes, his agency is cited as a source for its travel expertise by mainstream news outlets. It also prominently lists its membership in Virtuoso, an exclusive travel agency consortium.

But until now, there’s been no instantly recognized certification that says an agent is legit. That may be about to change. Read more “How to tell if you have a qualified travel agent”

Here are the worst holiday travel mistakes you’ve ever made

Travelers make mistakes every day of the year. Believe me, I know. I’m one of them. Read more “Here are the worst holiday travel mistakes you’ve ever made”