Olympic thrills, and a few chills, on a summer Puget Sound adventure

Washington State’s Puget Sound area is famous for its moderate climate and postcard-perfect views of the Olympic mountain range. You’ve probably seen those gorgeous images of kayaks in the bay, a whale splashing in the distance, and, behind it all, snow-capped mountains. Read more “Olympic thrills, and a few chills, on a summer Puget Sound adventure”

I made a mistake booking a nonrefundable hotel. Why won’t Amoma fix it?

Karen Coy-Romano books a nonrefundable hotel reservation using the travel website Amoma.com. A day after she receives her reservation confirmation, she notices it’s incorrect. After unsuccessfully trying to contact Amoma.com to change her booking, she calls the hotel directly and makes a reservation. She wants a refund. Will our advocates help her get it? Read more “I made a mistake booking a nonrefundable hotel. Why won’t Amoma fix it?”

Not exactly a Hollywood ending for this Washington drama

Not every case can have a storybook ending. Rod Mirchev’s is one of them.

Mirchev had booked a room at the Hotel RL in Washington, D.C., for Inauguration Day weekend. He got a great rate, too. Until, that is, his online travel agency, Booking.com, pulled the rug out from under him. Read more “Not exactly a Hollywood ending for this Washington drama”

Air travelers to Washington: What have you done for us lately?

What has Washington done for airline passengers lately?

That’s the question prompted by two recent political scandals that have touched the tourism world. But the answer — or the lack of an answer — may be far more troubling than the alleged misconduct.
Read more “Air travelers to Washington: What have you done for us lately?”

The government shutdown’s surprise effect on travelers

Orhan Kam/Shutterstock
Orhan Kam/Shutterstock
The government shutdown was supposed to be a non-event for travelers, but it didn’t quite turn out that way.

When a gridlocked Congress shuttered vast sections of the federal government on Oct. 1 and furloughed 800,000 workers, its decision touched tourists in unexpected ways, from abruptly canceling a camping trip in a national park to foiling a destination wedding. It drained visitors from popular attractions, causing hotel occupancy rates to plummet and hurting other travel-related businesses.

Along the way, many travelers have discovered the important — and often underappreciated — part that the federal government plays in travel.

Without the government, they learned, some of the most interesting parts of the travel industry simply wouldn’t exist. “People haven’t been as aware of the government’s role in travel,” says Joshua Huder, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute.
Read more “The government shutdown’s surprise effect on travelers”

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