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On social media, airlines discover the block

What can you do when your airline stops talking to you? That’s not a hypothetical question for Kate Sawma, who was recently blocked on social media by Frontier Airlines during a customer service...

DATE: Dec. 16, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Bigger fines might help airlines focus on service

What if airlines could do almost anything they wanted, knowing that they would probably get away with it? As 2018 comes to a close, critics say that’s already the case. The reason? Lax government...

DATE: Dec. 9, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Meteorologists share strategies for avoiding winter travel hazards

“Never check luggage.” That’s the winter travel advice of CNBC correspondent Contessa Brewer, who, coincidentally, was emailing me from a plane en route to cover a weather disaster. “Bring carry-on...

DATE: Dec. 2, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Holiday travel isn’t easy. Don’t make it harder

At about this time every year, radio and TV producers ask me to go on the air and dispense travel advice. They’ll ask me how to avoid the agony of holiday travel. And at about this time every...

DATE: Nov. 24, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Before renting the car, get the real cost

When Jeremy Epstein rented a Nissan Altima from Hertz in Albuquerque recently, he couldn’t believe the car rental fees. They made the extras charged by the rest of the travel industry look like the...

DATE: Nov. 19, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

On flights, babies are a special type of turbulence

If you think flying with a baby is easy, maybe you didn’t hear about Krupa Patel Bala, who recently traveled from Sydney to San Francisco on United Airlines with her husband and 8-month-old son....

DATE: Nov. 13, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Jump into trips feet first: Pack the right socks

I’ve been traveling the western part of the United States for the better part of the past two years. And if I’ve learned just one lesson, it’s this: Pack the right travel socks. It sounds trivial,...

DATE: Nov. 4, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

How to handle space invaders on a crowded airplane

A survey by the market research firm CivicScience finds that passengers are deeply divided about personal space on planes. For example, it reported that 78 percent of U.S. adults agree that the...

DATE: Oct. 28, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

You’ll never believe what passengers steal from planes

What do passengers steal from planes? Anything that isn’t bolted down. Among the items snatched from commercial flights: coffee mugs, cutlery, blankets and life jackets. Life jackets? Yes, life...

DATE: Oct. 21, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

For foreign travelers’ gadgets, it’s adapt or fry

When John Gasink plugged his continuous positive airway pressure device into a power outlet at the Heidelberg Marriott Hotel, he was in for a shock. So were many of the hotel’s guests. “I saw...

DATE: Oct. 12, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Improve your ‘travel literacy’ to make your next trip better

How do I know our collective travel literacy is lacking? I run a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that helps travelers every day. This summer, our caseload spiked to levels I’ve never...

DATE: Oct. 6, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Beware: Drip pricing is designed to get you to pay more

The quoted rate for an “amazing” three-bedroom condominium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, looked too good to be true. The unit, which featured flat-screen TVs, beds with “lush, warm comforters,” a...

DATE: Sept. 30, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

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