Christopher Elliott

Position: © 2016, The Washington Post


Airlines’ service issues with unaccompanied minors unnerve parents

It’s a story that Carrie Calzaretta’s 14-year-old son, Tyler, will probably tell his kids someday. This summer, the Calzarettas paid American Airlines an extra $300 for their son to fly round-trip...

DATE: Nov. 12, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Task force busts airlines for failing to follow rules

Is your airline telling you everything? After a government operation that netted four airlines, the unsurprising answer is: No. Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation dispatched...

DATE: Oct. 29, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Ethics policies can help you in times of trouble

Maybe you missed the announcement that the American Society of Travel Agents is introducing a “ground-breaking” new course focused on ethics in the travel industry. If you’re like most travelers,...

DATE: Oct. 22, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Confusing fees can take a toll on car renters

Car-rental companies are collecting millions in toll fees – from their customers. When he crossed the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge in Northern California, James Kaiser expected Avis to bill him for the...

DATE: Oct. 15, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Bill would give online reviewers more freedom

The recent passage of the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 in the Senate raises a new question about the reliability of online reviews for travelers. User-generated reviews on websites such as...

DATE: Oct. 1, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Travel brochures’ small print can make a big difference

The National Trust Tours brochure for its upcoming Odyssey of Ancient Civilizations – a seven-night cruise through Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece – advertises an “all-inclusive”...

DATE: Sept. 24, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

After a cruise, the rising tide of junk mail annoys passenger

When Diana Lee Craig cast off on the Oceania Riviera’s 10-day Eastern Caribbean cruise, there were no surprises. The ship left Miami as scheduled, stopping in San Juan, St. John, Punta Cana and...

DATE: Sept. 17, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Hotels listen to guest requests – but only up to a point

When Jim Reid checks into a Westin hotel, he inevitably catches a whiff of a “woody cedar and vanilla” scent called White Tea. It’s a pleasant smell to most guests, but not to him. “I have a...

DATE: Sept. 10, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Answers to your summer travel questions

High prices. Long airport lines. Terrorism. Zika. You’ve got enough to worry about, between making sure your hotel reservations match your arrival dates and ensuring that all your credit cards will...

DATE: Aug. 27, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

When airline computers fail, everyone loses

Catastrophic computer outages that paralyze an entire airline are few and far between. Except this summer. Last month, Southwest Airlines canceled 2,300 flights after a router in one of its data...

DATE: Aug. 20, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Frequent-flier programs could face tighter rules – if you speak up

The federal government is on the verge of regulating airline frequent-flier programs. But how far it goes may depend on you. Earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of...

DATE: Aug. 10, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Travel sites hiding cheapest rates for hotels

At first, to Christine Compo-Martin, the search results looked like a mistake. As she queried the site for a hotel room in Philadelphia, she found properties without photos. “Honestly,...

DATE: Aug. 6, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

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