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The truth about TSA’s pointless knife fight

The Transportation Security Administration’s surprise announcement that it will allow small knives and previously banned sporting equipment on planes next month was met with concern and confusion...

DATE: March 30, 2013 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Hotel fees starting to rival those of airlines

How do you know if hotels have gone too far with fees? When Jay Sorensen complains about them.Sorensen runs a Shorewood, Wis., consulting firm focused on helping travel companies generate money...

DATE: March 16, 2013 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Airlines brace for march of million milers

If you don’t like some of the recent changes to your airline loyalty program, talk to Mike Croswell. He’s a United Airlines “Million Miler” who assumed that his three decades of devotion to the...

DATE: March 2, 2013 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

New law aims for rate disclosure on public phones

The trouble started when Tom King’s cellphone died on his way to a job interview last year. He saw a public phone at Washington’s Bainbridge Island Ferry and was relieved, he said, when a sticker...

DATE: Feb. 16, 2013 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Airlines’ customer service rising to new heights?

The experience of people like Nina Boal makes me optimistic about the future of air travel.An information technology specialist for a government agency in Baltimore, Boal recently ran into trouble...

DATE: Feb. 2, 2013 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Government sets record for airline fines in 2012

A more activist Transportation Department, which set a record in 2011 for the number of fines it issued against airlines for violating aviation consumer-protection rules, appears to have maintained...

DATE: Jan. 19, 2013 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Your 2013 travel resolution? Don’t be a jerk

Here’s a New Year’s resolution we all probably can agree on: Don’t be a jerk when you’re on the road.There’s something about travel – whether you’re flying, driving or sailing – that brings out the...

DATE: Jan. 5, 2013 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Smartphone can link to better airline service

Liz Owen needed help, and she needed it fast.She had rescheduled a flight from Washington to Los Angeles on Virgin America to avoid Superstorm Sandy, which was about to slam into the East Coast....

DATE: Dec. 29, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Is your credit card safe in a jet at cruising altitude?

Maybe it was the Bloody Mary that got Jean Shanley into trouble on a recent flight from Louisville to Las Vegas.She paid for the $5 beverage with her American Express card and then slipped the card...

DATE: Dec. 15, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

The great airlines fee grab offers no easy solution

Air travel is full of surprises, some good, many not.Steven Allen says he got a bad one recently when he called to change a United Airlines ticket from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. To...

DATE: Dec. 1, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Frequent-flier miles not covered by insurance

Q: My wife used her Delta frequent-flier miles for a trip to Manchester, England, to visit her mother. She bought trip insurance through Allianz. Two days before she was supposed to return, she...

DATE: Nov. 17, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Can car-rental insurance be an expensive scam?

Allen Friedman says he declined the optional insurance when he rented a Chevrolet Impala from Dollar Rent a Car at Denver International Airport recently.So when Friedman, a retired dentist from...

DATE: Nov. 3, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

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