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GPS directions get an upgrade for summer

If you have a driver’s license, chances are you also have an amusing story about GPS directions.Here is mine: A few weeks ago, my family and I were driving from Cayucos, Calif., to Prescott, Ariz.,...

DATE: June 30, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

New fees suggest airlines becoming more anti-family

If you didn’t know any better, you might think the airline industry crossed yet another line just before the Memorial Day holiday, the traditional start of the busy summer travel season.Several...

DATE: June 16, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Insurance claims can hinge on the tiniest details

When it comes to travel insurance claims, Hannah Yun was about as sure as anyone that hers would be successful.She’d bought a gold-plated “cancel for any reason” policy for a trip to South Korea....

DATE: June 2, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Hey, that’s not my chipped windshield

Q: I recently rented a car from Thrifty in Toronto for two weeks. I travel more than 26 weeks a year and rent lots of cars, but this is the first time I have been scammed by a rental-car...

DATE: May 19, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Is it too easy to lose trust in the TSA?

A new Transportation Security Administration initiative that lets trusted travelers bypass the airport screening line is on the verge of an ambitious expansion. By the end of the year, PreCheck, a...

DATE: May 5, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Air traveler waits a year for refund check

Q: We have been trying to get a refund from Southwest Airlines for almost one year. It’s a refund that Southwest fully admits it owes but always finds another excuse not to pay. I hope you can help...

DATE: April 28, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Code-sharing confusion grounds vacation before it’s started

Q: We booked a ticket from Washington to the Bahamas recently through Expedia. It was a code-share flight Bahamasair (www.bahamasair.com) operated by US Airways.At the US Airways check-in counter,...

DATE: April 14, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Body scanners’ apparent flaw raises concerns

One of the Transportation Security Administration’s vaunted 20 layers of security has been looking a little porous lately, and the resulting dust-up is calling into question the effectiveness – and...

DATE: March 31, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

On travel sites, the prechecked box checks out

The pre-checked box, a clever technique that travel companies use to extract a few more dollars from customers booking their trips online, may be checking out.Last month, the Minnesota Department...

DATE: March 17, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Cashing in frequent-flyer awards isn’t easy

Christine Ballentine is a loyal US Airways customer, and she has been saving up her frequent-flyer miles for a trip to France this summer. But turning them into a ticket hasn’t been easy.“US...

DATE: March 3, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Do new airline rules benefit fliers? Not much

It took five years of debate and more than two dozen short-term extensions, but the legislation finally passed last week.When I started writing this column in 2009, almost every trade group in...

DATE: Feb. 18, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Vacation rental phishing scams catch travelers

Shauna Kattler thought she’d found the ideal rental home in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, for her Christmas vacation: a two-bedroom penthouse condominium with a hot tub and an impossibly perfect view...

DATE: Feb. 4, 2012 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

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