Christopher Elliott

Position: © 2016, The Washington Post


Three words you don’t have to settle for

The excuse had a familiar ring to it. Craig Zimmett’s daughter, Alissa, was supposed to fly from Miami to Gainesville, Florida, but she didn’t. Instead, her commuter flight took an unexpected...

DATE: Feb. 28, 2015 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

No easy fix to rental-car breakdowns

A car rental should be the least dramatic part of your vacation. You pick up the vehicle, you drive it, you return it to the airport. All done. Unless you’re John Themelis. When he rented a VW...

DATE: Feb. 14, 2015 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Cheap seats get makeover: Is it good news?

The lowly economy-class section is getting an upgrade in 2015. Or a downgrade, depending on your point of view. At least two airlines are unveiling new coach class sections this spring. Alaska...

DATE: Jan. 31, 2015 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Travel in 2015: What to expect on the road

It’s the time of year when everyone churns out their annual predictions, quoting the same experts on 2015’s travel trends. Or, if they’ve been doing this long enough, they just cite themselves. Not...

DATE: Jan. 17, 2015 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Why do hotels place ‘holds’ on customers’ credit cards?

It’s like an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries” that plays itself endlessly for travelers. It happened to Judith Searcy when she stayed at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront in Oregon last...

DATE: Jan. 3, 2015 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

How was man billed $3,374 for 1-day car rental?

Budget Rent a Car recently quoted Roy Bonney a $96 rate for a one-day rental from Norfolk to Washington. But it sent him a bill for $3,374. The reason? A tire on Bonney’s car went flat only a few...

DATE: Dec. 20, 2014 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

9 smartphone apps to make next trip better

If you don’t think technology can improve your trip, meet Judy Williams. When she and her husband recently checked into the Radisson Blu Hotel in Zurich, a clerk asked them to sign the dotted line...

DATE: Dec. 6, 2014 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Fuel is cheap, but airfares keep rising

If fuel prices are so low, why are airfares so high? And will prices ever return to Earth? They’re simple questions with complicated answers. But Jake Oakman, for one, would like to know. So would...

DATE: Nov. 29, 2014 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Outbreaks test airlines’ refund policies

The deadly Ebola virus has arrived in the U.S. just in time for the holiday travel season, carrying fear and uncertainty with it. A survey late last month by Unicomm, an organizer of trade shows...

DATE: Nov. 15, 2014 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Seated next to a pooch on a plane? Too bad

Some airline passengers are more equal than others, as Michael Morris found out when his daughter and 2-month-old granddaughter visited him from Los Angeles this summer. On their first flight on...

DATE: Nov. 1, 2014 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Who’s really to blame for your delayed flight?

Even though Kurt Johnson doesn’t work for the TSA, that doesn’t stop him from lending a hand when he’s stuck in a long line at a security screening area. “I’ll sometimes grab an extra tray or two...

DATE: Oct. 4, 2014 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Should buying plane tickets be like buying cars?

When Loren Witkin says that he shopped around for a new car, you can take him at his word. Witkin combed through his local newspaper, consulted the Kelley Blue Book and clicked on several...

DATE: Sept. 20, 2014 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

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