Christopher Elliott

Position: © 2016, The Washington Post


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

Your rental car is damaged. Now what?

When it comes to rental-car damage, you wouldn’t believe what I hear. They’re true stories with unhappy endings, for the most part. Mark DiBello’s experience stands out. As a young man in the...

DATE: Sept. 23, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Are consumers tired of gratuitous gratuities?

Tipping is a hot topic again, thanks to a controversial ballot measure raising the minimum wage for restaurant workers in Washington, D.C., and recent social-media campaigns, such as the...

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

Don’t panic: A guide to handling pre-trip anxiety

If you feel a little jittery in the moments before you leave for the airport, you might be suffering from pre-trip anxiety. It’s an increasingly common malaise in a world of uncertainty and...

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

Is it time for warning labels on plane tickets?

Airline tickets are more complicated and confusing than ever. Do they also need warning labels? Maybe. A provision in the Senate version of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act...

DATE: Sept. 1, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Put down that lamp! What you can – and can’t – take from your hotel room

When Lynn Culver stays at a hotel, she helps herself to the soaps and shampoos in her room. If housekeeping replaces the items, she takes the new ones, too. Culver, a retired attorney from...

DATE: Aug. 25, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Don’t make these car rental mistakes on your next vacation

Before you click the “book” button on your next car rental, consider what happened to Elizabeth Thorp on a recent trip from her home in Washington to Denver. When Thorp’s airline canceled her...

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

Added restrictions on flights may surprise you

Before Debbie Winsett boarded a recent Delta Air Lines flight from Minneapolis to Washington, a flight attendant added a surprise restriction to her ticket. “While waiting to board, an agent...

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

How to protect your devices from the rigors of the road

I wish I’d known just how fragile my technology was when I visited St. George, Utah, during a one-week tour of the state’s national parks. In a grocery store parking lot, my son accidentally...

DATE: Aug. 5, 2018 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

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