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Roaming fees can catch you by surprise; protect yourself

Wireless roaming charges are “outrageous,” to hear travelers like Karen Pliskin talk about them. And she ought to know. On a weekend visit to Vancouver, B.C., the San Francisco-based anthropologist...

DATE: Dec. 25, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Proposed bill could protect online reviewers, until then be careful

If you’ve never heard of a strategic lawsuit against public participation, consider yourself lucky. I hadn’t either until a knock at my door on a January evening seven years ago. A process server...

DATE: Dec. 18, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Fines on airlines nearly double, but will that help?

The Department of Transportation fined airlines $4.5 million in 2016 for infractions ranging from lengthy tarmac delays to failing to compensate passengers for lost luggage, almost double last...

DATE: Dec. 11, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Is hard-sided luggage an essential tool or a signal of incivility?

If you’re looking for new luggage, I have good news and bad news. The latest travel bags, available just in time for the holidays, are the most exciting ones I’ve seen in years. Thanks to tracking...

DATE: Dec. 4, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Travelers fight unfair treatment by reversing credit-card charges

For better or worse, travelers are turning to a last-ditch tactic to resolve their disagreements with airlines, car-rental companies or hotels: instigating credit-card disputes. Chargebacks are on...

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

How to plan your holiday vacations

Confidential to procrastinators: Thanksgiving is only a couple weeks away. Do you really want to wait until the last minute to plan your holiday travel? Not this year. You don’t need me to tell you...

DATE: Nov. 19, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

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

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