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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

After a cruise, the rising tide of junk mail annoys passenger

When Diana Lee Craig cast off on the Oceania Riviera’s 10-day Eastern Caribbean cruise, there were no surprises. The ship left Miami as scheduled, stopping in San Juan, St. John, Punta Cana and...

DATE: Sept. 17, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Hotels listen to guest requests – but only up to a point

When Jim Reid checks into a Westin hotel, he inevitably catches a whiff of a “woody cedar and vanilla” scent called White Tea. It’s a pleasant smell to most guests, but not to him. “I have a...

DATE: Sept. 10, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Answers to your summer travel questions

High prices. Long airport lines. Terrorism. Zika. You’ve got enough to worry about, between making sure your hotel reservations match your arrival dates and ensuring that all your credit cards will...

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

When airline computers fail, everyone loses

Catastrophic computer outages that paralyze an entire airline are few and far between. Except this summer. Last month, Southwest Airlines canceled 2,300 flights after a router in one of its data...

DATE: Aug. 20, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Frequent-flier programs could face tighter rules – if you speak up

The federal government is on the verge of regulating airline frequent-flier programs. But how far it goes may depend on you. Earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of...

DATE: Aug. 10, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Travel sites hiding cheapest rates for hotels

At first, to Christine Compo-Martin, the Expedia.com search results looked like a mistake. As she queried the site for a hotel room in Philadelphia, she found properties without photos. “Honestly,...

DATE: Aug. 6, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Saucy airline emails border on the creepy

After booking her first JetBlue flight recently, Kathie Baker was stunned by the confirmation email. “First dates can be a little awkward,” it declared. “But that seems impossible with someone like...

DATE: July 30, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

How to avoid the worst seat on the plane

Oh, the things passengers do to avoid the worst seats on the plane. They beg. They negotiate. They even lie. If you’re flying somewhere this summer and aren’t willing to pay extra for a preferred...

DATE: July 16, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

Small tricks to bypass long lines, crowds this summer

Mad about long lines? Take a number. More than 1 in 5 Americans will cancel their summer travel plans or find other means of transportation because of long airport lines, according to a recent...

DATE: July 9, 2016 | COLUMN: The Travel Troubleshooter

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