Christopher Elliot

Many ways to give back if travel feels impersonal

After hundreds of business trips and a vacation or two, Clement Quintyne’s Briggs & Riley Rollaboard was ready for the recycler. The wheel…

May 10, 2015 2:15 amLoading…

Cruise line companies fined $500,000 for telemarketing practices

Automated calls hawking “free” cruises are one of the most popular travel come-ons. But in an ocean of unsolicited offers, the one made by Car…

May 03, 2015 5:15 amLoading…

Airline merger could win over, or repel, fliers

If you think the merger between American Airlines and US Airways is all over but the shouting, think again.

April 19, 2015 7:34 amLoading…

Keep a deep bag of tricks to cope with kids in the air

If your blood pressure spikes when you think about the words “kids” and “plane” in the same sentence, as you just did (sorry about that), then…

April 12, 2015 8:04 amLoading…

Prepare for turbulence over FAA legislation

An impending fight in Congress this spring over the Federal Aviation Administration’s reauthorization bill could affect your next flight, for …

April 05, 2015 7:35 amLoading…

Beware of policies 'for your own good'

It’s for your own good.

March 22, 2015 6:00 amLoading…

Watchdogs' push for regulation heads for runway

The days of a freewheeling, lightly regulated airline industry, in which a carrier can charge whatever fees and fares it pleases, may be neari…

March 15, 2015 7:33 amLoading…

Take back power when a mess is 'beyond our control'

The excuse had a familiar ring to it.

March 08, 2015 7:34 amLoading…

Automated plazas take a toll on rental-car drivers

When Amos Peters picked up a rental car in Austin a few weeks ago, the only thing that stood between him and his destination was State Highway…

March 01, 2015 7:35 amLoading…

The bumpy road of rental-car repairs

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.

February 22, 2015 7:17 amLoading…

The new definitions of 'economy'

The lowly economy-class section is getting an upgrade in 2015. Or a downgrade, depending on your point of view.

February 08, 2015 7:33 amLoading…

Forecasting 2015's travel trends

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…

January 25, 2015 8:05 amLoading…

Demystifying the credit card 'hold'

It’s like an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries” that plays itself endlessly for travelers.

December 28, 2014 2:45 amLoading…

Give thanks for 2014's traveler protections, meager as they were

Government fines against airlines for consumer rule violations are on track to hit a six-year low as the U.S. Department of Transportation’s e…

December 21, 2014 7:16 amLoading…

When takeoff's delayed, why can't passengers be paid?

Although the U.S. Department of Transportation fined seven airlines a total of $1.7 million last year for violating its controversial tarmac-d…

December 14, 2014 7:14 amLoading…

If fuel is cheaper, why is the cost to fly sky-high?

If fuel prices are so low, why are air fares so high? And will prices ever return to Earth?

December 07, 2014 7:53 amLoading…

When your travel company says 'no,' ask why

The travel industry’s favorite new word seems to be “no.” Sergio Lopez knows that. So does Melanie Channick.

November 23, 2014 7:33 amLoading…

Put these 9 smartphone apps on your packing list

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…

November 16, 2014 7:23 amLoading…

Are frequent fliers really pigeons to the airlines?

Frequent-flier programs are rigged to favor airlines, deceive passengers and cost consumers billions of dollars. At least that’s the contentio…

November 09, 2014 7:24 amLoading…

Do airlines treat pets on planes better than human passengers?

Some airline passengers are more equal than others, as Michael Morris found out when his daughter and 2-month-old granddaughter visited him fr…

November 02, 2014 8:02 amLoading…

Four years in, assessing Google Flight Search

When David Sun needs a cheap ticket, he Googles it. When James Pillow wants to fly somewhere, he doesn’t.

October 26, 2014 7:45 amLoading…

The real culprit behind that flight delay: Pilot, crew, maybe you?

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 scre…

October 19, 2014 7:44 amLoading…

Are cruise lines doing enough to protect their passengers?

Pat Busovicki’s eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Dream almost ended in a nightmare.

October 12, 2014 7:32 amLoading…

Why can't airfare be more like a car?

When Loren Witkin says that he shopped around for a new car, you can take him at his word.

October 05, 2014 8:14 amLoading…

U.S. airlines sue travel clubs for appropriating airline logos

It starts with a postcard saying that you’ve won an airline ticket. To collect your prize, you have to attend a brief presentation. And that’s…

September 21, 2014 7:33 amLoading…

Turbulence ahead as airline fees are probed

Why are airlines raking in record profits? Maybe they’re monetizing your personal data — selling your name, address and phone numbers to marke…

September 14, 2014 1:45 amLoading…

Rigid refund policies can sink cruise lines' image

Tragedy struck just as Ira Birnbaum and his wife prepared to set sail along Alaska’s scenic Inside Passage on Norwegian Cruise Line.

August 24, 2014 7:47 amLoading…

You cancel, you pay; they cancel, you pay

Change your mind when you’re traveling, and the consequences can be costly.

August 17, 2014 7:27 amLoading…

Swing or not at a surprise pitch to upgrade?

Judith Patrizzi did it. So did Linda Petzler.

August 03, 2014 7:21 amLoading…
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