Rewards denied on Amex

He uses his American Express points to rent a car in France. A Budget representative tells him his voucher is good in Europe, but when he arrives – surprise! – it isn’t. Now he wants a refund on the points he couldn’t use. Is this a case for the Travel Troubleshooter?

Priceline gets an upgrade

Priceline is changing. This is a big change. No, they are not returning to the days of bidding for groceries and gasoline. They are improving their airline section and expanding from simply “name your own price” to providing the option to purchase from the airlines directly, more hotels and a new “weekender” alternative.

One helluva honeymoon

On their outbound flight for their honeymoon, a rude American Airlines gate agent denies his new wife boarding. The reason? She took the wrong birth certificate along. Now their hard-earned vacation is ruined. But whose fault is it that she didn’t know better? The airline’s? Her travel agent’s? The U.S. government’s? Time to call in the troubleshooter to sort it all out.

Overtaxed on US Airways

He upgrades to Envoy class using hard-earned frequent flier miles. But wait, what’s this? A surprise fee for the privilege of sitting in the front of the cabin? US Airways insists it’s not to blame for the extra charge. So why didn’t it tell him about the tax? Find out.

Where’s the kid Repellent?

SkyMall is testament to simple consumerism—so many impractical products, all available for purchase in one place. But what about kid repellent?

Old time magic

My normal readers may think I’ve gone a bit soft. This column is about overnight kits in business and first class sections of airlines. Yes, the little bag of goodies that most business and first class passengers find in their seat-back pockets or have distributed just before flight time.

Bad tickets on Amex

A reader tries to book an airline ticket for his son to fly home for Thanksgiving on the American Express Travel Web site. But after hitting the “purchase” icon, the site returns an error. When he pages back to finish the reservation, the site has changed the name on the ticket. Now the airline wants $100 to fix it. Who should pay the penalty?