Passing the buck

Just once, would it kill one person to apologize and take responsibility?

An unconventional deal

If you’re attending a convention, should you pay more for your hotel room than a leisure traveler? Apparently, a lot of Las Vegas hotels think so. One reader, who books a package deal through Southwest Airlines’ Web site, is worried that his resort might discover he’s in town on business – and charge him more for his room. Is it illegal to pretend to be a vacationer in order to save money? Find out what Southwest has to say about it.>

Taking the shot

On a hot December afternoon in Rio de Janeiro, I ordered a sandwich and Coke from a hot dog stand that changed my life forever.

One room, two bills

Should you pay for a hotel room twice? One hotel tells a guest “yes.” The travel agent who booked the room agrees. But now it’s up to American Express to determine if he’ll have to shell out $1,180 for inadvertently making two reservations at the same hotel. Find out how one traveler got stuck with a bill he shouldn’t have to pay – and what American Express did about it.

Two sites for cheap seats

Two relatively new tools for online fare searches are now available: and Both serve as a portal to booking engines and both can be added to the mix of any fare search on the Web.

France without the French

Recently, many have been lamenting that they just can’t stomach traveling to France in the current political climate. I think they are missing a great opportunity to enjoy Paris or Provence with minimal tourists. But nonetheless, they are reluctant.

Frankly, I don’t hate kids

I’m not a child-hater. I’m not a first-class snob, either. And despite last week’s column on flying babies in the front of the cabin, I do believe there are many more important issues facing the airline industry today.

Burned at the Magic Kingdom

If you’re seriously injured at a theme park, what are you owed? For one woman whose daughter is burned by fireworks at Walt Disney World, a refund on her vacation would be a good start. But after the park’s cast members help her daughter get medical attention, she hears nothing more from the Magic Kingdom. Is she getting the cold shoulder from Mickey – or is something else going on here? Here’s how to handle a theme park mishap and to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to you.

No refund on the Seven Seas

If your cruise is canceled, are you entitled to a full refund? Even though one cruise line says “yes,” the travel agent who booked a floating vacation tells one reader that Radisson has him listed as a “no show” – meaning that he didn’t show up for the sailing and forfeited the entire cruise. Now, the agent has a commission check and the reader is $1,527.65 poorer. Find out who is to blame for the cancellation confusion, and how you can prevent it from happening to you.

Protect your personal space

The presence of other travelers in close proximity to us, repeatedly invading our personal space takes its toll in increasing our levels of stress. Why does the nearness of strangers make us anxious? And what can we do to avoid that anxiety when traveling?