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What to do when you get dumped by your travel company

Barry Shiller’s vacation rental owner got a better offer just before he checked in. And suddenly, his family had no place to stay for their theme park vacation this spring. He’d booked a house in Orlando through VRBO.com, a vacation rental Web site. But a few weeks before the family was supposed to check in, […]


When should you have reservations about your hotel reservations?

When it comes to booking a hotel online, what you see isn’t always what you get. Christina Daves knows. On several occasions, she’s shopped for a hotel room online and then clicked through to make a reservation, only to discover she was actually dealing with a third-party site that looked like a hotel site. “Often,” […]


Want to take a picture on the plane? Read this first

Next time you’re tempted to take a snapshot of an interesting cloud formation or your seatmate sprawling into your personal space on a plane, remember Arash Shirazi and Steven Leslie. Both of them are law-abiding citizens and air travelers. And both recently ran afoul of the airline industry’s confusing photography rules. With only days before […]


The death of a customer doesn’t guarantee survivors a refund

Marlene Eckert was looking forward to a spring river cruise in southern France, which included planned ports of call in scenic Lyon, Beaujolais, Arles and Avignon, along with an extension to Nice. But in January, her husband suffered a massive heart attack and died. Eckert, a business analyst from Los Angeles, asked her cruise line, […]


The incredible but true story of how hotels became vacation-rentalized

Want a hotel that feels like home? So did Kristin Stallings when she recently looked for accommodations in Florida to celebrate her wedding anniversary. A small, pricey room, where everything felt “smashed together,” wasn’t at the top of her list, says Stallings, a loan risk analyst from Houston. “I remembered how much I dislike middle-of-the-night […]


What to do about misleading hotel resort fees

Hotels like to compare their mandatory daily surcharges to airline fees, but the truth is, they’re nothing like them. Most airline fees are avoidable. Travelers who don’t care about where they sit, when they board, and who can bring their own food but still pack lightly can — for now — actually travel without additional […]