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What to do if your hotel doesn’t exist

For just $89 a night, the all-suite hotel in Killeen, Tex., promised Steven Hoybook and his family "European-style luxury" - an offer that seemed too good to pass up.

Here are a few insider tips for finding what you lost this summer

Don't lose it this summer. At least not the way Jennifer and Pat Mangold did when they stayed in the Florida Keys last August.

Do you trust GPS directions?

We’d entrusted our route to the Google Maps app on my iPhone; it had never steered us wrong. The program assured me that yes, the winding road between Santa Maria and Interstate 5 was the fastest, most direct route to our destination. It even showed me the gas stations along the way: a Texaco, an Exxon and a Chevron. Wrong on all counts.

6 lessons learned from losing my iPhone

Recently, I lost my iPhone. I had it with me going through security at DCA and after boarding the plane, I discovered it was gone. The hair stood up on the back of my neck!

Oh my, I lost my ID. How am I going to get home?

A lost or stolen driver's license or passport can be a disaster for a traveler trying to fly home. Ned Levi has suggestions to successfully handle these serious ID problems with a little pre-trip preparation, and a lot of common sense.
By |April 26th, 2010|Columns|36 Comments|

Sky Harbor’s luggage scandal: Who’s to blame for a thousand stolen bags?

Outraged? No, those of us who fly suspect this kind of thing is happening at every major airport in the country. It's the only explanation.

Government to airlines: limiting lost-luggage compensation “a violation” of regulations

The Transportation Department has warned airlines against limiting compensation for passengers who purchase necessities because their baggage is lost or delayed.

Lost HHonors: “Life” member stripped of Hilton elite status

In 1991, Robert Annenberg paid $150 for life membership in Senior HHonors Gold VIP program. Last year, Hilton terminated his membership without warning. Is Annenberg's elite status gone?
By |September 25th, 2009|Today|6 Comments|

Princess loses passenger’s bag, charges her to return it

Should you have to pay the freight for a bag your cruise line loses? That's the question Winnie Salyer asked me after her Princess Cruise.

Double trouble with my hotel points

Question: I have been a loyal Hilton customer for the past three years, staying about 200 nights a year in its hotels. I have always been happy with the service that I received from Hilton — until recently.

A few months ago, I booked four rooms at a promotional rate that offered double points. After each stay, I did not get credited with any of the points. I have called Hilton to try to fix this problem. Each time, I also advised them that I had additional reservations under the same promotion and that I wanted to get the problem fixed so that I didn’t have to keep calling after each stay.

The answer that I received from various Hilton reps has always been the same: I did, indeed, book the promotional rate and that they don’t know why I’m not getting my points. They’ve opened up various trouble tickets and said that my account would be credited within a few days. I have never received any credits so far and it has been weeks since my initial contact with them.

I finally talked with a supervisor yesterday, who informed me that there was nothing he could do and that the only thing he could offer me was 5,000 Hilton points for my troubles. By my calculation, I am out 39,291 Hilton points and 3,927 United Airlines miles for my first three stays in January.

This whole situation has left a bad taste in my mouth. It amazes me that Hilton is treating one of its best customers so poorly. In the past three years, I have spent more than $200,000 at Hilton properties and have amassed more than 3 million Hilton points through hotel stays alone. Please help. — Nicholas Czapor, Philadelphia

Answer: Hilton should credit you the double points — on the double. Dragging this out for weeks and then offering only a fraction of the award points is completely unacceptable.

By |September 3rd, 2009|Today|0 Comments|