Don’t make financial mistakes which can ruin your vacation, part 1

Purchasing a summer vacation well, by carefully making vacation choices, and reservations is only the beginning of carefully considering vacation financial issues. Ned Levi discusses many of the potential financial mistakes vacationers can make and how to avoid them.
By |March 31st, 2014|Columns|13 Comments|

What the end of Windows XP support means for travelers using it on their computers

Microsoft is ending support of Windows XP on April 8th ending security update availability for newly discovered vulnerabilities. As a result, as time moves forward, travelers' computers and data on Windows XP computers will become more and more susceptible to hackers, viruses and spyware. Ned Levi discusses these issues and offers possible methods to mitigate Windows XP vulnerability temporarily.
By |March 24th, 2014|Columns|0 Comments|

Hotels cancel their old cancellation policies

When heavy rain grounded Amy Li’s recent flight from San Francisco to Cancun, Mexico, she hoped that her resort would allow her to cancel her prepaid room. But it didn’t. Instead, she received an apologetic e-mail from the Excellence Playa Mujeres, saying that while the hotel was “truly very sorry” about her canceled flight, it would be keeping her money.

15 travel emergency kit basics

Superstorm Sandy stranded countless travelers in the northeastern area of the US, which points to the need for all travelers to have an emergency kit. Ned Levi has information for you to create an emergency kit for travelers with his list of his top 15 traveler emergency kit basics.
By |November 5th, 2012|Columns|9 Comments|

The Travel Troubleshooter: Right hotel rate, wrong city

Hotwire sent me emails about “lower hotel rates” in Rosemont. So I found one I liked and booked it. When I received the hotel conformation it was in Elk Grove, Ill., not Rosemont. Now what? Can I get it changed?

Ridiculous or not? A game of musical chairs no one likes to play

Now the airlines can change flights without even notifying customers. Could it possibly get worse? Christopher Elliott takes a look.

Airports jammed, phone lines jammed

This latest bout with the weather on the East Coast has highlighted the problems of running airlines at capacity without factoring in weather as an element. It has also shined a spotlight on airlines' telephone support operations that were overwhelmed first, with requests for cancellations and changes to avoid the mess, then with passengers stuck at airports looking for a way home.
By |December 30th, 2010|Today|9 Comments|

Should airlines be able to sell us ticket prices and fees?

Airlines should reveal all airfares and all ancillary fees at the same time and allow passengers to know the total cost of travel up-front so that they can compare prices between different airlines. Pricing information is the grease that makes the free market system work.
By |October 15th, 2010|Today|0 Comments|

8 tips for booking a table at a 3-star Michelin restaurant

A lot of hungry people read and commented on my recent 3-star Parisian dining experiences at Le Meurice and Guy Savoy. In case you’re ready to shell out the dough yourself for a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience, I asked Michelin for a few tips on how to score a hard-to-get reservation at a top restaurant.

The low airfare that vanishes in a click

When you’re airfare shopping, attractive prices can vanish in a split second. Just ask Jim Doll, a systems engineer in Atlanta, who recently tried to buy a ticket to San Francisco on AirTran Airways’ Web site. He found a one-way fare for just $130, but by the time he’d toggled over to Orbitz.com to see if he could do better there and then clicked back, the price had changed.