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When “guaranteed late arrival” isn’t actually guaranteed.

Years ago, many hotels would accept reservations without a credit card, but only hold the rooms until, say, 4 or 6 p.m. A credit card guaranteed late arrival, but also meant travelers that didn’t show up would be charged. These days, a credit card guarantee is almost always mandatory, with cancellation required usually at least […]


Are seat surcharges contributing to flight delays?

Preferred seat surcharges are a big moneymaker for airlines. At times, these charges are actually as much, or more, than the fare itself. This clearly helps with profits. While not a scientific study, more and more I’m seeing and hearing from clients that these fees have an unintended consequence — delayed flights. Basically, with an […]


You’ll never get that mileage upgrade! Here are six reasons why

For many travelers, frequent flier miles are less about free tickets than about getting out of the sardine-can seating in the back of the plane. Since airlines would of course prefer to sell those premium seats, booking in advance has historically made a big difference. Even if upgrades are sold out, or the carrier has not […]


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 […]


8 great reasons NOT to use a travel agent

Travel consumers have a choice when planning trips. You can hire a travel professional, book everything yourself, or some combination of the two. With such power, though, comes great frustration. I have seen several sides of this situation and feel qualified to speak about reasons NOT to use a travel agent. I encourage you to also read […]


Is searching for "deals" taking the joy out of anticipating travel?

Getting there is half the fun. The other half? For many travelers, it’s finding a deal. Planning an upcoming vacation can offer entertainment for months, whether it’s looking at guidebooks and online views, or imagining yourself on a beach or being pampered. But too many travelers are spending their pre-trip time not with happy anticipation, […]


United-Lufthansa nightmare — even agents are confused by FF upgrades

Everyone loves earning frequent flier miles. Redeeming them, however, is a whole different story. There are times when using miles is simple, but it seems like those times are few and far between, especially when partner airlines are involved. Most of the time, partner awards are for free tickets only, not upgrades. But, there are […]


Most United frequent fliers will be getting fewer miles

No one expects frequent flier program changes to benefit actual travelers. We’re all used to the number of miles needed for a free ticket going up, and up, and up. United Airlines has already made some of those kinds of changes to awards in 2014, along with adding minimum spends for elite status. But, as […]