When Roger Bell takes a vacation, he normally flies to a national park or visits friends up north for two weeks. But like many Americans, Bell, a Woodstock, Georgia-based technical writer, lost his job in 2009. And that changed the way he vacations -- maybe permanently.
Although he sometimes feels "a little dishonest" about it, Jeremy Reed says he doesn't have much choice: With seven children, from an infant to a teenager, and on a limited budget, he often reserves only one hotel room when he's on vacation.
When Jeff Allen falls and breaks his tibial plateau just before a Carnival cruise, the company offers him a 50 percent cruise credit. But he thinks the company should let him redo the cruise after his surgery. Who's right? And is there anything he could have done to avoid losing his vacation?
There's an unwritten rule in travel journalism that any story about pets on planes must contain at least one Chihuahua anecdote. I know, because I've written many of them. So let's get right to Charlotte Coan and her travel companion, Cricket.
Now that Spirit Airlines has done the unthinkable, announcing plans to begin charging for carry-on bags this summer -- that's right, carry-on bags -- the question everyone seems to be asking is: What's next?
When Michelle Rothstein tries to arrange a special side-trip for her husband before a Seine river cruise, their company nixes the idea. It insists the family arrive when everyone else does -- no exceptions. What's more, it won't communicate with their travel agent. Can't it bend a little rule?
After President Obama's negative comments about Sin City and his subsequent mea culpa ("I love Vegas -- always have!"), I realize that this might not be the most prudent way to start a column. But how do you fire up a discussion about smoking in hotels without mentioning America's capital of secondhand smoke?
Debra Hitti's tour operator promises it will refund her deposit if she cancels with more than 45 days' notice. But when she does, the company balks, insisting it never made any such assurances. Who's right, and how could a situation like this have been avoided?
What's this on Sonja Johnson's hotel bill? A mandatory $25 per day "resort" fee for the use of the spa. But didn't the rate she booked through Hotwire include everything? No, it didn't. But that doesn't mean she's out of luck.
First her flight is canceled. Then she misses another flight after her bus breaks down. Finally, Rebecca Canter decides to cancel her Australia tour. But her tour operator refuses her request for a refund. Can it do that?
When Stephanie Farrow books a nonrefundable hotel room through Priceline, she's promised a four-star property. She ends up with a three-star and when she complains, she's given the runaround. Is her lost star a lost cause?
Royce Smith planned to visit Sydney, Australia, during spring break to attend an arts festival and work on a book, when he found an unbelievably good fare on American Airlines' Web site: A round-trip ticket from Wichita, Kansas, to Sydney for just $1,198.
Just days after serving subpoenas to two travel bloggers, the Transportation Security Administration withdrew the subpoenas late Thursday, saying its investigation into how the bloggers received a sensitive security directive "is nearing a successful conclusion."
Go on. Ask your airline for a favor -- maybe an upgrade to business class or a waiver on a ticket change fee. While you're at it, see whether your hotel will offer you a suite for the price of a standard room.
It's been almost a year since American Airlines started charging passengers for their first checked bag, a move that every other legacy airline quickly followed. It's taken almost that long for the luggage industry to catch up to that unfortunate new reality.