October 2003

After his group is bumped from an American Airlines flight, he’s offered a refund on the unused flight segments. But now the airline refuses to pay him. Is the airline just trying to save a few more bucks – or did this customer misunderstand a ticket agent’s promise? Only one way to find out: Call in a professional.

Cheap Charlie spends his nights in youth hostels, campsites and one-star hotels when on the road, right? Doesn’t this champion of the cheap masses yearning to travel inexpensively regularly dine at unassuming cafeterias and small, low-cost Mom-and-Pop hole-in-the-walls?

Disney disaster

by Christopher Elliott on October 13, 2003

A theme park ride accident leaves a visitor in pain and ruins the rest of her vacation, she says. But should Disney offer her a refund? It would be nice, but the Mouse isn’t even returning her phone calls at the moment. In fact, it’s been stonewalling her for the better part of a year. Is it time to call in a professional?

Fly a hero home

by Charlie Leocha on October 10, 2003

You can donate miles to help troops returning from Iraq on leave fly home. Alaska, Delta, Southwest, United and Pan Am have all joined Operation Hero Miles to allow their frequent flier program members donate miles to be used by soldiers.

No photos, please

by Christopher Elliott on October 10, 2003

A Delta Air Lines employee stops a passenger from taking photos of a gate, claiming it’s a “security area” and referring to a secret TSA directive that forbids cameras. Huh? After the traveler fails to get a straight answer from the TSA, he turns to the travel troubleshooter for help. Is there really a rule against using your camera at the airport? Find out.

She finds a bargain fare on United Airlines for her stepmother. But wait – that’s not her stepmother’s real name, but her nickname she just typed in. Can’t the airline just fix the mistake? Sure, as long as she’s willing to drive to the airport and give it another $100. What’s going on here? Sounds like a case for the troubleshooter.

Where’s my waiter?

by Terry Riley on October 1, 2003

Is there a conspiracy among service providers to withhold service from you?