September 2004

A debit memo debacle

by Christopher Elliott on September 30, 2004

It’s been six months since you took that flight from Dallas to Greenville, SC. But what’s this? A bill from your travel agent for $404? Yes, it is. Your agent just got a debit memo from her airline and now she wants you to pay it. For one traveler faced with that problem, settling up doesn’t solve anything. When he tries to get a refund from the airline, he runs into a brick wall – and has to call for help. Will he ever see his $404 again? Find out.

Rudest flight attendants

by James Wysong on September 28, 2004

Are the flight attendants on low-fare carriers ruder than those on network airlines? Is the service, like the amenities, no-frills?

Air Fenway

by Charlie Leocha on September 27, 2004

I wedged myself into the tiny seat. My knees were jammed into the back of the chair in front of me. No room for a Knee Defender. But I considered myself lucky – at least I had an aisle seat. People were standing up to food and drinks. Every now and then, an attendant would scoot down the aisles with snacks.

Who’s responsible?

by Terry Riley on September 22, 2004

Whose responsibility is it anyway to look after you when you’re away from home. Is it your corporate travel manager? Your security department? Your travel agency? Your mom?

Planes and paint thinner

by James Wysong on September 22, 2004

It seems as if everyone wants to be a low-fare airline these days.

Dead men don’t fly

by Christopher Elliott on September 15, 2004

When an airline says your ticket is non-refundable, does that mean you’ll never see that money again? Not if you’re flying on Northwest Airlines – and not if you’re dead. But one widow’s efforts to get the money back from Northwest hit a snag when the airline tries to issue a refund to his closed credit card. Find out what the airline definitions of “non-changeable” and “non-refundable” really are – and if Northwest makes good on its promise to refund the money to a deceased passenger.

You’ve pre-paid for your rental car, but the agent still wants to swipe your card. It’s just in case of an accident, she promises you. But when you get home, you discover your card was charged to the tune of $605, for insurance that you didn’t order. That’s the problem facing one Avis customer who rented a car in France. Can we write this one off to a language barrier – or was this motorist scammed? Plus, find out how you can make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Panhandlers in pin stripes

by James Wysong on September 7, 2004

Who are the airline executives responsible for running an entire industry into the ground?

Playing the name game

by Christopher Elliott on September 2, 2004

When you buy an airline ticket on the Web, but the site gets your name wrong, what can you do to make things right? For one traveler who books a ticket to Rome through Expedia, the answer is: not much. After the site erroneously issues a ticket in her husband’s name, the best it can do is to issue a $700 credit – to him. How do you prevent this from happening to you? And will this Expedia customer ever see her $700 again?