Christopher Elliott

Whenever an airline introduces new lie-flat seats for its richest customers or makes its “elite” level more elusive by restructuring its loyalty program, as has been happening lately, it sparks a predictable debate about the growing rift between the “haves” and “have-nots” in travel.

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What’s worse than being stricken with stomach flu on vacation? Maybe it’s being quarantined on a cruise ship with hundreds of other passengers suffering from the same illness.

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When Air Dolomiti canceled Stefano Alberti’s recent flight from Florence to Munich because one of its planes broke down, he potentially faced what to many American travelers would be a tall obstacle: a language barrier.

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American European Travel’s nine-day ancient Turkey tour looked like the perfect birthday gift for David Olson’s wife, Barbara. With stops in Istanbul, Ephesus and Pamukkale, it fulfilled a lifelong dream of visiting the old Ottoman Empire.

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Tom Ungar and his wife spent $128 to fly from Venice, Italy, to Naples, which is a ridiculously low fare. But when their checked luggage tipped the scales at just over 20 kilos, their airline demanded an additional $152.

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“When I booked this ticket, I thought I had the 24-hour cancellation window for a flight, which has been publicized all over the news,” he says. He didn’t. The 24-hour rule has an important, but often unarticulated, catch: It doesn’t apply to flights booked fewer than seven days in advance.

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A day after Sheilah Reardon checked into the Bellagio Las Vegas, she received an e-mail alert from American Express warning that her credit card had been compromised. Among the fraudulent charges: a $67 bill from an online memorabilia store.

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Chuck Barnes tries to invoke United Airlines’ low fare guarantee. But it doesn’t quite work the way he hoped it would. Is he out of luck?

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As Juanita Centanni boarded a recent Cayman Airways flight from Tampa to Grand Cayman, she braced herself for an awful travel experience.

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Tami Alloway needs to cancel her hotel stay because of “extenuating” personal circumstances. Just one problem: the reservations are non-refundable.

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