For just $89 a night, the all-suite hotel in Killeen, Tex., promised Steven Hoybook and his family “European-style luxury” – an offer that seemed too good to pass up.


A two-night stay at the Driftwood Inn in Chestertown, Md., was supposed to cost Bruce Romano $138 through a Web site called HotelPlus Destination Portal, as long as he prepaid for his accommodations. That seemed like a good deal. After all, it was Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest travel times of the year.


Kim Gandy is an experienced traveler, and she she’d like to think she wouldn’t fall for a scam. But when she tried to book a rental car through Hotwire recently, she thinks she may have been duped.


Ned Levi thought purchasing airline tickets with upgraded economy seating would be easy. It wasn’t. Ned discusses the difficulties he encountered purchasing airline tickets, with upgraded economy seating, through a travel agent, and also directly on an airline website. The difficulties were bad enough on the airline website, that the ticked purchased ended up being on a different airline than originally anticipated.


When he calls the Residence Inn, Michael Tushan is offered a rate of $116 a night. Oops. Turns out the representative wasn’t “authorized” to negotiate — and now the price is $149 a night. Take it or leave it. What should Tushan do?

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Last night, while buying a ticket on US Airways’ site, the final payment step would not complete. The screen instructed me to try again and then instructed that if the problem continued call the ticketing 800 number. I did, and was charged $25 for ticketing by phone.


Donald Johnson accidentally reserves a nonrefundable room in Oklahoma City instead of Enid, Okla. Now his hotel wants to keep the money. Can he get a refund? Or is he stuck with a room he can’t use?


Mary Jane Prough reserves a room in Las Vegas through But the resort she’s supposed to stay at has never heard of her, and she’s sent to a different hotel that’s out in the boondocks. What is Prough owed for the reservations snafu?

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You don’t have to look far for ticketing mistakes in an age of do-it-yourself booking. Here are the five biggest booking blunders — and tips for how to avoid them on your next flight.


Dave Bucher books a hotel room through Cheaptickets. But when he checks in, he’s told there’s no reservation. So he’s forced to find another room, and now Cheaptickets is keeping his money. Can it do that?

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