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Christopher Elliott

Columnist | Travel Troubleshooter
Christopher Elliott is ombudsman at National Geographic Traveler magazine.
Recent content from Christopher Elliott

Travel Troubleshooter: Downgraded to coach class thanks to 'screen error'

Q: I bought two round-trip business-class tickets from St. Louis to Paris for my wife and daughter, using Priceline. In May, the company sent an…

Travel Troubleshooter: Priceline names its own star rating

Q: I’m a frequent Priceline user and love its services. But I had a technical issue with the Priceline website bidding that resulted in the…

Travel Troubleshooter: Surprise rental car charge for being under 25

Q: I’m an Expedia Travel Agent Affiliate, and I’m writing to you on behalf of one of my clients for whom I booked a vacation…

Travel Troubleshooter: Slow refund for overbooked New Zealand wine tour

Q: On a recent trip to New Zealand, I booked a wine tour through Viator, a website that sells tours. I was contacted by Kevin…

Travel Troubleshooter: 'Modified' reservation disappears in Miami

Q: In March, my family and I had a reservation at 1818 Meridian House in Miami through When we arrived at the hotel, a…

Travel Troubleshooter: Claim denied for snowed-out Iceland trip

Q: Last year, my wife and I booked a five-day Northern Lights Reykjavik tour to Iceland. We also bought a travel insurance policy from Travelex.…

Is travel insurance worth it?

The come-ons for insurance are constant and often compelling when you travel. They start the moment you click on a booking site and sometimes don’t…

Travel Troubleshooter: A year later, promised ticket refund hasn't arrived

Q: American Airlines made a data-entry error when my husband and I booked our airline tickets by phone. An agent entered our return dates as…

Travel Troubleshooter: Airfare charge in euros bumped up the price

Q: I think I’ve reached a dead end with KLM and wondered if you could help. At the end of January, I contacted the airline…
Travel Troubleshooter: Complicated flight plan results in lost money

Travel Troubleshooter: Complicated flight plan results in lost money

Circumstances beyond my control caused me to miss a flight and rebook another, and the airline refuses to refund me.

Travel Troubleshooter: Hotel wasn't near airport as advertised

When I arrived at the airport and tried to get a taxi to the Hilton Shenzhen Shekou Nanhai, I was in for a shock.

Travel Troubleshooter: Vacation villa is closed; Expedia is no help

Q: A few months ago, my family and I booked a hotel and flights through Expedia for a trip from Cleveland to St. Lucia. We…

Travel Troubleshooter: Is $1,885 rental car repair bill a scam?

Q: My wife and I recently flew up to Knoxville, Tenn., to visit my family. We prepaid for a rental car through Alamo. The rental…
Travel Troubleshooter: Wrong dates on Priceline reservation

Travel Troubleshooter: Wrong dates on Priceline reservation

You have to pay close attention when you’re making a reservation.

Travel Troubleshooter: Air New Zealand Skycouch falls through

Q: Last year I booked an Air New Zealand Skycouch for a flight from San Francisco to Auckland, New Zealand. I’d recently had knee surgery…

Travel Troubleshooter: Charged twice by Travelocity — where's my refund?

Q: I’ve been charged for two itineraries on Travelocity. I’m trying to get a promised refund for one of them. I recently booked an air-inclusive…
Travel Troubleshooter: Airline didn't provide the seats purchased

Travel Troubleshooter: Airline didn't provide the seats purchased

We paid British Airways $168 for two seat reservations. When we boarded the plane, our chosen seats were not in the position presented by the website.

Travel Troubleshooters: Expedia flight credit expires before advertised

Q: We booked a flight through Expedia on US Airways to Tel Aviv last November. We were unable to go. When we canceled the trip…

Travel Troubleshooter: Travel insurance didn't come through when it counted

Q: I’m writing about what I believe was an unfair, unethical decision on the part of Allianz. My uncle purchased travel insurance from the company…
Travel Troubleshooter: Refund for second honeymoon gets held up

Travel Troubleshooter: Refund for second honeymoon gets held up

I booked a stay in St. Maarten for my 45th anniversary. It was supposed to be a second honeymoon. I’ve been trying to get a refund for my US Airways vacation ever since.

Travel Troubleshooter: What about ticket for wife in intensive care?

Q: Earlier this year, I booked flights with Expedia on Icelandair for a trip to Paris and London for my wife and me. It was…

Travel Troubleshooter: Tough to get a refund after double charge for airline ticket

Q: I recently booked one airline ticket through Expedia. At least that’s what I thought. I paid $310 for what I thought was one ticket,…

Travel Troubleshooter: Does traveler still have to pay for hotel if travel agent flubbed?

Q: I made a reservation for two rooms at Cedar Breaks Lodge in Brian Head, Utah, for our family vacation during Christmas break. I made…

When travel companies sue their customers

An uptick in litigation in the travel industry may be the result of a sluggish economy.

Six questions to ask before buying a travel insurance policy

Reports of fake travel insurance are on the rise. Here's how you can avoid buying a bad policy.
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