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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: American Airlines offers a $2,410 refund for rebooking, but doesn't follow through

Q: I am hoping that you can resolve my issue with American Airlines. I recently booked four airline tickets on the American Airlines site from…

Travel Troubleshooter: She paid extra for a broken seat – on a 12-hour flight

Q: I recently flew from Cape Town, South Africa, to London on British Airways in economy class. It's a 12-hour flight. In order to reserve…

Travel Troubleshooter: I changed my Ethiopian adopted son's name and now the airline wants $300

Q: I'm a single mom, and I have an adopted child from Ethiopia who is almost 10 years old. When we left Ethiopia, I had…

Travel Troubleshooter: Flight upgrade to 'economy plus' canceled due to labor dispute — but no refund

Q: Last November, my flight from Tel Aviv to Newark was canceled because of a dispute between El Al Israel Airlines and its pilots. I…

Travel Troubleshooter: American Airlines owes a quadruple refund to bumped passenger

Q: I recently booked a one-way ticket on American Airlines from Philadelphia to Palm Beach, Fla., through Travelocity.com. The flight was oversold, so the airline…

Travel Troubleshooter: Two years later, my $1,400 refund from Hotels.com is still missing

Q: I booked five nights at the Majestic Colonial Punta Cana in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, through Hotels.com in June 2015. I had major shoulder…
Airline sends them on $1,042 Italian spree after Mpls. flight – but doesn't pay up

Airline sends them on $1,042 Italian spree after Mpls. flight – but doesn't pay up

Q: My girlfriend and I flew from Minneapolis to Naples, Italy, on Delta Air Lines and Alitalia recently. We missed our connection in Paris. Alitalia…

Companion ticket offers not always a great deal

Q: I recently received a $150 companion ticket promotional code as a benefit of my Virgin America Visa Signature card, for which I pay an…

Travel Troubleshooter: If you don't show up for a flight, the airline will cancel the whole itinerary

Q: I'm hoping you can help me. My husband and I purchased round-trip tickets on Air Canada from Washington, D.C., to Tel Aviv, Israel, to…

Travel Troubleshooter: Norwegian Cruise Line offers full refund for cruise gone bad – then retracts the offer

Q: My wife and I took an 11-day Southeast Asia cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line, departing from Singapore. Shortly before our vacation, we were advised…
Bumped from a Spirit flight, but family's 'free' flight vouchers cost $600

Bumped from a Spirit flight, but family's 'free' flight vouchers cost $600

Q: We took our two young boys on their first plane trip to Colorado for my 40th birthday. My husband wanted to celebrate with a…
Why are airlines allowed to take their sweet time on refunds?

Why are airlines allowed to take their sweet time on refunds?

Q: Malaysia Airlines recently changed my flight times on a trip from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Phuket, Thailand. The airline contacted me and asked me…

Travel Troubleshooter: I lost my rental car and $530 in Puerto Rico because I was 3 hours late

Q: I recently paid Hotwire $530 to rent a car for a month through Dollar Rent A Car in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I was…

Travel Troubleshooter: Fog leads to flight delay, which leads to some horrible customer service

Q: My daughter and I were booked on an Aer Lingus flight from Paris to San Francisco via Dublin last year. Our flight from Paris…

Travel Troubleshooter: Delayed flight in Europe? You get compensation, eventually

Q: My husband’s and my recent flight from London to Naples, Italy, on Meridiana, an Italian airline, was delayed by more than seven hours. As…

Travel Troubleshooter: Southwest doesn't have to give you a refund due to your husband's disability, but it might

Q: My husband booked flights on Southwest Airlines for our 30th anniversary this summer, but we had to reschedule them because he had emergency surgery.…

Travel Troubleshooter: Her dream birthday vacation in Scotland becomes a 'trip in vain'

Q: I recently booked round-trip tickets on British Airways from Albuquerque, N.M., to Inverness, Scotland. I made the reservation through Expedia, with lodging included. My…

Travel Troubleshooter: 'Wow,' flight-delay compensation rules are better in Europe

Q: A few months ago, my Wow Air flight from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Keflavik, Iceland, was delayed. That caused me and my companion to miss…

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: 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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