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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: Nonsmoker billed $250 fee for smoky hotel room

Travel Troubleshooter: Nonsmoker billed $250 fee for smoky hotel room

When I checked out of the hotel, I saw a $250 charge on my credit card. I called the front desk and was told it was a "smoking charge." But I don't smoke.

Travel Troubleshooter: Left standing in the rain, without a room key

Q: I have a question about a reservation I made for a hotel apartment in Barcelona through Hotels.com. In the fine print of my reservation,…

Travel Troubleshooter: Driving a rental car through Eastern Europe with no GPS

Q: I am not happy with the car I rented through the Renault Eurodrive buyback lease program. My wife and I recently rented a Dacia…

Travel Troubleshooter: Spain hotel rejects booking because of crib request

Q: Six months ago, I made a reservation at the Ritz-Carlton, Abama, in Tenerife, Spain, for two adults, two children and an infant. Booking.com did…

Travel Troubleshooter: Flight is rescheduled, but they're not on it anymore

Q: While visiting Los Angeles with my husband, I received an e-mail from United Airlines saying that our flight back to Cleveland in two days…

Travel Troubleshooter: Ripped off in a national park, and then by travel insurance

Q: I took a seven-day Road Scholar trip to the national parks in the Florida Keys. Travel insurance was included in the price of the…

Travel Troubleshooter: When your flight is canceled, wait for the airline to rebook you

Q: I have tried in vain to get a refund from American Airlines. On a recent flight home to Bermuda, my 7-year-old daughter and I…

Travel Troubleshooter: Luggage lost somewhere between Honolulu and Paris

Q: My fiancé and I flew from Honolulu to Paris via Los Angeles, Miami and Helsinki. Our flight to Miami was on American Airlines. Our…

Travel Troubleshooter: Payless Car Rental customer pays more for fuel

Q: For my son’s wedding last August, I rented a car from Payless Car Rental in Denver. It was move-in time for the surrounding colleges,…

Travel Troubleshooter: Hotwire can't handle a complex itinerary and refund

Q: I have had a very tough time dealing with Hotwire to be reimbursed for a flight that was canceled due to bad weather.I was…

Travel Troubleshooter: This is the reason for travel insurance

Q: I need your help with an Avalon Waterways trip from Amsterdam to Brussels that I booked through Vacations to Go. A few days before…
Travel Troubleshooter: Airline drags feet for months on refund

Travel Troubleshooter: Airline drags feet for months on refund

Q: I recently paid $912 for an airline ticket on Lufthansa.com. Less than 24 hours later, my itinerary changed. I booked another ticket and called…
Travel Troubleshooter: Cancel an airline ticket within 24 hours, get a refund – period

Travel Troubleshooter: Cancel an airline ticket within 24 hours, get a refund – period

I have not received a refund for either of the tickets yet, and I'm starting to get worried. Can you help?

Travel Troubleshooter: Airline must have confused me with the other Weiner

Q: The airline Alitalia checked me in as the wrong passenger on a flight from Miami to Rome to Tel Aviv. There was another E.…

Travel Troubleshooter: Hertz damage claim is suspicious on two counts

Q: I am writing to you today regarding a damage claim I have received from Hertz. I rented a car from Hertz’s Maui Airport location…

Travel Troubleshooter: Angry about 'bait-and-switch' travel insurance

Q: The United Airlines website offers Allianz travel insurance, but when it came to covering my expenses, I felt it was a bait-and-switch.A friend and…

Travel Troubleshooter: Travelocity charges her twice, plus a $75 fee to fix it

Q: I booked a round-trip flight on American Airlines from Minneapolis to Shannon, Ireland, for May, using Travelocity.com. The next day, Travelocity sent me a…

Travel Troubleshooter: Misspelled middle name on ticket leads to even more confusion

Q: I recently booked a one-way ticket from Osaka, Japan, to San Francisco through eDreams. My middle name was misspelled, so I called eDreams to…

Travel Troubleshooter: Expedia won't refund insurance for canceled flight

Q: I am deeply disturbed by my experience with Expedia. I'm paying for 15 members of my family — my wife and myself, four children…

Travel Troubleshooter: Flight booking is no time for buyer's remorse

travel Troubleshooter | Christopher ElliottQ: I recently booked two tickets to Scotland on American Airlines. A few weeks ago, I saw that the cost of the tickets…

Travel Troubleshooter: Wife blacklisted by Hertz for unauthorized driver

Q: I would appreciate it if you could contact the appropriate person at Hertz and assist with getting my wife removed from the company’s Do…
Travel Troubleshooter: Airline gives grieving parents an 'insensitive' offer

Travel Troubleshooter: Airline gives grieving parents an 'insensitive' offer

Q: Our daughter died suddenly in her sleep last year while my wife I were in Venice, Italy. We had a first-class ticket with award…
Travel Troubleshooter: What happens when airlines don't fly due to a strike?

Travel Troubleshooter: What happens when airlines don't fly due to a strike?

We were notified the morning of our departure that the long-haul pilots had gone on strike and were told to call Lufthansa to rebook. We tried calling the airline for five hours, but no one answered.

Travel Troubleshooter: Can I get a refund for an invalid airline ticket to Lima?

Q: I recently booked a round-trip airline ticket from Columbus, Ohio, to Lima, Peru, on Avianca Airlines, a United Airlines partner. The first leg…

Travel Troubleshooter: Hertz sends a $146 bill for 'free' hotel parking

Q: I’m stuck in an endless loop with Hertz. I was charged $146 for parking at the Marriott in Manchester, England. The charge included administrative…
Travel Troubleshooter: Flight upgrade request turns into a downgrade

Travel Troubleshooter: Flight upgrade request turns into a downgrade

Q: I experienced several mishaps when I was flying from Rome to Dallas on Lufthansa. The segment be­­tween Frankfurt and Chicago was booked in premium…
Travel Troubleshooter: Princess Cruises sends mysterious $476 bill more than a year later

Travel Troubleshooter: Princess Cruises sends mysterious $476 bill more than a year later

Q: My wife and I took a very enjoyable cruise on Princess Cruises in June 2014. We recently received a bill for $476 for a…

Travel Troubleshooter: Casablanca hotel charged for canceled reservation

Q: I made a reservation for a room at the Gite Nadia near Casablanca, Morocco, using ­Booking.com. Because of a scheduling error, I realized I…

Travel Troubleshooter: Enterprise rental-car damage claim gets curiouser and curiouser

Q: I'm being charged for damage to a rental car that I did not cause. I recently had my car repaired at my dealership, which…

Travel Troubleshooter: United upgrade fee doesn't make sense

Q: I have a dispute with United Airlines that I hope you can help me with. I recently booked a flight from Venice, Italy, to…

Travel Troubleshooter: Priceline-advertised deal is not actually available

Q: I purchased round-trip tickets from Istanbul to Minneapolis using Priceline. The company charged my credit card and sent me the confirmation. A few hours…

Travel Troubleshooter: Hotwire cancels family's hotel reservation – without notice

Q: I booked a room at the DoubleTree hotel in Vancouver, Wash., through Hotwire for our children's and grandchildren's stay over Thanksgiving. We received a…

Travel Troubleshooter: United backs out on paying for rental car

Q: I recently attempted to fly home from Seattle to Wichita, Kan., on United Airlines, with a stopover in Denver. My first flight was delayed,…

Travel Troubleshooter: European transmissions may not work the same way as on American cars

Q: I reserved a midsize rental car in Shannon, Ireland, for a group of four through Hertz. At the airport, a Hertz representative upgraded us…

Travel Troubleshooter: Denied a discount for skipping housekeeping

Q: I booked a room at the Cassa Hotel 45th Street in New York using Expedia. I was confirmed for a Petite Single room and…

Travel Troubleshooter: Problem with Expedia's Best Price Guarantee

Q: I recently booked a flight from Sacramento, Calif., to Honolulu for me and my husband, using Expedia. Later, I found the exact same itinerary…

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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