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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: Airline cancels his reservation but puts a hold on his $3,480 payment

Q: I booked a flight from Atlanta to Kristiansand, Norway, on Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). When I tried to check in online, the system said my…
Travel Troubleshooter: Flight delayed in Europe? You may be compensated

Travel Troubleshooter: Flight delayed in Europe? You may be compensated

Q: My wife and I recently flew from Paris to Washington, D.C., on United Airlines. The original flight was delayed for 3 ½ hours while passengers…

Travel Troubleshooter: A hurricane, a canceled hotel and a missed vacation

Q: I recently planned to attend the Miami Broward Carnival. My flights were on Air Canada, and I was booked at South Beach Plaza Hotel,…

Travel Troubleshooter: A lack of handicapped facilities on Amtrak's Empire Builder

Q: I can't get a refund from Amtrak for its inappropriate "handicapped" room on the Empire Builder from Chicago to Glacier National Park.The room was…
Travel Troubleshooter: Maui hotel bill goes up $600 at check-in

Travel Troubleshooter: Maui hotel bill goes up $600 at check-in

Q: This summer, I made a reservation by phone for a stay at the Days Inn Maui Oceanfront in Hawaii. I was quoted $108 a…

Travel Troubleshooter: Oops! Expedia canceled the wrong ticket

Q: I booked five tickets for a group of travelers through Expedia. One of the travelers' last names was spelled incorrectly on the original ticket,…

Travel Troubleshooter: Zika fears quashed couple's Jamaican vacation, but Sandals won't offer refund

Q: I am beyond upset and frustrated. Last year, I booked a vacation at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, for my pregnant…
Travel Troubleshooter: Spirit Airlines unwilling to redeem restrictive travel vouchers

Travel Troubleshooter: Spirit Airlines unwilling to redeem restrictive travel vouchers

Spirit's vouchers are more restrictive than most. You have only 60 days to make a reservation. The industry standard is a year.

Travel Troubleshooter: I got sick before my trip and couldn't cancel my flight

Q: I recently was supposed to fly from New York to London on Norwegian Air. I became ill and saw a doctor two days before…
Travel Troubleshooter: 'Pay less' for your car rental, but pay more for GPS

Travel Troubleshooter: 'Pay less' for your car rental, but pay more for GPS

Q: I recently rented a car through Payless Car Rental. When I arrived, there was a long line. I noticed that people were leaving unhappy,…

Travel Troubleshooter: Flight is canceled, then reinstated too late

Q: I recently was scheduled to fly from Washington to Chicago on American Airlines. The night before my Friday flight, I went online to check…
Travel Troubleshooter: Car rental damage is covered – oh, except for the tires

Travel Troubleshooter: Car rental damage is covered – oh, except for the tires

Q: I rented a car from Budget in Costa Rica as part of a family vacation this summer. I happily accepted the total-damage waiver and…

Travel Troubleshooter: Allianz wants even more paperwork for travel insurance claim

Q: Two years ago, I was scheduled to travel to Omaha to stay with my mother and provide post­operative care for a week. My return…
Travel Troubleshooter: Unpresidential treatment from a Duluth hotel

Travel Troubleshooter: Unpresidential treatment from a Duluth hotel

For our wedding, my brother gave us a gift certificate for me and my wife to spend a night in the presidential suite of the Radisson Hotel Duluth-Harborview in Duluth. Unfortunately, we're having trouble receiving what he paid for.

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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