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Why Did the Government Stop Fining Travel Companies?

Christopher Elliott | Posted 12.04.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

Government fines against airlines for consumer rule violations are on track to hit a six-year low as the U.S. Department of Transportation's enforcement actions shift from punishment to preventing infractions.

If Gas Is Cheap, Why Are Airfares So Expensive?

Christopher Elliott | Posted 11.27.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

Turns out, a series of industry developments have put airlines firmly in control of prices, in a way they haven't been in perhaps a generation. As a result, fares may be about to rise even more. Fortunately, that doesn't mean travelers have to overpay for their tickets.

The Republicans Won -- But Have Travelers Lost?

Christopher Elliott | Posted 11.05.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

Every major industry -- from cruise lines to wireless companies -- could now have its way with us, unfettered by "burdensome" state and federal regulation, if the experts are to be believed. Consumers are powerless to stop it.

What Airlines Can Learn From Car Dealerships -- And What It Means for You

Christopher Elliott | Posted 11.17.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

Travelers, and particularly airline passengers, are frustrated with a system that took a simple product, such as an airline ticket, and separated it into smaller parts, an act euphemistically called "unbundling."

This 'Minor' Airline Fee Is A Major Hassle

Christopher Elliott | Posted 11.11.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

Airline junk fees come in all shapes and sizes, but this one may rank among the most bizarre. It comes to us by way of Andrea Hogan, who recently ...

Does Every Nation Need Its Very Own Airline?

George Hobica | Posted 10.26.2014 | Travel
George Hobica

As flag carriers like Alitalia, LOT, and Malaysia continue to lose money and market share to leaner operations such as Air Asia and Ryanair, one wonders how long national pride will take precedence over economic reason.

Hey, Travelers, Don't Change Your Mind (Or This Could Happen)

Christopher Elliott | Posted 10.21.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

Most airline tickets are nonrefundable and require a hefty change fee plus any fare differential. And many hotel rooms are totally nonrefundable and nonchangeable, so you could lose the entire value of your room. So, why doesn't it work the other way around?

Will Proposed Airline Rules Really Help Passengers?

Christopher Elliott | Posted 08.15.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

At 36,361 words, the document laying out the latest proposed Transportation Department passenger protection rule is an epic, a few pages longer than Franz Kafka's novella "The Metamorphosis."

Will 'Transparent' Airfares Hurt Travelers?

Christopher Elliott | Posted 06.27.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

Remarkably, the proposed legislation enjoys bipartisan support, even from Democrats with distinguished records of supporting consumer rights. Critics have watched in amazement as this deceptively named bill has taxied toward the runway, apparently unstoppable.

Can a Cruise Line Pocket Your Airfare Refund?

Christopher Elliott | Posted 05.31.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

If you thought that reading the terms and conditions on your next travel purchase is enough to keep you out of trouble, meet Thomas Hanko.

Do Airlines Want to Hide the Real Cost of a Ticket? (POLL)

Christopher Elliott | Posted 05.17.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

So far, the debate about the Transparent Airfares Act has been fairly predictable, with airline representatives and their supporters lining up to defend the bill and consumer advocates denouncing it. But here's one question that has gone unasked: Are passengers really clamoring for a "transparent" airfare?

The 8 Most Important Years in the History of the Mile High Club

Global Yodel | Posted 04.09.2014 | Travel
Global Yodel

To celebrate 100 years of flying the friendly skies, Global Yodel did a little research about the exclusive (or not so exclusive) Mile High Club. M...

Flight Cabin Etiquette 101

Dane Steele Green | Posted 04.09.2014 | Travel
Dane Steele Green

The downside is that people who are snotty and obnoxious on the ground are also snotty and obnoxious in the air. Worse, once you are on the plane, you can't get away from them.

Everyone Lies a Little When They Travel

Christopher Elliott | Posted 04.05.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

Half-truths, or lying by omission, are an epidemic in American business, and particularly in travel. And it's infectious. Customers also occasionally leave out important details to bolster their case, and so do the people covering the industry.

My 2014 Resolution: Stop the Travel Industry's Customer Service Armageddon

Christopher Elliott | Posted 03.07.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

When you spend most of your waking hours advocating for consumers, it's easy to lose your sense of perspective. Complaints pour in, often hundreds ...

3 Smartphone Apps for a Smarter Flight

Christopher Elliott | Posted 02.19.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

Benét Wilson is the godmother of aviation journalism. Affectionately known as Auntie Benét by her followers, you can find her writing on the Aviat...

Travel Perks When You're 50 or Over

Dr. Irene S. Levine | Posted 02.03.2014 | Travel
Dr. Irene S. Levine

Feeling down in the dumps about an approaching milestone birthday? It may buoy your spirits to know you may now be eligible for a spate of age-related "senior" travel discounts and perks, ranging from A to Z (Airlines to Zoos).

Why the Phone Is Every Frequent Flier's Best Friend

Christopher Elliott | Posted 01.23.2014 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

Tim Winship will probably forget more about travel loyalty programs than you'll ever know. He spent two decades life managing marketing for Singapore Airlines, All Nippon Airways, and Hilton.

WATCH: Mother With Cancer 'Belittled' By Air New Zealand

Posted 11.02.2013 | HuffPost Live 321

After learning she had breast cancer, a New Zealand woman's initial bid to postpone a flight that interrupted her first radiation treatment was declin...

Why Air Passengers Fly With the Flu

Dr. Irene S. Levine | Posted 12.25.2013 | Travel
Dr. Irene S. Levine

Would you board an airplane knowing you had the flu? Would you worry about possibly infecting other passengers or airline crew? The decision whether or not to fly when you're sick is complicated because it's influenced by a number of factors.

It's Here!

Posted 10.24.2013 | Travel

The ever-classy airline Ryanair has once again released its annual charity calendar, featuring (what else?) bikini-clad hostesses (why change a good t...

Why I'm So Disappointed In Betty White

Dr. Irene S. Levine | Posted 12.22.2013 | Fifty
Dr. Irene S. Levine

The beloved 91-year-old comedian Betty White has a new starring role in Air New Zealand's latest in-flight safety video. I don't think it's one of her finest performances.

Why Breaking Rules Isn't Always Bad

Christopher Elliott | Posted 09.27.2013 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

Once you understand the reasons behind some of the airline ticket restrictions, you'll quickly conclude that rules are meant to be broken, if not by passengers then by the airlines themselves.

Royal Air Maroc + Customer Service = 0

Magda Abu-Fadil | Posted 11.09.2013 | Travel
Magda Abu-Fadil

I've always enjoyed traveling to Morocco. It's a beautiful country with lots to offer, except when things go wrong and it becomes surreal. On a two-d...

Do Travel Companies Raise Prices Based on Who You Are?

Christopher Elliott | Posted 11.01.2013 | Travel
Christopher Elliott

For years, travelers suspected online agencies of serving up higher fares and prices when they recognized your browser "cookies" -- those invisible electronic breadcrumbs that identify you.