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The following information is provided by the travel supplier or its public relations representative. The Traveler's Journal can accept no responsibility for the accuracy or validity of any material in this section.

Elliott's E-Mail 12/10/2013



The TSA offered Sue Speck an early Christmas present when she checked in for a recent flight from Columbus to Los Angeles: a coveted Precheck designation on her boarding pass, which allowed her to avoid removing her shoes, taking out her laptop and most important, get around the agency's dreaded full-body scanners when she was screened. Why can't it do that for everyone? The answer is in my USA Today column. 

□ THANK YOU, EUROFLIGHTDELAYS.COM helps passengers on canceled or delayed flights to or from Europe determine whether or not they are eligible for compensation under European Union rules. Such rules apply to American citizens and compensation may be as much as $900. Visit for your free inquiry. We're very grateful for their support of the consumer advocacy on this site. 


I need your resort-fee stories, please
Got any resort-fee horror stories? I'm working on a story about the problem of these mandatory charges, and what we might do to get rid of them in 2014. Have you stayed at a hotel recently that surprised you with a mandatory resort fee for "free" Internet access, exercise facilities, and whatever else not? Do you think these fees should be included in the price of your room? Here's my email address. As always, don't forget include your full name, city and occupation. 

Help us make travel better
Are you tired of just reading about the latest consumer problems? Do you want to do something about it? Well, now you can. We need volunteers with strong research, mediation and analytics skills to help build a next-generation consumer organization. It's gonna be big, and it launches in 2014. Here's how to get involved. 

Become a much smarter traveler
Pre-order my new book, How to Be the World's Smartest Traveler (and Save Time, Money, and Hassle). It'll help you navigate the ins and outs of the travel industry and save lots of time and money.Details are right here. By the way, if you're heading out somewhere on a trip and need help with something, I'd be happy to email you a draft of a chapter, whether you order the book or not. 

Let's talk!
The stories you see in this newsletter are just a starting point. I hope you'll take a minute to leave a comment, whether you agree or disagree with something I've written. Let's continue the conversation on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn or Google. I'm listening. And of course, I'm also here if you need me. Here's my email address. 


Who's got the best customer service? Not America Did you know that when it comes to customer satisfaction, the United States falls short of the top 10, behind Russia, Poland and Chile? Find out why in my column. 

Are the wild Florida Keys child-friendly? Let's ask Flipper
OK, so the Florida Keys may not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of a family vacation. But maybe it should be. Read the whole story on our family travel blog, Away is Home

How do I complain to the TSA?
What do you do if something goes wrong with your TSA screening? Here are a few helpful tips about the agency. I explain in this week's video. 

Look out! More nonsense fees are coming in 2014
One dollar. That's the surprise fee Karin Melick-Barthelmess saw on her bill for an American Airlines flight from St. Louis to New York. It was listed as an "American Airlines Internet surcharge,” she says.What's that all about? Find out. 

What did federal agencies do for travelers in 2013?
Ask travelers what the federal government did for them this year, and you'll probably get a shrug, at best — or a rant about sequestration, national park closings and the Transportation Security Administration, at worst. But there's actually a specific answer: Federal agencies did a lot more than you might think. And, in at least one prominent case, a lot less. Here are the details. 

Help! My hotel is being renovated – and my vacation just got a lot more expensive
When her hotel is sold unexpectedly, it throws Miriam Ingber's vacation plans in turmoil. Who should help her fix this problem? 

Sprint said it would unlock my phone – did it break its promise?
Sprint promises it will unlock Bill Fuller's iPhone. Why won't it? 


I have a few surprises in store for 2014. I can't wait to start sharing them with you. In the meantime, since it's already begun, let me wish everyone a very happy holiday season. Next year's gonna be awesome!

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