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Elliott's E-Mail Monday, December 16th, 2013

12-17-2013

 

Let’s bring back good manners to travel

 

When did travelers lose their manners? When did they stop saying “please” and “thank you,” start filling the entire overhead bin with their carry-on luggage and stop bathing? The answer is in my USA Today column.

□ BIG CHANGES ARE COMING IN 2014

We have several really big announcements to make in early January, including an exciting new digital project, a new site that you’ll definitely want to see, and one or two more surprises. Can’t say more except to stay tuned. You’ll read about it here first!

□ WHAT DO YOU THINK?

What else should be allowed on planes?
First they allowed electronic devices. Now they’re probably going to allow cell phones. So … what’s next? Well, that’s what I’d love you to tell me. Your answer can be serious or facetious, but by all means, please share your opinion. 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 Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google. I’m listening. And of course, I’m also here if you need me. Here’s my email address.

□ POSTS YOU REALLY DON’T WANT TO MISS

5 Consumer Phrases Overhead During the Holiday Shopping Season
It’s that time of year when you follow the herd to the mall and gorge on the displays. That’s right, I’m talking about the irrational holiday shopping season.

How do you spot a fake review?
Online reviews are great sources for information about a hotel or restaurant — except when they’re not. Here’s how to spot a fake.

They underestimated us – their mistake!
Richard Barnes wishes he hadn’t rented the car. The vehicle, which he reserved for on a business trip in Atlanta, was absolutely fine. It’s what happened afterwards that makes his blood boil. Find out what that was.

What to do when your airline offends you
Nothing could have prepared Jeff White for the shock he got after printing his boarding pass for a recent Delta Air Lines flight from Pensacola, Fla., to Albany, N.Y., by way of Atlanta. Right there, next to his name, was a confirmation code that proclaimed: “H8GAYS.” What happened next?

Is this enough compensation for a Spanish-only tour?
When Juventino Garcia and his wife arrived in Madrid for a recent tour of Spain and Portugal, they didn’t understand a word anyone was saying. Garcia and his wife don’t speak Spanish or Portuguese, but they’d been promised a bilingual guided tour by their tour operator, Sunbound Vacations. Did they get it?

After brother’s death, where’s my airfare refund?
After Irene Reitman’s brother passes away, she cancels her trip to Las Vegas. But American Airlines won’t refund her fare. Why not?

Westgate promised, but did it deliver?
Westgate promises Matt Solum “free” ski lessons, tickets and cruise vouchers as part of his timeshare purchase. But when it doesn’t deliver, should he get his money back? Find out what, if anything, he’s entitled to.

□ MY PARTING SHOT

Greetings from Washington. I’m here for a few days of meetings, and to enjoy the cold weather. We’re laying the groundwork for some really exciting projects next year, and I hope you’ll stick around to find out what they are. I promise you won’t be disappointed.


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