Your New Year’s travel resolution? Don’t be a jerk

Mmaxer/Shutterstock
Mmaxer/Shutterstock
Here’s a New Year’s resolution we can probably all agree on: Don’t be a jerk when you’re on the road.

There’s something about travel — whether you’re flying, driving or sailing — that brings out the jerk in all of us. Like the guy in seat 26B just in front of me right now on a flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles, who is probably a nice guy on the ground. But put him on a plane, and shortly after takeoff, he jams his seat into my knees without so much as an apology.

Jerk.
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Oops! Wrong inaugural rate at the Capitol Hill Hotel Washington D.C.

Faith James likes to think of herself as a “pretty savvy traveler” but when she planned to attend the presidential inauguration in Washington next month, she couldn’t have foreseen the trouble with the Capitol Hill Hotel Washington D.C.

I couldn’t have, either.

James is taking her 78-year-old mother up to DC to attend the festivities. They were lucky enough to get tickets from their congressman, but accommodations proved to be a little more difficult.
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Uh-oh! My Expedia coupon had a little accident

Question: Maybe you can help me with this little dilemma. I booked a trip for my nephew to Reno, Nevada, through Expedia. I made the reservation by phone. The trip went well, but I was promised a $50 gas card.

When I received the card, it was damaged and there were no instructions on how to activate it. Expedia said I could use the card anywhere, but when I tried, no one would honor it.
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Happy New Year! So where are you going in 2013?

Here’s wishing you a very happy and adventure-filled 2013. We shot a little video of the Elliott family and our New Year’s travel wishes, and since our sites are undergoing some routine maintenance over the weekend, we wanted to share it with you now.
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Is DirecTV guilty of “false advertising”?

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Question: We recently ordered DirectTV service based on information received from the company’s sales team that turned out to be wrong. We think DirecTV is guilty of false advertising.

A representative told us our reception would be good, if not better, than Comcast Cable. This is not true. We had Comcast before we got DirectTV, so we know this for sure. We have a high-end television for which we paid $5,000. Our picture quality was greatly reduced with DirectTV.

I was also told we would have all the same HD channels I had with cable. Not true. We couldn’t get certain channels, including WCCO.
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Guests who want it all and the hotels that pander to them

From time to time, I get an email from one of you that makes me want to say, “That’s ridiculous!”

The one I received from a guest at a budget motel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was one of them. Problem is, I can’t figure out who is being more ridiculous — the hotel or the guest.

As this column makes its curtain call, I’ve critiqued air travelers, car renters and cruise passengers. But this week it’s time to talk about hotel guests.

Specifically, the person booking the room at the bargain hotel in South Florida. In addition to expecting all the creature comforts of an American hotel, and getting the benefit of a super-low rate, they were upset when they found a $4.50 per night “hotel shuttle/parking service fee.”
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