It’s probably a matter of weeks, if not days, before yet another round of troubling National Security Agency leak stories hit the news.
I’m sorry to disagree with a majority of Americans who are outraged by their government’s reckless data dragnet, but I think surveillance is good, at least, if you travel.
Airlines, car rental companies and hotels ought to spy on their customers more often. Collecting information about you to improve customer service — and only for that purpose — could return the American travel business to greatness.
If you’ve ever traveled on business, then Chris McGinnis’ name is probably synonymous with smart traveling. He’s the co-host of the Friday afternoon #Travelskills chat on Twitter, and has been a columnist, consultant, on-air television commentator and blogger for media outlets ranging from the BBC to Fortune. He publishes two popular business travel blogs, The Ticket, for Atlanta-area road warriors, and the Bay Area Traveler, for business travelers from the San Francisco Bay Area. [continue]
When her hotel is sold unexpectedly, it throws Miriam Ingber’s vacation plans in turmoil. Who should help her fix this problem?
Question: I’m hoping you can help me. My entire extended family booked an expensive vacation at the Veranda Resort in Turks & Caicos for a week. My immediate family had stayed there last spring and we loved it. When we booked it, it was managed by Grace Bay.
We found out less than a week ago that it was being taken over by Beaches, which is owned by Sandals, was being shut down, and they were refunding our deposit (although we haven’t seen a penny of the $16,000 yet).
Beaches would not reimburse us for our flights or any expenses associated with rebooking elsewhere. Our travel insurance also would not pay for any of our expenses. [continue]
Sprint promises it will unlock Bill Fuller’s iPhone. Why won’t it?
Question: I have two iPhone 4S smartphones that I bought in 2011 under a two-year contract with Sprint. I made my final contracted monthly payment earlier this month. Both phones are now fully paid for and ostensibly are my property.
Sprint’s service coverage has been largely reduced in my area and I have frequent dropped calls and very low 3G speeds.
I recently received a notice from Sprint that on-network coverage in parts of Eastern Colorado and Western Kansas, (including along the I-70 Corridor), Southwest Kansas and Oklahoma Panhandle will change to roaming (off-network). Customers with Sprint-branded devices will be impacted when using services in the affected areas. [continue]
As far as rejection letters go, the one I almost never use is unfailingly polite.
It’s apologetic. It blames a “system” in which the deck is stacked against you, the consumer, for my failure to accept a case. And it offers several other options, including small-claims court or a credit-card dispute, as possible alternatives.
But a few weeks ago on this site, I confessed that I hate using the rejection letter when someone turns to me for help as a consumer advocate. [continue]
Maybe that’s all Orlan Boston and his fiancee, Tomas, needed to do in order to prevent the accident from happening. They were visiting a friend who was a guest of the Starwood Luxury Collection Santa Marina Hotel last August. After lunch, they headed upstairs to freshen up and order a taxi to the airport.
While Tomas looked down to see where he was stepping, he walked right into an Aloe-like plant with razor-sharp thorns that, Boston alleges, had been improperly pruned. [continue]
What if they had to give it all back? Imagine if someone forced airlines, hotels and car rental companies to return every penny they took from you under questionable circumstances. The answer is in my USA Today column.
□ WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Should foreign airlines be allowed to serve domestic destinations?
American laws prevent foreign carriers from operating domestic flights. But what if they could? Would you buy a ticket on Singapore Air from LA to New York? Do these laws, which are meant to protect domestic carriers, worth keeping? I’d love to get your opinion. As always, don’t forget include your full name, city and occupation.