For a while now, I’ve thought about offering a disclaimer about the kinds of cases that I can’t mediate. I wonder if it’s time to post something so that people know there’s only so much I can do.
Among the travel-related cases I would consider including:
Luggage cases. I can’t go to the airport and look for your lost bag. Often, it’s impractical to push an airline for additional compensation when it comes to your misplaced luggage, because the limits are set by the federal government or the Montreal convention.
Taxes and tolls. I’ve never successfully mediated a value-added tax or a toll case. Also, the power to reverse a hidden-camera traffic fine in Italy, which is notorious for such things, is above my paygrade.
Frequent flier miles and upgrades. If your miles expire, it’s really hard to un-expire them, even if the airline didn’t provide you with ample notice. Since the points are not yours, but the property of the airline (and since you signed an agreement to that effect when you joined the program), I can’t even ask the airline to “do the right thing.” Strictly speaking, it is doing the right thing.
Then again, telling readers that I won’t even bother hearing their cases seems contrary to the spirit of my advocacy practice.