Elliott’s E-Mail/April 30, 2008

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In this issue …

This is your last chance
Bumping games: how American redefined ‘denied boarding’
What not to wear on a plane
It’s ALIVE! Race to create world’s worst airline heats up
Denied boarding!
How to reach yours truly
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FIRST | Random thoughts about the week in travel

This is your last chance. It’s the final week of our fundraiser, and your last opportunity to cast a protest vote against the way travelers are being treated. The travel industry wishes you wouldn’t, but with four airlines in the throes of a merger that will hurt air travelers and with new fees popping up everywhere you turn, I’ve gotta ask: why wouldn’t you? Here are 10 good reasons to support Elliott’s E-Mail. Come on, what are you waiting for? Here are the details.

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Burning question … Boarding priority? Do any airline’s boarding procedures make sense? Which ones don’t make sense? If you could change one thing about boarding a plane, what would it be? Send me and please don’t forget to include your full name, city and occupation.

Join TalkingTravelers.com. There’s a new site out there called TalkingTravelers.com. It’s a place where travelers can go to talk about their last trip and interact with other like-minded travelers. Come on by.

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BLAZIN’ HOT BLOG POST | What’s burning up my bandwidth this week?

Bumping games: how American redefined ‘denied boarding’ — It was bound to happen, given that airlines are now required to double their compensation for passenger who are involuntarily denied boarding. If you can’t change the rule, just change the definition of “denied boarding.” (From Elliott Blog) JOIN THE DISCUSSION — leave your comment!

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by G1G.com, the household name in global travel protection. G1G Insurance Services has nearly 20 years of experience in providing insurance products. Find a policy now.

SIGHTINGS | Noted Elliott appearances online and offline

That’s some cleaning bill! — Bart Everson’s bill at an Alabama resort includes a big surprise: a $166 “cleaning fee.” No, Everson didn’t trash the room; in fact, the charge hits his credit card before he even checks in. The fine print in his reservation does mention a cleaning fee, but doesn’t say how much he’ll be charged. Does he still have to pay? (From The Troubleshooter)

What not to wear on a plane — What to wear on a plane — or more to the point, what not to wear on a plane — is a hot topic today for a number of reasons. Not only are we heading into the warm summer months, when air travelers commit a majority of these sartorial slip-ups, but the gap between what we should wear on a commercial flight, and what we do wear, appears to be widening. (From MSNBC.com)

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by skoobadesign.com, designers of top-rated, award-winning cases and accessories for laptops and other tech/travel gear. Named “best buy” by a major independent consumer magazine, as well as leading technology, travel and general interest publications. Elliot’s E-Mail Subscribers get 20 percent off, plus free shipping (UPS Ground/48 States) on all Skooba Design orders of $50 or more. Just enter coupon code ELLIOTT20 at checkout. Some restrictions apply. Here are the details.

BLOGGED | New posts on Elliott’s Blog

It’s ALIVE! Race to create world’s worst airline heats up — Just when air travelers thought things couldn’t get any worse, they have. The competition to create the world’s worst airline is heating up, and the losers have already been decided. We are the losers. (From Elliott Blog)

Oh no they didn’t! Hotel charges guest $37 for incoming phone calls — Here’s a clever twist on one of the most enduring hotel scams. Instead of charging an outrageous markup on outgoing phone calls made from a room — a practice that’s generating less and less money because guests are simply switching to cheaper cell phones — one property has figured out a way to reverse the equation. It’s evidently charging guests for incoming calls. (From Elliott Blog)

The problem with paperless boarding passes? Batteries aren’t included — We have word today that the Transportation Security Administration and Continental Airlines are expanding their rollout of the Paperless Boarding Pass pilot program to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Newark International Airport and Logan International Airport in Boston. I have a problem with that. (From Elliott Blog)

New emissions calculator reveals true cost of your flight — Forget high airfares. You don’t know the real cost of your next airline trip until you figure out how much of the environment you’ve destroyed. At least that’s the idea behind a new calculator by Stanford researchers that puts a pollution pricetag on air travel. (From Elliott Blog)

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by FirstClassFlyer.com, the only tool you need to fly first class for the price of coach — or close to it. Looking for free and purchased upgrades, two-for-ones and a fast-track to elite status strategies? Look no further than FirstClassFlyer.com

FLASHBACK | A retrospective from the Elliott archives

Denied boarding! More bumping stories.

You call that a weather delay? — I recently endured a 30-hour delay on an American Airlines flight from San Francisco to Pittsburgh via Chicago. Although the delay was initially caused by the weather, I believe it was exacerbated by the airline’s inadequate and inconsistent customer care practices. (From The Troubleshooter)

“No customer will be denied boarding until we have asked for others to volunteer” — The airline industry is one of only a few businesses that is allowed to sell more of its product than it has. When a carrier overbooks one of its planes, it has what’s delicately called an “involuntary denied boarding” situation on its hands — meaning someone’s not going to get kicked off the flight. (From Elliott Blog)

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by Priceline.com, the leading travel service for value-conscious leisure travelers. With both Name Your Own Price and everyday fixed low prices, no other travel service gives more ways to save on their airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises. No one does deals like Priceline.com!

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at . Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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