This is the online version of Elliott’s E-Mail. You can sign up here to receive this newsletter by email.
□ FREQUENT FLIER AWARDS OFTEN AREN’T
It’s time to question one of the most basic tenets of travel: Everyone should participate in an airline loyalty program. A tectonic shift in the world of travel rewards is forcing passengers to reconsider their allegiances — or whether it’s worth being loyal at all. Read the details in my USA Today column.
□ WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Is it time to take a cruise?
The cruise industry has been in the news for a variety of things lately, and not all of them good. But Congress is about to impose tough new regulations on the industry (here’s my recent Washington Post column on the topic). And recent scandals have kept cabin prices low. If you’ve never taken a cruise, do you think this is a good time to go? If you’ve cruised before, do you feel safer now than before? As always, don’t forget include your full name, city and occupation.
Wanna become the world’s smartest traveler?
I know you do. Then do this now: 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.
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.
□ POSTS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS
Errors of Omission: 3 Ways to Avoid a Disclosure Scam
They say the devil is in the details. Moyosore Otepola would probably agree.She recently booked a hotel reservation in Chicago through an airline website. “I found a better deal and decided to cancel the reservation,” she says. Find out what happened next in my Mint.com column.
Is this Priceline “missing button” case a lost cause?
Brook Demmerle’s problem is not uncommon, but it’s usually unsolvable.
But you know me, don’t you? Always tilting at windmills. I’m a sucker for lost causes. So if you think I should jump in and get involved, I will. Here are the details.
Good customer service from the TSA? It’s no joke
Like most Americans, Jim Davies believes the Transportation Security Administration might benefit from a top-to-bottom reform. And like most Americans, he wasn’t surprised when a Government Accountability Office study revealed widespread employee misconduct, including screeners involved in theft and drug smuggling activities, as well as circumventing mandatory screening procedures for passengers and baggage. All of which made his recent experience in Philadelphia so noteworthy.
Will a new law force cruise lines to better report onboard crime?
The remarkable thing about the proposed Cruise Passenger Protection Act is that on its face, it looks entirely unremarkable. The law would require cruise lines to publicly report all alleged crimes on a ship and to disclose their passenger contracts in plain English. But dive into the bill, and it delivers a little shock to both passengers and the cruise industry. Here’s why.
What happened in Vegas? (And does it really stay here?)
This is your brain. This is your brain on Vegas. OK, not quite, but this is my favorite memory of Las Vegas, seen from the upper deck of a Big Bus tour. It’s the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health building designed by famed architect Frank Gehry. It’s supposed to represent the different hemispheres of the brain, but I think it more aptly describes what’s going on in your head after a week of nonstop partying. Read more.
□ MY PARTING SHOT
We’re in San Diego for the next few days, visiting with family and writing about the experience on our family travel blog. As usual, we don’t have enough time to do California justice, but we’ll be back. Promise!