This is the online edition of Elliott’s E-Mail, my free weekly newsletter.
□ IS IT TIME TO BAN MINIBARS?
If shelling out $10 for a small bag of M&Ms makes you feel a little scammed, then you’ll love the hotel industry’s latest trend: closing its in-room minibars. But are they going far enough? Read more in my latest USA Today column.
□ CATCH THE ELLIOTT SHOW
Please join me every Monday at 1 p.m. for The Christopher Elliott Show, an irreverent half-hour conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. You can find it through the hashtag #elliottshow. Then, catch the live YouTube broadcast on my channel. In this week’s show, we discuss unbundling madness and I take one of your ridiculous questions. You can watch it right here.
□ WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Should travel products include more than they do?
I’m working on a story about travel products like airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars that don’t include essentials. For example, some airline tickets now don’t include a seat reservation or a meal; hotels force you to pay mandatory “resort fees” to cover the use of exercise rooms and pool facilities. And rental cars make you pay “tire disposal” and “license recovery” fees. Have you had to pay more for a travel product recently, and do you think the travel product includes what it needs to. Or has unbundling gone too far? I’d love to include your comments in my story. Please send me an email. 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. Here’s my email address.
□ POSTS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS
Surrounded by Impostors, What’s a Consumer to Do?
You’re surrounded by fakes. The clothes you wear could be fake. The money you use? Not real, maybe. Even your “friends” on social media are sometimes fake. What’s a consumer to do? Read more in my Mint.com column.
Is this airline downgrade disaster a lost cause?
I’ve been struggling with this case for months and am about to place it in the “can’t be fixed” file. But before I do, I wanted to run it past you. Here’s the whole story.