Here’s my bombshell announcement

Stocksnapper/Shutterstock
Stocksnapper/Shutterstock

This is the online edition of Elliott’s E-Mail, my free weekly newsletter.

□ BIG NEWS!

Last week I promised you a surprise announcement. Here it is: I’ve joined USA Today as a columnist. Here’s my debut column. But there’s an even bigger story, and it affects you. I explain everything in this post.

□ DID YOU SEE THIS WEEK’S ELLIOTT SHOW?

Please join me every Monday morning for The Christopher Elliott Show, an irreverent half-hour conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Tune in to the hashtag #elliottshow at 11 a.m. Then at 11:30 a.m., catch the live YouTube broadcast on my channel, where anything can happen. And yesterday, anything did happen. I forgot the name of my guest, and also, my own name. Well, not quite. Here’s the clip.

□ WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Ever given up on a loyalty program?
As rewards become incrementally more difficult to redeem and the rules that govern them grow more complex, travelers are re-evaluating their participation. Have you recently had to make a decision about your loyalty? Did you decide to stay with your current airline, hotel or car rental company, or leave? I’m working on a story about this, and would love to include your comment. 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.

Let’s talk!
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

Fireworks and more from Away is Home
Last week, my son Aren took some pretty unbelievable shots of the Fourth of July fireworks in Orlando. We also did our traditional video about what we hope to do this summer. What are you planning to do? Tell us. Also, do your little brats offend other travelers? You’ll want to take our little poll and leave your answer.

Delayed by a day, and these flight vouchers aren’t gonna cut it
Flight delays happen. But the one experienced by Nigel Goring-Morris and his companion on their flight from Tel Aviv to Honolulu by way of Los Angeles was so long, and the initial compensation so inadequate, that I’m considering getting involved. What do you think?

Is it time for airlines to draw the line on fees?
Here’s a troubling event witnessed by Stavros Katsas on a recent Spirit Airlines flight — a scene rendered even more disturbing in light of last weekend’s deadly crash-landing of a passenger jet in San Francisco. He was seated near an emergency exit row and saw an elderly passenger take a seat in that row. Read the rest of the story.

Would you buy a “custom” airline ticket?
Should your airline be allowed to offer you a customized ticket? That’s the intriguing and somewhat thorny question being raised by the worldwide airline industry through a little-known proposal called Resolution 787 — not to be confused with Boeing’s troubled 787 aircraft. Find out what it might mean to you.

□ MY PARTING SHOT

I hope you’ll consider getting involved in the “new” Elliott. I want to make this your site for consumer advocacy. Please let me know how I can make that happen.

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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