I can’t believe I fell for that! (+ win a free Boingo account!)

I can’t believe I fell for that! (+ win a free Boingo account!)

Have you ever fallen for a scam? Then you’ll want to read about the six fine-print “gotchas” in this week’s Mint.com column, and my analysis of the latest government numbers on scam complaints that asks, “Who’s really responsible for all these scams?”

But I hope you’ll “fall” for more of this week’s newsletter, which is coming to you live from Gatlinburg, Tenn. (See photo of the view from our cabin, above, and check out the clip of these young bears taken about an hour ago.) It’s amazing.

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Lets Fly Cheaper, our newest underwriter. Lets Fly Cheaper specializes in low-fare business and first-class travel to international destinations. Because of their contacts and leading network, they can save customers up to 60 percent on their business- and first class flights. But that’s not the only reason to click on Lets Fly Cheaper. It’s also supporting the consumer advocacy on this site!

Win a free Boingo account. Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever connected to the Internet from? The 10 best answers this week will get a 60-day Boingo trial account 60-day trial and will come with access to the advanced version of its personal VPN! Boingo needs no introduction to readers of this email. I use it; I love the way it seamlessly connects me to WiFi in many public places, and you will too.


• This week’s big discussion: Was this a valid case? Should I have even written something about it?

• My Huffington Post story on the TSA’s cost overruns went kinda viral. See what the fuss was all about.

• Over at the Washington Post, I talk airline fines. Are there enough — or too much? Also, what happened to this passenger’s airline refund? And this guy’s deposit?

By the way, thanks so much for joining me on this adventure. As you probably know, I’m on a road trip with my family this year, and I love sharing photos and stories about our experiences. You can find out more on our family travel blog. See you next week!

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 chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • zpaul

    Where do we post our comments for the Boingo competition? Here? If so, the strangest place I’ve connected to the internet from is from the communications desk of the Clipper Adventurer while at Deception Island.  All uplinks were done via four daily microbursts at the time.  After 25 days down there, the satellite internet connection in Port Stanley seemed like the fastest thing ever!

  • http://www.soultravelers3.com/ soultravelers3

    Good stuff as usual Chris and hope you are enjoying this year with your family on the road. We’ve been on our endless family world tour since 2006, but I’ve never tried Bongo so would like to enter the contest too  ( as we travel on a low budget of $23/day pp).

    Since we started, we’ve been to 44 countries on 5 continents, but internet has always been a Russian roulette challenge and still is. I am writing from tropical Asia with a USB stick that is sloooooow. We even bought a mobile satellite at first, but that didn’t work.

    Here we are at a busy street corner in a foreign city ( Dijon) in 2006  trying to find some steps to sit on near the train station to pick up a budget hotel’s free wifi.  Yep, even called my Mom on skype via a laptop,shouting on this busy street perch. http://www.soultravelers3.com/2008/04/laptop-madness.html

    BUT that is not the most unusual place. We’ve had a horrible time finding internet in London and Paris: http://www.soultravelers3.com/2010/10/free-wifi-travel-office-paris-digital-nomad-technomad-minimalist-workshift-mobile-work-on-the-road.html

    But sometimes cheap internet can be great in the oddest places..like in the middle of the Sahara desert! Campgrounds in Europe can be OK for internet..I once did an interview for the NY times from my RV in Barcelona, caught up outside under a grape pergola in a campsite in Cinque Terre and again outside in the middle of the night in Andalusia trying to arrange an upcoming interview with the BBC. Might sound glamorous but it wasn’t as internet can be maddening and slooow on the road. Yet, it is part of the adventure.

    We also found decent internet in rural Bhutan near the Tiger’s Nest,very slow, expensive internet on a cargo ship in the middle of the ocean, internet from an archeological dig in Australia, outside by the pool in Santorini for a month, at an airport in New Zealand, found out about my step dad’s death from a cafe in Bora Bora, from  planes, steps away from Petra in Jordan, from a very rural eco retreat in north shore Kauai,  from a hostel in Norway, from a rural native Tahitian home couchsurfing in Moorea, with a view of Hagia Sophia and Bosphorus sea in Istanbul, from a B&B in Key West, with a sea view in Dubrovnic, Croatia, from a bus in Penang, Malaysia, from a friends cottage in rural Sweden, a coffee shop in Galicia, Spain, Prague,CR and Cologne Germany, with a pool view in our riad in  Marrakesh, while eating dumplings in Krakow, Poland, watching the sunrise at California’s oldest beach town Capitola, from Lovely Ljublijana,Slovenia,from a cave in Cappadocia to name just a few strangest places. ;)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NDCHBRVZN3OJPH6UDCZH2KHRBA James G

    Well gee whiz , was my post deleted?  Before you sign up for Boingo be sure to google it or google “cancel Boingo account.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Nope, haven’t deleted anything. I remember your post — you called Boingo a scam and said I was a scam. And I remember thinking to myself, “He’s got a right to say that.”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NDCHBRVZN3OJPH6UDCZH2KHRBA James G

    Sorry, I don’t think I said you were a scam. The question was; who is really responsible for for all thease scams? And i think i said or at least what i was thinking maybe Chris Elliot is helping. Maybe what I should have said was high profile people who recommend a product should take into consideration how they treat the rank and file instead of just how they treat you. Incidentally bought an E copy of your book “scammed” from Amazon a few weeks ago. Havent finished it yet, but do think it is informative. 

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Ah, I must have been having a senior moment. My apologies. OK, full disclosure: Boingo offered 10 trial accounts to give away on my site, and I’ve never had a complaint about its service, so I said, “Why not?” 

    If there had been a complaint or two about Boingo, then I probably would have had second thoughts about accepting the accounts. 

    By the way, Boingo isn’t a sponsor of this site, so there’s no financial relationship.