Our patience with the TSA is just about up

By | September 10th, 2013

Fuju Liu/Shutterstock
Fuju Liu/Shutterstock

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□ WE’VE JUST ABOUT HAD IT WITH THE TSA

Let’s give the Transportation Security Administration one last chance. After the release of a Government Accountability Office report that revealed widespread TSA employee misconduct, including screeners involved in theft and drug smuggling, public sentiment is squarely on the side of a top-to-bottom overhaul that could privatize or dismantle the agency assigned to protect America’s transportation systems. Read the details in my USA Today column.

□ WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Are you taking an end-of-year “mileage run” or not?
Are you taking an end-of-the-year mileage run to get elite status for 2014? I can’t blame you — elites get VIP treatment by their airline. What’s not to love about that? But this year, with all the mileage program changes, some folks are sitting out this famous year-end ritual. What are you doing? Are the changes too much for you? Are you switching airlines? Or are you making one last run? Please send me an email. As always, don’t forget include your full name, city and occupation.

Eating our way through Seattle
If you visit Seattle, bring a healthy appetite. You’ll need it, because excellent food, wine and desserts are not the Emerald City’s problem. But — and not to sound too ominous about this — if you’re not careful, they could become your problem. Check out our final dispatch from our Away is Home site West Coast tour. Here’s the full story.

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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. Here’s my email address.

□ POSTS YOU REALLY DON’T WANT TO MISS

The one big mistake every consumer makes
You’re a smart consumer. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. You look for bargains, you read the fine print, you know how to navigate your way around the branches of a phone tree. But aren’t you forgetting something? Yes, you probably are.

Q&A: How do you replace your lost or stolen passport?
I explain in my latest USA Today Q&A video. See it here.

They didn’t have the accessible room I reserved — what am I owed?
Some hotel amenities aren’t that important. Some are. Having an accessible room, which is required under some state and federal laws, is a biggie. So when John and Carolyn Falabella asked me to look into their hotel’s failure to offer them the room they reserved, I knew it could be serious. Should I mediate this case?

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