Thank you for reading Elliott’s Email, my irreverent and incredibly helpful weekly email newsletter. Don’t forget, you can subscribe to my daily email newsletter here.
What you need to know this week
Where’s the real airfare transparency bill? Don’t look now, but the Senate just introduced its own airfare “transparency” law. Confused yet? I try to sort it out in my USA Today column. Your input is always welcome.
Unbelievable! The Change.org petition that asks Congress to keep truth-in-advertising laws in place has hit 50,000 signatures. If you haven’t added your name yet, please consider doing so now. (Note: Change.org may add you to its mailing list, I’ve learned, but it’s easy to unsubscribe.)
Become the world’s smartest traveler. Buy my new book, How To Be The World’s Smartest Traveler, and you’ll never have another bad trip. (And if you do, you know where to find me, right?)
Download the epilogue now. The unpublished final chapter of my book is now available exclusively from the National Geographic Facebook site. You can download it now at no additional charge. It’s filled with exciting, funny and informative interviews with the world’s smartest travelers.
Please support this site. If you represent a forward-looking company that wants to stand up and be counted as one that supports good customer service, here’s your chance. I have a limited number of corporate underwriter opportunities that have become available. You can also become an individual underwriter.
Thank you, Squaremouth. Squaremouth.com helps travelers easily and instantly compare all the major travel insurance plans. To ensure customer satisfaction, only companies that meet Squaremouth.com’s strict requirements make it into the system. You can save over 70 percent on your next policy at Squaremouth. We’re grateful for their support of the consumer advocacy on this site.
Needed: Email newsletter gurus, SEO specialists. Are you tired of just reading about the latest consumer problems? Do you want to do something about it? Well, now you can. We need volunteers who specialize in creating newsletters and who know their way around analytics and SEO to help build the content for a next-generation consumer organization. Here’s how to get involved.
This week’s burning question
Do you travel with a bike? I’m working on a story about the challenges of transporting a bike when you’re on vacation. Anyone out there try to bring a bike on a plane or bus recently? Do you have any tips for making it a smoother ride? (And avoiding paying big fees to the airline, cruise line or bus company?)
Bonus question: What should be included in your airfare? Airlines want to remove taxes from the base ticket prices, and are asking the government for permission to do so. What do you think? What should (and what should not) be included in the price of your airfare. Should seat reservations and “free” drinks be a part of your airfare? Or should it be just a seat on the plane?
The latest news from the Travelers United blog network
Away is Home. Our site about traveling together, we venture to the Dominican Republic, where Victor Block tells all about his adventure. And Ned Levi takes us to Tivoli Gardens for a very different kind of adventure. Please join us.
Consumer Traveler. On our travel policy site, Ned Levi grapples with the issue of passenger safety and comfort. And our policy guru Charlie Leocha asks: Why do airlines want to misrepresent the truth about their airfares?
Elliott. The advice site is buzzing. Should I mediate the case of JetBlue and the filled barf bag? Be sure to vote. Thinking of buying something in a “flash” sale? Here’s a news flash. This car rental claim was long – and very strange. And this week’s most-commented post: Can Sears save this Easter dinner?
Souvenirist. On our destination site, Dan Church mulls what to do when you get bumped from a flight. Stuart Gustafson explains why you shouldn’t check your luggage, even if it’s “free.” Plus, if you’re planning a summer vacation, here’s why Janice Hough thinks you should call a travel agent.
I’m listening. 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.