Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about travel insurance (but were afraid to ask)

If you have a question about travel insurance, don’t worry. We’ve probably already answered it on our new frequently-asked questions about travel insurance page. The section went live a few minutes ago.

Want to know if you need travel insurance? Or the biggest travel insurance “gotcha”? Or how to file a claim? How long an appeal takes? It’s all there on a single, easy-to-read page.
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You’re going to want to see this

We interrupt this post to bring you an important message: Consumer advocacy sites like this one are not self-sustaining. Without your help, they will end.

Become an underwriter now and you won’t just help keep this site and quality, uncompromising consumer advocacy journalism going. You’ll also have chance to win a weekend van rental from Bandago or moneysaving guidebooks from our friends at the Alaska TravelGram.

Why would you want to join these brave readers who have supported this site and newsletter for 2013?

Because you need this site.

The next time you have a problem with a product or service, where will you turn?

Are you going to dispute the charge with your credit card, an action that may or may not be successful? Are you going to appeal to the company, spending hours on hold?

Maybe you’ll take your case to one of those “expert” blogs, where you’ll just be scolded for not having the encyclopedic knowledge of the industry that they have.

You know the saying, “Without a travel agent, you’re on your own.” It’s true for consumer advocates, too.

Can you really afford that?

Publishing a consumer advocacy blog takes time and money. For the last 16 years, I’ve given this site every available minute of free time. That’s because like you, I care deeply about quality service and fairness. I want everyone to get what they paid for, regardless of the income or loyalty status.

People say, “Follow your passion, and the money will come.” But they’ve never published a consumer advocacy site.

Let’s just say advertisers don’t love my site. There are a lot of people who really want me to stop publishing. Why? Because I’m the only thing standing between them having their way with their customers.

We’re almost halfway toward meeting our $10,000 goal for our February fundraiser. I know we can do this.

If you become a new underwriter at any level now, your name will be entered in a drawing for a weekend van rental. Also, the first 10 underwriter at the patron level will receive a copy of the Alaska TravelGram, a book with tens of thousands of dollars worth of savings.

I hope you’ll support this worthy cause. We only have a few days left in February. Please help keep one of the last few remaining voices for the consumer alive online.

I’m counting on you.

What do Minor Trips, Scottevest and the Seattle TourSaver have in common?

highway2It’s not a trick question. You can win valuable premiums from these three companies for supporting this site and newsletter. Right now.

Alright, maybe I’m not as clever as Ira Glass with my fundraisers, or as convincing as the talking heads on PBS. But the fact remains that this site exists because of you, the traveler.

The fact also remains that there’s really nothing like this site out there. There are lots of terrific news organizations that rely on advertising, and many excellent travel blogs that are run by hobbyists. But I don’t know of another site that advocates for travelers every day.
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Elliott’s E-Mail/May 7, 2008

Read this week’s issue online or subscribe to the RSS feed.

In this issue …

See you in court?
Yellow fever, red light: paperwork problem sinks Costa Rica vacation
Room with a wrong view
Beware of this Cancun all-inclusive fax scam
Paperwork problems
How to reach yours truly
Support this site

This issue of Elliott’s E-Mail is underwritten by ExpertFlyer, which empowers the frequent flier like no other site. Get the details here.

FIRST | Random thoughts about the week in travel

See you in court? Given the current state of the travel industry, no one should be surprised, that more people are heading to court to settle their differences with an airline, car rental company or hotel. In this week’s MSNBC column, I break it down for you. Don’t forget to check out the blog posts on a wide range of fascinating topics, from fax scams in Cancun to Yellow Fever-induced paperwork problems.

You did it! Many thanks to everyone who participated in the spring fundraiser. Your financial support has ensured that this site’s survivial. Congratulations to Joan Moyers and James Cozart, who will receive an Expertflyer subscriptions. If you meant to become an underwriter, there’s still time. Here are the details.

Burning question … housecleaning hell? Have you recently had a run-in with an insistent hotel maid? They have a schedule to keep, and sometimes don’t let little things like “do not disturb” signs get in the way of their job. What’s your story? Send me a note and please don’t forget to include your full name, city and occupation.

Have you seen Tripso lately? If not, you really should. The all-new Tripso has a cool new blog, great columns and a hoppin’ discussion forum called Come on by.

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by, which provides the easiest and quickest way to search for car hire on the web. Our car rental search engine will compare the market in seconds and provide you with prices from up to 40 car hire suppliers. Cheap car hire is one search away!

BLAZIN’ HOT BLOG POST | What’s burning up my bandwidth this week?

Yellow fever, red light: paperwork problem sinks Costa Rica vacation — Whose responsibility is your travel-related paperwork, like visas and vaccinations? If you said “mine” — you’re right. (From Elliott Blog) JOIN THE DISCUSSION — leave your comment!

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by, which lets you search and compare flights to find the lowest-priced airfare for your next trip. Get the details at

SIGHTINGS | Noted Elliott appearances online and offline

Room with a wrong view — Bob Ledford is promised a room with a two-sided ocean view when he books through Expedia. But when he arrives, the view isn’t what he expected, the hotel doesn’t seem to care, and Expedia won’t post the negative review of the resort. What’s wrong with this picture? (From The Troubleshooter)

See you in court: 5 times when you should just sue ’em — Lately, I’ve noticed people’s patience with the traditional complaint process — writing a letter, waiting for a reply, sending a probable appeal — is wearing thin. It’s as if they know they’ll be turned down and think they have a better chance of getting compensated by getting the law involved immediately. (From

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by, designers of top-rated, award-winning cases and accessories for laptops and other tech/travel gear. Named “best buy” by a major independent consumer magazine, as well as leading technology, travel and general interest publications. Elliot’s E-Mail Subscribers get 20 percent off, plus free shipping (UPS Ground/48 States) on all Skooba Design orders of $50 or more. Just enter coupon code ELLIOTT20 at checkout. Some restrictions apply. Here are the details.

BLOGGED | New posts on Elliott’s Blog

Beware of this Cancun all-inclusive fax scam — You already know that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. But clever scammers also know that you have an “override” button. Like invoking a well-known travel brand. Or using the name of a trusted media outlet. (From Elliott Blog)

Point taken: how hotels deny your hard-earned awards — Poof! There go your hard-earned points. Employees at budget hotels are using a variety of strategies to deny travelers their rewards, including typing the wrong name in a guest’s reservation or failing to include important frequent-stayer information. (From Elliott Blog)

Life in the Fast Lane: Transportation Department goes blogging — Is there a federal agency out there that doesn’t have a blog? The U.S. Transportation jumped into the blogosphere today with a site called Fast Lane that promises postings from none other than Secretary Mary Peters and other senior officials. (From Elliott Blog)

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by, the only tool you need to fly first class for the price of coach — or close to it. Looking for free and purchased upgrades, two-for-ones and a fast-track to elite status strategies? Look no further than

FLASHBACK | A retrospective from the Elliott archives

Paperwork problems. More document dilemmas.

Your passport’s no good — An American Airlines ticket agent tells Nancy Dreher that she can’t board her flight to Costa Rica. It seems her passport is valid — but not valid enough. That ends Dreher’s vacation, but now the airline won’t respond to her requests for a refund. What, if anything, does the airline owe this passenger? (From The Troubleshooter)

Passports: who needs ‘em? Who cares? — When it comes to passports, Americans are ignorant. And stupid. That’s the conclusion of a survey conducted by the Travel Industry Association and marketing firm Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell. (From Elliott Blog)

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by, the leading travel service for value-conscious leisure travelers. With both Name Your Own Price and everyday fixed low prices, no other travel service gives more ways to save on their airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises. No one does deals like!

TALKBACK | How to sound off about this site

Read something you disagree with? Got a story idea or a gripe? Here’s how to be heard:

• Send me an e-mail. I’m at elliottdotorg on every major e-mail provider — AOL, Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo. I’m also reachable at the same e-mail address I’ve always had, of course.
• Call me. My direct phone number is (407) 699-9529.
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• Find out what I’m doing now on Twitter.
• Post a response below an article, in the “Comment on this article” field.
• Contact me with this handy feedback form.

Please note: Unless you specify otherwise, all e-mails, letters and phone conversations are considered “on the record.” That means your name could be used in a future article.

BECOME AN UNDERWRITER | How to support Elliott

This site relies on support from travelers like you. If you care about journalism that’s uncompromising, cutting-edge and consumer-focused, then please consider becoming an underwriter. Here are the details.

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