Hell hath no fury like a passenger scorned?

Is this a plane cabin or a cage match?

That’s the question I’d have been asking myself on-board the JetBlue flight to New York as I watched two women brawling, one armed with a can of pepper spray and the other with a razor and a wicked right hook.

Continue reading…

This summer’s top travel bloopers

From TSA flubs to mass flight delays, airline data hacks to the grounding of a carrier’s entire fleet, some travelers will remember this summer for a melee of industry mishaps. But big businesses aren’t the only ones that make mistakes.
Continue reading…

Help! My travel insurance didn’t work like I thought it would

One of the most common answers to a travel problem is: You should have bought insurance. I’ve said it and chances are, you have too.

And it’s true — except when it isn’t.

Consider what happened to Janice Zatarain, who bought a travel insurance policy through Travelex to cover her family trip to Europe. She, her husband and her son would be flying from San Francisco to London and Paris.
Continue reading…

“Free” airline seat assignments for families? It’s about time

Family travel, as rewarding as it can be, is seldom easy. And with increasing airline fees for anything they can charge for, it’s also become much more expensive, especially for cost-conscious travelers who don’t fly enough to have airline status.

It’s not just needing to bring your own food, and pay for your bags. Now families have to pay just to be guaranteed to be seated together.
Continue reading…

Special-needs travelers get a helping hand

Think travel is a challenge? Try doing it with a special-needs child.

Jess Wilson knows what that’s like. Her autistic 11-year-old daughter is prone to anxiety attacks when her family is on the road. So Wilson, a disability advocate who lives in Boston, tries to smooth the way with careful planning.

But you can’t anticipate everything. Wilson recalls an unexpected delay on a recent theme-park vacation, which left her family idling at the entrance of Florida’s Magic Kingdom for about an hour.

“For an autistic child like mine,” she says, “it was torture.”
Continue reading…

Want an early hotel check-in? Here are 7 tips from a pro

Red-eye flights are hard enough. But when you’re heading to a hotel after the marathon trip, all you probably want to do is drop your bags and sleep, even if just for a few minutes. Will your room will be available?

This week, I’ve got clients flying to Australia, from Washington. That’s 23 hours of travel time. They’ll be arriving at 8:30 a.m. And, of course, they want to check-in when they arrive.
Continue reading…

Does “free” travel cost too much?

If you’ve ever been to a travel trade show, you’ve probably seen the freeloaders.

They prowl the floor in small packs, descending on the booths to claim everything that isn’t nailed down — pens, wrapped candy, four-color travel brochures.

Often, they walk by without saying “hi,” absorbing these giveaways with the efficiency of a shoplifter.
Continue reading…