This is what happens when you don’t want to tip on your cruise

What if you don’t want to tip on your cruise? Or maybe you’re not against cruise gratuities, but prefer to give on a person by person basis. Can the cruise line force you to pay a set amount for the crew’s bonus?

That’s the question Laurie May wants answered. She says Oceania recently blindsided her by adding $320 to the cost of her 10-day European cruise. The reason? Automatically added gratuities.

Now she wants the Elliott Advocacy team to retrieve the crew bonus and put it back in her wallet. But is that something we can do? (Reprint/Sept. 2019/updated June 2020)

Read more “This is what happens when you don’t want to tip on your cruise”

Do not let coronavirus panic make you cancel your trip right now

Coronavirus panic is at full throttle. In the last week, we’ve received hundreds of requests for assistance from fearful travelers about coronavirus-related cancellations. Our advocacy team has been on call night and day, answering questions and providing help. But many reaching out to us have travel plans several weeks and even months in the future. These troubled travelers want to know if — and how — they should cancel their trips right now.

But for most of these travelers, the answer is simple. Do not cancel your future trip today. (Update/Reprint from March 23) Read more “Do not let coronavirus panic make you cancel your trip right now”

Here are the answers to the top coronavirus travel questions

Do you need a comprehensive guide to help you handle all of your coronavirus travel questions? No worries, the Elliott Advocacy team has you covered.

During the past month, our team has been busy advocating cases like never before — 24 hours a day. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked coronavirus travel questions we’ve received. Read more “Here are the answers to the top coronavirus travel questions”

Coronavirus fears: What you need to know about canceling your vacation

Are coronavirus fears driving you to cancel your upcoming vacation? If you’re considering canceling, you aren’t alone. In recent weeks, pleas for help from travelers who want to cancel cruises, flights, and hotels have inundated our helpline.

These consumers all hope to override the written contract they have with these providers and get a full refund.

But if you decide to cancel your vacation, can you get your money back?
Read more “Coronavirus fears: What you need to know about canceling your vacation”

Will travel insurance protect you during the coronavirus outbreak?

David Klement wants to know if his travel insurance will protect him during the coronavirus outbreak. Specifically, could it get him a full $15,506 refund for his Grand Circle Travel tour of India?

The question — “Will travel insurance protect me during the coronavirus outbreak?” — is driving travelers a little crazy during the pandemic. After all, they bought travel insurance believing it would fully protect them. And by “fully protect,” they mean being made whole if something catastrophic happened.

And then something catastrophic happened. Read more “Will travel insurance protect you during the coronavirus outbreak?”

How to fix your own consumer problem

You can fix your own consumer problem. If you’re having trouble with a product or service, there is a way out — and you don’t have to hire an expensive lawyer or call the cops.

Yes, you can do it yourself. Read more “How to fix your own consumer problem”

How long should I wait for my coronavirus refund?

Hang on! That’s what I told Laureen McCluen when she contacted me about her Airbnb reservation in Washington, D.C. She wanted to know how long to wait for her coronavirus refund.

McCluen plunked down $8,457 for her rental. She looked forward to a week in the nation’s capital, enjoying the museums and monuments and the cherry blossoms. And then coronavirus hit. You know the rest. Read more “How long should I wait for my coronavirus refund?”

These cruise itinerary changes ruined my trip! I want a refund

The cruise itinerary changes on Iris Fennel’s recent Baltic Sea journey completely ruined her trip. She says Norwegian’s Breakaway sailed right past three out of five of its scheduled ports of call. Based on that ratio, Fennel has calculated NCL should give her a 60 percent cash refund.

But does the cruise line owe Fennel anything for these changes to the itinerary? Read more “These cruise itinerary changes ruined my trip! I want a refund”

You should never skip parts of your flight. This is why

What happens if you skip parts of your flight itinerary? Charlie Williams will tell you — nothing good.

On the way to their Hawaiian getaway, Williams and his wife missed their connecting flight to the islands. Hawaiian Airlines moved the couple to the next available flight. But the duo decided to skip that flight and book a more convenient one — without informing the airline. That mistake ended up creating a travel fiasco that cost the Williams over $1,200. However, the couple wouldn’t find out anything was wrong until they tried to fly home.

Read more “You should never skip parts of your flight. This is why”