Should kids in diapers be allowed in the pool?

And now, as they say, for something completely different. Since we often talk about travel and manners, one reader has brought up one of the most controversial subjects in the travel industry: diapers in pools. Read more “Should kids in diapers be allowed in the pool?”

How to survive a road trip with your kids

About halfway through a 3,755-mile road trip from Orlando to Seattle, I had a little reality check. It happened a few minutes into an hour-long interview with an NPR show in Madison, Wis., when the topic swerved toward unruly kids in a car. Read more “How to survive a road trip with your kids”

How my kids taught me to be a better consumer advocate

How good are your reading comprehension skills? How patient are you? How willing are you to forgive other people’s shortcomings? Read more “How my kids taught me to be a better consumer advocate”

Are airlines about to charge your kids more?

If your blood pressure spikes when you think about the words “kids” and “plane” in the same sentence, as you just did (sorry about that), then this story may have a calming effect.

True, there’s no faster way to start a brawl on a flight or an online chat room than by putting the two together. Some passengers feel the interior of a plane should be a designated quiet zone; others treat it as a playground. It’s a conflict as old as commercial aviation.
Read more “Are airlines about to charge your kids more?”

Please cancel my nonrefundable hotel room, Priceline

Nuno/Shutterstock
Nuno/Shutterstock
Tami Alloway needs to cancel her hotel stay because of “extenuating” personal circumstances. Just one problem: the reservations are non-refundable.

Question: I recently reserved a hotel room at the Hawthorn Suites in Charleston, SC, through Priceline for a family trip with my mother. A few days later, my sister’s children were removed from their home and taken into state custody. I was awarded foster care for all three of them and they have been with me since then.

The older children, prior to removal, were homeschooled, so the dates of the trip were not an issue. With them being in my care, they are now in public schooling. The children range in age from 22 months through 9 years of age.

When we realized that the time frame would mean I would still have the children with me in March (and not during spring break, so they would miss a week of school), I called to cancel the reservation and was told there is no refund, even in extreme situations.
Read more “Please cancel my nonrefundable hotel room, Priceline”

Lufthansa stranded my 16-year-old son in Detroit

Carolina Smith/Shutterstock
Carolina Smith/Shutterstock
It’s something out of every mother’s worst nightmare: Your child is stranded at the airport and won’t be able to fly home unless he forks over thousands of dollars for a new ticket.

That nightmare came true for Gloria Castillo-Ibrahim and her 16-year-old son, Kareem Amir Gharib, recently. They’re inexperienced air travelers, but in a way, nothing could have prepared them for the trouble they experienced.

Castillo-Ibrahim wants me to help her fix this problem, but I’m not really sure if I can, or if I should. Your thoughts on this case would be helpful.

The problem began when Castillo-Ibrahim’s husband decided to surprise her son for Christmas by booking two roundtrip tickets from Cairo to Detroit on Lufthansa’s website.
Read more “Lufthansa stranded my 16-year-old son in Detroit”

Does JetBlue owe her anything for amorous passenger incident?

Sunshine Pics/Shutterstock
Sunshine Pics/Shutterstock
To say that Cristi Mitchell felt uncomfortable on a recent JetBlue Airways flight from Phoenix to Boston might be something of an understatement.

During the redeye flight, an amorous couple seated across from her partner and her 8-year-old son engaged in several sex acts. No need to go into details, but let’s just say they covered every angle.

“I was shocked and really uncomfortable,” she said. When she mentioned the behavior to a flight attendant, the crewmember tried to stop the copulating passengers.
Read more “Does JetBlue owe her anything for amorous passenger incident?”

Airline seat fees separate mom from five-year-old twins

Ever since airlines added new economy-class seat reservation fees, they’ve insisted that the new charges would not lead to families with young kids being separated.

And I believed it — until I heard from Vicki Wallace.

Wallace was flying from Philadelphia to San Diego on US Airways recently, when the fees led to her being separated from her five-year-old twins, she says.
Read more “Airline seat fees separate mom from five-year-old twins”

Good and evil at the TSA — and what to do about it

After a preposterously positive TSA screening experience before my flight from Hilo, Hawaii, to Maui last week, I get it. I know why the agency assigned to protect America’s transportation systems has a few fans — and an apologist or two.
Read more “Good and evil at the TSA — and what to do about it”