Hotels offer perks if you book direct. But should you?

Skip your travel agent and those comparison booking sites. That’s what more hotels want you to do, and they’re pulling out all the stops to persuade you to do it.

But should you? Read more “Hotels offer perks if you book direct. But should you?”

I sent Amoma my bank information, but it won’t issue my refund

Greg Burton books a room well in advance through Amoma for a trip to celebrate his and his wife’s anniversary, but they find their daughter is going to have a baby — during their trip. He cancels and Amoma promises him a refund, but won’t process it without information Burton can’t provide. Can we help? Read more “I sent Amoma my bank information, but it won’t issue my refund”

The 6 best online travel agencies of 2013

D Arts/Shutterstock
D Arts/Shutterstock

In this year’s best online travel agency category, it was yet another close vote. Travelocity and Kayak were tied until almost the last minute. But then Travelocity pulled ahead with just seconds left in the voting — almost a photo finish.

Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline round out the list, followed by Hotwire.

I didn’t distinguish between so-called “opaque” sites like Priceline and Hotwire and the “full-service” agencies. The list is a useful guide for anyone considering making a travel purchase online.

Here are the top online travel agencies of 2013 according to the readers of this site.
Read more “The 6 best online travel agencies of 2013”

Please vote for your favorite online travel agency

Africa Studios/Shutterstock
Africa Studios/Shutterstock
Online travel agencies have been called everything from web-based “vending machines” to travel agency killers. Like ’em or not, they’re a part of the travel ecosystem — and they’re not all created equally.

This week, I’m resuming my Elliott’s List feature by asking you to vote on your favorite online travel agency. Which site offers the best service, prices and stands behind its products? In other words, which one do you turn to when you need to go somewhere?

Thank you for voting. Here are the results.

After the storm, who has your refund?

The recent superstorm and series of nor’easters that slammed into the East Coast grounded tens of thousands of travelers, including Neil Weiss.

Fortunately, most travel companies waived their usual rules, offering those delayed by the storms a refund or a credit. But not all travel companies. Weiss, an editor for a trade magazine based in Cherry Hill, N.J., found an unlikely roadblock to his refund: his online travel agency.
Read more “After the storm, who has your refund?”