These front-seat selfies reveal Utah’s winter splendor

There’s a reason Utah’s claims to have the “Greatest Snow on Earth.” Spend a month here, as I just did, and you’ll see this state’s winter splendor for yourself. Read more “These front-seat selfies reveal Utah’s winter splendor”

Skiing in summer? Only at this California resort

Don’t look now, but there’s a guy next to me at the bottom of the chairlift. He’s snowboarding in a swimsuit. And nothing else. Read more “Skiing in summer? Only at this California resort”

Does this blizzard expose the travel industry’s cold heart?

An epic blizzard bearing down on the East Coast of the United States today is forcing passengers to ask difficult questions about compassion and the travel industry that supposedly serves them.
Read more “Does this blizzard expose the travel industry’s cold heart?”

Case dismissed: They promised a refund but they’re keeping my money

Diana Somerville was looking forward to a week in Canada with her family last Thanksgiving.

But the weather gods were not smiling upon her. Just before she was supposed to drive up to Victoria, a major blizzard struck near her home in Washington State, making the roads impassable.

“All highways and airports were shut down so I called and cancelled the reservation,” she says. “Extended forecasts said still more snowstorms were on the way so I sadly relinquished the idea of our holiday weekend vacation.”

But EMR Vacation Rentals, which handled her reservation, did not.
Read more “Case dismissed: They promised a refund but they’re keeping my money”

Here’s to the airline heroes who helped us make it through the snowstorms

Notice anything funny about this itinerary? Look closely.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m scheduled to arrive in Washington after my departure tomorrow.

JetBlue sent it to me after canceling last night’s flight because of a snowstorm that was forecast to slam Washington. When I phoned the airline to point out the problem with its proposed schedule, a representative laughed.

“Oh,” she said, “that’s just our system.”

A sense of humor! That’s the first thing you’ve gotta have that when you’re dealing with thousands of canceled flights over several weeks. You have to be able to laugh about it.

I’ve heard numerous stories of airlines going above and beyond during this challenging time. I want to share a few of them with you.
Read more “Here’s to the airline heroes who helped us make it through the snowstorms”

Hotwire saves the day for snowed-in customer

Most hotels offer less expensive, nonrefundable rates that can’t be changed, no matter what your circumstances. Book them through a site like Hotwire, and they’re extra nonrefundable, because of the site’s strict no-cancel, no-refund, no-change policies. Or are they?

Maybe not. Despite the recent things I’ve written about the site, buying through Hotwire can be helpful. Just ask Beth Ann Stasiowski, who had booked four nights at the Sheraton Reston Hotel in Reston, Va., recently.
Read more “Hotwire saves the day for snowed-in customer”

Flying in the snow: 6 lessons for coping with winter-weather delays

Last weekend’s blizzard was a warning to air travelers: Winter is only starting, and when bad weather moves in, your flight schedule isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

Nicholas Holland learned that when he tried to fly from Reagan National Airport in Washington to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a Christmas party on Dec. 18. US Airways canceled his original flight and rescheduled him with a connection through Cleveland. But when a record snowstorm slammed Washington on Saturday, US Airways canceled the new flight, too.
Read more “Flying in the snow: 6 lessons for coping with winter-weather delays”