Forced to “upgrade” on a United Airlines flight – is this deceptive?

Barbara Acosta was duped by United Airlines.

“A colleague and I traveled from Washington to Albuquerque for a conference last week,” she says. “Our tickets were already paid for, but when we went to check in online a few hours before our flight, we were told the economy seats were all taken. We were forced to pay an extra $29 each for Economy Plus seats.” Read more “Forced to “upgrade” on a United Airlines flight – is this deceptive?”

Cruise ships are getting a big upgrade

Cruise ships have long lagged behind the rest of the travel industry when it comes to technology. Wi-Fi connections have traditionally been painfully slow, and the only noteworthy technology investment cruise lines made usually involved systems designed to make it easier to pay for optional items like spa treatments, dinners and trips to the onboard casino. Read more “Cruise ships are getting a big upgrade”

Ready to throw this Windows 10 ‘upgrade’ out the window

Ross Jones’s Windows 10 upgrade goes wrong and now Microsoft wants him to pay $499 to fix it. Is that right?

Read more “Ready to throw this Windows 10 ‘upgrade’ out the window”

Should I make an exception to my “no mileage cases” rule?

Ronald and Vickie Lopresti want to fly from Philadelphia to Madrid in comfort this May, not in the sardine seats where American Airlines jams passengers in the back of its planes.
Read more “Should I make an exception to my “no mileage cases” rule?”

He paid for a first-class seat, but it didn’t last all the way to Portland

“We feel like we were taken advantage of,” says Mike Sevier, who recently flew from Tucson, Ariz., to Portland on US Airways. “Scammed at worst.”
Read more “He paid for a first-class seat, but it didn’t last all the way to Portland”

Should you go for a last-minute upgrade?

Judith Patrizzi did it. So did Linda Petzler.
Read more “Should you go for a last-minute upgrade?”

No “comfort” seat on TAM — and no refund

Chris Parypa Photography /
Chris Parypa Photography /
Nathan Pearson and his son are bumped into two uncomfortable airline seats on a 10-hour flight from Brazil back to the United States. And now the upgrade fee they paid is missing in action. Will they ever see that money again?

Question: I recently flew from Sao Paolo to New York on TAM with my son. We had purchased “comfort seats” for this flight, for $75 each, and were assigned seats 27C and 27A. When we boarded the flight, we found that these seats had been double booked, and other passengers were already in those seats, with valid tickets.

There were no other comfort seats available, although both business and first class were mostly empty.

Following very long discussions with a flight attendant, we were informed that we were to accept “regular” coach seats far back in the plane, and that we would receive a refund for the $150 we paid for the comfort seats.
Read more “No “comfort” seat on TAM — and no refund”

Help! My cruise is gone and so is my upgrade


Here’s an interesting question raised by what is probably an unsolvable case: When your cruise is nonrefundable, what happens to the upgrade you purchased?

That’s the problem faced by Stan Krehbiel, who booked a cruise tour through luxury tour operator Tauck earlier this year. He didn’t purchase the optional cruise protection, a decision he now regrets.

A few days before his vacation, he began feeling sick. He visited his cardiologist, who delivered some bad news.
Read more “Help! My cruise is gone and so is my upgrade”

3 tips for handling upgrade guilt

seat2Do you suffer from upgrade guilt when you fly in first class? You probably do — and if you don’t, you should.

The woman seated in the last row of first class on my previous flight did. As I boarded the aircraft, our eyes locked, and I smiled as I shuffled back to seat 25D.

She looked away. I could tell she felt sorry for me.
Read more “3 tips for handling upgrade guilt”