Travelers May Encounter Less Hassle This Holiday Season

What's Hot

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

19 Moves That Will Help You Retire Early and in StyleFamily

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

The 35 Two-Year Colleges That Produce the Highest EarnersCollege

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

7 Household Hacks That Save You CashAround The House

5 Reasons a Roth IRA Should Be Part of Your Retirement PlanGrow

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Beware These 10 Retail Sales Tricks That Get You to Spend MoreMore

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

The 2012 holiday travel season is going to be better in at least three important ways.

This post by Christopher Elliott comes from partner site Mint

The 2012 holiday travel season should be better in three important ways. And if it isn’t, you may be able to get help and see your travel company pay for misdeeds.

New rules and regulations are offering protections from practices that, in the past, put holiday travelers in an un-festive mood. They include deceptive airline surcharges, hotel resort fees, and fraudulent car rental damage claims.

So what’s changed this year?

1. Airlines must quote an “all-in” fare

Earlier this year, the Department of Transportation adopted a new rule that all mandatory taxes and fees must be included in advertised airfares. This is good news for people who travel occasionally and don’t know they need to add taxes and other mandatory fees like fuel surcharges to the cost of a ticket to get the actual price.

The new rule needs work – airlines are still allowed to exclude important fees like luggage surcharges and seat reservation fees, which have become common in recent years. But it’s a start.

What if they don’t? If an airline or online agency quotes you an “a la carte” fare you think may violate current regulations, file a complaint with the DOT.

2. Hotels can’t add a “resort fee” after they’ve quoted a rate

If you’ve stayed at an upscale hotel, you may have paid one of these fees – they cover everything from newspapers to exercise and pool facilities to Internet access. These extras can add as much as $30 per night to your hotel bill, and, says the FTC, they may be “unfair and deceptive.” They issued a warning last month that these mandatory surcharges could violate the law.

What if you’re charged a resort fee? Let the FTC know about it. Warning letters have already been sent to 22 hotel operators, which is only the first step. If a company persists, it could be fined.

3. Car rental companies can’t defraud you with a damage claim

Another common complaint involves a car rental company claiming a consumer has damaged a vehicle, then overcharging for repairs.

We still don’t have any laws that specifically prevent this kind of scam from happening. But it appears to be unraveling, thanks in part to a Canadian TV investigative report.  So while this kind of mischief is still happening in the U.S., I strongly believe its days are numbered.

What if it happens to you? Contact your state insurance commissioner, state attorney general, and the FTC.

Also, let me know about it. I may be able to help you get a fraudulent bill reversed. I’m strangely upbeat about the upcoming holiday travel season, knowing that consumers have a little more protection.

Who knows, maybe 2013 will be even better.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to Retire

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,657 more deals!