About Christopher Elliott

I’m an award-winning author, consumer advocate and journalist. My investigative reporting on behalf of readers, often against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, has earned me a reputation as “every consumer’s best friend.” Contact me directly any time at chris@elliott.org.

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I write The Travel Troubleshooter, which is syndicated by King Features. You can find it in newspapers across the country, from the San Francisco Chronicle to the Boston Globe.

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I pen a weekly column for the Washington Post called The Navigator, which focuses on being a smarter, more informed traveler, with a special emphasis on transportation policy.

I write USA Today’s weekly On Travel column. The feature helps travelers understand the inner workings of the travel industry, and how to make the most of their next trip.

I’m Money Magazine’s reader advocate. I help readers resolve everyday conflicts with companies and organizations and I tell them how to avoid future problems.

In more than two decades as a journalist, I’ve either worked at or appeared in almost every A-list outlet.

I’ve appeared on virtually every major TV network, including ABC, BBC, CW, CNN and NBC. I’ve been an independent producer for NPR and a commentator for Public Radio’s Marketplace. I’ve also hosted a cable TV show and co-hosted a nationally-syndicated radio show.

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I’ve written commentaries and regular columns for every major national daily, including The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. I hold the rare distinction of also being quoted as a source in those publications and in many more newspaper outlets.

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I’ve written for or been cited as an expert by a variety of magazines, including FortuneNational GeographicOutside and US News & World Report. I’ve been a columnist for Entrepreneur, National Geographic Traveler and Fortune.

I founded the Internet’s first business travel website, Biztravel.com, in 1994 and began blogging in 1996. I became ABCNews.com’s first travel columnist in 1997, and my work has since appeared in a variety of online news outlets, including CBS Interactive, CNN.com, MSNBC.com and USAToday.com.

What they’re saying

“I wrote Chris, and within hours he not only responded to me, but had contacted the hotel. Within a few more hours I received an email from the hotel’s general manager with a resolution. I know that I would not have gotten this result without Chris’ assistance.” Faith James, McKinney, Texas

“We are so grateful to Mr. Elliott and his rapid response. He performs a valuable public service. Without him we would have undoubtedly lost our money.” — Stephanie Davis, Reston, Virginia

“Thank you! I would not have had a favorable resolution without Elliott’s intercession and I am grateful for his help.” — Kathi Allman, Dallas, Texas

My books are practical guides that help consumers make smarter purchases and allow companies develop policies that lead to happier customers and fair profits.

How To Be The World’s Smartest Traveler (And Save Time, Money and Hassle) (National Geographic, 2014) is the book you’ll want to take on your next trip. It’s full of actionable advice, lists and answers to the most common and most perplexing travel questions. I break through the frustration of every imaginable aspect of a trip at each step of the way.

The book shows you how to save time and money and prevent hassles. I share my favorite shortcuts, tips on where bargains can be had (and which offers are too good to be true) and ways to avoid being harassed by such travel irritants as onerous contracts or aggressive timeshare salespeople.

Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals (Wiley, 2011) is a reminder that once upon a time, store prices were simple and fair, businesses stood behind their products with guarantees free of fine print and loopholes, and companies genuinely seemed to care about their valued customers. But those days are long gone. In this exposé of corporate America, I pull the curtains back on the broken relationship between American consumers and businesses — and I explain how companies came to believe that fooling their customers was a viable, and profitable, business plan.

What the critics say

“Christopher Elliott has written a groundbreaking expose about the dysfunctional relationship between American businesses and consumers.” — Gil Garcetti, Former LA District Attorney

“Chris has distinguished himself with a long track record of selfless advocacy on behalf of travelers.” — David Callaway, editor-in-chief of USA TODAY

“This could be the most consumer-friendly travel book around.”  — John Bordsen, travel editor, Charlotte Observer

“Christopher Elliott is every consumer’s best friend. I count on Chris to be the first place I turn when looking for the latest gotcha’s.”  — Bob Sullivan, author of Gotcha Capitalism

“Elliott is a strong voice on behalf of the travel consumer.” — Arthur Frommer

I’m a listener. I have a reputation for being succinct and direct when I speak to a group and carefully considering audience feedback.

Speaking of which …

I help companies promote worthy causes by participating in satellite media tours. For example, I recently teamed up with National Geographic and Allianz Travel Insurance for a tour to promote travel literacy and my latest book, How To Be The World’s Smartest Traveler.

I’m a sought-after moderator for panel discussions. I have a reputation for careful preparation, thoughtful questions and am known as an impartial referee, even with the most challenging panelists.

I’ve addressed consumer and industry groups, giving keynote speeches on topics ranging from electronic publishing to customer service. My presentations are interactive, fun, educational, and always highly rated.

I have a zero-tolerance policy for spin, especially when it comes to me. I disclose everything, including my own shortcomings. It makes me a more effective advocate and presenter.

What’s with the shield?

My logo represents the work I do with my terrific team of advocates.

The shield stands for protection. But if you’ve seen enough costume dramas, you know it can also be used as an offensive weapon.

The equal sign represents my causes — that every consumer deserves to be treated fairly and equally, no matter how much they spend. It also forms the letter “E.”

I love hearing from you. I read and respond to every email I get. Here’s how to get in touch.

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I'm here for you 24/7

Seriously, I sleep with my phone. Because I care, that's why. The easiest way to reach me is through the form above or through my site. Don't be turned off by the form -- it helps me collect the information I need and connect you with the right people who can fix your problem. If you don't get an immediate response, please send me an email. (Alas, some browsers are not fully compatible with this form. But that's life on the Internet, isn't it?) Here's my address. Or you can call me. I'm at (202) 370-7934.