Is your hotel room is really clean? Here’s how to tell

It’s almost impossible to find a hotel that hasn’t introduced a new sanitation program, promising its rooms are squeaky clean and coronavirus-free. But is your hotel room is really clean?

“It’s difficult to distinguish between legitimate cleaning efforts and public relations,” says Sheryl Kline, a professor at the University of Delaware who has researched hotel hygiene. “Anyone can do a visual inspection and it can look clean. Just because it looks clean does not necessarily mean that it is clean.”

Hotels have standard room-cleaning practices, which have been upgraded since the pandemic. But there is no universally accepted way to clean a hotel guest room, says Kline. (In fact, there’s no such thing as a safe vacation.)
Read more “Is your hotel room is really clean? Here’s how to tell”

Can I get a full refund if I’m too sick to fly?

Here’s a question that’s bound to come up more frequently as air travel picks up: Should I get a full refund if I’m too sick to fly?

It’s a question consumer advocates are raising with new urgency, too. They’re fighting for regulations that would require airlines to offer full refunds to sick passengers.

Airline policies are unfairly rigid when it comes to infectious diseases. Unless you bought a fully refundable ticket, carriers will charge a change fee and any applicable fare differential if you decide that you’re too sick to fly. And if you bought a “basic” economy ticket and can’t fly, you’re out of luck — and out the cost of the ticket.
Read more “Can I get a full refund if I’m too sick to fly?”

Renting a car after the pandemic: What’s new?

When it comes to renting a car after the pandemic, what’s different? Alex Davis wondered when she rented a car from Alamo in Chicago recently. Agents in hazmat suits? Antibacterial car washes, maybe? Perhaps an extra cleaning fee? It was all a mystery.

So Davis was surprised when everything seemed so normal, all things considered. Signs pointed her and her husband directly to the Alamo booth in the parking garage.

“Two attendants were working in the office, wearing masks,” says Davis, a wellness consultant. “The other customers in line were all wearing masks as well.”
Read more “Renting a car after the pandemic: What’s new?”