If you’re wondering about the best and worst airlines to fly during the holidays, you need to talk to Brent Bowen.
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I don’t really know how to explain this one.
My nine-year-old daughter insisted I dress up as Santa. And then she took pictures of me working.
I’ve felt like Mr. Claus this week. With the help of my elves — the amazing advocates I have the privilege of working with — I’ve had a hand in fixing a lot of consumer problems. Like this case involving a cancer patient and Qantas. Or this Comcast overbilling screwup.
I’m not the Santa type, unless you think of Santa as an espresso-sipping minimalist cat person with a rescue complex. Then again, who’s to say St. Nick wasn’t owned by Bengal cats or have a commercial-grade coffee maker?
Rescue complex? Check.
The holidays are a season of great need, actually. While we’re distracted by a reflexive need to spend our last dollar on presents, consumers are being ripped off and taken advantage of in every manner possible. As Erica Lamberg, one of our new writers, pointed out, about 40 percent of Americans feel pressured to overspend during the holidays.
Santa should be a consumer advocate. That’s really what we need.
If you run into a problem during the busy holiday season — any problem — I hope you’ll call your secret Santa. If I don’t have the answer to your question, I know that my elves on the advocacy team or on the forums probably do. And I will fight for you until they confiscate my obsolete laptop computer.
This week’s stories. Where to begin? Maybe with my mandatory survive-the-holidays column in USA Today, which even has a video. How about this fun story about car rental screw-ups I wrote for the Washington Post? (Interesting note: This one took me almost a year to research.) In my syndicated Travel Troubleshooter column, I help a couple with a refund on an “upgrade.” And here’s that Comcast case again in the Huffington Post.
Coming up next. We’re home for the holidays but the next big trip out West is looming again. But I’m not thinking about that. I’m focused on surviving the next two weeks!