This is the end!

the end

This is the end. It’s the end of the busy Thanksgiving travel period, the end of the Black Friday shopping frenzy — and the end of our fall fundraiser.

But I know it’s going to be a happy ending.

The end of the Thanksgiving travel season

It was a heckuva week to travel, from traffic to flight delays to winter storms. If you want to know how to avoid future mishaps, you have to check out this morning’s Forbes story on the airlines to avoid during the holiday travel period.

We’ve received hundreds of requests for help during the holidays, and we always answer them quickly and do our best to help. Quality journalism and prompt help. You count on my consumer advocacy organization — and me — for that every week.

We’re here for you during Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years — and beyond. And I’ll always be here with the kind of original, no-nonsense journalism you can count on to get you through your trip or any consumer experience. (Did you catch my story about fake reviews, just in time for Cyber Monday?)

[Shopping for the holidays? Please use our Amazon Smile link. Every purchase will help us.]

This is the end of our fundraiser, too

We’ve been fundraising for the last month and everything wraps up this week. You know what that means, don’t you? Southwest Airlines tickets. That’s right, I’m giving away roundtrip tickets to any Southwest destination, which, by the way, will include Hawaii next year.

You want them. I know you do. I’m giving away the tickets to a random underwriter this week. Here’s how to participate.

My advocates and I had hoped to raise $40,000 this month to pay our bills. We just passed $10,000 last week.

What happened? We timed the fundraiser to coincide with the big political fundraisers before the U.S. election, and we just couldn’t compete with them. Next year, we’ll start in September, which is usually when our public radio and TV colleagues hold their fundraisers.

I hope we can get a little closer to the $20,000 mark before everything wraps up. It would certainly go a long way to covering some of our essential costs.

There’s still time to become an underwriter — and possibly win one of the tickets. Just click on this link and you’re in.

Yes, this is the end. But with your support, it can be a happy one.

This not the end of the advocacy

I’m redoubling my efforts to make my consumer advocacy organization (really, I should say your consumer advocacy organization) the best it can be. In December, I’m wrapping up that book proposal. I think Advocate This will help countless consumers overcome a system that’s rigged to extract their money and give them nothing. I can’t wait to share the details with you.

This week, I also have a lot of stories that will help you become a smarter consumer. How do you avoid weather delays? I’ll tell you in today’s Washington Post. Stay at a hotel without getting ripped off? Check my USA Today column. Nice to be in the Chicago Tribune with my story on a washed-out vacation rental.

Thanks for sticking with me. With your help, I know this will be a great conclusion to 2018.

This week’s columns

These unwanted guests joined us on vacation. Here’s what we did about them
When it comes to vacation trouble, the worst is the kind that you don’t see coming. I’m talking about insects, rodents, and other creepy-crawlies that decide to join you on your getaway. Add kids to that mix and you have the soundtrack for a horror movie. You know, the blood-curdling scream, followed by. “Daaaaaaad! Come heeeeere!”

The road to my VRBO rental washed away. Why can’t I get a refund?
Linda Robinson’s VRBO rental is unreachable after the road washes away during a storm. But is her booking protected by the company’s “book with confidence” guarantee?

My Fitbit Charge 2 cracked — how can I fix it?
Melissa Hill’s Fitbit Charge 2 cracks after a little more than a year. Is the company’s offer acceptable — or should it do more for her?

Don’t make these common holiday travel mistakes
At about this time every year, radio and TV producers ask me to go on the air and dispense travel advice. They’ll ask me how to avoid the biggest holiday travel mistakes. And at about this time every year, I really want to tell them, “It’s easy: If you want to avoid holiday travel hassles, stay home.”

Why travel agents want you to call them travel advisors
When Peter Schwartz needs to book a trip, he doesn’t contact a travel agent. He calls a travel advisor.

Have a great week!

Share this story
Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook
Posted in This Week Tagged

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can’t. He’s the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, and the Washington Post. If you have a consumer problem you can’t solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at

Underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Enterprise

A family-owned, world-class portfolio of brands. A global network that spans across more than 85 countries. Some 97,000 dedicated team members sharing common values. And more than 1.9 million vehicles taking our customers wherever they need to go.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at

Underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International,, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.