You can count on us. Can we count on you?

Every week you can count on great journalism from my team of writers — and great reviews from readers.

I’m talking about the deep dive into what went wrong with a cruise that our executive editor, Michelle Friedman, did this morning. Or the thoughtful article on travel advisors which just posted on Forbes.

I’m also talking about the latest reviews by readers. We help them for free as part of our mission.

“These guys were amazing!” one happy consumer just wrote. “They stuck with me even though I had a softer case – and used their leverage to give me what feels like justice.”

Hey, it’s what we do.

What’s missing from this picture?

But there’s only one thing missing from the picture: you.

The terrific journalism and advocacy you see on this site every day isn’t easy, and it isn’t free. If you haven’t participated in our fall fundraiser yet, please consider doing so now.

We have insane expenses. Keeping a controversial website online is really, really difficult. Every day, the bad guys hammer us with denial-of-service attacks, hacks and malware. Defending against it is a drain on our resources.

So far we’ve raised only $8,516 of the $40,000 needed to keep this site operating in 2019. If you want to see more great journalism next year, please become an underwriter. We can’t do this without you.

This week’s advocacy

You can count on us — and on me — to deliver insightful, helpful columns every day of every week on this site and on my consumer advocacy site. I don’t mess around. I make every column, every story, every media appearance, count.

It’s always great to be in newspapers like the Star Tribune or the Miami Herald. And I love having a column in the Washington Post every week.

You may not know this, but I have two nationally syndicated columns: The Travel Troubleshooter and Problem Solved. I’d love to work with you to get one or both of these features into your local newspaper. Please contact me if you’re interested!

This week’s stories

Here are this week’s columns. Thanks for sharing these stories with your friends.

Worst vacation ever? Here’s how to snap back
What’s your worst vacation experience ever? Was it a delayed flight, a missing hotel reservation, or maybe terrible weather that ruined everything? Or maybe it was someone who ruined it for you?

No air-conditioning in her Mexican hotel. How about a refund?
Yasmin Maniar’s vacation accommodations aren’t what she expected. Specifically, there’s no air conditioning in her Mexican hotel. But should Booking.com refund it?

Why is this upholstery company holding my sofa hostage?
Sonia Strauss entrusts her sofa to Miller Mills Decorating in Delray Beach, Fla., for an upholstering job. Then the furniture disappears.

Got a travel complaint? Take it to the top.
If you’re thinking of taking your travel complaint to the top, here’s a little good news: someone’s listening. When I started advocating for consumers more than 20 years ago, executive email addresses often were dead ends. Managers would order an assistant to comb through their messages and forward the important ones — or they’d ignore them altogether. Now they are far more likely to read every message personally.

Everything you need to know about flying with babies
If you think flying with a baby is easy, maybe you didn’t hear about Krupa Patel Bala, who recently traveled from Sydney to San Francisco on United Airlines with her husband and 8-month-old son.

Have a great week!

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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.

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