Booking trips to Cuba now, refunds from Orbitz and other travel questions answered
By The Washington Post travel staff
The Washington Post’s travel writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts:
Q : Do you have any recommendations to squeeze in travel to Cuba in the next 90 days? Preferable an all inclusive; cruise with stops in at least one Cuban port or travel group package. A: Check out International
Expeditions, which arranges cruises and land tours, and Intrepid Travel. Friendly Planet Travel also has great Cuba trips. I went on one a few years ago. — Andrea Sachs
Q : I just booked a flight on Delta to Venice, Italy, over Labor Day weekend with Orbitz. I received a booking conf irmation email with a Delta conf irmation code, but later received a phone call telling me that the airline wasn’t issuing a ticket because the fare had increased. Orbitz customer service refused to honor their advertised price, and I was given a choice to either pay the fare difference, or cancel the reservation and rebook through another service. I chose to cancel, as I’m incensed and don’t want Orbitz to make money off of this. Is there anything else I could have done? A: That’s absurd. If you had a
confirmation code and paid the fare, you should have had a tick- Hotels don’t have a no-outsidefood rule. Just be sure to clean up your mess for housekeeping and, if you have a lot of extra trash, leave a bonus tip for housekeeping. — A.S.
Q : Other than asking friends, is there a good way to f ind a travel agent? Some website that lets you put in certain parameters (e.g. what type of trip or the area) and then it suggests specif ic agents? A: Try the American Society
of Travel Agents’ find an agent page ( web.asta.org/imis/travelsense). — C.E.
Q : I paid for a window seat in Economy Plus only to discover I had no window whatsoever; only a blank wall. On the one hand, when looking at the chart to select my seat, it did not say it was a window seat – it was a seat on an outside edge of the plane. On the other, the charts have warnings for seats that have limited or no recline — why not have one that says there is no window? My question is, is this something I could hope to get a small credit for, or should I save my time? Had I known, I would have picked a different row. A: I would ask for a refund. If
you reserve a window seat, you should get a window. — C.E.
Q : The last few trips I’ve taken, it seems like rental car prices have been much higher than normal. For example, three days in Denver this coming weekend are costing $350 for an economy car at a lowbudget company! It’s almost as if I need to budget the rental car price moreso than the cost of the airplane trip. Am I just getting unlucky or is this a trend lately? A: Actually, rates are falling in
many markets, according to the latest figures. When demand increases, as they do during the summer travel season, so do the prices. (I’m staying at a hotel in San Jose right now — $178 a night. I asked to extend another night and they wanted $308. Supply and demand!) — C.E.