A TSA officer damaged my passport
Mondays at 2 p.m. The Washington Post’s travel writers and editors discuss your travel stories, questions, gripes and more at live.washington
post.com. Here are some edited excerpts from a recent discussion:
I was using my passport as identification in security on a flight and the TSA agent started writing on the page with my picture and information. Is this a huge problem? Is there a way I can get the pen off the page?
Are you kidding? There’s absolutely no reason a TSA agent should deface your passport. Please contact me (at chris@
elliott.org) and I’ll help you figure out what happened. The agency needs to replace your passport.
— Christopher Elliott
I recently interviewed to volunteer at the 2016 Olympics in Rio; now I just have to wait for an offer letter. They’ve said they’ll start sending them in November and will continue to send them through May, but I know I shouldn’t wait until then to get a ticket. Are there particular airlines that fly from New York (where I live) to Brazil that are more customerfriendly than others? Would travel insurance cover something like not getting selected to volunteer? Is this something I should just leave to a travel agent?
How exciting! Loads of carriers fly to Rio. The main ones are Tam, LAN and Copa, plus such U.S. airlines as Delta and American.
The rules are the rules, so a customer-friendly staff doesn’t really matter. If you cancel, you will have to pay a change/ cancellation fee, plus any difference in fares. You might consider paying a bit more for a refundable ticket or looking into travel insurance. Make sure to ask the agent for a policy that covers your situation. You can use a resource such as SquareMouth to compare policies and prices, but I recommend speaking with a live person.
If you don’t feel comfortable booking or negotiating with airline agents, then use a travel agent.
— Andrea Sachs
I am planning a family vacation in January for six adults. We would like to go somewhere warm/beachy that is easy to get to from both D.C. and California. We would all like to be together in a threebedroom suite/villa, and I am having trouble finding something like that online. Do you know of any resorts in the “upper” Caribbean that offer these kind of rooming accommodations?
Villa Group Resorts, with several properties in Mexico, has three-bedroom villas that sleep up to eight. Beaches Resorts in Turks & Caicos also has villas, but getting there may be problematic. Omni Cancun is another option.
— Carol Sottili
My 35th birthday is at the end of February and I would like to go somewhere warm to celebrate. I can take only three days off from work and am flying from D.C. I’d like to pick something relatively close by. Somewhere with a beach and not too far from an airport (I don’t want to spend all my time in a rental car) is preferable. Any suggestions?
Nassau, Bahamas, was spared the brunt of Hurricane Joaquin and is a short, nonstop flight from Washington.
My 75-year-old mom wants to see New York City. The problem is that she can’t walk well or quickly. Even walking a few blocks will be hard, especially with crowds of people pushing past her. What’s the best way to see the favorite sites without relying on the subway or walking? Are you aware of any Web sites geared to travelers with mobility impairments?
You might consider getting tickets for the hop-on, hop-off bus, which takes guests to the major attractions but also gives them freedom to explore independently. For example, Big Bus Tours has a three-day ticket that takes visitors downtown, uptown, to Brooklyn and on a river cruise.
NYC’s tourism office has some great info on travelers with accessibility needs.
Until recently, I managed a large sports team. My bosses just freed up my schedule for the foreseeable future. I’ve been to San Francisco, Arizona and Cleveland, but not Cooperstown, N.Y. Where should I go now?.
Maybe getting out of the country for a while, where you wouldn’t be recognized, would be a good idea. There are some good fares to Reykjavik. (Thanks to this witty chatter for the good laugh.)