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Christopher Elliott
Works at National Geographic Traveler
Attended University of California, Berkeley
Lives in Orlando, FL
30,619 followers|752,824 views
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I take great pleasure in writing headlines like these. Thanks, Bob Sullivan, for letting me. And a hat tip to Starbucks​ for the opportunity. 
Many coffee drinkers across North America rejoiced last night as Starbucks handed out free drinks. But whatever the reason, it’s probably not good news for the coffee giant or its customers. Confirmed by a mountain of celebratory Tweets, Starbucks locations around the U.S. and in Canada suffered a crippling point-of-sale terminal outage, beginning at around …
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Will summer travel be better this year? You'll want to take today's poll.
Is it too soon to start thinking about summer travel? Maybe just a little. But it’s not too soon to think about making summer travel better. Early numbers suggest more Americans will vacation during the warm months than last year. They plan to spend 8% more on leisure travel than in 2014, according to a …
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I can't believe this is happening. Unbelievable. Really.
A tracking firm that quietly captured information about 9 million consumers wandering in, out, and nearby retail stores — largely without consumers’ knowledge — was slapped on the wrist by the Federal Trade Commission yesterday. The commission vote on the order was 3-2, meaning the slap was given reluctantly, with two of five commissioners writing that the …
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Why can't British Airways help this customer? Find out.
After a flight delay, British Airways reschedules flights for Chintha Kuruppunayake and her friend to arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport instead of Baltimore-Washington International Airport. No worries, the airline will cover the cost of their shuttle back to BWI. And then it doesn’t. Question: I need your help getting British Airways to honor a …
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Would you shoot your computer? Meet someone who did. And find out why he did it.
There’s something about computers that brings out the worst in us. And there’s something about retaliatory violence against these boxes of frustration that makes many of us cheer from a place deep inside. Computer rage is a real thing. There’s a whole section on it in my book proposal about The Restless Project. You know …
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This guy is ticked off about his Chevrolet​ Silverado. It's this ticking sound. Why won't the manufacturer fix it?
Ralph Lagergren’s new Silverado makes a ticking noise on the highway. Why won’t Chevrolet fix it? Question: I purchased a used 2011 Silverado LTZ Z-71 a few months ago. When I drove the vehicle, I began to experience a ticking noise. I thought the windshield seal might be bad, so I replaced it. It didn’t …
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Is this even legal? Mitch Lipka has the answer.
When Guive Mirfendereski is charged a $100 “warranty processing” fee for his new water heater, he wants to know if it’s legal. Read the surprising answer. Question: I am writing to you with an issue that I think borders on fraud. My water heater broke in late February while still under warranty. I supplied the …
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For a lot these types of items, you have to pay for the warranty.  So you pay for a warranty and then you pay for a warranty processing fee?  These warranties are getting less and less useful.
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Is the three-way merger between Expedia​, Orbitz​ and Travelocity​ good for consumers, or not? Charlie Leocha has today's op-ed.
With most mergers, consumers lose. However, with the latest merger in the online travel industry between Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz, competition should be enhanced rather than diminished. Why? The real competition is not from other travel agents, but from the airlines and hotels. If they could, hotels and airlines would do away with travel agents. …
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Can you help us with this case? We're at a dead end.
Judson Mitchell wants to know if the offer that he received for resale of his timeshare through the Seven Star Allocation Group is legitimate. I’ll let you decide. Mitchell’s question appears live and uncensored and in our forums today. The usual disclaimer applies: We only have Mitchell’s version of events. We can only imagine what the …
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We tried to help this guy. We couldn't. Find out why.
Salim Sattar recently booked a round trip ticket from Wichita, Kan., to Karachi on Qatar Airlines. Getting there was easy. Getting back? Not so easy. Today’s post from the front lines of advocacy is about the monumental efforts of our crack team to assist Sattar and the difficult decision to abandon his case and close …
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Kudos to United​ for helping this sick passenger.
Samantha Levey became so violently ill at Mexico’s Guanajuato International Airport, she was not able to board her United Airlines flight home. Levey was alone, stranded, afraid, and could not speak the language. A United agent, Victor Cisneros, compassionately came to the rescue, spending hours of his own time at her side while in the …
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Don't overpay for gas. Here's how.
USA TODAY Travel expert Christopher Elliott has helpful tips on how to save money on gas while making a road trip. VPC
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People
Have him in circles
30,619 people
Paul Corbett's profile photo
Lauren Klinger's profile photo
Bart Opiola's profile photo
Randy Semella's profile photo
karina Calvo's profile photo
Ana Frye's profile photo
You May Be Wandering's profile photo
Ken Jamal (District 916)'s profile photo
Define Tours Kalkan Airport Transfer&Rent A Car's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Ombudsman
Employment
  • National Geographic Traveler
    Ombudsman, present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Orlando, FL
Previously
Vienna, Austria - New York - Berkeley, Calif. - Irvine, Calif. - Long Key, Fla. - Key Largo, Fla. - Port St. Lucie, Fla. - Hamburg, Germany - Frankfurt, Germany - Claremont, Calif.
Story
Tagline
Consumer advocate
Introduction

Christopher Elliott is a consumer advocate and journalist.

Elliott is National Geographic Traveler magazine’s reader advocate and writes the nationally syndicated Travel Troubleshooter column, which appears in more than 50 U.S. newspapers and Web sites.

He also writes the weekly Navigator column for The Washington Post and has a travel blog and consumer advocacy blog.

Education
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Irvine
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
It's complicated