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The Elliott Confidential Podcast

The Elliott Confidential Podcast

By Christopher Elliott
A podcast by consumer advocate Christopher Elliott. For more information and to get exclusive early access, go to Elliott Confidential:
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How airlines plan to keep $13 billion of your money

The Elliott Confidential Podcast

What to do in an emergency
In this episode of the Elliott Confidential podcast, we talk about how to survive an overnight flight from Africa. Plus, how to deal with an emergency on the road. And we have a report on the cats of Istanbul.
April 09, 2022
We overstayed our welcome. Here's what happened next.
We stayed in Cape Town, South Africa, for two months. That’s way too long. In our latest podcast, we talk about what we did just before we left. Let’s just say things got … interesting. Also, we’ll tell you where we’re headed next (hint: it’s not Africa). And we’ll review some of the favorite places we’ve been stuck in, like Sedona.
April 02, 2022
He threatened to knock our heads off. So we made a podcast about him.
OK, technically, he threatened to “knock our ugly heads off our shoulders” — and he dropped a couple of “F”-bombs, too. Our crime? I was filming my son, Iden, working on a cocktail recipe for his website. And this guy at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa, thought we had taken a picture of him, and forcefully demanded that we delete it. We didn’t. We were afraid he would come after us after we left the food market, but he didn’t. But that got us to thinking about security. How do you find a safe place to travel? How do you avoid dangerous places? That’s the topic of this week’s Elliott Confidential podcast. We also talk about our latest radio interview with our friends at the Travel Guys Radio Show in Sacramento, Calif.
March 27, 2022
Secrets for having a better road trip
In this week’s podcast, we talk about road trips — where to go, how to take them, what to avoid. We’ve spent the better part of the last decade on the road, so we have a lot to say.
March 19, 2022
Our African adventure continues
Hey, we made it to episode 2 of our podcast! Here’s what happened when we visited South Africa’s townships last week. Plus, we’ll tell you about our Jeep adventure and what we found when we headed out into the Atlantic.
February 27, 2022
Out of South Africa
For the podcast reboot, I decided to get out of town — way out of town. We’re in Cape Town, South Africa, a 20-hour flight from our home airport. Here’s my unscripted discussion with the boys, Aren and Iden Elliott, about our experiences here. We talked about everything from South Africa’s tourism infrastructure to security. I hope you enjoy the podcast.
February 20, 2022
How to predict the future*
Good sources can help you make an accurate prediction about this summer travel season -- and beyond. I'll share my tips on how to find reliable sources. (*Or how to get reasonably close.)
July 10, 2021
Is it safe to travel yet?
It's one of the most common questions: Is it safe to travel yet? The answer is no -- and yes. As Europe sets to reopen, here are my thoughts.
June 27, 2021
This is how technology is destroying your vacation
A new ad claims AIs are ruining your vacation. But it's much worse than that. The travel industry's tech problems were on full display last week. Here's how to fix them.
June 20, 2021
What to do about fakes
The travel industry is filled with fakes. But no one knew the cost of the bogus reviews, blog posts filled with affiliate links, and influencer content. Until now. Here's what these fakes mean to your bottom line -- and my solution to the problem.
June 13, 2021
Why are airline passengers so mad?
It happened again on Friday. An angry passenger screaming "STOP THE PLANE!" tried to break into the cockpit on a Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Nashville. The crew restrained him, and the flight diverted to Albuquerque.
June 06, 2021
What they won't tell you about the return of travel
Travel is back -- but not like you remember it. Some parts have returned, others haven't. It's almost like a favorite character in a zombie movie who makes a surprise appearance at the end. Did he turn? In this case, the answer is probably yes.
May 30, 2021
Why the summer travel predictions are wrong
You've probably heard a lot about the upcoming travel season. They're saying pent-up demand will lead to a sold-out summer. And book now before it's too late! Well, I'm skeptical.
May 23, 2021
Here comes the travel boom
Take cover! The travel boom is almost here. Experts have been predicting it for months, warning that pent-up demand for travel would lead to a record-breaking summer for travel. Did it sound like they were all reading from the same talking points? (Art by Dustin Elliott)
May 16, 2021
Get a vaccination ... or else!
If you want to visit Europe this summer, you have no choice. If you want to take a cruise, you don't either. And you'll probably need one if you want to see Canada, too. You'll have to get a COVID-19 vaccination --  and you'll have to carry a controversial vaccination passport. (Art by Dustin Elliot)
May 09, 2021
What to do about mask confusion
If you're not confused yet about mask requirements, just take a trip. You will be. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued new guidance for vaccinated Americans. If you've received your shots, the government says you can participate in outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues. (Editing by Iden Eliopolous/Art by Dustin Elliott)
May 02, 2021
You may not leave the country
The U.S. State Department's announcement last week that it added more than 100 countries to its “Level Four: Do Not Travel” advisory list seemed almost routine. The government adjusted its classifications to "better reflect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) science-based Travel Health Notices that outline current issues affecting travelers’ health."  But it wasn't routine. (Art by Dustin Elliott/Editing by Iden Eliopolous)
April 25, 2021
What the tourism recovery actually looks like
If you want to know what the tourism recovery looks like, you have to visit a theme park. Not just any theme park, but the bellwether of American tourism, Walt Disney World in Orlando. So that's what I did. (Editing by Iden Eliopolous. Original artwork by Dustin Elliott)
April 18, 2021
Yes, you have my permission to travel
You have my permission to travel again. But some restrictions apply. Five months ago, I urged you to stay home. COVID-19 cases were surging, and the outlook was bleak. And yet some parts of the travel industry acted as if nothing was wrong. All that has changed.
April 04, 2021
The most dangerous places to travel this spring
If those crazy pictures of Miami Beach during spring break aren't enough to give you second thoughts about spring break, maybe this will: I have an exclusive list of places in the United States where the risk of infection is rising.
March 28, 2021
Has the TSA lost it?
The TSA is a bloated, incompetent agency that's expanding. What could make it even worse? Mistreating its customers. A case that crossed my desk recently will leave you shaking your head and worrying about the future of the agency tasked with protecting the nation's transportation systems. (Edited by Iden Eliopoulos)
March 21, 2021
America needs a vaccine passport now
It's time for a vaccine passport in the United States. But not for the reason you're thinking.
March 16, 2021
This is the travel industry's secret pandemic recovery plan
You'll probably hate the travel industry's secret pandemic recovery plan. The strategy is clear: First, demand a generous taxpayer bailout. Then, raise prices. (Produced by Aren Elliott.)
March 08, 2021
Nine million reasons to listen to this episode
Nine million airline passengers. That's how many people had a problem with a ticket refund last year, according to new numbers reported by the Department of Transportation (DOT). A staggering 89,518 people wanted their money back from an airline in 2020 -- a 5,687 percent increase from the previous year. But that figure, which is thought to represent only 1 percent of overall airline refund complaints, suggests nearly 9 million Americans had an airline refund complaint last year.  (Thanks to Podington Bear for the music and Iden Eliopoulos for the editing.)
February 28, 2021
How airlines plan to keep $13 billion of your money
It was a gift that seemed too good to be true. During the early days of the pandemic, the airline industry offered passengers who wanted to cancel their flights a generous ticket credit, valid for up to 24 months. It also revoked many of its hated ticket change fees. And guess what? It was too good to be true. (Thanks to Podington Bear for the music and Iden Eliopoulos for the editing.)
February 21, 2021
Proposed travel restrictions could a kill fragile recovery
The Biden administration has floated two ideas to curb the deadly new COVID-19 strains. Both of them would almost certainly protect Americans, but they could also kill what's left of the travel industry.
February 14, 2021
Travel companies send the wrong message during the pandemic
It isn't just some travelers who are acting like the pandemic never happened. A few travel companies are, too. They encourage dangerous activities like flying long distances, hanging out in a sports bar, and attending a food and wine festival. That's shameful and irresponsible -- and it has to end.
February 07, 2021
Are we about to go too far?
The CDC's new mask mandate makes sense. But a testing requirement under consideration won’t fly.
January 31, 2021
Problem Solved: Anthony's been banned by Airbnb
Anthony's account has been locked by Airbnb. What did he do? And is there any way to get un-banned?
February 21, 2020
Problem Solved: Liam didn't get his Priceline room
What happens when you book a hotel room and then don't get it? You get to be featured on Problem Solved, that's what.
February 14, 2020
Problem Solved: Christina is not chill with her Sears refrigerator
What happens when your refrigerator breaks down, and then the replacement breaks down, and then that replacement breaks down? This.
February 07, 2020
Problem Solved: Jocelyn's treadmill disaster
Jocelyn Benson’s new NordicTrack doesn’t work, despite her best efforts. Can she persuade the company to give her a refund for the treadmill?
January 20, 2020