Medicare 101, taking notes in class, a notebook, pen and glasses on a desk

Approaching 65? Here’s your Medicare 101 crash course

What if you had to make a healthcare decision that could affect the rest of your life?

That’s not a hypothetical question if you’re 65 and about to go on Medicare. Every day another 10,000 Americans turn 65 and need to make critical decisions regarding how they structure their healthcare going forward.

But Medicare comes with complicated rules that can be confusing and can lead to problems if ignored or misunderstood. It’s important that you make informed choices.

Read on as I take you through a simplified Medicare 101.

The ultimate guide to planning a cruise, expert cruise guidance, what cruisers need to know about planning a cruise, taking a cruise guide, Michelle Couch-Friedman cruise fiasco expert

Planning a cruise in 2024? Here’s your guide to avoiding common mistakes

Over the years, I’ve mediated hundreds of requests for help from distressed cruise line passengers. Many of these cruise fiascos were the result of passenger mistakes and could have been avoided by following some simple guidelines. With wave season just beginning, now is the perfect time to review Consumer Rescue’s ultimate guide to planning a cruise.

Here’s all the information you need to know about planning and taking a cruise.

Singapore Airlines, an aircraft taking off

Middle name on your passport? Don’t make this airline ticket mistake

What happens when your middle name is on your passport and airline ticket, but your last name is missing? Eleanor Rasmussen can tell you because it happened to her.

If your middle name is on your passport, you probably always try to add it to your airline ticket. But many airlines and booking agencies don’t give you that option.

The reason for this omission? Travelers aren’t required to include a middle name on their airline ticket – even if one is displayed on their passport.

In Rasmussen’s case, the online booking agent her friend used to book their airline tickets didn’t have a specific field to add a middle name. That led to a travel fiasco that left her with an unusable ticket to Tokyo with only her first and middle name.

Now, with her middle name on her ticket where her last name should be, Rasmussen is asking for our help. She’s hoping Consumer Rescue can convince Singapore Airlines to correctly rewrite her ticket.

But will the third-party booking agent cooperate

Carnival Cruise Line ship, cruise ship on the ocean.

We had our Real ID! Why couldn’t we board our Carnival Cruise?

Although a Real ID and an Enhanced ID look nearly identical, there are critical differences between the two identifications. Diane Dipalma recently received a rapid and painful education on the topic while attempting to board Carnival Cruise Line’s Legend. 

She and her new husband believed they could use their Real ID driver’s licenses to take the cruise. But the Carnival Cruise Line staff quickly clarified that they couldn’t, and the shocked newlyweds missed their honeymoon. 

Here’s their story and what you need to know about the differences between a Real ID and an Enhanced ID.

Vantage Travel River Splendor ship, colorful countryside, long passenger river boat, Letter V in the middle of the boat for Vantage.

How buying travel insurance from a tour operator could be a $20,000 mistake

For years, legions of Vantage Deluxe World Travel customers eagerly purchased their trip insurance directly from the luxury tour operator. They loved the ease and convenience of having a one-stop shop for their travel planning. Unfortunately, many, if not most of these unsuspecting consumers neither read nor understood the trip protection they were buying. 

That was a mistake.

Now with Vantage Travel seemingly unable to pay its bills or operate its tours, a giant light is shining on its pricey waiver product. Thousands of desperate customers are finally reading the details of the trip protection Vantage sold them. Far too late, they’re discovering the policy provides virtually no protection at all if the company runs out of money.

Best hotel, how to shop for the best hotel guide

How to shop for the best hotel and avoid disappointment

Searching for the best hotel for your vacation can be challenging, with so many different properties and booking options. Choosing the wrong hotel or booking site can take your trip from one of excitement to a real disappointment. And if it’s a nonrefundable room, you’ll have to pay for that disappointment. 

Let’s keep that from happening.

A U.S. passport on top of a white and brown world map

Yes, you can still get a new passport fast. This is how

Imagine your entire family is excitedly packing for your first international adventure since the beginning of the pandemic. You’ll soon be on your way to the Caribbean to relax and enjoy some sun and tropical drinks. 

Or will you? 

The traveler in this tale neglected to look at his passport’s expiration date until a few nights before his family’s trip. That’s when he was shocked to discover the document had expired – two years ago!

But no worries, he thought. Consumer Rescue could surely help him.

Why was this guy so confident about that, you might ask.

Well, that’s the embarrassing part of this story.

Timeshare property, beach house, colorful tropical location.

Timeshares and travel vacation clubs: What to know before you join one

Buyer’s remorse. That describes too many consumers who get talked into spending thousands of dollars on a timeshare or travel vacation club, only to find that it is not right for them. They are now locked into a long-term commitment of ever-increasing fees and need help figuring out what to do.

This article will help you determine if a timeshare or travel vacation club is right for you and how to weigh the benefits and risks of membership. And if you are a timeshare owner wanting to get out of your contractual agreement, we have some suggestions.

Fraudulent companies targeting the timeshare resale market have multiplied over the last several years. We’ll help you recognize what is a scam and what is legitimate.

Canada has air passenger protection regulations to know about.

This is how Canada’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations apply to you

Did you know that you can receive monetary compensation if your flight is delayed or canceled in Canada? The skies have recently become friendlier when flying to, from, or within Canada. The reason? The Air Passenger Protection Regulations. 

These regulations apply to all airlines operating into, out of, and through Canada, holding them accountable for flight disruptions. They are designed to soften the financial and mental hardship felt by passengers. The Air Passenger Protection Regulations are similar to the EU261 in the European Union. Here’s what you need to know.

If American Airlines changes your flight schedule, here's how to get a refund. This article explains the flight schedule change policy of American Airlines.

If American Airlines changes your schedule, here’s how to get a refund

Can American Airlines make wild changes to your flight schedule and, if you object, refuse to issue a refund? 

With $8,171 on the line, that’s what Michael Spanel wants to know after his recent experience with American Airlines. 

Now Michael is asking the Consumer Rescue team for help. He wants American Airlines to give his money back, and he’s hoping we can make that happen. 

So what is a passenger really owed when American Airlines changes their flight schedule? Let’s find out.