NCL denied boarding Norwegian Spirit, cruise ship on the ocean, Norwegian Spirit

I flew to New Zealand and got denied boarding my $8,154 NCL cruise!

What if you flew 7,500 miles to take an NCL cruise only to be denied boarding at the pier? It happened to one stunned couple. Here’s their story.  

As Erin Beztilny’s flight from Vancouver touched down in Auckland last month, she could hardly contain her excitement. She and her husband were about to embark on a much-anticipated dream cruise aboard NCL’s Norwegian Spirit from New Zealand to Australia. 

At least that was the plan. But that isn’t what happened.

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

Need a new passport fast? This is how to do it

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.

An advertisement for a long term rental on TripAdvisor turns out to be a scam.

I lost $1,721 in the “TripAdvisor” long term rental scam!

TripAdvisor is not in the business of long term rentals, so if you come across one on the site, it’s surely a scam. But first-time apartment hunter, Haley Cline was unaware of this fact.

When a friendly “TripAdvisor-approved owner” emailed her about a spectacularly discounted year-long rental, no alarm bells went off. The scam only came into focus after Cline sent her initial $1,721 deposit via Bitcoin to the online predator.

This is a stovetop, boiling water in a pot

Why was I charged $500 for stealing a stove from my hotel room?

Laura Fernandez just got charged $500 for stealing a stove from her Home2 Suites hotel room. However, this accusation has two big problems. First, she says there was no such appliance in the suite and second, she’s not a thief.

But the management of the franchised property didn’t let those little details get in the way. Two hours after Fernandez checked out of her hotel room, they swiped her debit card for an extra $500.

And she called the police to file a robbery charge against the hotel. 

Now she’s hoping that Consumer Rescue can get her $500 returned and clear her name.

What’s going on here?

A pocket watch on a map.

My American Airlines flight was on time. How did I arrive on the wrong day?!

Evan H. made an embarrassing self-ticketing mistake on American Airlines that caused him to miss a business meeting. His time zone confusion led him to take a flight to Hong Kong that landed as scheduled but one day too late.

So why is he contacting a consumer advocacy organization about this blunder?

He says American Airlines did not inform him of the significant time zone changes (and date changes) involved in flying from Dallas to Hong Kong. As a result, he wants compensation of an undetermined value from the airline.

Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship: Prima, a cruise ship on the ocean, Prima, NCL, cruising, sailing.

Did Norwegian Cruise Line really cancel this family’s cruise over a $112 transfer?

Norwegian Cruise Line recently gave Evangelia Koumanidis some awful news about her family’s much-anticipated sailing aboard its brand-new ship Prima. In a baffling email, NCL canceled their fully paid $4,657 cruise – citing nonpayment.

Confident that this cancellation was a simple clerical mistake that Norwegian could quickly correct, Koumanidis called the cruise line. 

That’s when an NCL agent informed a stunned Koumanidis that there was no mistake. The cruise line had canceled the family’s trip 21 days before departure over an unpaid balance. 

But there was worse news on the horizon. That same NCL agent coldly explained that when a passenger’s cruise is canceled over an unpaid balance, no refund is owed. 

Now an incredulous Koumanidis is hoping Consumer Rescue can convince the cruise line to reconsider its decision. She’s certain that her cruise was paid in full and that NCL made a $5,000 mistake.

But what is really going on here? (March 24, 2023 Update)

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.

Aer Lingus aircraft, green and white airplane.

What would you do if you were given this terrible airline seat?

Have you ever wondered what the worst airline seat in the history of modern-day air travel looks like? Well, wonder no more! Aer Lingus passenger Matt Madrigal sat in it on a flight to Dublin.  

Madrigal endured the dirty “seat” with no cushion and exposed metal for his entire transatlantic flight to Ireland from the United States.

Ouch!

His mom is furious with the airline’s treatment of her son. And she wants to know if our advocacy team can help.

This case underscores the importance of learning how to self-advocate in real-time. If you’re presented with a wholly unacceptable situation, it’s critical to voice those concerns at the time. If you don’t, you may endure unnecessary, unpleasant conditions that should have — and could have — been corrected immediately.

Editor’s Note:  I first reported on this awful excuse for an airline seat in 2018. This article was last updated on March 14, 2023, as it moves to its permanent archive home here at Consumer Rescue.

A black rental car without damage.

I didn’t damage this rental car! Why should I pay $600 to fix it?

Could a car rental company bill you for damage you didn’t cause — six weeks after you return the vehicle? As you’ll soon read, the disturbing answer is, “Yes, definitely.”

Hertz recently accused Akshay Ghalsasi of causing $600 in damage to a rental car he drove in January. But Akshay says he returned the vehicle in precisely the same state of disrepair as he received it. 

He claims the rental car had a plethora of pre-existing damage, and he’s sure that the company knew about it. Akshay insists he has some powerful evidence that proves he isn’t responsible for the repair of the vehicle.

But unable to get anyone at the car rental company to review his photographic evidence, Akshay is looking for help. He hopes Consumer Rescue can deliver those photos to Hertz and get the car rental giant to drop the damage claim against him. 

So what exactly do those photos of the damage on the rental car show?

Holland America kicked a couple off this ship. HAL, Cruise ship on the ocean.

Here’s how to get kicked off a cruise with no refund included

Could you be accused of a crime, convicted and kicked off your cruise without any supporting evidence?

Halfway around the world, Elaine Chan discovered the answer to that question is yes. She and her husband were summarily ejected from their Holland America cruise in Helsinki. The captain accused Chan’s 65-year-old husband of assaulting a crew member. He then ordered the shocked couple to gather their belongings and get off his ship.

Chan wants to clear her husband’s name and get a refund from Holland America.

I promise this story will make you angry. It’s yet another troubling case of a company leveling a wild accusation at a customer and refusing to provide even a shred of evidence to support it. And it’s the consumer who pays the price — financially and emotionally.

Editor’s note: I first reported this couple’s cruise fiasco in July 2018, and it was subsequently covered by many media outlets. This article has been updated to include five things that will get you kicked off your cruise in 2023 as it moves to its new archive home here at Consumer Rescue.