Ask Peter: Extended Layovers, Washington Wine and Alitalia

Locations in this article:  Arlington, TX Chicago, IL Columbia, SC Los Angeles, CA Seattle, WA

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When you are traveling and would like to extend your layover for a couple of days, how do you go about booking that without worrying about incurring additional fees?

There are a few ways to make this happen. If you’re an elite passenger traveling on a frequent-flier award or full-fare ticket, some airlines will actually allow free stops on your round-trip ticket.

Say you’re on American Airlines flying from Los Angeles to New York and you want to stop for a couple of days in Chicago. You can stop either on your outbound or return ticket. But, that’s up to the individual airline, so you’ll have to deal directly with a ticket agent—and there are no guarantees that your ticket price will remain the same.

Another option is to check in with a company like Though Airtreks is primarily known for its around-the-world tickets, you can use them just like a standard travel agent. Because they specialize in multi-stop travel, they have all the facts and figures on airport departure taxes, and which cities are more layover-friendly in terms of transportation and amenities.

Lastly, do your homework. Check on sites like Orbitz or Kayak that have multi-stop travel options. Chances are it will be far cheaper to book several legs on one ticket instead of multiple one-way tickets.

We are planning a vacation to Washington wine country and we were wondering what you recommend?

Washington is now one of the top wine-producing states in the country with a long list of top-tier wineries.

Yakima Valley has made a name for itself in the wine world, with dozens of wineries, high-end dining, and harvest-season activities (check out the upcoming Thanksgiving in Yakima food and wine-pairing event). Visit for more information.

But another one of our favorite wine destinations is Woodinville, which is only about 20 miles northeast of Seattle. There are more than 30 wineries in Woodinville, including Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Winery and Arlington Roads. Not only are the wines great, but you can fly right into Seattle, rent a car and take off. Check out for more information.

We are flying to Italy on Alitalia in a few weeks. With all the recent news about its bankruptcy, are we protected (we didn’t purchase travel insurance!)?

Alitalia files for bankruptcy as often as transport workers in Italy go on strike. But there is some possible good news.

Prime Minister Berlusconi ran on the platform that he’s not going to let Alitalia fail and will keep the airline in Italy’s hands. The airline filed for reorganization in the hopes that someone would pick them up and save them.

The last couple of deals they were working on fell through, they’re operating on sheer inertia and for the moment they’re able to pay their bills. As long as you paid for this with a credit card, if your goods aren’t delivered as promised within 60 days of purchase, you’re entitled to a refund. It’s all part of the Fair Credit Billing Act.

This is a U.S. Federal law that allows consumers to dispute their credit card fees if they do not receive their goods as promised or if there is an error in billing. You have 60 days to dispute the charge; it’s a good idea to dispute it in writing via a certified letter.

From Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio. Don’t forget to call toll-free 888-88-PETER to get your questions answered.

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