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Nov 8, 2013

U.S. airfares decline, or do they?

By Mitch Lipka

(Reuters) – U.S. domestic airfares are falling, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported Thursday. But there’s something missing in the data that could affect your holiday travel bill: fees.

In recent years airlines have stripped down their base fares in a process called “unbundling” – often not including even a single piece of luggage or a seat assignment in the price. And as most travelers know, they have added ways to charge people who want to bring along a suitcase, know where they’re going to sit or change a scheduled flight.

Nov 4, 2013
Oct 31, 2013
Oct 29, 2013

Will digital restaurant menus get you to spend more?

By Mitch Lipka

(Reuters) – Businessman Mitch Goldstone planned to shell out about $40 at the Red Square restaurant in Las Vegas before heading to a show, but he ended up spending four times that amount because of the alluring pictures of food and drinks on an electronic menu.

“I ordered extra appetizers and … drinks, which look better when you can see a photo, and the inviting descriptions that supersede the words of even the best servers,” says Goldstone, 51, who is chief executive officer of ScanMyPhotos.com in Irvine, California.

Oct 28, 2013

New unsecured loans beckon, but should you bite?

By Mitch Lipka

(Reuters) – Late last summer, Jeff Whiting was going back and forth with his credit union about whose name should appear on the title of the GMC Yukon he was trying to finance. So the 35-year-old Austin, Texas, attorney went in a different direction, taking a $45,000 unsecured loan from an online lender instead.

The loan he got in late August – from private lending company LightStream – allowed him to avoid having a lien on the vehicle and also allowed him to sidestep the credit union’s voluminous paperwork and opinions about whether his wife should be on the title. But his interest rate – 2.19 percent – was about the same as he would have received for a traditional car loan.

Oct 28, 2013
Oct 28, 2013
Oct 23, 2013
Oct 23, 2013
Oct 23, 2013
    • About Mitch

      "Mitch Lipka is editor of TheConsumerChronicle.com and is a veteran consumer columnist, editor and reporter. Most recently, he led a 10-person consumer reporting team at AOL’s personal finance channel, WalletPop.com. He received the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer writing on the web and is the 2011 Best Friend honoree from Kids in Danger for his work covering child product safety. Mitch has been a reporter and editor for more than 25 years and has worked for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Consumer Reports. The opinions expressed here are his own."
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