ADVERTISEMENT

>Q: Why is it that more expensive hotels charge for in-room Internet service but cheap ones don't? You'd think the more expensive the hotel, the more likely it would be free.

A: Cheap hotels use free in-room WiFi as a lure for customers, while expensive hotels don't need the hook. At least, that's been the model up until now.

A survey of customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates found that hotel guests listed WiFi as one of their top five must-have amenities (others are complimentary breakfast, bedding and pillow choices, pillow-top mattresses and free parking).

It found that 77 percent of guests have used WiFi in their hotel rooms rather than cable Internet.

It also found your complaint to be true -- luxury and upscale hotels tend to charge for Internet service while midrange and cheap hotels give it away free.

Next time you stay at a hotel, look for one that offers free WiFi -- and make it known that you appreciate AND expect it.

***

>Q: My husband is a "Jr." on his passport and driver's license. But it wasn't included on our plane reservations for our upcoming trip to Mexico.

Will it cause problems if his name on the boarding pass doesn't match his passport exactly?

A: No. Under its new "Secure Flight" process, the government compares airline passenger names, gender and birth dates with data on a terror watch list.

However, a reservation or boarding pass that uses a middle initial instead of a full middle name, misses a hyphen, contains a tiny typo or leaves off the "Jr." designation should not cause a problem, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

***

>Q: If a hotel assigns you a room that is otherwise OK but has a view of the airshaft, a brick wall, etc., do you think it's OK to ask for a room with a better view? This happened to us recently on a trip to London. It wasn't that big of a deal, but it took a little of the luster off the room. We'd gotten a good price for the room, but it wasn't bargain basement. I didn't want to seem pushy, so I let it go, but I wondered now if I should have at least asked.

A: Yes, you should have asked for a better room. Hotels are in the hospitality business, and I can't believe they would want anyone to leave unhappy. Even if they couldn't find a different room, they might have offered an amenity to make the view of the brick wall more bearable. So yes ... speak up!

***

>Q: Can you refuse a full-body scan at the airport? I don't want someone taking pictures of me naked.

A: Yes, domestic travelers can refuse, even if screeners don't advertise the fact. The government maintains that the images are blurred and none are kept or stored. However, if you are still shy, request a pat-down by hand instead, according to the TSA.

Body scanners are also known as "advanced imaging technology" or AIT. Repeated public opinion polls find about 75 percent to 80 percent of travelers say they are OK with them.