If you’ve ever booked a room through Travelocity or any other online travel site, you might have wondered how much that company is paying the hotel operator for the room. Without even trying to, one Consumerist reader managed to find out what Travelocity actually paid for a recent stay at a Holiday Inn.
A class-action lawsuit filed yesterday in a U.S. District Court in California alleges that the biggest names in online travel — Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com — and some of the world’s largest hotel chains — Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Intercontinental, among others — conspired together so that the “best price guarantee” you often see when booking a room online is in actuality just a number set by the hotel operators.
The idea behind booking a hotel room or other travel through a site like Travelocity is that they’re supposed to, um, actually book the travel that you pay for. They didn’t manage to do that for the hotel room Graham tried to book in Maine. He booked nine weeks ahead, then learned that the reservation was imaginary two weeks before the trip.
Gail writes that when things went awry with her hotel and car package reservation on Travelocity, regular customer service wasn’t able to resolve the error. Representatives told her to give up and reserve them separately, or to leave Travelocity staff alone and use another service. As a Consumerist reader and loyal Travelocity customer, she knew that she deserved better. She found an e-mail for the company’s VP of Sales and Customer Care, which didn’t get her the package deal she wanted–she got her hotel stay for free instead..
Aaron’s pissed because Travelocity’s quote for a one week car rental in Costa Rica didn’t include a mandatory insurance charge that cost him more than $100. Aaron feels cheated and wants Travelocity to pony up under their TotalPrice Guarantee, but Travelocity may not have done anything wrong. Join us across the jump to help us sort this out.
In a move to compete with Hotwire and Priceline, Travelocity has gotten into the deep-discount, semi-blind hotel booking business with the introduction of their new Top Secret Hotels service that promises savings of up to 45% on three and four-star hotels.
So, you’ve decided to cancel your “nonessential” trip to Mexico to avoid the swine flu outbreak. Great. Just don’t expect the cancellation process to go smoothly.
You won’t get the best deal booking your hotel room through third-party sites like Expedia or Travelocity, according to an anonymous hospitality industry insider. Inside, four excellent reasons to book directly with a hotel to guarantee the best rooms at the best prices.
Over on Elliott.org, a woman describes how her $29 Days Inn room ballooned to a $180 charge when the hotel’s owner refused to honor the deal, and what she did to get the difference refunded. [Elliott.org]
Flying somewhere to welcome home a family member in the military? Hope that the military doesn’t change the date, because as one mom found out — Travelocity’s insurance policy is only covers changes due to “death, illness and jury duty.” Don’t worry, there’s a happy ending. [MomLogic]
- Apple: Refurbished iPod touches on sale, 8GB for $180, 16GB for $240, 32GB for $320
- Amazon: Rewards points upgrade for existing Amazon.com Visa holders
- Apple: Free Select iTunes TV Shows in HD (requires iTunes 8
Highlights From Dealnews
- Travelocity: United Airlines Sale: Round-trip flights from $108
- Amazon.com: Amazon.com Men’s Watch Deals: Timex, Marc Ecko, more from $40 + free shipping
- Sears: Seven7 Women’s Jeans for $18 + $6 s&h, more
Highlights From Buxr
- Budget Truck Rental: $50 Gift card when paying w/American Express
- Reverie: T-Shirt Sale: Buy 1 TEE get 1 free TEE
- BestBuy: Westinghouse 42″ 1080p LCD HDTV and portable DVD Player for $749.99 + shipping
Highlights From Dealhack
James booked two flights for his honeymoon with Travelocity, but when it became obvious that their visas weren’t going to come in on time, James asked Travelocity if he could reschedule. They assured him that he could, so James followed their instructions and FedExed his tickets back to Travelocity. He then waited for them to call to complete the transaction. They called 2 days after he was originally scheduled to leave and left a message saying that he could now reschedule. When he called them back, Travelocity said that they’d neglected to inform the airline that he was going to be rescheduling, so they’d been marked as “no shows” and were out of luck… and out of $2,584.55.
On Nov 22 my 36 year old brother Mike died suddenly. So I quickly hoped on-line to get a flight from San Francisco to Pittsburgh, leaving Nov 24th.
Honoring a fare misprint would have cost Travelocity $2 million. Not honoring it would have damaged their brand. They decided to go with the former. [BusinessWeek]
As a travel company, you would think Travelocity would know that there is an embargo on Cuba. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control filed a complaint against the company earlier this month, alleging that Travelocity violated the prohibition nearly 1,500 times between January 1998 and April 2004.
Earlier this year, AT&T’s Cingular division and Travelocity both pledged not to advertise anymore via adware–programs that slip onto PCs and inject ads into a user’s browser. Verizon took a stance against computer invaders when it became a sponsor of an antispyware initiative. Yet, in March, ads from all three companies were being distributed through adware.
Edelman says Cingular Wireless and Travelocity are indirectly supporting the adware and spyware industry with ad dollars despite efforts by both companies to cut ties with that form of advertising.
Ryan booked the package, called back, and spoke with CSR Lenny. Ryan explained that he wanted Expedia to match Travelocity’s price, and gave the details of his itinerary. Lenny put Ryan on hold. For 48 minutes. When Lenny came back, he said “I am sorry I am not familiar with your Wild Wild West and cannot locate this hotel.”