It’s one thing to make a reservation at a restaurant and get charged for failing to show up, but would you be willing to prepay for your meal at the same time you make your reservation? Some businesses are betting that devoted diners will be willing to pay for their meals before they ever arrive at the restaurant.
Earlier this month, we shared with you the news that a delivery-only restaurant in San Francisco added dynamic pricing to its business model: that is, instead of shutting down orders when there is high demand, they simply charge customers more. Similar models are becoming an extra revenue stream for restaurants, removing the risk from reservations and earning them more money when their products are more in demand. [More]
Part of the hassle Groupon customers traditionally have faced is presenting that printed or mobile deal voucher to redeem it when the time comes. And that time wasn’t always ideal for businesses, either, with owners complaining of floods of customers wielding vouchers and overwhelming them. In an attempt to allay both stressful situations, Groupon’s new foray into the deal world for restaurants that take reservations comes with a time limit, with no voucher presentation involved. [More]
Like tickets to a Justin Bieber concert, dinner reservations at some restaurants are so desirable that people will go out of their way to insure they get a table. But while many of us just wait until the hype dies down and dine out at eateries where you don’t need a reservation, there is a war waging online to see who can create the better reservation bot to game the system and score seats as they pop up. [More]
Allowing diners to reserve tables can be a risky proposition for restaurant-owners, as the business may have to turn away walk-in customers based solely on the reservation-holders’ say-so that they are going to show up. When the diners fail to materialize, it can mean lost business to the eatery, which is why one L.A. restaurant recently decided to start naming names of no-shows on Twitter. [More]
Aldo learned something interesting this week: airlines will sell two tickets issued to the same person on the same flight from different vendors. It’s one thing to buy two adjacent seats at the same time if you’re a person with an above-average rear end, but Aldo and his wife each bought him a ticket for his flight. He went directly through United, and she used Expedia. This turned out to be a terrible mistake, since it meant that United and Expedia could play the always-exciting game of “blame the company, then pawn the customer off on them.”
Virgin America has hit some extreme turbulence ever since they switched to a new Sabre Airline Solutions reservation system on Saturday. Travelers are lighting up the inter-boards with complaints that they can’t make or change their reservations, and call centers are swamped, with customers having to wait over four hours on hold.
When Rosalie and her husband reserved a room at a Hyatt Place hotel, they thought that by requesting two queen-size beds, they were reserving two queen-size beds. This is not so: they were requesting two queen-size beds, and the couple learned this the hard way. This wasn’t just a case of travel preferences and first world problems: Rosalie suffers from severe back problems, and needs a nice, immobile bed to herself in order to prevent Even More Pain.
It’s wonderfully easy to book a flight using travel mega-sites like Expedia, but even easier for the buck to be passed and companies to refuse to communicate when things go wrong. That’s what happened to Sara when she had to cancel and rebook a flight reservation originally made on Virgin America via Expedia.
For all the confirmation e-mails and reservation numbers you receive when booking a room through Hotels.com — and most third-party discount reservation sites — there is still a slim chance that you’ll arrive at your destination only to find out your room has been sold off to someone willing to pay more.
Josh doesn’t have a lot of money. When he and his girlfriend went to check in to the Crowne Plaza hotel room they reserved on Priceline, he handed over his credit card to confirm the reservation, and his card was declined. They wouldn’t accept his girlfriend’s card to put on file for incidentals, and they were ultimately turned away, losing the reservation…and the money they paid Priceline for the room.
When you’re late for your restaurant reservation, it’s well within the establishment’s rights not to seat you at all, or to make you wait until after customers who actually showed up on time are settled at their tables. Steven writes that he showed up late for his reservation on Valentine’s Day, but restaurant staff initially seated him and his companion. When they were about to order, a restaurant employee came and asked them to leave the table, since they had really forfeited their reservation and the restaurant had seated them by mistake. Steven didn’t just leave the table, he left the restaurant and dined elsewhere–and now isn’t sure how to follow up on the experience.
If your love is true — I’m talking love as deep as what you’ll find in Before Sunset or the hearts of Buffalo Bills fans — it can survive absolutely anything, including the complete forgetting of Valentine’s Day or its utter degradation, which would encompass dinner reservations at White Castle.
It’s hard to keep track of all the extra fees airlines have invented to pad a ticket purchase, especially since they keep introducing new ones; USA TODAY says revenue from added fees have jumped nearly 16% from a year ago. The newspaper reviewed fees from 13 airlines in the U.S. and compiled this handy reference chart of current fee schedules, to make comparison shopping a little bit easier. As expected, Southwest continues to be one of the best values.
I guess you could try to prepare your robbery schedule based on Foursquare and Twitter updates, but a former Royal Caribbean Cruise Line employee found a much easier way: she accessed the cruise line’s reservations list, wrote down the addresses of passengers and the dates they’d be on the cruise, and handed the list off to her husband. She’s being charged with 24 counts of burglary, while her husband will be charged soon.
Booking a hotel room through an airline’s web site can lead to a roach-infested, unacceptable hotel experience, as reader Bruce learned recently. Nick tells Consumerist that he had a similar Kafkaesque hotel booking experience booking a Super 8 reservation through Continental Airlines. He learned that no one at either the airline or the hotel had the power to change his reservation–even though he was trying to cancel the reservation months in advance.
If you don’t like the idea of paying a resort fee the next time you visit Las Vegas, make sure you check out the various Harrah’s Entertainment resorts. Today they sent a press release to travel blogger and temporary TSA aggravator Chris Elliott in which they state that all of their Vegas resorts “exclude mandatory resort fees.”