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.”
Travel consumer advocate Christopher Elliott has a new post about an undisclosed $15/day “resort fee” that Trump International Hotel Las Vegas plans to tack onto a customer’s bill. The surprise is that the customer reserved the room through Priceline, and thought when he made the reservation that Priceline was telling him the final room rate.
This morning, travel service Expedia announced it will abandon its book by phone fee, which it first implemented last May. This makes it the only major online travel agency to not ding customers with a fee for booking flights over the phone, notes consumer travel advocate Christopher Elliott.
Chris and his wife moved recently. To do so, they rented a truck from U-Haul. They planned ahead, booked their truck in advance, and did everything correctly. They just had the audacity to request a truck that wasn’t located an hour away from their new home. This was apparently too much for the U-Haul infrastructure to handle.
Want a great example of the broken state of airline customer service in this country? Try a four-way conference call between yourself, Amex Travel, US Airways, and Delta. You’ll see firsthand how CSRs from the two airlines can play the “it’s not our responsibility” so well that even a devoted Amex Travel rep can’t get them to solve your problem.
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]
Raleigh Restaurant Requires Credit Card For Reservation, Then Charges $20 Per Person Who Doesn't Show
It’s common for restaurants to not seat a party until everyone has arrived, but here’s something we’ve never seen before: requiring a credit card to make the reservation, then charging $20 per person who doesn’t show up—but still refusing to seat an incomplete party. When Matthew tried to get his party of ten seated without two of the people—basically saying he’d pay the $40 to get out of the bar and at a table—management refused. We think this restaurant doesn’t like its patrons very much.
If you were one of the conventioneers who got charged extra fees by the Westin Casuarina, we suggest you talk to your credit card company or contact The Coaching Center (according to the Houston Chronicle, the company’s president is refunding the charges directly to those affected). If you need contact info for management at the hotel, however, an anonymous tipster sent in a list of phone numbers and email addresses.
Randy saw our post earlier today about the Westin Casuarina in Las Vegas and wanted to share his own experience with them. In honor of the Casuarina’s increasingly sketchy reputation, we will add lightning to their photo.
Reader Mike has lots of frequent flier miles that he’d like to cash in with Continental Airlines. As he found out, this is extremely difficult. Here’s an email he sent to the CEO of Continental, Larry Kellner:
U-Haul has settled a class-action suit by agreeing to pay customers $50 each time they fail to honor a confirmed reservation. The settlement comes after an appeals court agreed that the rental giant had “engaged in fraudulent practices.”