I signed up for the New Year's Special, which was supposed to be a $300 discount through 1/15. OAT's representative acknowledged that they did not raise the price back up after the "special," but in fact reduced the trip further. It can be purchased today $200 cheaper than my invoiced price.
Even though they are selling the trip $200 cheaper, OAT added an additional $100 to my invoice and indicated that the price might increase further. In short, they reduced the trip to sell spots and raised the price on those already booked who haven't paid in full six months in advance to make up the difference. Their representative noted that these are financially difficult times. I'd put down a $995 deposit to reserve and they indicated that the prices were in full including taxes and fees; but now they claim buried somewhere it says differently. Of course, they won't cancel without a $300 penalty. The representatives attitude is "got ya." The company won't respond to my emails.
BOSTON, MA -- I booked to travel to Morocco on 12/19/2009. I got stuck in Denver because of the storm in New York. I called, called and called their offices to get some help in rebooking my trip on Royal Air Moroc (the portion of the trip I purchased from OAT). I could have gotten there on Sunday, 12/20 but was lied to by OAT - they told me that Royal Air Moroc didn't fly on Sunday. I got there on Monday after spending 1 1/2 days at my expense in a hotel in Denver.
This was my 6th trip with this company, and I have never been treated so poorly. When I called to rebook, I was told too bad you lost your trip because you didn't purchase the travel insurance. It was only because I got really ugly that they helped me.
OAT does a wonderful job on the trip, but they certainly are no help when you have a problem with flights getting to the destination. They lied, gave me false information, and generally poor treatment. The Chicago office was the worst. My advice to anyone traveling with OAT - don't miss your connection even if there is a record snow storm!
We returned from a trip with OAT yesterday; the organization of the trip through Egypt, the cruise on the Suez Canal and Red Sea were fine, but when we arrived at the hotels in Jordan, they were a disaster and nobody changed anything to make it better. The hotel in Petra, the Petra Inn, (Our schedule stated that we would stay at the Petra Palace) was a dump! It was dirty, unkempt and nothing worked. When my husband used the commode, it fell to the side. We have pictures to prove this. The food was disgusting too.
The next hotel in Amman was better, but not much! When there was running water, it was cold. It was not kept well either. One of the couples got so fed up with the quality of the hotels, that they left early. The rack rate for the hotel in Petra was 55 JD per night and the one in Amman was 100 JD per night. Tour operators pay a lot less... When you consider that your trip costs $ 800 per day per couple, you wonder how the rest of the money is spent. A guide and a bus certainly do not cost $ 650 per day!
Another complaint is that, when you arrange your own flights, they do not pick you up from the airport. You arrive in a totally strange country, without local cash and you have to find your way to the hotel... this way, they save $ 30 - 50 on your back! Not very consumer friendly, esp. since they are at the airport anyway to pick up other clients.
PENNSYLVANIA -- Recently I booked a tour with OAT. The booking part was easy. Phone was answered in 2 minutes and everything was taken care of. One week later I had a question and called back (customer service phone number is not the same as for booking and you can not be transferred). I was told by a recorded message the waiting time is 6 minutes. So I waited 6 minutes and 30 and no answer. I attempted to call the 3 more times. Same experience. So I was never able to get an answer to my question. I would recommend avoiding this company in the future. I believe customer care should not at at the booking of your trip.