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.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- OAT, the Tour Guide ** and the tour was excellent. There was nothing that could be improved upon. Well organized, educational & ** was the best tour guide any of us had ever had. I would highly recommended this tour, this tour guide & OAT.