I thought I'd check out hotels with Travelocity (whom I use for flights often) for my trip to Dallas. I compared other sites to find that Travelocity is much too generous with their star ratings for hotels. What some people have commented on this site, is apparently not isolated. I decided that a 4-star hotel was a safe bet, and used their "Top Secret" hotels feature, which allows you to choose only the star level for a secret hotel, only to be revealed after you pay and confirm (non-refundable).
I checked into my "4-star" hotel, to find it barely a "3-star." I was so upset I called Travelocity (mistake #1). I got some girl named ** who didn't speak very clear English, and couldn't deviate much from the script she was provided with. Got nowhere, asked the hotel front desk what their star rating was. They informed me that they were awarded a 2 diamond rating last year by AAA, and 3 stars by Mobil (now Forbes Travel), which are both lower than Travelocity's rating.
I also discovered after talking with other guests that hotels keep certain rooms available for these 'Top Secret' bookings, which appear to be lower in quality than that of someone who pays full price. Seems like fraud to me. Of the 3 guests I spoke with, 3 had bought on discount sites like Priceline or Hotwire, and were on the same floor as me and also mentioned their dissatisfaction with the room quality. The 3rd was a business traveler who paid "rack rate" or full price, and was certain the room-type was the same as ours, but commented on additional features in the room, like a fridge, an mp3 radio and what he believed to be a newly decorated room.
At any rate, I'm convinced that many hotels are putting these "Top Secret" rate guests in their lower quality rooms, which defeats the purpose. Travelocity has its own hotel rating system, which is independent of the official AAA or Mobil (Forbes) hotel ratings which evaluate many factors when assigning star ratings. Check other sites, compare prices, and read reviews.... That's the best way to avoid "Top Secret" surprises when traveling with Travelocity.
I have just returned from one of THE worst stays at a hotel ever after having booked it on the Travelocity website. I chose a "top-secret hotel 3-star hotel in the Disney/Celebration area" for $44.43/night and a listed "resort fee" of $8.00 total for our two-night stay. Once my husband and I left the Disney World theme parks at midnight on July 4th, we drove about a good 10 miles away from the "Disney/celebration area" where our hotel was supposed to be at and ended up about 5 blocks away from Universal Studios Orlando, which is in another area completely different than the one advertised for our hotel.
My husband and I arrived at the hotel at about 12:30 am and the outside appeared to be clean. Little did we know what was in store once we went inside. The lobby was small and the clerk quickly checked us into our room (#102). It was probably a room the size of 10x10 ft and it smelled horrible, some kind of mix between must, mold and sweat.
I walked into the bathroom and immediately got on the phone with Travelocity customer service to ask if we could get another hotel, this one was dirty, not at all up to the 3-star standards of any website! The person who answered my call placed me on hold and told me to go to the front desk to speak to the clerk to resolve my issue. She was not helpful or sympathetic with me at all!
We went to the front desk and were offered to either return our money (At 1 am on a holiday weekend, there were not other vacancies in town!) or try out another room in the hotel. We opted for trying out another room and it was bigger than the first, only because it was a handicap accessible room. I will try to be brief, however, there are so many things I could complain about.
I am also attaching pictures of the horrible condition of the hotel room starting from the busted open air conditioner vent, the cracked wall plates, mangled electrical cables coming out of an electrical box right next to the bed, the 3 small pillows for the king sized bed, the moldy plastic casing where the emergency evacuation sign should be posted (by law), the rusted shower drain with plug unscrewed, the stained yellowed tub chair for handicap guests, the dust on top of the television, moldy dirty dust balls in bathroom respirator fan plate, stains on the carpet most visible in front of the mini-fridge and the urine stains around the toilet base.
All of these pictures were taken by me upon entering the room. Additionally, in the morning when we left the room, I had placed the Do Not Disturb sign on the door and the maid took it upon herself to walk into our room and disregard the sign! As for the "resort fee," the Travelocity site advised of an $8.00 fee for our 2-night stay and the clerk informed us it was $4.50 + tax per night! The only amenity available at the hotel was a small murky, dirty pool that you couldn't even seen the bottom of it on the 3 ft deep side on a sunny day! The pool is smaller than the pool in my own home!
Lastly, if things weren't bad enough already, we were awakened at 9 am on the dot on Friday by a loud weed blower motor roaring right outside our door and blowing gas smoke into our room! This is THE WORST EXPERIENCE EVER BOOKING ON TRAVELOCITY!
I am very unhappy with this and hope to hear from someone in regards to this trip! I hope no other guest has to spend a night at that place, especially not under the false pretense of it being a 3-star resort style hotel! And... I sent them the above with supporting pics of the disgusting hotel 6 days ago and haven't heard anything from them! They obviously don't care about their customers!
I booked a hotel in the Charleston SC area for one evening 4/3/13. I used Travelocity's "top secret" hotel booking process which requires pre-payment, something I normally do not do but decided to give it a try since I've used Travelocity many times. Travelocity's website said I would get a 3-STAR hotel and ended up being the Holiday Inn Mt Pleasant but OK, I was good with that.
When I checked in at the hotel, all they had left was smoking rooms which they explained was their "standard" room. I explained to the hotel front desk that I could not stay in a smoking room and asked for another room. They didn't have any other rooms available and they wouldn't refund my money. They said I would have to call Travelocity and this is "how Travelocity gets you!"
I went ahead and booked another hotel 10 miles outside of the city since it was already midnight. I called Travelocity the next day to explain what happened and their response was, "We are sorry, we can't refund your money. When you sign up for the top secret room, you just get whatever the hotel has available."
I would never have booked that hotel room if I thought for one minute I would be put in a smoking room. I can put up with a lot when I stay in a hotel but not that. Travelocity needs to be more transparent with their customers during the booking process about what is considered a "standard room." A smoking room preference isn't the same as a preference of getting 2 doubles or king beds or being on a specific floor. It is a health issue and customers need to know if non-smoking is available or not BEFORE they pay.
I am extremely disappointed in how Travelocity and Holiday Inn handled this situation. I have used Travelocity for many years but this is a deal breaker and I will never use them again. If you use Travelocity's "Top Secret Hotel" process, then buyer beware! To me, it isn't worth the hassle for the "big discount!" I am now out $157.
I'll try to make this as brief and informative as possible. I am a long-time Travelocity customer (as long as I can remember/as long as they have been in business). I have always been pleased with their efforts to create useful tools for me to find affordable flights/hotels. As a result, they have been an ongoing staple both in my personal, and my extended family/friends, travel planning. I very much liked Travelocity before this latest debacle.
After my experience, I am no longer going to use Travelocity or their partner services as they have clearly demonstrated (there is zero drama in this statement) they are not in fact committed to: (1) hassle-free travel deals, (2) looking out for you before and during your trip. Everything about your booking will be right, or they'll work with their partners to make it right.
Here's what happened... I typically use Hotwire (and other similar services) to book hotels as they typically are cheaper than other services out there. Certainly you can't pick the exact hotel but Hotwire and others provide tools for you so that where and what you end up with isn't shocking or surprising. An example on Hotwire is that they give you a map that outlines which area of a city they will find you a hotel in (and of course they let you know the star rating, etc... etc...). These services save me a great amount of time, and especially money. Kudos.
Recently I had to book my typical monthly trip to Denver, CO for business. When the other services I typically use were not turning up any impressive deals, I did a little searching and discovered Travelocity's "Top Secret Hotels." Without understanding the technical differences between this service and the others I have used, it appeared to work very similarly to the others (Hotwire, etc...). Pick a destination, select an area, sort by price/star rating, book the one you like and then you find out the exact hotel and you are off to the races.
I was impressed by the number of specific options they had listed in the filtering section of the website for "areas" in Denver. Trust point +1. Previously my experiences with Travelocity were smooth and affordable. Trust point +2. Okay, so I find the list of hotels in "Downtown Denver", sort by rating and found one that was within my budget. Great (more plus points for Travelocity).
One thing that stuck out in the back of my mind was that Travelocity did not provide any specifics about the area of Denver that THEY consider to be "Downtown Denver" but with other sites like Hotwire, they use the term "Greater Downtown Denver" and that has always been acceptable in terms of distance. (Here's one to look at if you're curious: ** - roughly a mile or so around downtown). The concern though was quickly dismissed because of my trust points and because I had never had any issues with Travelocity.
I did read before I purchased the hotel though that "Top Secret Hotels" reservations were non-refundable/non-changeable. I was OK with this and booked the hotel (figuring if something was awry, that was their fault, bad location/wrong city/whatever that they would fix it regardless). Hotel booked, great. I found out right away the name and location of the hotel they had booked me with. It was turned out to be HOLIDAY INN SELECT DENVER-CHERRY CREEK (455 South Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO 80246).
Now for anyone that knows the city of Denver, that hotel is not in an area considered to be downtown... that doesn't even fit into Hotwire's "Greater Downtown Denver" map. It's nearly 4.5 miles away from the city center! At this point, I jumped on the phone to figure out what my options were. I scoured the site one more time to find absolutely zero information that lets you know how they come up with these boundaries/what to expect in terms of variations in proximity.
Surely I should have not used the service knowing ahead of time this might be an issue but like I mentioned, I trusted Travelocity and their services and assumed they would work it out because obviously that hotel was nowhere near "Downtown Denver."
Also, to be clear why this distinction is important, when you stay in downtown, you have a free shuttle that transports you up and down the downtown area called the "Free Mall Ride." Tons of business folks downtown rely on this to not have to drive to work (among other options like biking, rail and buses). So this is a business trip and I can't charge them for transportation costs unnecessarily (not to mention the inconvenience) so... back to the phone call.
This part I will shorten up for time sake. The first support person I talked to said they could do nothing for me. This took somewhere around 15-20 mins (I will not exaggerate ANY of the times here so you get the real feel for how bad this was). I asked to speak to someone above them if they could help me. I was transferred to their supervisor. Their response was the same and took more like 20-25 mins. going back and forth asking questions and trying to figure out how to change this (this was an eight-day reservation that cost nearly 800/850 USD so it was worth it).
Finally I asked to talk with someone above them as well that might have more ability to change things/help me out. All the while being extremely patient and courteous to increase the chances that someone would actually help me out. Finally after holding for 10 mins. or so, I was able to speak to the "manager." This guy was super nice and apologetic... He really seemed to want to help. Great, thank goodness.
After nearly an hour, that's right 1 hour, of calling the hotel, talking to support techs among other things, he had offered me a 250 USD travel voucher and had promised me that he had talked with the hotel and arranged a free shuttle to downtown Denver for the length of my stay. I felt very relieved as it seemed from the outset this was not going to go well for me. Just as a precaution, I called the hotel to confirm the transportation arrangements. They said they had a shuttle but that it only went within a 3 mile radius of the hotel. Crap.
I called the number back that the "manager" had left me and got a low level support person that indicated I would have to go back through the process of low level support person, supervisor and then the manager...if they could find the same one. I hung up the phone and started to realize that he had provided that option to get me off the phone basically. He previously mentioned the name of the person at the hotel he had spoken with so I called back the hotel and asked to speak with her (on the hunch that he was being dishonest).
When she answered the phone, I asked if she had spoken with him and she acknowledged that she had. I asked if the manager had confirmed with her a free shuttle and she said yes but she mentioned that instead of helping to negotiate a way for me to get into a hotel closer to downtown, he had focused on how to keep me there but find transportation. She made it clear to me that the shuttle doesn't go downtown and that he knew this. Wow.
The travel voucher did not cover cab rides to downtown (but got close... It's roughly 36 USD per day to get back and forth from the hotel to downtown - 36 x 8 days = 288. I wasn't going to take the bus.) So I temporarily gave up and said to myself that I would pay the extra 33 USD to not have to call support again.
A few days past and I got to my hotel. Good hotel, decent people... I was fine. On a hunch, I pulled up my computer and searched around for other people having similar issues with Travelocity's "Top Secret Hotels" program (The support people I spoke with earlier had indicated that my issue was isolated and rarely happened). Turns out this happens to a lot of folks that use their service... Shocking. Now I was very upset. I made up my mind that they were not going to make my business trip a pain in the butt and called them back to have them put me into a downtown hotel at any expense.
Needless to say, after 4 more hours total over the next 3 days, I got nowhere (but I was very determined). Spoke with someone in US support that said they would run something called a "Footprint Search" which basically would check and verify that I had selected "Downtown Denver." If that in fact was the case, they would refund the unused portion of my trip and transfer me to a downtown hotel. Perfect. I had to wait 24-48 hours for this to happen though.
After that period had passed (all the while everyone agreeing that this hotel was not in "Downtown Denver"), they said they needed more time and said 48-72 more hours as they were having "technical issues" running the "Footprint Search." Now I understood that what was most likely happening is that they were pushing it off so that I would use up my stay and there would not be anything else to do. Which ended up being the case. I am now 4 weeks (literally) and I still get a call every 3 days from them to let me know they are still looking into it and they will call back in 72 hours.
The cab rides totaled a little over 200 USD so that was good news. But I still had the hassle of cabbing it and spent nearly 7 hours total in phone calls over a period of a week and a half. You tell me if they were providing: (1) hassle-free travel deals, (2) looking out for you before and during your trip. Everything about your booking will be right, or they'll work with their partners to make it right.
I highly recommend you not use this service "Top Secret Hotels" and out of principle, not to use Travelocity's services, period. They clearly are not concerned with you having a great experience, not to mention being fair to their customers. I hope someone is helped by this review.
OK here goes. My friend has been going through a rough time. She lost her house, her boyfriend, among other things. So I bought tickets for The Jonas Brothers (OK stop laughing) concert and reserved 2 hotel rooms for two nights. Afterward, the JoBros changed the date of the concert. I called Travelocity to cancel the reservations. They canceled it and advised me that I would not be receiving a refund.
I called back trying to get them to just reschedule. Although the customer service representative was nice, she told me that even if I had just wanted to change without canceling, I would have had to pay for a new room. So I sent a nasty, pissed off letter to Travelocity. I just recently lost my job and fell ill. Gee, I could really use that money to pay for the endoscopy.
I have spent many hours trying to book a hotel reservation using a $500 Travelocity hotel gift card, to no avail. You can only book on travelocityincentives.com. I get all the way through the credit card payment process and then I get an error message that says "There is an error with the website at this time." SO, I call the 800# on the back, only to be told this has been a recurring problem all summer and I need to call Travelocity directly. I spent 3 hours back and forth with Travelocity via phone and email and am still not able to book a hotel.
Travelocity cannot book my room using a gift card. They can only accept a credit card. Back to Travelocity incentives and well they can't help because their site is powered by Travelocity. So, back to Travelocity and I hold for another 30 minutes and get disconnected. I tried emailing for service and after 6 emails back and forth, they continue to refer me to the Travelocity 800# (the people that can only accept payment with a credit card).
Also, they told me that they are making updates to their website which may have disabled some services, such as my inability to book a room? What? Who takes down a travel site during peak season? I am so frustrated. Now, I have to come out of my pocket for another $500 to pay for my room and I can't get any help from this horrible company.
Also, the Customer Service folk are horrible. They don't listen and just keep reading script over and over. It's in some foreign country. Not sure which, but I could hear a bunch of talking and laughing loudly while I was talking to one of the 2 "supervisors" I spoke to last night. It was very difficult to communicate back and forth due to the heavy accents, the noise and frankly them not listening! Please do not ever purchase on the Travelocity Hotel Gift Cards. Now, I have to go to the Feds to file a case with the CFPB. Waste of my time, when companies should just give you what you purchased.
SOUTHLAKE, TEXAS -- I purchased a vacation package on Travelocity and paid for the cancellation insurance (which was extra) offered by Travelocity for additional costs at the time of purchase. A week later, I had to cancel.
I telephoned Travelocity to make the cancellation and the agent stated that because I purchased the insurance, I would be refunded 100% of my hotel costs and that, as the conditions stated, they will not give me a refund for the airfare portion of my trip because that the tickets were non-refundable but changeable which the airline (United) charges a $200 change fee which will be credited to me by Travelocity since I paid for the cancellation insurance which allowed me to make a one- time cancellation for any reason at no charge.
She also stated that I could, however, reuse the ticket towards the airfare portion should I book another vacation package with Travelocity and apply the airfare credit towards the airline portion of the package as long as I fly the same airline that the credit was issued on and that I use the credit within one year. Well, I decided to reuse the ticket and book another package.
Now Travelocity tells me that I cannot use the ticket towards another “package” even though I'm flying the same airline, and that I have to book the airline "separate" from the hotel. In other words, it cannot be used when purchasing a hotel and airfare package. By booking the airfare and hotel separately, my additional costs would be over $200! For example, my cost of the air with the package was $485 and booked separately was $691. There airfares are for sure “padded” when you book separately.
What rip off artist!! So, now I'm stuck with a United Airlines credit that I can only use through Travelocity (I cannot go directly to the airline) and will have to pay an inflated price when I book an airfare (and oh, by the way, they said that they still have to charge your card for the $200 fee and that I personally will have to go and fight with the insurance company to get my cash back).
This was a lesson learned and I will never use Travelocity again! With all of the complaints filed against them (unanswered) exactly who are they paying off to stay in business?? Why must consumers continue to suffer due to sharks like this! I will post this on every social media site, every complaint site, warn every man, woman and child to stay away from this company!
I was using Travelocity to piece together a family trip to New Mexico. I needed to book a stay for one night in Taos and pulled up a deal for a motel there. When I submitted the reservation on the Travelocity website an error screen popped up which told me that the reservation had not been completed and that I needed to retry.
So, I followed the instructions from the website and re-submitted the reservation. Little did I know that a confirmation e-mail had been sent to me informing me that the original reservation had indeed been completed in spite of what the website had told me. This resulted in me double booking a non-refundable reservation for that night in Taos.
When I checked my e-mail a little while later I discovered the two confirmation e-mails and realized that the reservation had been duplicated. I immediately called Travelocity to rectify the situation and they told me that there was nothing Travelocity would do and that they'd have to get the money back from the hotel.
Meanwhile, the manager at the hotel was on vacation and the desk clerk did not have the authority to refund the duplicated reservation. I called repeatedly over the next week and a half to have this done, but the manager was never reached and I ended up having to pay for two rooms.
The issue that I had with the website was investigated by Travelocity, but they said that since a confirmation e-mail was sent to me that I should have known to not believe their website and to have checked my e-mail prior to re-submitting. I saw the receipt for what the hotel billed to Travelocity and they made a profit of $22/night/room for the reservation. They refused to even refund the profit that they had for their website having screwed me over.
In addition to this, the next hotel we stayed at (also booked through Travelocity), didn't have our reservation and I had to spend an hour working with the desk clerk and customer service to get this fixed (after a long days travel). I am done with Travelocity forever.
My husband and I booked a room in New Orleans at Harrahs hotel. The room was supposed to be a luxury room suite with 2 queen beds. We booked this through Travelocity.com. This was our 20th anniversary celebration and what did we get? No luxury suite, 1 queen bed, and it was for the hearing impaired. I called Travelocity who called the hotel and they stated that they only guaranteed a room and not the accommodations asked for. We paid over 800.00 for this room that was only worth 150.00 at most. Travelocity should have advised us of Harrahs policy and they did not. I expect a refund and I will never book another vacation with Travelocity or Harrahs hotel in New Orleans.
Travelocity claims to specialize in 3 & 4 star hotels, so I believed it would be a good way to book a hotel in Columbia, S. C. I researched and was assured I would be within 10 miles of the military base, which I was going to. I made the reservation well in advance, 3 to 4 weeks ahead of my trip, I knew I would be arriving at the hotel late so I really needed it to be easy to find and I expected the hotel to be in a safe neighborhood.
When I left the military base in Columbia it was well after dark and I got out the directions to the hotel, I got onto the highway and proceeded to get to the hotel that I had a reservation at. I started to worry when I passed the 10 mile mark that I had been guaranteed the hotel to be at- after 21 miles I then found the exit for the reserved hotel, the hotel was right next to highway, a few extremely odd left turns in a very dim lit area yielded the hotel.
I pulled up to the front entrance and to my surprise had to enter a door that opened to a 5x5 room of concrete and bullet proof glass. I was then asked what I wanted???-(meanwhile there were no other vehicles parked at the hotel- which made me wonder if the place was a hotel at all after she asked me that.) I told the woman that I should have had a reservation and she shook her head and told me that there were no reservations!!! I said that I had already paid and to please look again- it was late at night by this time.
While the woman went to look I had to call Travelocity to find out what the problem was. While the representative from Travelocity was on the phone with me, the woman knocked on the bullet proof glass to let me know that there was indeed a reservation and told me I needed to give her my I. D. and my credit card, I gave it to her and she started to recharge me for the hotel!
By this time I was getting irritated and told the representative from Travelocity that the hotel was a far distance and it looked like a glorified crack house- I forgot to mention the homeless people loitering in the parking area of this hotel- but I mentioned it to the rep, as well as the bullet proof glass and the dim lit area that seemed unsafe for 2 women and a baby to stay at. The Travelocity representative said there was nothing I could do but cancel the reservation, but I would be charged anyway and he couldn't find another hotel for us.
I cancelled and left that hotel and had to find another on my own, by this time after midnight and am used to being asleep by that time! I should have been able to get some if not all my money back for that experience and I warn anyone about to travel, which my family does more than most, to never ever use Travelocity- they didn't get me a close or safe hotel, a far cry from what most travelers would call 3 or 4 star hotel, It was a negative 8 in my book and they owe me!