CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I booked a room for two people... They gave us one bed. I asked for help by a supervisor. She informed me that she would handle the situation and that she needed to fax over something to the Hotel. She called me back and said everything was OK after 3 hours of sitting in the lobby. I went to the front desk and they informed me they never spoke to anyone from Travelocity. I called them back and spoke to another supervisor and they told me if I wanted a double bed I could make another reservation with them for a room with a double bed. I had just paid $450 for 2 nights.
I went to book my hotel and this is what happened: The weekend was incorrect when I went to make final purchase. After I put in my account info, I hit the back button to fix the date and it processed my payment without my consent. I only knew that it processed after I got an email confirmation...however. The email address was wrong, praise God it still came through, probably because it was a business email.
I had to speak to 3 people before anyone was willing to fix it. I was speaking with them on a Friday, finally the hotel dropped the room reservation and she said my account would be credited 12-24 hours later. My account was never billed that day. But, on Friday my account was billed 2 times for the same amount, not credited.... but money was taken out.
When I called back they stated it would be 24-48 hrs for the money both charges to be put back.... One was a hold charge and the other was the actual charge for the room which doesn't make sense... if I am paying for a room right out why should I be charged a hold fee?
I called Travelocity to book a hotel. I almost hung up on the guy at first because I couldn't understand him. I asked him to book a room in Mendocino, CA and I told him about the hotel I saw on the website and gave him the address. He told me it was located in that city. (Also, he spoke way too fast when it came to telling me the cancellation policy, and I could not understand him at all).
When we got to Mendocino, I looked up the address on my GPS and it told me that the hotel was actually located 2 hours away from where we were in a city called Ukiah. I called to cancel the reservation because we did not want to drive another two hours in the opposite direction from which we came. A Travelocity agent called the hotel but the hotel said their manager "was not in" and so they couldn't cancel the reservation and for me to call back an hour later.
I called later and they said that because I called after a certain time, they couldn't cancel the reservation, even though I called in earlier. Then I filed a complaint with Travelocity that their agent messed up and told me the hotel was located in the wrong city. They said they would get back to me within 48 hours after they listened to the call. They got back to me 3 days later and said it was not their fault. All the agents I spoke to (including a supervisor) had heavy accents and I couldn't really understand any of them, and they didn't even listen to what the problem was and refused to fix it. Never again will I use Travelocity!!! And I recommend that you don't either!
I would strongly recommend anyone NOT using Travelocity to book ANYTHING!! I am from Ohio and booked a 2-night stay at St. Louis, MO, then a short time later booked a 3rd night to add to it. After staying the first 2 nights at St. Louis we decided we did not want to stay a 3rd night and tried to cancel our 3rd night while still at the hotel.
First time I was told I would be put on hold and waited for over 15 minutes. I got tired of waiting, hung up and called again on my cellphone. This time I was on hold for close to 20 minutes. While on my cellphone waiting on hold, I used the hotel's phone to call them a third time pretending to book a reservation. WOW...amazing how fast I got someone when they wanted to make a reservation (to get my money). Remind you I was still on hold on my cell phone waiting to cancel a reservation.
While on the hotel's phone I asked to speak to the Travelocity rep's superior. After waiting a few minutes on hold again, I explained to the superior what I wanted to do, simply cancel my 3rd night's stay. That's when I found out they do not offer any refunds. At this point I was quite upset, told the guy how amazing it was to get help when one wanted to make a reservation, and how they keep you on hold forever when you want to cancel something...I feel they do this on purpose hopefully waiting for you to hang up. If their policy was never to offer a refund then why didn't their customer reps say that right away instead of transferring me??? DO NOT USE TRAVELOCITY!!!
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I booked a hotel that advertised that it had a pool. I got there and the pool wasn't working. So I took Travelocity up on it's slogan "If it's not right we'll make it right, right now". So I asked for another Hotel, and they said "OK", but I would have to pay for the new hotel up front, and that I would receive my money back. But it would take a few billing cycles. That was six months ago. Now they say I will not be receiving my money back. They wait you out and hope you go away.
Don't pay money upfront to companies like Travelocity, Expedia, and others. If you cancel or miss the flight, they don't reschedule air tickets. (You will have to buy a new air ticket the same day or next). If you can't fly to the destination, you also lose the hotel and car payments. Travel insurance is costly. They reimburse only up to $500 per sick person. The rest of the travel party will have to go on with the vacation, or stay with the sick one. If they do not continue with the vacation, there is no refund.
A smart way to plan for travel is this: Look for flights, hotel, and car online, compare and decide. Buy air tickets directly from the airline, they allow rescheduling. Reserve the hotel directly from them, no money upfront. Reserve the car directly from them, no money upfront.
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'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.
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!
ATCO, NEW JERSEY -- My husband and I booked a 7 day trip to Mexico Riveria Maya through Travelocity. Inclusive in my reservation was a prepaid transportation voucher, with a company named "Oympus Tours". Unfortunately our area was hit with a heavy snow storm the day of our departure. Our flight was cancelled and rescheduled three times.
We spent 12 hours in our local airport before being informed that all flights were cancelled altogether. Our first two flights were scheduled with Northwest airlines. Our third flight was transferred to Delta airlines and finally delayed until it would arrive beyond the departure time for our connecting flight. This caused us to wait in an hour long line to try to seek an alternate route. Delta was kind enough to get us on a direct flight to Cancun Mexico with US Airlines.
During the 12 hour stay at the Philadelphia airport I placed four phone calls to Travelocity informing them of our new flight and estimated arrival time for each. Every phone call placed to Travelocity took approximately 35 minutes before I was able to speak to a real person.
Then it took another 5 minutes for Travelocity to confirm the new arrival time and flight change with Olympus Tours. Finally on the forth phone call I communicated the change of airline, flight number and arrival time. Again Travelocity confirmed that the changes were communicated to Olympus Tours.
Upon arrival in Cancun Mexico, my husband and I went through customs, picked up our luggage and found the pickup area outside the airport. It was 10:30 pm and my husband and I had watched a van pulling away from the airport. We were approached by a Mexican man who claimed our tour van left us there. After about an hour, the airport workers were leaving the building and closing up the airport. There were no more official looking cabs and no transportation van arrived.
We were approached by a Mexican man who claimed he was from airport security. He said our hotel was over an hour away and we were stranded there. He offered to have us driven to our hotel for a $155.00 fee. He had a walkie talkie and called someone to drive us. He looked at my vouchers and hotel confirmation.
He made a call to our hotel from his cell phone. He said the manager was on the line and handed told us to take the cab and we would be reimbursed for all charges. So we had to travel over an hour and a half in a strange Mexican man's unmarked car. We were stranded in a foreign country where we didn't speak the language. I was terrified that we would never reach our hotel.
We did arrive at the hotel only to find that there was no manager that my husband spoke with. We were stranded by Olympus tours and then scammed out of $155.00 by the men at the airport. During my vacation we were able to contact Olympus tours. We met with a representative for over an hour where we explained our experience.
We were asked to meet with him again the next day to write out an incident report. We again met with him for over an hour while I wrote out a two page report. We were never heard from this man again. I had to have the hotel call Oympus tours to inquire about our pick up for our return flight.
During that call I was informed that I would not receive a refund for my unofficial taxi ride. I was given an apology for the situation but I would not be given a refund. Olympus tours would not accept responsibility for leaving us stranded at the airport. This man did finally say that they contacted Travelocity and credited the one way fare since they failed to pick us up.
Upon my return to the United States I called Travelocity to explain my horrible experience. I waited 10 minutes to speak with a human. I went through the entire story and then the person told me to write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I spent another hour writing out my nightmare introduction to Mexico. Two days later I called Travelocity because I never received confirmation of my email. I was told that they don't have any record of my email and to sent it again and maybe fax it as well.
Now I have spent yet another hour of my life writing about this incident is my closure. I just wanted to contact Travelocity so that this Olympus Tour company would not be endorsed by them and this harrowing experience would not happen to another person. Travelocity is not as concerned about it as my husband and I are. I will not be a return customer for sure. Beware.