Danville Travel Inc - Severely Inept Customer Service
Travel Agency - Complaint
DANVILLE, CALIFORNIA -- First, let me say that I sent this complaint to the company and I have heard no word back - not one apology. I would not use this travel company again. To summarize our experience: the lady didn't know what she was doing, she didn't do anything we couldn't have done for ourselves, the emergency line didn't work, and no help was offered to help when they finally did contact us. If I could give a 0, I would
Here is the letter I sent them detailing the ordeal that my boyfriend and I went through...
First, my boyfriend had asked for travel insurance with Danville Travel and apparently, none was ever purchased by our agent. She even told us in an email that we had decided against it when we certainly did not. I buy travel insurance with almost every trip and my boyfriend thought it was a good idea. She said the insurance would not have covered the issues we had (which I will later explain) but the fact that we asked for it and it was not done is unacceptable. Through the entire process there was sporadic communication and something important such as this was obviously missed.
After the cruise and plane tickets were booked, we began researching our ship's information. It seemed like after we paid for our trip, we had to plan the rest. I have used travel companies before and they assisted me with all the travel plans and not just the part of taking our money.
One of the themes I noticed on the forums and travel information on taking a cruise is that the traveler should get to the port of destination the night before. The flight Pat booked us got us to Fort Lauderdale at 6am the morning of the cruise. This may seem like plenty of time, but with the cancellations and delays, it was not. We talked with a couple on the cruise who is from Napa and they said they got to Fort Lauderdale the night before the cruise disembarked with no problems and boarded the ship as expected. I feel like this is an important piece of advice the travel agent should have known about and should have passed on to us. The couple from Napa also saved a considerable amount of money flying there a day early which more than paid for their lodging for the night.
The day before we leave, Pat calls my boyfriend and said she spoke with the "cruise guru" in the office and she said we were going to have a great time. I am just curious why we were hearing about this expert the day before our cruise and not in the planning and booking process. I have a feeling things would have run a bit smoother had this "cruise guru" been consulted more than just the day before we left.
So, we get to the San Francisco airport on June 22. We find out our direct flight to Florida was cancelled and the airline would get us there by going through JFK. When our plane began to have mechanical failures and we knew there were going to be more delays, we began to call Danville Travel's emergency line. Not only did no one answer, there was only an option to leave a voicemail on the regular business line. I ended calling 15 times in SFO and JFK airports. I even posted a plea on Facebook because I didn't know what else to do.
The first communication received was a voicemail on my phone at 1pm Pacific time on June 23. By then, we were already in Jamaica (so that we could catch the cruise there). If someone had gotten back to us sooner, however, we could have had help trying to find other flights, a hotel in Jamaica, and things to do in Jamaica. Instead, we were left to do the last minute planning on our phones in the airport.
Because we didn't know anything about Jamaica, we ended up spending $1500 on hotel, food, and taxi fares for 3 days. These were completely unexpected expenditures that possibly could have been avoided had we had some help planning. There wasn't even an offer to help us find things to do while in Jamaica while waiting for the cruise. Pat just told us she would call Royal Caribbean on the June 25th (Monday).
We had emailed her a list of questions we had for when she finally made the call to the cruise line. She would answer 1 or 2 but not the others. So, we would have to ask again. If a customer has a set of questions, generally, they want answers to all the questions, not just some. This may seem minor but for us, it was not. We were trying to enjoy our Jamaican adventure but instead we spent a good portion of that Monday wondering if all our issues were going to be addressed.
Overall, we were very unhappy with the lack of service. In a way, our trip was more stressful because we thought and expected to have someone help us if things should go wrong and that safety net was not there.