Travel Sleightly

Dentists tell me I have big teeth, the largest size that braces or molds or whatever come in. It’s a source of pride for me. I also revel in being told I have good veins at the laboratory, but that’s a Taul tale for another day.

It’s a good thing these teeth are big, because I’ve found something to sink them into.  Recently, in the last few weeks in fact, I traveled to the east coast culminating in graduation weekend after having reserved and paid for a hotel room in Vermont way back in fall of the year prior.  Yes, thank you! my daughter graduated.  But also, recognize my smarts in making travel arrangements early so I could take advantage of alerts, specials and reasonable rates and choice of hotels before most other parents started planning.

desert

And yet when my flight on never-again #jetblue was cancelled without a workable replacement (they offered a rebooking two days later), I found myself stranded in New York at 12:30 am, in the wee morning hours, without a plan how to end up 306 miles away. While sitting on the airport floor recharging my phone, cussing the airline and brainstorming alternate transportation methods and costs, I alerted The Doubletree Hotel in Burlington that I wouldn’t make it to the hotel on time, but please, please don’t release the room.

Fancy my disbelief when the hotel rep replied that they didn’t have a reservation for me, but would be happy to rent me a room at $250 plus dollars a night. And there’s only one room left.  And it’s nonrefundable.  And I should pay right now…did I mention there’s only one room? And its graduation weekend?  As if I didn’t know.

So, what went wrong?  I can’t seem to find out who erred. Never-again #orbitz gladly refunded my $481, but I refused to book the same hotel who wanted to charge me over $1,000+ for a room for which I had already paid. No one admitted fault.  sleight of hand

Orbitz reps only said they would retry sending the confirmation to the hotel and would refund the money.  The hotel only said they didn’t have the confirmation.  One of those companies held onto my $481 for 6 months, used it for operations or investments or cash flow, and all I got was ‘nothing’ or really, spending another $300 more than planned.

Hell, I don’t even know where to turn to investigate with an online booking system, so I’ve done the only thing I could think of.  So far.  I tagged negative reviews on social media, filed negative reviews with Consumer Affairs, Better Business Bureaus, and multiple review sites.  I opened a customer service ticket with Orbitz and received a $25 voucher, but have no intention of ever using that service again. What service?! Saas=Screwed as a service.

What I suspect is that when Doubletree took over original bookings and management of the Burlington Conference Center, they decided to wipe out previous bookings…doing the “new ownership hustle” and sleight of hand so they could innocently claim ignorance about the previous arrangements.  https://vermontbiz.com/news/2018/january/30/doubletree-hilton-takes-over-sheraton-burlington-hotel.

You would think, however, using Orbitz’ paid confirmation, the hotel would honor the reservation, once proven.  I guess this, again, is what America, business, and customer service has come too.  Screw you, I got mine.

Well, if you know of any additional good avenues (hold on while I add a negative review on TripAdvisor) for me to flex my customer dissatisfaction, please share in the comments.

Maybe this isn’t so much a blog, as a bitch. Still a rant.

 

 

 

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