Travel Bargain Tips – 3

Continuing a short Overview of where travel stands at the beginning of 2010, I see much frustration at the downturn in business and a surprising lack of concern for customers, in some major companies, rather than showing customer-appreciation and hospitality!

So, I am calling-out those companies which we need to give a wake-up call to, as well as giving you other good tips.

Read:
Travel Bargain Tips – 1
Travel Bargain Tips – 2
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___ Travelocity has enjoyed a good reputation until some cracks seem to be appearing, even within the various parts of the organization. So, buyer beware.

When company’s don’t follow their promises, on the internet word spreads like wildfire. Don’t they realize that!

The report made from one passenger is that, in reality, Travelocity will only issue ONE Price Guarantee refund for the difference in price, if you find a cheaper rate online prior to check-in.

If you submit a refund and the price drops several weeks later (but still prior to check-in) they will not continue issuing refunds for any other price differences and protect you until the day before you check-in (as they claim). According to PEOPLE at Travelocity, it’s a one-time option!

Therefore the actual unprinted rules of their price guarantee refund contradicts the fine print of their website’s Terms and Conditions which states a limit of five (5) price guarantees per person per month.

When the passenger tried to submit a second request to match an even lower price listed on Travelocity’s own website, this traveler received an email denying the request because one refund had already been processed. I have to wonder if all this is out-sourced, as this should not be happening.

The price continued to drop all the way until 2 days before their check in, but Travelocity would not honor additional price guarantee requests!

The passenger pointed out Travelocity’s limit of five as well as their assurance to protect customers up until the day before check-in, but they continued to deny the request.

The interesting part about this customer’s experience is the Customer Service Supervisor completely agreed that a second refund should be issued and couldn’t figure out why the Price Guarantee Dept was so unwilling to abide by the company’s own rules.

He did suggest resubmitting the claim and Carbon Copying their Consumer Relations Dept (who have not responded to the customer’s emails, after 3 weeks). Extremely disappointing, to say the least.

This former customer states “In a time where online competition is steep and price differentials between competitors is nominal at best, customer loyalty is earned by a company’s integrity. Travelocity’s unwillingness to honor their own policies has sent me running to their competition.” So, again, I say “Buyer beware”.

___ Meanwhile, a company (and community) some other travelers are happy about: BestTravelDeals.

___ And, if you qualify, get great airfares at StudentUniverse.

___ A good bargain strategy: once you have decided upon a destination and you have booked your flight, then look at such websites as Yelp.com for reviews of any cheap eats in the area to keep costs down. Also chowhound.com is a great resource.

Another resource is writing to a popular foodie blog and asking others what their tips were for visiting (your target city) on a budget.

LINKS:
BestTravelDeals.net
StudentUniverse

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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