If there’s a Twilight Zone of travel cases, then Rochelle Dean has surely discovered it. And although I’ve done my best to help her, it looks like her recent vacation is still stuck someone between “solved” and “unsolved.”
Here are a few details: Back in February, she, a friend, her husband and her two teenage daughters were scheduled to fly from Missoula, Mont., to Los Angeles. She’d booked the entire trip through Hotwire, and the night before, Dean received an email that said she was all checked in for her flights and good to go.
But she wasn’t. On the day of her flight, she received another message from Hotwire that said her flight was canceled and that her new flight had left 29 minutes ago. Oops.
“The next possible flight out left Seattle at 6 a.m. the next day,” she says. “We had no choice. They re-booked us on that flight.”
Dean appealed to a Hotwire supervisor to help her fix the problem.
I explained our situation and let her know that I had a hotel room in LA that I can’t use and won’t get paid for, since I can’t give a 24-hour notice, and that I would have to get us a place to stay now in Seattle.
I told her I think it is only fair that Hotwire pay for both of these hotels.
The Hotwire supervisor assured her she’d take care of it, she says. She promised Dean pre-paid hotel vouchers, which would be waiting at the Alaska Airlines counter, and a $100 Hotwire credit to compensate them for the hotel room they couldn’t use.
Problem solved, right?
“When we landed, we went directly to the Alaska counter and we were informed they knew nothing about it,” she says. “There were no notes in the system as Hotwire had promised.”
Dean called Hotwire back. It blamed the airline for the oversight. The airline blamed Hotwire. This went on for two hours while their valuable vacation time ticked away.
The Deans stayed at an airport hotel in Seattle at a discounted $59-a-night rate, courtesy of Alaska Airlines. But by the time the arrived in Anaheim for the first leg of their trip, they’d lost more than a day of vacation and run up a lot of expenses they didn’t plan for.
I feel that I so deserve to be reimbursed for my LA prepaid hotel we couldn’t use, the two hotel rooms we had to get in Seattle and the Disney park tickets as the whole thing was just a miserable fiasco from minute one.
I also feel like we deserve to be compensated for our meals, extreme emotional stress and our vacation time lost.
That’s a tall order but I thought I’d run this case by Hotwire, anyway. There were too many unanswered questions about Dean’s experience. Maybe the company could shed some light on this trip to the Twilight Zone.