Just before Gerald and Byrone LoCasale were to set sail on an 18-day Princess cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Los Angeles, disaster struck. Byrone LoCasale sustained an injury that required immediate orthopedic surgery. The couple, both frequent Princess customers, reluctantly canceled the trip.
Years ago, many hotels would accept reservations without a credit card, but only hold the rooms until 4 p.m. or 6 p.m. A credit card guaranteed late arrival, but also meant travelers who didn’t show up would be charged.
More than ever, air travelers are complaining about feeling squeezed in economy class cabins, especially those who are six feet or taller. Compared to flying just a few years ago, most US domestic economy class passengers have a right to complain, as seats have shrunk along with their legroom.
Tony Levy and his family are big fans of Riu Hotels & Resorts, a Spanish chain of all-inclusive properties with locations in the Caribbean and Mexico.
Six months before getting married in her hometown of Santa Rosa, Calif., Pamela Baker-Miller made hotel arrangements for some of the guests visiting from out of town. She called Hilton Sonoma Wine Country and reserved a block of rooms — but not before getting assurances that she wouldn’t be on the hook for the accommodations.
Tami Alloway needs to cancel her hotel stay because of “extenuating” personal circumstances. Just one problem: the reservations are non-refundable.
Question: I recently reserved a hotel room at the Hawthorn Suites in Charleston, SC, through Priceline for a family trip with my mother. A few days later, my sister’s children were removed from their home and taken into state custody. I was awarded foster care for all three of them and they have been with me since then.
The older children, prior to removal, were homeschooled, so the dates of the trip were not an issue. With them being in my care, they are now in public schooling. The children range in age from 22 months through 9 years of age.
When we realized that the time frame would mean I would still have the children with me in March (and not during spring break, so they would miss a week of school), I called to cancel the reservation and was told there is no refund, even in extreme situations.
Some hotel amenities aren’t that important. Some are.
Having an accessible room, which is required under some state and federal laws, is a biggie. So when John and Carolyn Falabella asked me to look into their hotel’s failure to offer them the room they reserved, I knew it could be serious.
But a closer look at their case one shows just how frustrating it can be to fix a major problem like this, particularly with a chain hotel. I’m not sure if I can make this right, but read on and let me know if you think I should get involved in mediating this dispute.
Falabella had reservations at a Comfort Inn in Arlington, Va. He says he’d made a booking for an accessible room through Comfort Inn’s 800-number, and that he received a confirmation.