For just $89 a night, the all-suite hotel in Killeen, Tex., promised Steven Hoybook and his family “European-style luxury” – an offer that seemed too good to pass up.
But Hoybook wishes that he had. When he and his family arrived, they found the hotel’s windows and doors shuttered. “They were out of business,” says Hoybook, who lives in Minneapolis. He couldn’t reach Orbitz, the site through which he’d booked the room, so the family found accommodations at a nearby Marriott, paying $111 a night for a smaller room.
When Hoybook finally reached the online travel agency by phone the next day, a representative “seemed sympathetic, leading us to believe that they would reverse the charge for the closed hotel,” he recalls. But after months of back-and-forth, during which the Hoybooks formally disputed the credit card charge for their first hotel, Orbitz referred their bill to a collection agency. Read more “What to do if your hotel doesn’t exist”
Christine Lagasse and her companions had checked in for their early morning US Airways flight from Manchester, NH, to Philadelphia, enroute to a Caribbean cruise. They walked to the gate indicated on the boarding passes they’d printed at the airline counter.
Or so they thought.
“Our boarding passes showed that our gate was number 9,” she says. “We were all sitting there wondering why there weren’t many people around and when it got to be 4:50 a.m., we didn’t see anyone at the podium.”
Don’t lose it this summer. At least not the way Jennifer and Pat Mangold did when they stayed in the Florida Keys last August.
In their hurry to avoid holiday traffic, Mangold left her $680 in cash in their room at the Hampton Inn & Suites Islamorada.
“I didn’t realize this until we were 70 miles away in Key West, on a busy Labor Day weekend,” says Mangold, a nurse practitioner from Philadelphia. “I immediately took my phone out to call the Hampton Inn. I looked at my missed calls and found that they were trying to reach me.”
Turns out, a housekeeper had found the cash. The hotel overnighted it to Key West at no charge.
If you have a driver’s license, chances are that you also have an amusing story about GPS directions.
Here’s mine: A few weeks ago, my family and I were driving from Cayucos, Calif., to Prescott, Ariz., when I noticed that the needle on the fuel gauge was pointing to “empty.” Not a problem, I thought. There must be plenty of service stations between here and Bakersfield. Read more “Do you trust GPS directions?”
Like many new parents, Marissa Maland travels with a stroller. Or, should I say traveled with one.
On a recent American Airlines flight from Dallas to Telluride, Colo., with her husband and 17-month-old son, she took every precaution to make sure the $700 stroller would be safe, including spending an extra $90 for a protective case.