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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Vacay Planning Pt. II

...Or, the Roaming Gnome is an obnoxious indian named "Joshua"

As we worked through plans for vacation, we found that there was less and less appealing about the Clearwater area than other areas of the state. We looked around and found that maybe Fort Lauderdale was more our speed.

So the past couple of nights we've been researching hotels, flights, and assorted activities in the Ft. L. area. We decided, what the hell, let's go there!

We did research on several hotels around the area and found one that seemed to pass a few tests from customers (oh, and those people that bitch about a 1$ rental safe...stfua!). After finding this hotel, we searched every friggin' travel site known to man: Priceline, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Kayak, otels, Expedia, Hotwire and Cheap Tickets. Priceline is my personal favorite as I have only had one dud out of about 10 different hotels and have stayed at Embassy Suites, Marriott, and Sheratons for all less than 45$ a night. However, Priceline didn't have this hotel in an option where we could see if the room had an ocean view, and seeing that we are going there for the ocean, that seemed important.

So we went for the gnome. They had the room and flights at the lowest price, so last night around midnight, we narrowed it down and started to book the flight. After going through a 10 minute process of picking days, number of visitors, city, hotel, airline, flight, room type, which seats we were going to get on the plane, and signing up for an account, we clicked to "confirm this reservation" and got a "this room is no longer available" message.

WTF??? So I went back to the site and saw that it was still listed, so we tried the entire process again (you have to start from the beginning each time). This time, when we got to the end, there was an error message. We did this about 5 times before 2 a.m., at which point I picked up the phone and was greeted by Joshua from Travelocity in Mumbai. He told me that there was no problem with the system and that it was user error. I fought with for a while and he said that if he booked it, it would cost 50$ MORE! So I argued until he agreed to try to do the online reservation with me. I mean, why charge ME because your system doesn't work.

We went through the 10 minute procedure and this time he and I both had computer errors simultaneously. He then said "my manager can book it for you and we will waive half of the fee." After being placed on hold for 15 minutes, he came back and said "the system is being updated right now, check back in the morning..oh and here's a code for 50$ off."

I got up this morning at 9 and tried booking online. Went through the entire process twice and got an error both times. Then I called Travelindia and found an American woman who was nice, but once her computer gave her the same error, she placed me on hold and disconnected me.

I got pissed, tried again with just the hotel this time and guess what??? It didn't work again after going through the whole thing. So, irritated, I called the hotel and found that there were "plenty of those rooms available" by a very nice man named Miles. At that, I called Travel-india and got Ralph, or Joseph, or Herbert and was told that it was my problem. I then demanded a US native and got transferred.

While on hold, I got a beep on the other line from Citibank who was confirming 5 charges for the hotel! I said "NO!" and then got my American Idiot. The American was this snotty bastard who told me he didn't see a problem. He called visa and had the 5 charges deauthorized, but then took 20 minutes to help me get the room. But did he get the room? No...there are no rooms available to them. When asked what he could do to assist me with the now 6 hours I'd spent doing the booking, he said "All I can do is say 'I'm Sorry!'."

Fuckers! Yeah, you're sorry. I was so fed up that I called a travel agent. Got a room up the road, of comparable style and quality and right on the beach. We even got the same exact flights we were getting online. The woman there was extremely nice, so when she told me that she got me all of this for $130 less than travelocity, well, I could have kissed her.

So the room is booked, we are on our way in May, and I had to go Old Skool to do it!

So guess who's not going to be playing with the Traveling Gnome? Sheesh!

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At 4/06/2008 2:17 AM, Blogger naechstehaltestelle's whiny, bitch-ass comment is...

That sounds like the worst experience ever. I take it you'll never use Travelocity again? I can't believe it was cheaper to book through a travel agent. I'll have to do the same next time.

At 4/12/2008 5:20 PM, Blogger ayem8y's whiny, bitch-ass comment is...

I’ve had similar experiences trying to book trips online. I WILL NEVER DO IT AGAIN! I meant to suggest Ft. Lauderdale after reading your last post...it is after all Where The Boys Are. Last time I was there I stayed in the Sheraton Yankee Clipper and was so pleased to find that they were hosting hundreds of gorgeous blond Scandinavian men who wore the skimpiest Gucci swim trunks I ever did see. I totally felt like Connie Francis or Yvette Mimieux even.


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