The Travel Factory Blog
Have you had any good experiences lately booking hotels on-line? The excellent travel ombudsman that writes a weekly column for the Dallas Morning News, who I have referenced often, Christopher Elliott, is seemingly monthly having to help out a traveler with their hotel snafus.
He referred recently to the practice of several on-line hotel third party companies that were ostensibly making hotel reservations for persons that really were bogus. When the customer got to the hotel, there were no reservations there in their name, even though the customer had proof of the reservation.
Some of these hotel scammers are based off-shore, and not only traceable, but when contacted by phone, refused to talk to Mr. Elliott. Of course, it makes the hotels look bad when it appears that they have others making reservations in their behalf, but they have no contract with the on-line hotel scammers.
Legitimate hotels are doing their best to fight these third-party sites because of the confusion and bad taste that the practice is leaving in the consumers mouth. The hotels prefer that the consumer make reservations with them directly by phone or on the hotels website. That way, they do not have to pay a commission.
Of course, my mantra has always been that the consumer should allow a travel agent that they trust to make the reservations for them. Not only will they get a legitimate confirmation number to take with them to the hotel, but they will be leaving a part of their payment circulating in the Abilene economy. Plus, dealing with a legitimate, experienced, and professional travel agent, they will have someone to whom they can depend on to assist them if they experience a problem of some kind. The consumer would be hard-pressed to find an on-line advocate in their behalf.
Interestingly, it might be because of the proliferation of on-line hotel advertising on television, that our hotel reservation bookings have been very weak over the past several months. Just hoping that our Big Country travelers are not getting taken in by some of these scammers, but for good protection in that regard, consider contacting the experienced agents at The Travel Factory in the Plaza at Park Central, 4150 Southwest Drive, Ste. 120. Or give us a call at 698-1421 or 800-760-4040 for some legitimate hotel, or any other exciting travel advice.
By the way, if you miss any of our Thursday Tips on the radio, you can also see the information presented on our website as a blog on www.thetravelfactoryabilene.com. We invite you to take a look-see!!