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When A Good Air Fare Deal is Not A Good Deal

Posted by thetraveldoctor on May 16, 2012


Southern California

Out of the Window of a Southwest 737 over Southern California

You see an ad for low low airfares. You log on to the Airline web site and find that the deal you saw advertised is not what you thought. It happens more then you want to admit. So how do you really get a low fare that really is a good value? You need to do your homework and compare fares on different airlines. Bing fare search engine is a great place to start. It will give you the lowest fares to your destination on multiple airlines, but if you want to compare the results to Southwest, you will need to go on to the Southwest web site as Southwest only lists their fares on their own web site.

Remember when you compare your fares you have to take into account the “Extra Fees” imposed by the airlines. These extra fees include checked bags, on board meals, pre reserved seats and so on. Airlines make millions of dollars every year on these fees. What once was included with your ticket is no an “EXTRA” cost item. One of the few airlines that does not charge for bags or food on their aircraft is Southwest. So before you book your ticket, add up all the “Extras” and then make your decission. You will save time and money in the long run.

Posted in airlines, airplane, airports, bags, Credit Cards, luggage, pillows, seniors, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

AA Ups the Fees To Reserve A Window or Aisle Seat

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 30, 2011


American Airlines with seats to sell

American to charge extra for Window & Aisle seats

Just when you think the airlines can’t think of anything else to charge you for AA finds a new twist! Yes that’s right, AA introduced a new “Preferred Seats” charge. So if you want a window or aisle seat toward the front of the economy section you are going to have to anti up more cash. It’s now not good enough that you paid $300 for the air ticket, now they want you to pay a fee to sit down!  These “Preferred Seats” will begin at $4 per flight segment and will vary based on length of flight and time of day. So if you take a prime time flight from let’s say Chicago to Los Angeles, you could pay $15 or more for a window or aisle seat. Talk about a rip off!

I don’t understand what these airlines are thinking. They are nickeling the public to death. I don’t know where it will stop. The next charge will be $25 to get off the airplane and $10 if you want to stand the entire way.

Keep up the good work American. You should win an award for the worst customer service. Your matto should be “We’re not happy until your unhappy!”

Posted in airplane, airports, bags, Business Class, Credit Cards, economy, first class, luggage, seniors, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Viva Elvis At The Aria Hotel Las Vegas – A Review

Posted by thetraveldoctor on June 10, 2011


Viva Elvis show at Aria Hotel

Viva Elvis show at Aria Hotel

I had the opportunity to see the Viva Elvis Circ Du Sole show at the Aira Hotel at City Center in Las Vegas during my visit to Las VI had the opportunity to see the Viva Elvis Circ Du Sole show at the Aira Hotel at City Center in Las Vegas during my visit to Las Vegas on May 17, 2011. I had not heard much about the show, but I enjoy the music of Elvis and thought it would be a worth while investment of time and money.

I purchased my tickets from Tix4Tonight, which is a discount ticket office that has locations along the strip. They sell the unsold tickets for shows in Las Vegas for up to 50% off box office prices. I have been using Tix4Tonight for a number of years now and always have had a very good experience with them.  As in the past, I received a very good deal.

The Viva Elvis Theater is located on the upper level of the Casino at the Aria Hotel, a large but comfortable room with very good sight lines throughout. The show itself follows Elvis from the beginning of his singing career to his last days in Las Vegas. It is narrated by “The Colonel” who makes his entrance at a desk that floats in from stage left about 25 feet in the air.  Some entrance!

The show is fast moving with non-stop action, 90 minutes with no intermission. A large video screen is used very effectively throughout the entire show, showing historical clips of Elvis during the early days such as his induction into the military. The Jail House Rock number opens with a full 3 story cell block on stage, where the cast swings and slides between levels. A very visually exciting scene.  The show ends with an elaborate Old Style Vegas show girl set. Lots of Glitz, Lights and Special Effects.

The next time you are in Las Vegas, spend an evening with Elvis at Aria. You will be glad you did!

Posted in Ace Gold Line, bus, Credit Cards, deuce bus, Deuce Bus Las Vegas, duce, economy, first class, food, Hotels, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Strip, luggage, pillows, restaurant, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Oasis of The Seas makes some last minute changes

Posted by thetraveldoctor on December 2, 2009


The Oasis of the Seas Boardwalk area

The Oasis of the Seas Boardwalk area

Royal Caribbean new ship Oasis of The Seas is now sailing as the World’s Largest Cruise Ship. But there were a few last minute changes that were made to the ship before it arrived for it’s first cruise.

The original design of the Boardwalk “Neighborhood” was to have a tattoo parlor offering temporary tattoos and a tarot card reader store. But the tattoo idea was nixed and was replaced with a Pets at Seas store where passengers can make their own stuffed animals. The Tarot Card Reader Store, well let’s just say it was not “In The Cards.”

This is a great ship and if you have never cruised before, this would be a great ship to take your first cruise. Also Oasis has really out done itself with on the Entertainment offerings. Try it You will LOVE IT!

Posted in airlines, airplane, Allure Of The Seas, art, Art Auctions at Sea, Brilliance of The Seas, cancun, caribbean, Credit Cards, cruise line, cruises, food, islands, luggage, Mexico, Oasis of the Seas, Panama Canal, restaurant, royal caribbean, sailing, seniors, ships, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations, Voyager of The Seas, Wifi | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Grand Hyatt NY Gets An “F” For Accommodations!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on June 6, 2009


 

Grand Hyatt Hotel New York City

Grand Hyatt Hotel New York City

I just returned from a business trip to New York where I gave a presentation to a group of travel industry professionals. The conference went well, but that is not my reason for writing this. The problem was with the Hotel.

The conference hotel was the Grand Hyatt in New York City. This is a very large business hotel located right next to Grand Central Station on 42nd street. I was excited about staying at the hotel as I really enjoy the Hyatt brand. 

 

I arrived at 1250AM in stead of 1030PM as my flight was late from Chicago due to weather in the New York area. So I am now very tired, somewhat wet as it has been pouring rain for the entire trip from Newark Airport to the Grand Hyatt Hotel and I had to wade through the rain to get to the Super Shuttle Bus. I walk into the lobby of the Grand Hyatt and proceed to the Registration Desk. Now remember it is 1250AM on Thursday morning and there are at least 12 people waiting in line to check in. Now that would not be so bad, but there is only one desk clerk handling the check in and to add insult to injury, there are approximately 15 self service check-in kiosk that all say “OUT OF SERVICE – SEE DESK CLERK TO CHECK IN.” So now I am very tired, I have a bad headache and I am standing in a line that is not moving at all. 

 

20 minutes later I make it up to the desk clerk. I give him my name and my reservation number. He types it into the computer and then I see that look on his face that I have seen to many times before. You know the look of bad news at 115 in the morning. So he tells me that the room I reserved was not available. My heart dropped! I said you have to give me a room. He tells me that he has a queen size smoking room. I said to myself, “how bad could a smoking room be?” So I say to the desk clerk, I just need a room to sleep in, I will take the room. 

 

So he gives me the key card and I proceed to the 15th floor room I was assigned. I get to the room and open the door and walk in and then it hit me. This room REAKED of smoke! Oh did it stink, it just knocked you over. It smelled like someone chain smoked no-stop for a week! But again, I was so tired and I had this terrible headache and I just needed so sleep. So I climbed into the bed and fell asleep. 

 

When I woke up, I really look around the room for the first time. The window shade was all stained and looked as if someone threw a cup of coffee on it. The lights on the night stands did not work properly. The Desk lamp shade was broken and had a hole in it.  There was a floor lamp that was leaning over like someone bent the base.  And the final straw, the wifi in the room did not work.

 

I walked into the bathroom to take a shower. The bathroom look pretty good, so I get into the shower, close the curtain and turned on the water. I adjusted the temperature and then the tub started to fill up. Ok, so the drain was running slow. I hit the shower button and the shower turned on. It started to spray nicely around the curtain and on to the floor. I could not get a good flow onto me, but it did a great job of making a puddle on the floor of the bathroom, which I could not stop.

 

I was really frustrated by this time. I got out of the shower and threw two towels on the floor to soak up the water. I then dried myself off with a third towel, at least they gave me 4 towels and they were not the usual fluffy Hyatt towels, they were very scratchy and thin towels.

 

The service was just fair throughout the hotel. The public areas were very nice, but the service was poor at best. I stay in lots of hotel rooms during the year and this was a stay that I want to forget. I cannot recommend the Grand Hyatt in New York until they do something to improve the quality control of the rooms and the attitude of the staff.

Posted in bags, Credit Cards, economy, first class, food, Hotels, luggage, lunch, news, options, PC, pillows, restaurant, seniors, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations, Wifi | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Bogus Currency Conversion Fee on Bank of America CC

Posted by thetraveldoctor on February 17, 2009


 

Just Waiting for That International Flight

Just Waiting for That International Flight

You think that you have seen everything and then your friend gets hit with a bogus credit card charge for purchasing an Air Canada ticket in the United States. Here is what happened.

My friend purchased a ticket from a travel agent in the Chicago area. The Ticket was purchased  from Chicago to Rome round trip on Air Canada with a connection in Toronto. The ticket was purchased in the United States in US dollars. Now you should know that it is against the law to purchase an international ticket in the United States in a foreign currency, so the ticket must be purchased in US Dollars. My friend used his Bank of America Visa card to purchase the ticket. When the Bank of America Visa statement arrived, there was a 3% currency conversion fee for the ticket which amounted to over $80. Now how do you charge a currency conversion fee for a ticket that was purchased in US dollars? That’s right, you can’t but Bank of America did because they can and there is nothing you can do about it because they tell you it is a fee that cannot be disputed.

We talked with Air Canada and they agreed that the ticket was purchased in US dollars in the US and there was never any currency to convert. We called Bank of America back and they insisted that they were right that there was a currency conversion (yeah right) and that the fee could not be disputed. My friend asked Bank of America for proof. They said they would send proof. I can’t wait to see what they sent. The travel agent has proof that there was never any currency conversion, Air Canada has proof there was never any currency conversion, but Bank of America, they have proof. This is the biggest scam I have seen in the travel industry in years. I cannot imagine how much money is taken in by charging this fee on Air Canada tickets.

If anyone out there has had this happen to them, please reply to this blog. This has got to end and my friend will not let it go.

Posted in airlines, airplane, airports, Banks, Business Class, Credit Cards, economy, futures, Government, investments, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »