I always see the Travelocity commercials with the cute little garden gnome, and have always thought highly of the company. Low prices on air, hotel and car rentals, and the infamous Travelocity guarantee.
When my boyfriend and I wanted to plan a trip to the Bahama's,
Travelocity was one of the first sites we went to based on the clever
marketing and friendly approach the company always seems to take when
making TV ads.
We already knew where we were going to stay, based on the numerous
reviews we came across on Tripadvisor. The last step from here was
simply to find the lowest price to our destination.
Although I knew I wanted to check Travelocity for rates, I also
checked other travel websites to see which one would offer the lowest
Whether I like to admit it or not, Travelocity, by far, had
some of the cheapest flights, hotels, and vacation package rates I could
find for our vacation. It beat nearly every other site by $300 or more.
Before booking with Travelocity though I wanted to make 100% sure that
no other site was offering the same trip for less, so I prowled online
vacation forums. I came across some people who recommended that I book
directly with the hotel, and then book a flight to my destination with
the actual airline.
Of course I took this advice, but even after attempting to do this,
and looking up several airlines for cheaper rates, my price was still
nearly doubled compared to the rate Travelocity was offering me for the
First I was to choose the proper airports, the travel dates, and the
hotel. Once that was all said and done, I was given the price on how
much the whole package would come to.
One thing bothered me though, and this was the flight times. Luckily
though, directly on the site I was able to choose a different flight and
times that were more suited to our preference.
Before booking though, I studied the price, and got cold feet.
The next day though, I did the entire process all over again; same
flight, hotel, travel times, plane; everything was exactly the same set
up as the previous day, except for one thing. The price had gone up $200!?
I began my search over again, and set up everything the way I had just
had it. Once the price came up it had been lowered by $350!
It bugged me out a bit because it was now lower than the day before,
and significantly lower than the price that it gave me 5 minutes
earlier. I messed with it one last time with all of the same travel
settings I just had it on, and it went back up again by $50.00. So,
naturally I re-entered everything all over again till it went back to
the lower price I had before.
If you plan on booking with Travelocity, I recommend you keep going
back and doing the search over again, as the prices tend to change
magically within minutes. Bouncing from one price, to another right
before your eyes. I just kept doing my search over and over again till
it hit the lowest price I thought the site would offer.
Booking with Travelocity was a weird process, but I sort of enjoyed
the experience of watching the price drop instantly. It made me feel
like I was being offered some sort of 'special' deal.
At the same time though I realize that perhaps they do this on purpose
to get people to quickly book the trip thinking they just found some
sort of loop hole when it comes to prices.
They offer you your first price which is semi decent, then perhaps
they know you will get cold feet and that you will likely come back the
next day. When you plug in your information again it goes up
significantly higher, and knowing you will do the search over, lower it a
tad thinking you will likely make the reservations with the new lower
Either way, it's a good little scenario, and it worked, because I ended up booking.
After choosing this price I was then taken to a page where I could add
on travelers insurance, and if I wanted pay in advance for some nearby
(where we were vacationing) excursions for a discounted price. Next I
simply choose my flight seats, and paid for the vacation.
A few minutes after paying for my vacation I was sent a confirmation
email from Travelocity. This confirmation included my TripID number, and
my flight check in numbers.
The next day I received an email from the airline to confirm my airline reservations.
Everything seemed like easy breezy smooth sailing.
That very same day though I also signed up with the hotel's reward
program, and wanted to make sure Travelocity punched in my reward number
for the hotel. With the reward I would be guaranteed a welcome snack,
and free drinks stocked in my fridge.
I wrote Travelocity an email, explaining that I needed to make sure
the hotel got my reward number. Travelocity waited 3 days before
emailing me, and when they finally did, they told me not to worry about
it, that everything would be set for when we arrived. They asked for my
reward number, and I happily gave it to them thinking nothing of it.
When I got to the hotel though, I learned that you do not get ANY
rewards unless you book directly with the hotel. Had Travelocity told me
this from the get go, I would have been fine with it. Seeing how they led me to believe that it would be taken care of,
and never once told me that I wouldn't get any rewards pissed me off.
It's as if they told me a lie just to make sure I didn't cancel my trip
This was not my first issue with Travelocity though.
Travelocity has a guarantee that clearly states on the site that they will let you know before you go.
Basically if there is anything wrong with the hotel, or anything going
on at the hotel that would make for a less enjoyable experience
Travelocity would let you know.
Although it was not a huge deal, the hotel was having very
minor renovations being done in one of their middle buildings. Although
we were thankfully far enough away from the work zone as to where it
didn't effect our stay, it was still something that should have been
mentioned by Travelocity.
Travelocity fails to mention anything. In fact the last time I heard
from them was the day I booked the trip and they took my money. They
took my money and left the rest up to me.
You see I already knew there was minor renovations going on at the
hotel, thanks to the helpful reviews over at Tripadvisor. However I
booked anyway seeing how everyone who mentioned it was not very much
bothered by it.
The lame part is that, If I, the consumer am able to find this information so quickly and easily...why the hell couldn't Travelocity educate themselves on the matter?
I was thinking... any day now, Travelocity is going to shoot me an email and let me know about the renovations going on. They never did though.
It led me to believe that perhaps the renovations I read about were
finished. I mean Travelocity never said anything about it, so most
likely the work is done right?
When I got home I wrote them an email asking why they never mentioned
the renovations, they instead gave me a number to make a report on the
Bull-hooey! The hotel had nothing to do with it, this is Travelocity's promise, not the hotels. If anything, Travelocity should do the dirty work and figure out what went on, ON THEIR END, instead of having their customers poke around to figure out why Travelocity didn't live up to their promises.
If their was miscommunication between Travelocity and the hotel, that
would be Travelocitys issue for not following up with them. Not my
issue, or the hotels. Had I booked directly with the hotel, and given
this same promise, it'd be a different story. But I booked with
Travelocity, it's up to them to figure this out.
The main issue I had with Travelocity though was their lack of
customer care. It sort of bothered me that Travelocity never once sent
me an email to remind me about my trip, never sent me information on the
island. Nothing. I got nothing. I did though get a bill, and a confirmation code, and after that never heard from them again till my most recent email.
It was just sort of pathetic. Travelocity has to know
that when people book vacation packages they are excited about the trip,
and likely think about it daily. Having a friendly generated email to
the customers would take their service up a notch, but...they don't bother.
Over at Tripadvisor I signed up, and got weekly updates on my hotel. I
didn't spend a red cent at Tripadvisor either, and they were kind
enough to update me whenever a new review went up on the hotel.
At any rate, Travelocity took a good hot week to get back to me to
offer me $100 off my next trip booked through them. Tah-dah!!!
In ways I'm glad for the $100, but truly I just wish they would
actually come through on their promise. Promise me that you will live up
to your own standards for other future customers. Don't just offer me
$100 off my next trip. That's shady!
All in all I was not all to happy with booking with Travelocity. I'd likely only use their services again if I was guaranteed
they have better customer service. As of now, it just seems like a
company running on greed. The fact that they never updated me, or sent
me a reminder email on my trip bothered me. It just really felt like
they took my money and then wanted nothing to do with me after the fact.