A Travel and vacations forum. TravelBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » TravelBanter forum » Travelling Style » Cruises
Site Map Home Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Booking Hotels Online (How to Avoid the Pitfalls)



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old December 1st, 2003, 02:27 AM
Becca
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Booking Hotels Online (How to Avoid the Pitfalls)

This article was in the Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2003Oct24.html

washingtonpost.com

When Hotel Sites Don't Click
It seems so easy: Log on, find a deal, book. But things can go awry with online agencies. We look
at the pitfalls, and how to avoid them.

By Gary Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 26, 2003; Page P01

While checking the Web for a Miami hotel last April, David Manero of Hyattsville found an
irresistible deal: a $100 room at the Breakwater in South Beach offered by the Hotel Distribution
Network, a discount reservations agency. That was $42 off the usual starting rate.

Manero reserved four nights and prepaid with a credit card. But when he and his family arrived in
August, the property had no vacant rooms and was no longer affiliated with HDN, which is based in
Sanford, Fla. Manero couldn't reach an HDN operator, either, leaving him on his own to find
another hotel. Two months, a dozen calls and countless e-mails later, he's still waiting for an
explanation.

For frequent patrons of online hotel-booking services, Manero's saga may have a familiar ring. In
recent weeks, the Travel section has received correspondence from disgruntled customers of many
major Internet hotel and travel booking sites (Hotels.com, Expedia.com, Travelocity.com,
Quikbook.com, Orbitz.com, etc.); the sites of chains such as Days Inn and Starwood Hotels and
Resorts; and some of the smaller agencies such as HDN. The complaints range from misplaced
reservations to finding out they could have gotten a cheaper rate for the same hotel elsewhere.

"More and more you can get some fantastic deals for rooms on the Web," said Bob Jones, a
consumer advocate featured on OneTravel.com, a discount Web site. "But you have to be careful
or else you could find yourself out of a lot of money with little recourse."

Attempts to reach customer service personnel -- if you can even find the phone number in the online
maze -- often lead to a labyrinth of recorded greetings, unhelpful form letters and ill-informed
agents. When I called HDN to ask about Manero's case, I was put on hold. "Your call is important
to us," a voice said at two-minute intervals. "There are four calls ahead of you." After 40 minutes, I gave up.

Frequently offering discounts of 50 percent or more off regular rates, Internet hotel agencies can be a boon for travelers. And
their popularity is growing: Forrester Research, a Cambridge, Mass., consulting firm, predicts that U.S. hotels will get roughly
15 percent of their revenue from online bookings in 2004, up from about 8 percent this year.

As a frequent user of Internet booking agencies, I hit snags regularly. A few months ago, I reserved a room at New York's
Edison Hotel with Hotels.com, one of the largest online discounters, but when I arrived the staff had no record of my
reservation. After two calls to the agency, the hotel gave me a room for the price that Hotels.com had promised. More
recently, I prepaid for a room at the Monaco in Denver with Priceline.com, but when I checked out, the hotel insisted I pay it
directly. (Priceline later refunded my account.)

Even with the most reliable companies, things don't always run smoothly. When I wanted to add a couple of days to my stay at
a Miami hotel reserved through Quikbook, it was impossible to get a live operator on a Sunday afternoon. I ended up
extending directly with the hotel -- at a higher rate. (Quikbook has recently added operators on weekends.)

Quikbook President Ray Vastola, who says his agency rarely receives complaints, blames technology for many of the snafus
other companies experience. "With millions of transactions taking place every day between agencies and hotels that operate on
different [reservations] systems," he said, "some things are going to fall through the cracks."

Joe McInerney, president of the American Hotel & Lodging Association in Washington, takes a more critical view. "These
problems occur because most third-party hotel booking sites are in the business of selling rooms but are not well trained in
hospitality or service," he said. "They are not concerned about keeping the customer satisfied."

The sheer volume of rooms booked also comes into play. Although better known for selling airline tickets, Expedia and
Travelocity, for example, do a whopping business in hotel reservations. Expedia says it booked more than 11 million rooms in
2002, more than any other Web agency.

For its part, Travelweb.com, which launched this summer and is partly owned by several major U.S. hotel chains, wants to lure
customers away from the third-party agencies. The pitch: Patrons won't experience lost reservations and other problems
because the site is connected directly to the chains' booking systems, thus eliminating the middleman -- the online discounters
who must transfer their clients' reservations to the hotels.

Is it working? "I think it's too early to say," said Ed Perkins, an Oregon consumer travel advocate formerly with Consumer
Reports Travel Letter.

Whatever the process, booking online -- while often rewarding -- can be a risky endeavour. Here are some of the common
problems and suggested solutions or ways to avoid them.

Refunds

The Problem: Receiving a refund can be difficult. Agencies tie up the process in red tape, often taking two months or longer to
reimburse .

Example: Manero, in his dealings with HDN, called and e-mailed the company several times after returning from his Miami trip
but couldn't connect with its customer service department.

I made two calls to HDN but got recordings routing me to voice mail. Two e-mails went unanswered. Eventually, Manero
asked his credit card company, American Express, to intervene. He later received a letter from HDN saying a refund would be
posted to his credit card. After three weeks, it arrived.

Although the larger agencies declined to disclose how often refunds are requested, Michael Zaletel, president of i4vegas.com,
which books Vegas resorts, said 10 to 12 percent of its customers ask for refunds. In most instances, the requests are the
result of changes in travel plans, Zaletel said.

Manero's case, in which no hotel room was provided, is just one of several instances in which travelers should be eligible for
refunds. Others include:

Major problems with the room or service.

Cancellation of prepaid reservations made within an established time frame.

Overcharges or double-billing to a credit card.

When travel is impossible because of a hurricane or other natural disaster.

Kurt Weinsheimer, vice president of hotels for Orbitz, puts it bluntly. "Hotel sites work somewhat like airlines," he said. "The
deeper discount you get, the harder it is to get a refund."

The Solution: Spokespeople for the major reservations sites advise customers to keep printouts of the confirmation number
and all transactions, as well as familiarize themselves with the refund policies of the agency and hotel where they reserve.

This is key, as eligibility requirements for refunds differ among companies, room categories and particular deals. For instance,
once rooms are booked on Priceline.com and Hotwire.com, two reverse-auction travel sites, no refunds are granted.

On Orbitz, some rooms are sold at special "Orbitz Saver" rates, significant discounts the company negotiates. You must pay in
full at the time of booking, and to receive a full refund (minus a $25 cancellation fee), you must cancel at least 72 hours in
advance. Travelers canceling less than 72 hours before arrival may qualify for partial refunds. Expedia, Travelocity and other
agencies offer comparable special deals, with similar policies.

By comparison, for non-deep-discounted rooms, travelers usually must cancel within 24 hours before arrival to get a refund,
though you may be subject to a cancellation fee. Hotels.com charges $25 for all cancellations, for example, while Quikbook
charges $10 for cancellations of prepaid rooms -- and nothing if you cancel in time for a room that wasn't prepaid.

If a refund is due, go after it promptly, providing all supporting documents. Even in instances where the refund requirements are
not fully met, ask for one. (Bob Diener, president of Hotels.com, said that in some extraordinary circumstances, such as a death
or sickness, refund restrictions can be waived.)

OneTravel's Jones recommends that travelers concerned about recouping their money should consider travel insurance. "It's
important to be aware of the circumstances under which the insurance company will help you get a refund," he said. "But if you
qualify, they will save you from a major headache."

In all cases, customers should pin down customer service agents on how long it should take for a refund. If it does not come
through by that date, contact the credit card company used for the reservation, which can do much of the legwork.

Customer Service

The Problem: Customer service staff at online agencies and hotel front desks can be unresponsive, unhelpful, rude or, worse,
unreachable.

Example: Last May, Nina Basu of Columbia used Travelocity to prepay for two nights at the Ramada Inn in White River
Junction, Vt. En route, she called the hotel and learned that it had changed ownership and name -- to the Regency. A desk
clerk told her they had no record of her reservation and no rooms. She then called Travelocity, which offered her lodging in
Boston and other far-off locales before eventually finding her a room at the original hotel.

But after the first night, she was locked out by hotel management and had to talk her way back into the room. The desk clerk
said she had paid for only one night, even though she had prepaid Travelocity for two. Basu faults both the Regency and
Travelocity for not dealing with her problem promptly, and "poor customer service" in general.

Although Travelocity declined to comment on the specifics of Basu's case, Josh Feuerstein, vice president for the site's hotels,
said the agency's "customer-service reps are especially trained to handle problems. We encourage customers with problems to
contact them."

Basu said she did just that. And though she got her room, it wasn't until nine weeks, eight calls and several e-mails later that she
received a response to her complaints. Although she was technically not owed a refund, Travelocity granted one.

"What I really wanted was an apology," she said. "And I still haven't gotten one. That makes me reluctant to deal with them
anytime soon."

The Solution: For urgent assistance (e.g., you arrive at 10 p.m. and find the hotel has no room), call the Web service's help
desk. (For phone numbers, hours and e-mail and mailing addresses, see Page P7).

Unfortunately, in many instances the person working the service desk does little more than repeat vague company positions --
and sometimes it takes a while to reach someone. If the first operator (or desk clerk) is not responsive, ask for a supervisor.
"People should not be shy about pushing their cases," advises Quikbook's Vastola.

Otherwise, the agencies encourage customers to send questions or problems by e-mail. Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity
promise responses within about four hours any time of the day or night. Lodging.com says it will get back to you "as soon as
possible." Hotels.com doesn't indicate how long it will take.

Customers should write to the online agency and file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Web sites such as
www.bizrate.com, www.complaints.com and www.epinions.com offer venues to post complaints about Internet businesses.
Simply reading the postings might help you learn from others' mistakes.

A last-ditch option for dissatisfied guests is to sue in small-claims court, said Perkins, the consumer rights advocate. "It may turn
out to be more time-consuming and cause more heartache than it's worth," he said. "But it's the only legal recourse I know of
open to those unable to come to terms with the agency or the hotel."

Properties/Rooms

The Problem: The amenities of the room you booked online, and the hotel itself, are substandard.

Example: When Erin Feuillet of Damascus and a friend arrived at the North Beach Days Inn in Miami last New Year's, she
was shocked. "It smelled of mold, the carpet was dirty and the lock didn't work right," she said. "It was nothing like what I
expected when I booked on the company's Web site." A call to the Days Inn customer service line was not helpful. "They told
us that the problem had to be resolved with the hotel's management."

But there were no other rooms available at the hotel or any others in the area in her price range. "We just had to put up with it
and stayed in the room as little as possible." A couple of weeks later, hotel management sent her a certificate for a two-night
stay at a Days Inn resort. She doubts she'll accept the offer.

Days Inn spokesman Emanuel Naim declined to comment on Feuillet's case except to say, "We're sorry that it happened." He
explained that inspectors visit Days Inn properties four times a year and recommend improvements if they're needed.

The Solution: If you don't like the room you're assigned, request another one. Pronto. And it never hurts to have a backup
hotel in mind, particularly for long trips.

Naim said dissatisfied Days Inn customers should bypass the front desk and appeal to the property manager. If that doesn't
result in a satisfactory change, they should call the chain's customer service line and, finally, the president's line, a special service
that addresses serious complaints. Cendant Corp., which owns Days Inn and other chains, is one of the few companies with
special staff designated for dealing with hard-to-resolve cases.

Spokesmen for the online agencies said customer complaints are passed on to hotels. "If customers consistently complain about
a property, we will take it off the site," said Orbitz's Weinsheimer. Travelocity and Expedia have similar policies.

Still, it's best to do some research before jumping on the latest Web "hot deal." Read the description of the property
thoroughly. See whether a pool, health club or restaurant are on-site and what other attractions are nearby. Peruse the pictures,
too, but be wary -- photographed the right way, nearly anything can look good.

Also, the rating systems used by most of the online agencies can be helpful. (Travelocity, for example, uses AAA ratings and
in-house inspectors for some properties and also publishes guest reviews of some of its hotels.) Calling the hotel to find out if
there is construction going on might spare you lost sleep after arriving.

Secondary sources are usually more objective. Start with guidebooks; the AAA and Mobil guides, which inspect many
properties and rate them, are good resources. Fodor's, Frommer's and Lonely Planet often have reliable hotel reviews, too.
Check Web sites such as Tripadvisor.com and HotelShark.com, which offer independent reviews by former guests (see box,
Page P6).

Not surprisingly, Ken Marshall, president of HotelShark, believes that online sites like his are the best places to check. "Not
only do they give reports from people who have stayed in the hotels," he said, "but the information is usually much more
up-to-date than that in the print guidebooks."

Rates

The Problem: After booking, customers sometimes find they could have snagged a cheaper room at the same property from
another Web site or directly from the hotel.

Example: Hotels.com is offering queen suites at the Fitzpatrick Chicago Hotel in early November for $179 a night. But when I
called the hotel's toll-free number last week, an operator offered a rate of $159 for the same room.

Such discrepancies are common. On Bizrate.com, six out of 22 reviewers of Hotels.com gave the firm a negative rating, mostly
because they found cheaper rates by contacting the hotels or other Web sites. Readers have voiced similar complaints about
other online agencies.

"We try to negotiate the lowest possible rate with hotels," said Hotels.com's Diener. "But hotel room prices change constantly,
sometimes several times in the course of a day. We cannot keep up with all of them."

The Solution: A number of online reservations services offer guarantees that they have the lowest rate available -- and will pay
the difference if you can prove them wrong. "Usually the hotel rates offered by the different agencies don't differ that much,"
says Jones of OneTravel. "But if you find a better one, let your agency know and get them to match it."

According to Hotel.com's "lowest guaranteed-rate policy," for example, if patrons find a cheaper rate on the Web for the same
property within 24 hours of making a reservation, they'll be refunded the difference. Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz offer a
similar deal. Unfortunately, if you find a better rate outside the 24-hour window or through another source such as the hotel's
800 number, you're stuck with the original rate.

Always comparison shop before booking. Check directly with the hotel and ask for specials or the cheapest available room. If
the hotel is a chain, use both its toll-free number and Web site.

Got chutzpah? Connect with a hotel manager or other person of authority and bargain. The site www.biddingfortravel.com, in
which travelers say how much they paid for rooms on Priceline, offers a rough guide of how low a hotel might go.

Details: Where to Turn When Booking Online

ONLINE DISCOUNTERS:

Sometimes simply finding the customer service numbers, e-mail addresses and snail-mail addresses for the major online hotel
discounters is half the battle. We've ferreted out the information for many of the industry's biggest players and included the
hours of operation for each service desk.

(Note: Many sites offer a spot on their home pages where you can click to e-mail the customer service department. The
agencies without street addresses told us that, as Web-based businesses, they have no mail contact for customer service.)

Hotels.com

Service desk: 800-219-4606 (8 a.m.-1 a.m. daily),

800-364-0291 (1 a.m.-8 a.m. daily)

E-mail:

Mailing address: 10440 N. Central Expressway

Suite 400, Dallas, Tex. 75231

Expedia.com

Service desk: 800-397-3342 (24/7)

E-mail:
(you'll get a response with a link to the site's feedback form)

Mailing address: N/A

Travelocity.com

Service desk: 888-709-5983 (24/7)

E-mail:


Mailing address: 8750 Tesoro Dr., Suite 100

San Antonio, Tex. 78217

Orbitz.com

Service desk: 888-656-4546 (24/7)

E-mail:


Mailing address: N/A

Travelweb.com

Service desk: 866-437-8131 (24/7{rcub}

E-mail:


Mailing address: N/A

Quikbook.com

Service desk: 800-789-9887 (Monday-Friday 9 a.m-

8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.)

E-mail:


Mailing address: 381 Park Ave. S.

New York, N.Y. 10016

PlacesToStay.com

Service desk: 866-224-9765 (24/7)

E-mail:


Mailing address: WorldRes Inc.

1510 Fashion Island Blvd., Suite 100

San Mateo, Calif. 94404

Lodging.com

Service desk: 888-563-4464 (daily 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m.)

E-mail:


Mailing address: 4805 N. 30th St., Suite 103

Colorado Springs, Colo. 80919

Hotwire.com

Service desk: 866-468-9473 (24/7)

E-mail:


Mailing address: N/A

Priceline.com

Service desk: 800-774-2354 (24/7)

E-mail:


Mailing address: N/A

HOTEL CHAINS: For links to the major chains, check
www.hotelstravel.com, an online directory of hotel and other
travel-related Web sites.

WHERE TO COMPLAIN:

Better Business Bureau. To report a problem, call 703-276-0100 and find the phone number of your local branch, or go
to www.bbbonline.org.

Several Web sites act as trading posts where consumers can offer their views on Internet booking agencies. These
include www.bizrate.com, www.complaints.com and www.epinions.com. -- Gary Lee

Web Sites That Let Hotel Guests Tell All

Who you gonna trust? In an online world where hotels pay for placement on travel booking sites and ad copy can be difficult to
discern from editorial reviews, it's hard to know where to turn. That's why I go straight to the source: reviews from fellow
travelers. Online guidebooks, such as Frommers.com, can be helpful, but there's no substitute for no-holds-barred comments
from road warriors themselves. Web sites devoted to consumer reviews provide frank assessments, sometimes with dozens of
critiques for a single hotel.

Travelers' reviews appear on advice sites (TripAdvisor.com), general consumer sites (Epinions.com), even a major booking
site (Travelocity.com). Their critiques can help you get past the glowing descriptions hotels write for themselves and go beyond
the properties that surface at the top of travel booking sites because they pay to show up first.

A word of caution, though: Travelers appear most motivated to write after a bad experience. Perhaps it's a way to get back at
the hotel or just a method of blowing off steam. So don't base choices on one review -- look for patterns. And beware of
reviews that sound like ad copy; those may be written by a PR staffer posing as a consumer. But overall I've found the vast
majority of reviews to be genuine and fair, as well as a valuable tool for making informed choices about where to stay.

Among the options:

TripAdvisor.com. Launched three years ago as a collection of destination advice, TripAdvisor now specializes in consumer
reviews of hotels, resorts, inns and packages. More than 90,000 hotels are listed, and popular properties have 60 or more
consumer reviews. Some hotels can be booked via TripAdvisor's new QuickCheck system (note: QuickCheck might not work
if your computer blocks pop-up windows). Using a combination of editorial and consumer reviews, the site ranks hotels
according to popularity. TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer says rankings are independent of commission agreements. "In some
cities, the top hotel can't be booked from our site, so we can't make any money on that," he said. The site sells sponsored links
for hotels, airfares and packages, but these are clearly marked. With so much going on, navigating the site can be confusing, but
it's worth the effort.

Sample review for the Drake in Chicago: "The hotel staff were attentive, friendly and were able to satisfy my multiple requests.
I'm not sure why others have found fault with the Drake -- perhaps they like brand new hotels where all the rooms look alike. I
enjoyed my stay tremendously and will return again and again."

Travelocity.com. As a top booking site, Travelocity is to be commended for enabling its customers to post frank and
sometimes scathing hotel reviews. To find reviews, select "Hotels," then choose a city. A list of hotels will be displayed with a
link to "Traveler Reviews." Each reviewer rates hotels with one to five smiley faces, but much more valuable are the comments.
Here's one for New York's Grand Hyatt: "This place is awful. Wallpaper is peeling off, bums outside the door, linens and
towels that look like they came from a shelter." A few other reviewers echoed these sentiments, but one traveler wrote: "After
reading the reviews I was very apprehensive about this hotel. I found the rooms clean and the size sufficient. The staff was very
friendly and helpful."

Epinions.com. Though this isn't primarily a travel site, Epinions has thousands of reviews for hotels in the United States and
abroad. Put a city name in the search box and select "Hotels and Travel." After you choose a hotel, click "Read Reviews."
Most give each hotel a star ranking from one to five and rate the rooms, service and location. Above the text descriptions are
lines of pros and cons. To read the full description, click "Read more" -- some reviews make Russian novelists seem concise by
comparison.

I found 150 hotel listings for Las Vegas. Here's one guest's take on the Bellagio: "The service at the Bellagio came nowhere
near the Four Seasons. It ranged anywhere from friendly, to amateurish, to laughable, to downright rude -- particularly in the
casino!"

Fodors.com. This online guidebook includes consumer reviews alongside its hotel and restaurant listings. From the home
page, select "Hotels" and choose a city; you'll get a page of listings with editorial advice from Fodor's. To see what consumers
think, click "User Rating ." Travelers rank hotels on a scale from one to five with grades for the room, atmosphere, service and
value. The site seems to attract a knowledgeable and upscale clientele who appreciate service. Searching for a room in Paris, I
found comments endorsing the Artus Hotel, with several reviewers praising the service and location. Here's one: "The staff
(everyone, but especially Sanjay) was fabulous and incredibly helpful. For our last evening in Paris, Sanjay pulled strings to get
us dinner reservations at a restaurant we wanted to try."

HotelShark.com. Devoted exclusively to hotel reviews and boasting an easy-to-use design, HotelShark seemed promising
when it launched a couple of years ago. But it's yet to reach a critical mass -- many hotels have just one or two reviews and
some major properties aren't listed. Without a selection of reviews, it's impossible to find patterns. In Atlanta, for example, only
five hotels are reviewed. Here's an excerpt from one -- in fact it's the only one -- for the W Atlanta: "Away from the maddening
crowd at Perimeter Center. But the coolest hotel in town."

WhereToStay.com: Covering hotels in the Caribbean, Bermuda and Hawaii, WhereToStay features consumer reviews but
only for a fraction of the properties listed. To find reviews, select an island with the "Select Location" menu and check the
"Reader's Rating" column. If a hotel is rated, you can click "Read" to see consumer reviews. Here's a sample review for the
Crystal Cove in St. Thomas: "The unit was older and in need of painting, but in spite of this our needs were met. I want to thank
Alice, the manager of the property, for assisting our every need with a smile and immediate action to make our stay
comfortable."

Online forums. Discussion groups allow you to ask advice about places to stay. For example, some forums at Flyertalk.com
and LonelyPlanet.com (click the Thorn Tree link) discuss hotels and offer tips from fellow travelers. Usenet groups are another
excellent source; to peruse these forums, go to www.groups.google.com and enter a search term such as "New Orleans hotel."
Read through the postings before asking for recommendations. These forums are based on participation, so when you get back
from your next trip, pick a forum and let the world know what you think.

Michael Shapiro, a frequent contributor to the Travel section, is a travel columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and
author of "Internet Travel Planner."

-- Michael Shapiro

2003 The Washington Post Company
  #2  
Old December 1st, 2003, 04:18 PM
Colorado Jack
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Booking Hotels Online (How to Avoid the Pitfalls)

WELL worth the reading time

"Becca" wrote in message
...
This article was in the Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2003Oct24.html

washingtonpost.com

When Hotel Sites Don't Click
It seems so easy: Log on, find a deal, book. But things can go awry with

online agencies. We look
at the pitfalls, and how to avoid them.

By Gary Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 26, 2003; Page P01

While checking the Web for a Miami hotel last April, David Manero of

Hyattsville found an
irresistible deal: a $100 room at the Breakwater in South Beach offered by

the Hotel Distribution
Network, a discount reservations agency. That was $42 off the usual

starting rate.

Manero reserved four nights and prepaid with a credit card. But when he

and his family arrived in
August, the property had no vacant rooms and was no longer affiliated with

HDN, which is based in
Sanford, Fla. Manero couldn't reach an HDN operator, either, leaving him

on his own to find
another hotel. Two months, a dozen calls and countless e-mails later, he's

still waiting for an
explanation.

For frequent patrons of online hotel-booking services, Manero's saga may

have a familiar ring. In
recent weeks, the Travel section has received correspondence from

disgruntled customers of many
major Internet hotel and travel booking sites (Hotels.com, Expedia.com,

Travelocity.com,
Quikbook.com, Orbitz.com, etc.); the sites of chains such as Days Inn and

Starwood Hotels and
Resorts; and some of the smaller agencies such as HDN. The complaints

range from misplaced
reservations to finding out they could have gotten a cheaper rate for the

same hotel elsewhere.

"More and more you can get some fantastic deals for rooms on the Web,"

said Bob Jones, a
consumer advocate featured on OneTravel.com, a discount Web site. "But you

have to be careful
or else you could find yourself out of a lot of money with little

recourse."

Attempts to reach customer service personnel -- if you can even find the

phone number in the online
maze -- often lead to a labyrinth of recorded greetings, unhelpful form

letters and ill-informed
agents. When I called HDN to ask about Manero's case, I was put on hold.

"Your call is important
to us," a voice said at two-minute intervals. "There are four calls ahead

of you." After 40 minutes, I gave up.

Frequently offering discounts of 50 percent or more off regular rates,

Internet hotel agencies can be a boon for travelers. And
their popularity is growing: Forrester Research, a Cambridge, Mass.,

consulting firm, predicts that U.S. hotels will get roughly
15 percent of their revenue from online bookings in 2004, up from about 8

percent this year.

As a frequent user of Internet booking agencies, I hit snags regularly. A

few months ago, I reserved a room at New York's
Edison Hotel with Hotels.com, one of the largest online discounters, but

when I arrived the staff had no record of my
reservation. After two calls to the agency, the hotel gave me a room for

the price that Hotels.com had promised. More
recently, I prepaid for a room at the Monaco in Denver with Priceline.com,

but when I checked out, the hotel insisted I pay it
directly. (Priceline later refunded my account.)

Even with the most reliable companies, things don't always run smoothly.

When I wanted to add a couple of days to my stay at
a Miami hotel reserved through Quikbook, it was impossible to get a live

operator on a Sunday afternoon. I ended up
extending directly with the hotel -- at a higher rate. (Quikbook has

recently added operators on weekends.)

Quikbook President Ray Vastola, who says his agency rarely receives

complaints, blames technology for many of the snafus
other companies experience. "With millions of transactions taking place

every day between agencies and hotels that operate on
different [reservations] systems," he said, "some things are going to fall

through the cracks."

Joe McInerney, president of the American Hotel & Lodging Association in

Washington, takes a more critical view. "These
problems occur because most third-party hotel booking sites are in the

business of selling rooms but are not well trained in
hospitality or service," he said. "They are not concerned about keeping

the customer satisfied."

The sheer volume of rooms booked also comes into play. Although better

known for selling airline tickets, Expedia and
Travelocity, for example, do a whopping business in hotel reservations.

Expedia says it booked more than 11 million rooms in
2002, more than any other Web agency.

For its part, Travelweb.com, which launched this summer and is partly

owned by several major U.S. hotel chains, wants to lure
customers away from the third-party agencies. The pitch: Patrons won't

experience lost reservations and other problems
because the site is connected directly to the chains' booking systems,

thus eliminating the middleman -- the online discounters
who must transfer their clients' reservations to the hotels.

Is it working? "I think it's too early to say," said Ed Perkins, an Oregon

consumer travel advocate formerly with Consumer
Reports Travel Letter.

Whatever the process, booking online -- while often rewarding -- can be a

risky endeavour. Here are some of the common
problems and suggested solutions or ways to avoid them.

Refunds

The Problem: Receiving a refund can be difficult. Agencies tie up the

process in red tape, often taking two months or longer to
reimburse .

Example: Manero, in his dealings with HDN, called and e-mailed the company

several times after returning from his Miami trip
but couldn't connect with its customer service department.

I made two calls to HDN but got recordings routing me to voice mail. Two

e-mails went unanswered. Eventually, Manero
asked his credit card company, American Express, to intervene. He later

received a letter from HDN saying a refund would be
posted to his credit card. After three weeks, it arrived.

Although the larger agencies declined to disclose how often refunds are

requested, Michael Zaletel, president of i4vegas.com,
which books Vegas resorts, said 10 to 12 percent of its customers ask for

refunds. In most instances, the requests are the
result of changes in travel plans, Zaletel said.

Manero's case, in which no hotel room was provided, is just one of several

instances in which travelers should be eligible for
refunds. Others include:

. Major problems with the room or service.

. Cancellation of prepaid reservations made within an established time

frame.

. Overcharges or double-billing to a credit card.

. When travel is impossible because of a hurricane or other natural

disaster.

Kurt Weinsheimer, vice president of hotels for Orbitz, puts it bluntly.

"Hotel sites work somewhat like airlines," he said. "The
deeper discount you get, the harder it is to get a refund."

The Solution: Spokespeople for the major reservations sites advise

customers to keep printouts of the confirmation number
and all transactions, as well as familiarize themselves with the refund

policies of the agency and hotel where they reserve.

This is key, as eligibility requirements for refunds differ among

companies, room categories and particular deals. For instance,
once rooms are booked on Priceline.com and Hotwire.com, two

reverse-auction travel sites, no refunds are granted.

On Orbitz, some rooms are sold at special "Orbitz Saver" rates,

significant discounts the company negotiates. You must pay in
full at the time of booking, and to receive a full refund (minus a $25

cancellation fee), you must cancel at least 72 hours in
advance. Travelers canceling less than 72 hours before arrival may qualify

for partial refunds. Expedia, Travelocity and other
agencies offer comparable special deals, with similar policies.

By comparison, for non-deep-discounted rooms, travelers usually must

cancel within 24 hours before arrival to get a refund,
though you may be subject to a cancellation fee. Hotels.com charges $25

for all cancellations, for example, while Quikbook
charges $10 for cancellations of prepaid rooms -- and nothing if you

cancel in time for a room that wasn't prepaid.

If a refund is due, go after it promptly, providing all supporting

documents. Even in instances where the refund requirements are
not fully met, ask for one. (Bob Diener, president of Hotels.com, said

that in some extraordinary circumstances, such as a death
or sickness, refund restrictions can be waived.)

OneTravel's Jones recommends that travelers concerned about recouping

their money should consider travel insurance. "It's
important to be aware of the circumstances under which the insurance

company will help you get a refund," he said. "But if you
qualify, they will save you from a major headache."

In all cases, customers should pin down customer service agents on how

long it should take for a refund. If it does not come
through by that date, contact the credit card company used for the

reservation, which can do much of the legwork.

Customer Service

The Problem: Customer service staff at online agencies and hotel front

desks can be unresponsive, unhelpful, rude or, worse,
unreachable.

Example: Last May, Nina Basu of Columbia used Travelocity to prepay for

two nights at the Ramada Inn in White River
Junction, Vt. En route, she called the hotel and learned that it had

changed ownership and name -- to the Regency. A desk
clerk told her they had no record of her reservation and no rooms. She

then called Travelocity, which offered her lodging in
Boston and other far-off locales before eventually finding her a room at

the original hotel.

But after the first night, she was locked out by hotel management and had

to talk her way back into the room. The desk clerk
said she had paid for only one night, even though she had prepaid

Travelocity for two. Basu faults both the Regency and
Travelocity for not dealing with her problem promptly, and "poor customer

service" in general.

Although Travelocity declined to comment on the specifics of Basu's case,

Josh Feuerstein, vice president for the site's hotels,
said the agency's "customer-service reps are especially trained to handle

problems. We encourage customers with problems to
contact them."

Basu said she did just that. And though she got her room, it wasn't until

nine weeks, eight calls and several e-mails later that she
received a response to her complaints. Although she was technically not

owed a refund, Travelocity granted one.

"What I really wanted was an apology," she said. "And I still haven't

gotten one. That makes me reluctant to deal with them
anytime soon."

The Solution: For urgent assistance (e.g., you arrive at 10 p.m. and find

the hotel has no room), call the Web service's help
desk. (For phone numbers, hours and e-mail and mailing addresses, see Page

P7).

Unfortunately, in many instances the person working the service desk does

little more than repeat vague company positions --
and sometimes it takes a while to reach someone. If the first operator (or

desk clerk) is not responsive, ask for a supervisor.
"People should not be shy about pushing their cases," advises Quikbook's

Vastola.

Otherwise, the agencies encourage customers to send questions or problems

by e-mail. Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity
promise responses within about four hours any time of the day or night.

Lodging.com says it will get back to you "as soon as
possible." Hotels.com doesn't indicate how long it will take.

Customers should write to the online agency and file a complaint with the

Better Business Bureau. Web sites such as
www.bizrate.com, www.complaints.com and www.epinions.com offer venues to

post complaints about Internet businesses.
Simply reading the postings might help you learn from others' mistakes.

A last-ditch option for dissatisfied guests is to sue in small-claims

court, said Perkins, the consumer rights advocate. "It may turn
out to be more time-consuming and cause more heartache than it's worth,"

he said. "But it's the only legal recourse I know of
open to those unable to come to terms with the agency or the hotel."

Properties/Rooms

The Problem: The amenities of the room you booked online, and the hotel

itself, are substandard.

Example: When Erin Feuillet of Damascus and a friend arrived at the North

Beach Days Inn in Miami last New Year's, she
was shocked. "It smelled of mold, the carpet was dirty and the lock didn't

work right," she said. "It was nothing like what I
expected when I booked on the company's Web site." A call to the Days Inn

customer service line was not helpful. "They told
us that the problem had to be resolved with the hotel's management."

But there were no other rooms available at the hotel or any others in the

area in her price range. "We just had to put up with it
and stayed in the room as little as possible." A couple of weeks later,

hotel management sent her a certificate for a two-night
stay at a Days Inn resort. She doubts she'll accept the offer.

Days Inn spokesman Emanuel Naim declined to comment on Feuillet's case

except to say, "We're sorry that it happened." He
explained that inspectors visit Days Inn properties four times a year and

recommend improvements if they're needed.

The Solution: If you don't like the room you're assigned, request another

one. Pronto. And it never hurts to have a backup
hotel in mind, particularly for long trips.

Naim said dissatisfied Days Inn customers should bypass the front desk and

appeal to the property manager. If that doesn't
result in a satisfactory change, they should call the chain's customer

service line and, finally, the president's line, a special service
that addresses serious complaints. Cendant Corp., which owns Days Inn and

other chains, is one of the few companies with
special staff designated for dealing with hard-to-resolve cases.

Spokesmen for the online agencies said customer complaints are passed on

to hotels. "If customers consistently complain about
a property, we will take it off the site," said Orbitz's Weinsheimer.

Travelocity and Expedia have similar policies.

Still, it's best to do some research before jumping on the latest Web "hot

deal." Read the description of the property
thoroughly. See whether a pool, health club or restaurant are on-site and

what other attractions are nearby. Peruse the pictures,
too, but be wary -- photographed the right way, nearly anything can look

good.

Also, the rating systems used by most of the online agencies can be

helpful. (Travelocity, for example, uses AAA ratings and
in-house inspectors for some properties and also publishes guest reviews

of some of its hotels.) Calling the hotel to find out if
there is construction going on might spare you lost sleep after arriving.

Secondary sources are usually more objective. Start with guidebooks; the

AAA and Mobil guides, which inspect many
properties and rate them, are good resources. Fodor's, Frommer's and

Lonely Planet often have reliable hotel reviews, too.
Check Web sites such as Tripadvisor.com and HotelShark.com, which offer

independent reviews by former guests (see box,
Page P6).

Not surprisingly, Ken Marshall, president of HotelShark, believes that

online sites like his are the best places to check. "Not
only do they give reports from people who have stayed in the hotels," he

said, "but the information is usually much more
up-to-date than that in the print guidebooks."

Rates

The Problem: After booking, customers sometimes find they could have

snagged a cheaper room at the same property from
another Web site or directly from the hotel.

Example: Hotels.com is offering queen suites at the Fitzpatrick Chicago

Hotel in early November for $179 a night. But when I
called the hotel's toll-free number last week, an operator offered a rate

of $159 for the same room.

Such discrepancies are common. On Bizrate.com, six out of 22 reviewers of

Hotels.com gave the firm a negative rating, mostly
because they found cheaper rates by contacting the hotels or other Web

sites. Readers have voiced similar complaints about
other online agencies.

"We try to negotiate the lowest possible rate with hotels," said

Hotels.com's Diener. "But hotel room prices change constantly,
sometimes several times in the course of a day. We cannot keep up with all

of them."

The Solution: A number of online reservations services offer guarantees

that they have the lowest rate available -- and will pay
the difference if you can prove them wrong. "Usually the hotel rates

offered by the different agencies don't differ that much,"
says Jones of OneTravel. "But if you find a better one, let your agency

know and get them to match it."

According to Hotel.com's "lowest guaranteed-rate policy," for example, if

patrons find a cheaper rate on the Web for the same
property within 24 hours of making a reservation, they'll be refunded the

difference. Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz offer a
similar deal. Unfortunately, if you find a better rate outside the 24-hour

window or through another source such as the hotel's
800 number, you're stuck with the original rate.

Always comparison shop before booking. Check directly with the hotel and

ask for specials or the cheapest available room. If
the hotel is a chain, use both its toll-free number and Web site.

Got chutzpah? Connect with a hotel manager or other person of authority

and bargain. The site www.biddingfortravel.com, in
which travelers say how much they paid for rooms on Priceline, offers a

rough guide of how low a hotel might go.

Details: Where to Turn When Booking Online

ONLINE DISCOUNTERS:

Sometimes simply finding the customer service numbers, e-mail addresses

and snail-mail addresses for the major online hotel
discounters is half the battle. We've ferreted out the information for

many of the industry's biggest players and included the
hours of operation for each service desk.

(Note: Many sites offer a spot on their home pages where you can click to

e-mail the customer service department. The
agencies without street addresses told us that, as Web-based businesses,

they have no mail contact for customer service.)

. Hotels.com

Service desk: 800-219-4606 (8 a.m.-1 a.m. daily),

800-364-0291 (1 a.m.-8 a.m. daily)

E-mail:

Mailing address: 10440 N. Central Expressway

Suite 400, Dallas, Tex. 75231

. Expedia.com

Service desk: 800-397-3342 (24/7)

E-mail:
(you'll get a response with a link

to the site's feedback form)

Mailing address: N/A

. Travelocity.com

Service desk: 888-709-5983 (24/7)

E-mail:


Mailing address: 8750 Tesoro Dr., Suite 100

San Antonio, Tex. 78217

. Orbitz.com

Service desk: 888-656-4546 (24/7)

E-mail:


Mailing address: N/A

. Travelweb.com

Service desk: 866-437-8131 (24/7{rcub}

E-mail:


Mailing address: N/A

. Quikbook.com

Service desk: 800-789-9887 (Monday-Friday 9 a.m-

8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.)

E-mail:


Mailing address: 381 Park Ave. S.

New York, N.Y. 10016

. PlacesToStay.com

Service desk: 866-224-9765 (24/7)

E-mail:


Mailing address: WorldRes Inc.

1510 Fashion Island Blvd., Suite 100

San Mateo, Calif. 94404

. Lodging.com

Service desk: 888-563-4464 (daily 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m.)

E-mail:


Mailing address: 4805 N. 30th St., Suite 103

Colorado Springs, Colo. 80919

. Hotwire.com

Service desk: 866-468-9473 (24/7)

E-mail:


Mailing address: N/A

. Priceline.com

Service desk: 800-774-2354 (24/7)

E-mail:


Mailing address: N/A

HOTEL CHAINS: For links to the major chains, check
www.hotelstravel.com,

an online directory of hotel and other
travel-related Web sites.

WHERE TO COMPLAIN:

. Better Business Bureau. To report a problem, call 703-276-0100 and find

the phone number of your local branch, or go
to www.bbbonline.org.

. Several Web sites act as trading posts where consumers can offer their

views on Internet booking agencies. These
include www.bizrate.com, www.complaints.com and www.epinions.com. -- Gary

Lee

Web Sites That Let Hotel Guests Tell All

Who you gonna trust? In an online world where hotels pay for placement on

travel booking sites and ad copy can be difficult to
discern from editorial reviews, it's hard to know where to turn. That's

why I go straight to the source: reviews from fellow
travelers. Online guidebooks, such as Frommers.com, can be helpful, but

there's no substitute for no-holds-barred comments
from road warriors themselves. Web sites devoted to consumer reviews

provide frank assessments, sometimes with dozens of
critiques for a single hotel.

Travelers' reviews appear on advice sites (TripAdvisor.com), general

consumer sites (Epinions.com), even a major booking
site (Travelocity.com). Their critiques can help you get past the glowing

descriptions hotels write for themselves and go beyond
the properties that surface at the top of travel booking sites because

they pay to show up first.

A word of caution, though: Travelers appear most motivated to write after

a bad experience. Perhaps it's a way to get back at
the hotel or just a method of blowing off steam. So don't base choices on

one review -- look for patterns. And beware of
reviews that sound like ad copy; those may be written by a PR staffer

posing as a consumer. But overall I've found the vast
majority of reviews to be genuine and fair, as well as a valuable tool for

making informed choices about where to stay.

Among the options:

. TripAdvisor.com. Launched three years ago as a collection of destination

advice, TripAdvisor now specializes in consumer
reviews of hotels, resorts, inns and packages. More than 90,000 hotels are

listed, and popular properties have 60 or more
consumer reviews. Some hotels can be booked via TripAdvisor's new

QuickCheck system (note: QuickCheck might not work
if your computer blocks pop-up windows). Using a combination of editorial

and consumer reviews, the site ranks hotels
according to popularity. TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer says rankings are

independent of commission agreements. "In some
cities, the top hotel can't be booked from our site, so we can't make any

money on that," he said. The site sells sponsored links
for hotels, airfares and packages, but these are clearly marked. With so

much going on, navigating the site can be confusing, but
it's worth the effort.

Sample review for the Drake in Chicago: "The hotel staff were attentive,

friendly and were able to satisfy my multiple requests.
I'm not sure why others have found fault with the Drake -- perhaps they

like brand new hotels where all the rooms look alike. I
enjoyed my stay tremendously and will return again and again."

. Travelocity.com. As a top booking site, Travelocity is to be commended

for enabling its customers to post frank and
sometimes scathing hotel reviews. To find reviews, select "Hotels," then

choose a city. A list of hotels will be displayed with a
link to "Traveler Reviews." Each reviewer rates hotels with one to five

smiley faces, but much more valuable are the comments.
Here's one for New York's Grand Hyatt: "This place is awful. Wallpaper is

peeling off, bums outside the door, linens and
towels that look like they came from a shelter." A few other reviewers

echoed these sentiments, but one traveler wrote: "After
reading the reviews I was very apprehensive about this hotel. I found the

rooms clean and the size sufficient. The staff was very
friendly and helpful."

. Epinions.com. Though this isn't primarily a travel site, Epinions has

thousands of reviews for hotels in the United States and
abroad. Put a city name in the search box and select "Hotels and Travel."

After you choose a hotel, click "Read Reviews."
Most give each hotel a star ranking from one to five and rate the rooms,

service and location. Above the text descriptions are
lines of pros and cons. To read the full description, click "Read more" --

some reviews make Russian novelists seem concise by
comparison.

I found 150 hotel listings for Las Vegas. Here's one guest's take on the

Bellagio: "The service at the Bellagio came nowhere
near the Four Seasons. It ranged anywhere from friendly, to amateurish, to

laughable, to downright rude -- particularly in the
casino!"

. Fodors.com. This online guidebook includes consumer reviews alongside

its hotel and restaurant listings. From the home
page, select "Hotels" and choose a city; you'll get a page of listings

with editorial advice from Fodor's. To see what consumers
think, click "User Rating ." Travelers rank hotels on a scale from one to

five with grades for the room, atmosphere, service and
value. The site seems to attract a knowledgeable and upscale clientele who

appreciate service. Searching for a room in Paris, I
found comments endorsing the Artus Hotel, with several reviewers praising

the service and location. Here's one: "The staff
(everyone, but especially Sanjay) was fabulous and incredibly helpful. For

our last evening in Paris, Sanjay pulled strings to get
us dinner reservations at a restaurant we wanted to try."

. HotelShark.com. Devoted exclusively to hotel reviews and boasting an

easy-to-use design, HotelShark seemed promising
when it launched a couple of years ago. But it's yet to reach a critical

mass -- many hotels have just one or two reviews and
some major properties aren't listed. Without a selection of reviews, it's

impossible to find patterns. In Atlanta, for example, only
five hotels are reviewed. Here's an excerpt from one -- in fact it's the

only one -- for the W Atlanta: "Away from the maddening
crowd at Perimeter Center. But the coolest hotel in town."

. WhereToStay.com: Covering hotels in the Caribbean, Bermuda and Hawaii,

WhereToStay features consumer reviews but
only for a fraction of the properties listed. To find reviews, select an

island with the "Select Location" menu and check the
"Reader's Rating" column. If a hotel is rated, you can click "Read" to see

consumer reviews. Here's a sample review for the
Crystal Cove in St. Thomas: "The unit was older and in need of painting,

but in spite of this our needs were met. I want to thank
Alice, the manager of the property, for assisting our every need with a

smile and immediate action to make our stay
comfortable."

. Online forums. Discussion groups allow you to ask advice about places to

stay. For example, some forums at Flyertalk.com
and LonelyPlanet.com (click the Thorn Tree link) discuss hotels and offer

tips from fellow travelers. Usenet groups are another
excellent source; to peruse these forums, go to www.groups.google.com and

enter a search term such as "New Orleans hotel."
Read through the postings before asking for recommendations. These forums

are based on participation, so when you get back
from your next trip, pick a forum and let the world know what you think.

Michael Shapiro, a frequent contributor to the Travel section, is a travel

columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and
author of "Internet Travel Planner."

-- Michael Shapiro

2003 The Washington Post Company



  #3  
Old December 2nd, 2003, 02:53 AM
steve
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Booking Hotels Online (How to Avoid the Pitfalls)

priceline hotels sometimes have a hidden extra charge to park 12-20
bucks a night or more

  #4  
Old December 2nd, 2003, 03:21 AM
Charles
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Booking Hotels Online (How to Avoid the Pitfalls)

In article ,
steve wrote:

priceline hotels sometimes have a hidden extra charge to park 12-20
bucks a night or more


That is nothing specific to Priceline. Hotels are not motels. Hotels in
general don't usually include parking.

--
Charles
  #5  
Old December 2nd, 2003, 03:56 AM
Howard Garland
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Booking Hotels Online (How to Avoid the Pitfalls)

Charles wrote:

In article ,
steve wrote:


priceline hotels sometimes have a hidden extra charge to park 12-20
bucks a night or more



That is nothing specific to Priceline. Hotels are not motels. Hotels in
general don't usually include parking.


What's really funny Charles is that you can now pay more for hotel
parking than for your room (e.g., all those folks who booked the Miami
Hyatt at $27/day). Wouldn't it be cool if priceline let you bid on
hotel parking, airport parking, etc?

Howie

  #6  
Old December 2nd, 2003, 05:34 AM
Ray Goldenberg
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Booking Hotels Online (How to Avoid the Pitfalls)

On Mon, 01 Dec 2003 21:21:53 -0500, Charles
wrote:

That is nothing specific to Priceline. Hotels are not motels. Hotels in
general don't usually include parking.


Hi Charles,

You are correct. Last Monday I was at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del
Rey. The parking was $23 a night for hotel guests. You would think
for the minimum hotel room rate of $329 they could have thrown in
parking. g

Best regards,
Ray
LIGHTHOUSE TRAVEL
800-719-9917 or 805-566-3905
http://www.lighthousetravel.com
  #7  
Old December 2nd, 2003, 06:22 AM
Cal Ford
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Booking Hotels Online (How to Avoid the Pitfalls)

It used to be the exception, not the rule that a Hotel would charge for parking.
Now it is as seen as another revenue stream. Usually it is the "Prestige" Hotels
and those in high density cities that charge for parking and anything else they
can think of.

Cal Ford
http://www.lidodeckcruises.com
800-511-4417



In article , Charles says...

In article ,
steve wrote:

priceline hotels sometimes have a hidden extra charge to park 12-20
bucks a night or more


That is nothing specific to Priceline. Hotels are not motels. Hotels in
general don't usually include parking.

--
Charles


 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
China - The Internet Travel Guide (FAQ) (part 1/3) http://www.pmgeiser.ch, Peter M. Geiser Asia 1 April 2nd, 2005 05:37 PM
New istanbul hotels reservations system Richard Cline Europe 0 April 4th, 2004 02:11 AM
Nice: hotels: online booking bruce phipps Europe 0 March 10th, 2004 04:24 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2018 TravelBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.