Our trip to the Dominican Republic occurred between December 23, 2012 and December 30, 2012 and was the worst, most dissatisfying travel experience we have ever had.
Our decision to go with Apple, as opposed to another vacation wholesaler, was because Apple could provide air
travel that was non-stop to our destination and allowed us to reach the property with a large part of the day to enjoy the facilities. Although we had never heard of Frontier Airlines, knowing Apples reputation, we believed
it would be an acceptable option for us. On both the day of departure and day of return Apple / Frontier jerked my family around and made our vacation into a frustrating and stressful experience. Paying close to $10,000 for
a vacation, I expected the service I contracted for, but we were taken advantage of, treated with total disrespect and ripped off.
On December 23, 2012 we arrived at the airport 2 hours before scheduled departure, as requested. Upon
arrival to the check-in counter we learned that the flight was delayed by approximately 3 hours, until 9:00 am. This was not published anywhere so calling prior to coming to the airport didnt do any good. By the time we got to the gate, our flight was now delayed even more, but with no potential departure time and no reason given. Finally after waiting about 5 hours,
they announced that there was no pilot for the plane, but they had identified a possible pilot and they would ask him if he minded taking us on our flight to the Dominican Republic. If he agreed, they would fly him to OHare from
wherever he was and we would be on our way. If this pilot had said no, there was no other solution. To make matters worse, I knew that this exact scenario had happened the day before our departure to our friends who
were also on an Apple Vacation / Frontier flight to the Dominican Republic and also experienced a similar delay with the same excuse, which ultimately resulted in police being called to quell their outrage.
We finally took off approximately 7 hours late. Originally we were supposed to land before 1 pm and would
have been able to have lunch and dinner and enjoy the facilities at our hotel, but instead it was a wasted and expensive day as we needed to pay for the food at the airport for lunch and dinner that we had already paid for as part of my all-inclusive vacation.
After a wonderful week at the property, our departure experience was even worse than our arrival. As
requested we left the hotel 3 hours prior to departure and were told our flight home was on time. When we arrived at the airport, we were told our 12:50pm flight would now leave at 5:45pm. They knew this prior to our check out, because the pilot had not even left from Chicago, but required us come to the airport anyway. After 3-1/2 hours at the airport they
informed us that our flight would be delayed until the following morning.
Then we need to retrieve our luggage, go through customs again, and then they loaded us on buses to take us to a hotel. The hotel they brought us to was the Hotel Be Live Grand Punta Cana. To say this property was substandard is an understatement. It was a flea-bag motel with rusty water water, inoperable door lock, roaches, inoperable toilet, fire extinguishers and hoses missing, no phones, broken TV, and no blankets. I could go on.
We were to return to the lobby at 3am for bus pick-up. After we dragged ourselves out of bed and arrived at the
lobby, we found a hand-written sign that said pick was delayed until 4am. Our flight eventually left 17 hours and 40 minutes late.
Throughout this nightmare, the Apple representatives made it perfectly clear that we were cattle. But nothing spoke
volumes of their utter disdain for customer satisfaction and the companys complete worship of the maximizing profits than the following:
There was a family on the return trip that was traveling with a grandfather who appeared to be a paraplegic. When
told that our flight was cancelled and all needed to gather luggage and return by bus to a new dumpy hotel, this family protested. They explained that he could not walk, was in a wheelchair, and it was incredibly difficult to bring
him to the airport in the first place. They wanted to just stay at the airport all night. They were told (as I listened) that they had to vacate the airport, period. Apple would not pay for a cab to bring him to the new hotel. His family
was forced to hoist his limp body up in the air and methodically maneuver him through the tight zig-zag steps leading into the bus -then do the same unloading him, then load him again at 4am, then unload him again at the airport
later. Absolute cattle. Other passengers who watched these events unfold we equally sickened and our incredibly poor
treatment paled in comparison.