My daughter went to "Hotels.com", after three hours and her in tears I took the phone. They had withdrawn over $1500.00 from our account for flights that were wrong.
I spent the next 7 consecutive hours on the phone, beginning at 10:30pm with a phone center in India. They stalled me while trying to get a supervisor to come in and fix the problem.
He arrived at 6:05am CST. The male attempted to transfer me to the supervisor. I was disconnected.
I called back, got another call center, retold whole story, I was disconnected in the middle.
I left at 7am to drop daughter at MS Headquarters, Saint Louis,MO. My daughter is a Pediatric Emergency Room Nurse at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hosp. She Volunteered to be Nurse for week at MS Children's Summer Camp. As the only Medical Volunteer it was important to get her to the vans on time, she needed medical reports for each of 23 Children before leaving for camp. [continued below]....
..... I'm on my own.
I am Single Mother of a Son and Daughter, never helped by father or State. I put both through college disspite injuries to both feet as US Postal Worker. Am a USAF Veteran of Vietnam Conflict Era. Now handicapped and in wheelchair more and more.
I went through 4 surgeries and 13yrs of pain management for Heel Spurs-Tarsel Tunnel Syndrome-Plantar Faciitis and CRSD(Cronic Reflex Sympathetic Distrophy).
I'm finally at a place that I am able to get my first pet in 40yrs and Work Comp. sent $15,402.00 for the loss of use of my feet and constant relentless pain. The trip is to leave on the 23rd of July, 2011,and return the 26th. I already paid for a kitten and arranged to pick it up Sunday the 24th of July in Gold Run, CA.
We were leaving at 7:30pm the 23rd since Ruby(daughter) returns from camp MS at 4:30pm. It is the only time for a month she had the time off. I do need her help to travel because of wheelchair.
We couldn't book the flights until the check arrived, so it put us in a time crunch as it arrived on Monday the 18th.
I was in the car when I called Hotels.com back, however, I was told to call at 7:05am, one hour after last call.
I called India again, again disconnected, when this man heard my problem he hung up. I don't actually blame him. He was the first one I wasn't irritated at.
I called India again, this time b**ching about calling and getting a different person each time, the lady explained that they have 8 call centers all over the country and the next free line gets the call no matter where it comes from. She said there was NO way to discover who you spoke to previously.
Fortunately for me, second operator and so on was putting my conversation on my account. So I was able through her and a three way call with my bank to return my money and attempt to book a package. BUT, the nice lady told me all the calls were wasted as they didn't accept Debt Cards.
They didn't have a problem using a Debt Card to remove $1500.00. The nice lady hung up on me after she told me about the card.
We began Sunday, its now Monday. I went on line to Priceline.com. I couldn't find the right button for a multi-destination trip. Arriving Sacramento leaving San Francisco. I called customer service number.
My very first question to Priceline: Do you accept Debt Cards? Will we be able to use it on our trip? Will anyone give us a problem for using it? I explained the Hotels.com disaster.
The lady said, as long as a Major Bank and a Major Credit Card Co. is on the front, we take it and so will everyone else, you won't have any problems.
The lady said they don't do multi-destination packages, she instructed me to find book and pay for flights, book hotels then call back for a Hotel/Car Package. I did. I even bid a room at the Governer's Inn at the airport for $65.00(non refundable dollars) and booked 2 nights at the Argonaut Hotel, San Francisco.
I called back and got a man, he tells me that no one in Sacramento will rent a car for a One-way Rental to San Francisco. I must say I didn't believe him. The day was slipping and I had a lot to do in a short time, also the prices were just rising.
I changed our plans to round trip from Saint Louis to San Francisco. This increased our driving time to 3 hours one way.
It changed our Hotel to 3 nights at the Argonaut.
He cancelled our flights and altered the Hotel reservation, I booked a Deluxe Double Queen with a view of the bay, it was my daughter's first and maybe only trip to San Francisco. I lived there as a young teen, on the Presidio, my stepfather was in the Army, I was anxious to show her the city and my first Vacation and Pet since my injury 13yrs. earlier.
He informs me the package is rooms available, however, the hotel is aware of my chair and request for the double room. He assures me that they will see this and give me the room I asked for because they have such a close relationship with the company that they have done this very thing in the past.
It is very late before we end up on another three way with my bank to return the $1339.00 fee for flights I booked as instructed by priceline. Now Tuesday the 19th.
The man books a Flight,Hotel, Car rental(Hertz) for $2539.82. Flights and Hotel we wanted. A 6 hour drive to pick up kitten instead of 3 hour. No choice we were leaving Saturday the 23rd, its Tue. already. The money is so small after all the needs of 13yrs. so we needed to save what we could.
Kenneled daughter's two old pugs for $484.00, at 3pm the 23rd. Picked up daughter at MS Offices at 6pm(one parent 3 hours late getting one child) Late, so rushing to plane. TSA employee gave me a choice, Pat Down and miss flight, or stand in x-ray, DuH, I tried to stand still, until she insisted I put my arms above my head and legs spread apart. The pain was horrible, can't stretch tendon in legs without great pain.
I started crying, my daughter rushes to me, so does a woman TSA agent, the agent starts yelling at me. All the time the first TSA searches my 10" Cloth backpack purse 5 times. I'm carrying several narcotic medicines, they barely glance at. My inhaler however drives them batty. Yelling woman and dreaded inhaler almost miss flight.
Hoping we just went through our one normal trip disaster we board plane. I look like a crime victim from the tears and red nose. Good flight, nice man next to me. We were not seated next to each other or even close to our booked seats. She at front between two strangers and I in aisle at rear getting my foot kicked four times by passengers needing to pee.
Arrive in San Francisco, go directly to Hertz counter for prepaid car. This is where the Nightmare truly began.
The 12yr old at the counter began adding to rental, I said NO NO NO NO! extras, a clunker that runs is enough, just what we asked for.
He informs us that Hertz policy is $200.00 Deposit returned when car returns intact. Plus a rental fee of $183.00 manditory. He Charged our card $383.00. We left feeling cheated.
Lovely Drive to Hotel. Check-in on time, late check-in. Clerk (Alonzo Carrasco Jr.) informs us because we are using a Debt Card, the Argonaut Policy requires a $100.00 per night Deposit. Total Deposit of $300.00, accept to our Horror our card is empty after $100.00, a phone check of account shows $5.00 available all other on hold for Hertz Rental Car.
Alonzo informs us we must produce $200.00 cash Deposit or vacate at check-out next am.
He said our keys were good for One day only. We are then given a room suitable for Debt Card deadbeats, a single bed, acessable of course and a view of a Red Brick Wall. We call Hertz, they quote the contract and deny any charge only admitting to a hold on $383.00, of course a sincere sounding Sorry.
Call priceline and get same Sorry but, then quote contract, I point out the "Priceline.com Ticket Receipt" they e-mailed to me for use as proof of paid tickets and reservations. The second page says Hertz will Hold a $100.00 Deposit, period.
I was anal in researching and calling all of the airlines and hotel Hertz and Priceline.com to get exact prices and taxes and fees, also to inform of my status and to inform them I would have a kitten from Sunday on.
All of this was unexpected, we did have plenty of cash in our account to pay for our expenses and even unexpected fees if necessary.
We spent a short night misserably. We arrived without dinner, Ruby had charged a sandwich on the plane, she hadn't eaten since breakfast either. No problem using our card for $50.00 baggage fee at United Airlines desk. No problem spending $10.98 for sandwich on plane.
I cried most of the night, she worried. I quickly showered but needed the bathtub in the double to use the hot water to ease the CRSD in my feet. She showered and slept for hours, me for two hours. I persisted on the phone, to no avail.
We took our luggage with us the next morning to get Jackson(my new pet) thank God the Breeder gave us a bag of food for him. Ruby gave out after the drive out there, I drove for 2 hours and became to tired so we parked in a motel back lot and slept for an hour.
I devised a plan to get our room back, I called the day clerk and told her we were on our way back and wanted to confirm our room number, also we had misplaced our keys, she was busy and sweetly offered to print new keys and have towels delivered.
This removed some stress, however we were afraid to leave our room for fear of being put out two days before our flight left. Priceline refused to move our flight up so we could return early.
Its Sunday night we haven't ate, only water. I raided the bar for two sodas, two candy bars and a can of cashews.
After midnight I went out to smoke, Alonzo stopped me and told me he wasn't going to make us leave because of the $200.00 we didn''t have. He was quite taken with Jackson the kitten. He was very understanding and very kind the rest of our stay. He even gave us a free Continental Breakfast for the 26th.
I didn't tell him till we checked out that we had no access to any money. Therefore any food, drink or fun. He was quite crushed, he said he would have done something for us if he'd known. He like the Doormen and Valets and even the Janitor were very helpful and kind.
I make Rosary's, quite good and eclectic ones, despite not being Catholic. I brought about 20 so I could give some to GI's in any airports if I could. I gave three of them to the men who tried to be kind to us, at the Argonaut.
Monday evening late, Harriet Butts called(Volunteer at purebredplus.com), she works with others to Shelter and find homes for cats. I was to drive to Santa Cruz and adopt an adult Scottish Fold, like Jackson. I broke down and told her everything. She immediately called the Argonaut and charged $50.00 to our account so we could get a sandwich.
However, due to our circumstances she declined to bring him to the Airport the next day. She explained that it had become difficult and therefore not ment to be. We did get our first meal, club sandwiches at 11pm Saturday night.
Norman Toy of Hertz offered to let us turn the car in before 10:30pm Saturday night and he would charge only $57.00 and release the hold of $383.00. He still denies Hertz did the hold on our account.
We couldn't accept this because the bus had stopped running and the BART(Underground train) station was downtown. Not safe for one young lady and impossible for one of us to manage in a wheelchair. Our only option was to turn the car in in the am and pray our account would be freed by this. so we could pay our fees and $145.00 parking.
Its a Miracle, when we turned in the Hertz car just before noon, our account had over $700.00 available immediately, after another three-way with the bank. The balance is minus $50.00 bag fee, sandwich on plane and $100.00 Deposit at the hotel as well as $140.97 charge from Hertz.
First $40.00 for two BART Tickets, then $5.50 for Bus Tickets. A miserable bus ride beginning with a driver so pissed off at having to drag out the ramp to board me.Then crowded angry passengers at the extra time it took to board me. They weren't shy about saying so. My daughter used her own body to shield me from them, so she ended up getting stomped on by four angry men.
Bus stop was two blocks from hotel so we stopped briefly to buy two loaves of Sour Dough Bread, for $11.00.
The travel time was 1 1/2 hours one way. Quickly back to hotel to collect luggage and check out. That was $160.00 plus the $100.00 deposit to pay for the one raid on the room mini fridge. We left a total of $80.00 in tips to the men who were helpful and kind and didn't throw us out.
We only had time for an ice cream cone next door because of travel time. $7.25 & $9.75(mine had fudge cone)
Ruby refused to put me on the bus again so we took a cab. Avoid the Russian Immigrant drivers, John the doorman told him to take us to BART station. We both told him three times total to go to BART station so he took us to the Train station south of town. We had to pay him $17.50 for a $10 ride because he said we all said Train Station.
We rode BART to Airport and paid expected $100.00 for kitten ticket, $25.00 for one bag, Ruby carried mine and hers this time. Went to Security and felt better for it. San Francisco TSA were swift thurough kind and even a little funny.
Went to empty US Airways Gate, not late at all. Proceeded down ramp and found passengers on right side and Ticket Agent speaking to them, she told me to go left to plane door.I did, Ruby got in line. I bought and brought with me an airline approved cross/body carrier for Jackson, he was sleeping so not easy to see as he is white and a little red, he only weighed 3 pounds.
The moment the flight attendant Lynn saw me she frowned, I quickly said I could use a cane to get to my seat 4C. She smiled at that and I hear the Ticket Agent telling everyone they must check the carry-ons.
I look at Lynn and ask why, she said all the overheads were already full. I turned to my right with my boarding pass in hand and ask a passenger why the overhead of my empty seat is full if I'm not there yet.
I was jerked out of my chair by Lynn then and shuffled to my seat. Ruby followed very soon. I told the attendant in front of me that my carry on held my medications and some were heat sensitive.
Lynn came from behind and said "whats wrong?" I told her and said I was concerned about my best Jewelry not being in a locked bag.
Lynn went forward, I was in the aisle seat again right behind the partition separating the six first class seats. With only a see through curtain in the aisle not even shut then it was hard not to hear the other attendant. by the second first class seats, ask the Ticket Agent "Why did she wait till now to tell us?" The Agent replied "SHE FORGOT"(in a very nasty loud voice)
I answered without even thinking "I did not forget. this happened in a matter of minutes"
Lynn returned to say the Pilot said the medicine would be fine. Neither of us spoke, then she said our purses had to go under the seats, not on the floor blocking the Bulkhead. We put them under the seat and asked "is this OK?" Lynn answered while walking away, already two rows away"Not Really".
Now my daughter, trained in diplomacy for her job in the Emergency Room and working there for five years, is pissed. She is upset because Lynn seems to Hate Me, I'm the only one in a wheelchair and she doesn't know me enough to hate me, it must be the chair.
We take off, some minutes later Lynn comes to us after serving all the other passengers, she skowels at me while handing me a napkin, then smiles at my daughter and hands her a napkin and asks her if she would like a drink. Ruby said "yes, sprite or ginger ale" Lynn gives her Both.
Lynn didn't offer me a drink and looked so pissed she ignored the girl next to Ruby entirely and didn't even glance at the three men across the aisle. Well, the men were Mexican in appearance and the girl next to Ruby looked as if she was from India. They had all her least liked in the front row.
The girl asked the first class attendant for hot water, to pour over used tea, in her own container. The men and I did without, I refused Ruby's offer of sharing one of hers.
later Lynn returned with a trash bag, not a word but Ruby handed her the cups, she asked for mine and frowned, I said"I didn't get a drink, neither did they or her" She made a noise, I said I had a little hot soda in the bread bag i could use to take my medicine if she couldn't get me one. She said again leaving "thats a good idea"
By this time her irritation with me in particular was so obvious that when I met eyes with any other passenger they Shook their head and some shrugged their shoulders.
My daughter insisted on following me to the bathroom and standing guard at the door, because Lynn was in the back reading a book.
Lynn couldn't let me off so easy, she came to my seat and leaned on the partition and said"you haven't flown in a lot of years, have you?" I didn't answer Ruby did she said "What?" as she started to stand up.
I stopped her and asked Lynn to come back. She did, I said "if I've done or said something to upset or offend you I'm so sorry" Lynn answered by a small giggle and pursing her lips and blowing loudly.
I then said "By the way I'm a USAF Veteran, my job was Airframe Repair Specialist. I know the temperatures in the cargo hold and that is not a Bulkhead its a partition"
Jackson woke then and Lynn smiled sweetly and said"I didn't know you had an animal in there"
We were landing so she left. The pilot said anyone who wanted to could leave and stretch there legs and get a sandwich if they wanted because no food would be served. We were in Phoenix for and hour and a couple young African American Girls boarded to do a clean up, meaning they had trash bags.
Suddenly a Phoenix Ticket agent was right in front of me, the pilot was two seats in front of me with both attendants all trying to look inconspicuous. The Woman kept putting her hands on my arms and saying my wheelchair was already outside the door for me.
I realized right away that I was being removed from the plane. I was the only one left on. I had put my prescription sunglasses on as we landed, the sun was quite bright. She grabbed the bread bag and my purse(OH! after Lynn chastized us over our bad job putting our purses under the seat, she returned a few minutes later and grabbed both purses and shoved them in the overhead)
I laid my glasses on Ruby's empty seat as the Phoenix Agent approached me. As she drug me from the plane, Lynn smiled big at us. I didn't know that Ruby had went to her and protested the behavior of Lynn to her Mother. Then Lynn went to her after Ruby went for sandwiches.
I don't know what she said. The agent told me on the way up the ramp, while I'm crying by now, realizing that I had been removed, she said Ruby told her I was carrying a kitten. Ruby found me in my chair in front of all the new passengers at the opening to the ramp.
I'm horrified and Ruby is now very worried, the agent has been using her best Sesame Street Voice to keep repeating " lets get you off the plane so you can freshen up and wash your face "
I'm trying to tell her about Lynn, Ruby gets there and the agent finally stops leaning on my chair right in my face. I begged her to allow me to get on a later flight. She refused to answer.
Soon she is pushing me back on the same plane with a Supervisor escort, she said he was there for a missing lap- top. I remembered my glasses only then and said I will bet you both that Lynn threw my glasses away. Sesame Street again, " OH, no, they'll be right where you left them"
"By the way we have given you another seat." I said Why, no answer. I was taken to seat 5-all three, she asked the man at the window if he wouldn't be more comfortable where he could stretch his legs, he got up without a word, the whole plane knew everything now.
She said I had to put the carrier under the seat with everything else. I did say that I had called the airlines and they told me a cross body bag was approved and acceptable in my lap. I said I was concerned if he went under the seat he had no safety and might make enough noise to disturb the other passengers.
I did what she said though, fortunately he fell asleep and didn't make a sound. Its comical now to think I was concerned over disturbing the other passengers after Lynn's behavior and my ejection.
Shocker! My $460.00 bifocal prescription glasses were missing. We nearly ran home to try and forget the trip from Hell. The next morning I checked my bags and found that luckily a stupid thief got the only jewelry box, he didn't look in the black make-up bag where the good stuff was. The one missing had a ring earrings and bracelet that even though they were gold cost only $1500.00 total. Well a little less.
I went to Lambert the next morning when Ruby was asleep, she had the car at work before. I asked about my glasses and was told it was my fault for leaving them on the seat and the lost and found was a Courtisy, and they weren't there, $460.00, just too bad, I didn't leave them I was drug off the plane so I could be moved and made to stow the bag that Lynn didn't like.
He rolled his eyes at me and said why are you just coming in? and Do you see all that (pointing at the luggage outside the door) I have to do all that alone. Fine, then he asked a few questions, he seemed to calm down and actually believe me before he was done. He told me that someone would call. If it took too long I should use the number.
I did get Hertz to return the $140.00 charge, it showed today on our account. I have registered for Twitter, wrote you, called both of them, e-mailed them and e-mailed a complaint about Lynn(no response yet) all said the same, quoting the contract and saying they did nothing wrong.
Someone Screwed Up our bank account, we were able to spend $739.00 before getting home, after turning in that car.
Sorry this is so long but it just isn't the same if you don't hear it all.
Grateful for the chance to vent, Sincerely,