Tuesday, March 17, 2009

South Padre Island a Texas Vacation - Part 1

Friends have asked us for the last couple of years, to come to Texas for a winter vacation. We booked this year un-be-known that our children had purchased us a Christmas present to Florida which included a cruise.

Our travel agent was a screw-up.
My original plans where to drive down to Texas, I arranged a place to stay for two weeks, in Port Isabel Texas, which is on the bay side of South Padre Island. Then one day while walking through a local mall, we thought, lets just check on flights. Supposedly good deals in flights abound.
The travel agent- Here is a good flight deal that includes a rental car from Alamo. Yes! Why drive.
Two weeks of unlimited mileage, we only had to pay the taxes. Only big problem was we had to drive from Houston to Port Isabel, agent said a two hour drive. We would land in Houston at 11.30 and be in our room by 2 or 3 oclock. Sounds good! book it; no cancellation insurance. Everyone has their hand out for extras, kind of like the extended warranties on purchases. I had faith, we were going to fly instead of drive, unless a health problem arose, we would not cancel. We were looking forward to visiting with friends.

Check the map, Dougie Boy; that looks like a long drive from Houston. It was a six hour drive according to a Texas friend, who happens to live near Houston.
Oh well! We have time and will get to see some of the great state of Texas.

Received our Flight details in the mail after a couple of requests to the Travel Agent who said, “not to worry, I will mail them to you”. When received a week or so before our trip, they were not the times we agreed too. Instead of a early flight out of Detroit aboard Northwest Airlines, we had a later flight putting us into Houston, too dark to drive for six hours in unknown highways and never seeing the land. Coming back, we had a early flight, trouble is, I would have to travel in the dark again to get back to Houston airport.

At this point, I was all for going in and choking the living daylights out of the little-shit-agent. The wife, asked me to exercise, calm.
I did.
Sir! Please cancel my arrangement for flight to Houston. That is not what we previously arranged.
“Can’t do that, there was no cancelation policy”.
“And just who gave you the authorization to reschedule my flight?”
Travel Agent- “I have no control, because the airline rescheduled the flight”
Got you! I was checking the flight details on the computer and it wasn’t rescheduled. Who did he think he was kidding, besides, why would I have to stay overnight in Detroit, I could make the 4 hour drive to the airport for a later flight.

To make a long story, short.
He would pay for a nights stay in Houston upon arrival (one day less in beautiful South Padre). Our Detroit Ramada stay was added to our return instead of our out going. Oh well, we would be tired after our 3am, 6 hour drive back to the airport in Houston and another 4 hours from Detroit to home.
We really were looking forward to seeing our friends, who over-winter in Texas every year. We accepted.

Those taxes we had to pay on the rental car amounted two hundred and some bucks. Did the travel agent again stick it to us? We left a day early to drive back to Houston in daylight hours. No big deal, the weather was cool and rained all the way back. A extra night in a motel out of pocket.

We forfeited our night’s stay at the Ramada on return to Detroit. The parking at Detroit only included one week, so we had to pay one week of $65 to get the car out. In hindsight, I should have just paid straight two weeks to Park & Fly and forgone the Ramada overnight. I had checked with the Agent about that and the answer was it is only 10 bucks more to stay over, Yeah right! If you don’t included the second week in the fee. Park & fly was very efficient to and from airport, the way to go in the future.

Moral of the story, do your own bookings and get all the details.
In summary! I think I will go to the mall and choke the little-shit-agent.

When I get a chance, I will post about our Texas vacation, so bookmark this site if you wish to read more. I will not be giving any further notice of postings.


Jamqueen said...

Great to see a new post ! Hope the vacation itself was a wonderful time even if the getting there was awful....Can't wait to hear more.

Anonymous said...

If you didn't have so much bail-out money to blow, you would have to stay home and not have problems like this. If I had the money, I'd come up there and help yuu beat the hell out of the little shit agent !!!


Moongrl722 said...

Ah! How frustrating! It's times like that when I like to tell people (like the travel agent involved here) "I have nothing to do all day but sit outside your store and pass out flyers that I've printed up telling about your services". Hope it gets better!

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