Here are real life stories that happened to us and our customers - and how we performed under pressure.
One of our tour operator customers from California had some individuals cancel off of a tour after cutoff date. This sadly resulted in a $3,000 attrition penalty by the Marriott Marquis. Our owner Robert Miller personally met with the hotel’s director of sales and persuaded him, based on our volume buying power and overall relationship with Marriott, to waive the attrition penalty. TravelAdvocates loves the Marriott Marquis, but more importantly, loves saving groups money whether it’s on the room rate or after the hotel is booked. TravelAdvocates always fights hard for our groups.
A group tour arrives at an Oregon hotel we booked for them only to find the hotel’s exterior, lobby, & breakfast areas are under renovation; the hotel never told us or the group about their renovation plans. The group is rightfully outraged. Within 24 hours of notice, Robert personally negotiated 50% off the group’s bill so the tour manager could help make it up to the group with a nice comped dinner. To avoid this situation moving forward, TravelAdvocates now regularly and proactively contacts hotels to inquire about any renovation plans and relays those plans to our groups; we also insert specific language into our hotel contracts which makes the hotel liable for non-disclosure of renovations.
Erasing Extra Charges
One of our groups had a student who got a pretty bad nose bleed and damaged the sheets, bedspread, and mattress (yuck!). The hotel sent a hefty bill to our tour operator customer (even more yuck!). The operator immediately contacted us to get our help. We contacted the hotel and since we regularly book rooms there, we were able to get the damages nearly waived, saving the group hundreds of dollars. Many groups just use us to book hotels, but we always support our customers even after the group checks out.
Making it Right
A hotel accidentally charged the credit card of a guest for room and tax even though those charges were supposed to be posted to the master to be paid by the tour operator. Tour operators hate it when the room rate is disclosed to the end user guest since the guest bought the room through a package rate. We worked with the hotel to get the room charge credited back to the guest’s card and comped off of the master folio to the tour operator. When mistakes like this happen even after check out, TravelAdvocates is happy to fight hard for our groups to make it right.
Hurricanes Harvey & Irma kept us busy in 2017 with canceling rooms and rerouting groups usually within 24 hours notice from our customers. A multi-city escorted tour group originating in Florida but also visiting Philadelphia, NYC, and Chicago (places not affected by the storms) came to us for help. They wanted us to convince the hotels to waive the penalties for canceling within 7 days of arrival date. Although many of the cities on the tour were not affected by the hurricane and wouldn’t typically fall within the force majeure provision excusing the late cancel penalty, TravelAdvocates was able to convince those hotels outside of the storm to waive all late cancelation penalties. Our customers appreciate our hotel friends for their expansive interpretation of the force majeure clause in the hotel contracts. TravelAdvocates is on call 24/7 to assist in any emergency involving your hotels.