June 17, 2013

Part 2 Bahama trip- The drama

Don't you love that feeling of the morning of a trip? I know I do; anticipation!! Bill and I had packed the night before, I had all of our paperwork, passports, confirmations for plane tickets, car rental and resort in my purse. I had a separate confirmation from the resort whose web page I had visited a zillion times to view the pictures. We were raring to go.

We had pre-arranged for to drive to Matthew's house in Richmond to leave our car at his place. He arranged to take a few hours off to drop us off at the airport so we didn't have to take a cab or pay for garage fees.

Our flight was leaving at around eleven a.m. It was early enough that we'd have almost a full day when we arrived in Freeport. Our plan was to pick up the car, pick up a few groceries and then check in.With map in hand and me as co-pilot all we had to do was slather on some sunscreen and we were ready for beach, sand, pool food and adult beverages.

Or so we thought!!

Now for the drama!

Let me just say this... I'm going to omit the real names of the parties (I will insert substitute names for the purpose of telling you what happen)- for now. And the reason? I have filed a complaint and am looking to be compensated to our ordeal. Needless to say until I hear from them it wouldn't be in my best interest to bad mouth them in an overt manner. If I do not get a more positive response than what I have gotten so far. I will share with you all the names. Heck, I'll probably their names whatever the outcome because it's just my nature to truthful about a consumer experience.

When we arrived at the airport and asked where our airline was checking in we were informed that they didn't fly out of Richmond. Talk about being sick to my stomach!  I had just received a confirmation just days earlier from the company I booked with.

We booked our plane tickets and car many months ago with one of those big online travel companies, lets for the sake of this post call them "hotpileofshit" You know the type of company I'm talking about they advertize all the time about giving you the best prices on tickets, hotels and cars. There are a few that have commercials on TV and I don't really have a preference I just used the one that gave me a direct flight. For the sake of this post let's call the airline we were supposed to fly with "bogusair."

Now most of you just know me and I pride myself as being pretty cool under fire. I've learned since the kids died not to sweat the small stuff. But we waited over six months and were really looking forward to this trip. I WAS beyond PISSED.

First I called "bogusair" How is it that they had those tickets for sale if they didn't fly out of Richmond? I got a big sorry for your inconvenience we'll be happy to refund your ticket price. And about new tickets? Sorry we don't fly out of Richmond so we can't help you. Really?! You're f'ing kidding me right?  At this point the porters at the airport thought my head was going to explode since I was sitting on an outside bench screaming into my phone.

Got the visual?

Then I called the people who had just days before sent me confirmation for my flights on "bogusair" direct from Richmond to Freeport Grand Bahama " "hotpileofshit." The customers service rep.  said she was sorry then told me maybe this wouldn't have happened if I would have checked the flight myself! Seriously??

Then she put me on hold for forever to confirm that "bogusair" was refunding my money. I was pretty sure the airport structure was going to tumble when I shrieked at the woman when she finally got back on the line that . "she better get me on a f'ing plane to the Bahamas and  do it now or I swear someone's gonna pay." 

From my mouth to God's ears.

As it turned out someone did pay and those someone's were Bill and I . "Bogusair" and "hotpileofshit" refused to pay any additional costs to us for their total fail in booking. We sat at the airport all day. Had to fly that night to Phillie, spend the night in a hotel and then fly to the Bahama's the next day. Do you know how cold it feels in Phillie at 11pm in the wind when you're dressed for the Bahama's?

What did this little drama cost us?

One lost day's vacation. priceless
Additional plane ticket costs, baggage fee's,Phillie hotel, fee to change car rental arrangements.....$500.00
Loss in the belief that there is such a thing as good faith. priceless

What did "the anchor"do?

I wrote a polite but straightforward complaint email to customers service at "hotpileofshit". Their response was to offer us a $50.00 credit towards our next booking and a sincere apology. Needless to say I consider the money part an insult. I contacted a consumer advocate who deals with many issues primarily travel (his name is Christopher Elliott http://elliott.org/ ) who has intervened on my behalf by contacting them about our situation. I'm hoping we'll get a more positive response now that he's involved.

What's I think.

Just watching the news lately it's clear nobody wants to take responsibility for their behavior or their mistakes. I've come to believe that these two businesses conduct themselves like government or even some low life man who beats his wife and then blames it on her. What's wrong with just saying let me be honest I made a mistake let me make it up to you?  What the hell is wrong with our society people?  "Bogusair" washed their hands of me when they refunded my money and left me stranded and "hotpileofshit" blamed it on them and slapped a paying customer in the face.

Something is seriously wrong!

June 15, 2013

Part 1 Bahama trip- The pictures.

My brother Gerard had a nickname for me when it comes to traveling; he calls me "the anchor." Whenever we travel you can count on me being searched, the plane being late, the line going thru security being the longest line you have ever seen...there are more scenarios but my guess is you're getting the picture?

So before I give you all the tales of "the anchor" and what happened that almost put the brakes on our trip to The Bahamas I'll show you some of my photos.

And for all of you who know I never loose my cool you will have a treat. There will be tales of me yelling and and I will admit to using some potty mouth in fits of anger!! I kid you not!! When you hear what happened my guess is you will understand my anger.

Before I get to the whole sordid story in Part 2 however I thought I'd treat you to some of the lovely scenes from our vacation in Freeport in Grand Bahama.

This was our resort and we actually stayed in the first section of the blue condo's on the ground floor. It was a studio apartment and very comfortable. As you can see just beyond the palm trees is the beach; very convenient. There was also a lovely private outdoor space with a little private pool and couch for lounging and reading. 

In this nighttime picture located on the left of the patio is the private pool and the couch area is on the right. It was really one of my favorite area's of the resort. We're not all that concerned about the indoor space which in my opinion was a bit dated. Seriously though,who goes to the Bahamas to stay indoors?

This is the view from the resorts restaurant! OMG! We would sit here in the breeze and sip on cold beers eat a light lunch . Seriously how good is that?

Very quaint don't you think? Although I have to be honest I was very shocked at the high costs of food on the island. I've traveled to other islands and I wasn't prepared to pay almost five dollars for a quart of orange juice and all other groceries were out of this world expensive. I guess I thought since Freeport was in close proximity to Florida (about 70 miles) I thought the prices would be more on par with our costs. 

There is nothing better than pulling a chair under one of these palapa's and reading a good book. I actually read two books while I was there. I'll tell you about them in another post since the author was one of my A-Z friends.

We didn't have perfect weather while we were there. There was a storm on one of the close by islands so there were a few stormy days. Although you couldn't tell by this picture! And we spent any cloudy time browsing the shops and in the casino. 

Beyond the jetty there is a waterway that is used by the boats and ferries. If we wanted to visit the local restaurants or markets we had the option to hop a ferry or to drive in our rental car and go around. We actually drove. Or I should say Bill drove! I wasn't that courageous driving on the opposite side of the road.

I'm not quite sure what kind of bird this is but he and his mate would walk around the resort late in the day and during the hot parts of the day they would perch up in the tree tops. 

The beach that our resort was located on Taino beach. As you can see it was a lovely white sand beach with beautiful blue water. Vacationing just a few feet from it was not difficult at all. 

And last but not least.
Here's one of the many beautiful flowers that were blooming around the resort. It seemed to me every bush had blooms. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 Bahama trip-The drama coming soon!

June 14, 2013

sometimes you just have to roll with it

We sat on the edges of our seats with our cameras at the ready as the school principal called the names of all the children who made the honor roll both A and A/B for the entire year. My daughter and I glanced at each other when my grandsons name wasn't called.


We traded looks. You know the kind that Mom's and Grandmothers trade because we think our kids are the smartest and best looking. I know you know what I'm talking about if you have kids!

When the children who have "good grades" in this school they are acknowledged for excelling by being asked to stand in place and face the audience. I thought that was a rather nice way for the kids to be seen and appreciated for their efforts. After what seemed forever, speeches by countless teaches & guests and an adorable music program by the children the graduation concluded.

 My youngest grandson is now headed to middle school in September. Where did the time go?

After we said our goodbyes to the teacher and walked out to the parking lot and we opened up his report card. Honor roll.....for all the report cards. Apparently there must have been an oversight. One which Xavier didn't seem all that bothered about, he's an easygoing child.

So my blog friends this is my grandson Xavier.

He was on the A/B honor roll the entire year. I was hoping you would be his audience.  Let's make believe the principle is saying his name...Xavier....hes turning...he's turning....he's facing you... I'm clapping, clapping......

Are you clapping?
Louder, louder..
I can't hear you !

June 11, 2013

The cat speaks

Hi my name is Cheetah I'm one of Jen's cats! Jen wanted me to tell you that her laptop is in the laptop hospital AGAIN and that's why she hasn't been on the blog this week.
She's chomping on the bird...oops!!  I mean she's chomping at the bit to get it back to her blog life and to visit her friends again and tell  her tales of what's been going on these past two weeks. Oh and if you were wondering about her and Bill's vacation... Not that I'm a gossip or anything but there was an almost CATastrophe (thankfully averted) with their tickets lots of drama at the airport!!