Sunday, April 9, 2017

A good price?

NOTE:     This blog has no ads and I'm not beholden to hotels, cruise lines, tour companies or airlines, and that's why I can offer my readers the truth about all of the above + offer the many ways to enjoy comfort traveling for less

I’m leaving for Naples on May 8th and return on May 20th, my Naples blog begins today, my next blog post is on June 1st.
I’m like you, I want a “good price.”
And I’m interested in traveling where I want for less, but I always use my credit card to pay, because I have a Visa guarantee: in case I’m ill, or my purchase is not as advertised, I have a money-back credit.
Don’t expect a “good price.”
Travel for less is an impossibility.
If it’s too good to be true, it is.
Here’s my advice.
YOU must take action before you leave for your trip.
Be proactive.

I waited until March 10th to buy my round trip ticket, and I know the drill:  complete all travel arrangements (airfare/hotel) the same day.
First, I looked online for a Naples hotel in the oldest section of the city—my references were the online listings I found in Google and Yahoo search engines.
The hotel overlooking the port streets, narrow and winding I chose was within my price range, had a hotel direct website, the dates I wanted weren’t available, but I modified the dates to match the availability.
I checked the various hotel booking services for prices. 
The hotel direct website had the best price including full Italian breakfast, but before I paid in advance for the hotel, I had to secure the flights.  
When I searched the websites of bulk airfare hotel + care rental offerings, I found 2 websites with the same “too good to be true” airfare.
The online “secure” website I chose to book didn’t complete the booking, I called the CSR for help, but she wasn’t able to give me a time frame as to when the booking would be accepted.
*Expedia had the same price, round trip flight to Naples on the exact dates I needed, plus the departure and return airport.
The flights I wanted were operated by the major country of origin airline, Alitalia, but Delta and KLM were listed as the booking airlines, nevertheless, I checked with Alitalia to find the dates I need with same flights direct.
The 1-way to Rome total was an Expedia r/t fare to Naples and the direct to Naples with stop in Rome wasn’t listed.
My suspicions confirmed, yet I still wanted a “good price” and travel for less.
I called Delta Airlines international re the flights as listed by Expedia—I was reassured by the Delta CSR who also handled KLM bookings:  Delta and KLM would book the seats and would conform, plus issue the boarding passes.
Expedia issued my itinerary after I paid for the flights I knew were too good to be true, and I paid for the hotel in Naples by credit card in advance of my arrival on the hotel’s website and received a confirmation by e-mail.
Within the next 24 hours I received all but 1 seat confirmation, but Delta told me to wait 2 weeks for the remaining seat confirmation. 

 After 2 weeks I called Delta again.
Here’s the sad truth: “good price” and travel for less is an “impossibility.”
The outbound booking airline Delta informed me Alitalia and only Alitalia could issue my boarding pass or confirm the seats I had selected.
One call to Alitalia reconfirmed my suspicions.
Alitalia would not issue a boarding pass until the day and time of my outbound flights, worse, my seats would not be assigned until I checked in at flight time.
More problematical, the check in for the return flights in Naples meant more uncertainty, because I am not fluent in Italian.
When I called Expedia customer service, I explained my dilemma, and asked for the “supervisor” to make the call to Alitalia reservations.
The Expedia CSR “supervisor” made direct contact with Alitalia and requested my seats plus a guarantee of the seats I requested.
*Expedia is a travel website that sells bulk airfares in addition to hotels and car rentalsI requested and received an Expedia e-mail to confirm.                                         

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