Many people I work with on vacations don’t complain about anything. The complaints I do get, however, seem to usually be one of the following.
Changing Prices: Prices change. It’s a fact of life. If your friend booked a month ago and you want to book today, you’re probably paying a different price. If you called for a quote a week ago and were just waiting to get your paycheck before you made deposit, the price you were quoted may very well have changed. How to avoid it: Book as early as possible.
Airline Schedule Changes: Sadly, schedule changes are also a fact of life. Charter flights seem subject to more dramatic schedule changes than scheduled carriers. How to avoid it: I’m not sure there is a way to avoid an airline schedule change short of buying or leasing a private jet.
Cancellation Fees: Fortunately, most people don’t cancel, so this isn’t an issue for most people. Depending on how close to your departure date you cancel, the cancellation penalties could be as high as 100%.How to avoid it: Purchase travel insurance (or don’t cancel).
Luggage Fees: Luggage fees are an unfortunate sign of our times. I don’t think they’re going anywhere either. Depending on the airlines and your luggage, fees can add a substantial amount to the cost of your trip. How to avoid it: Pack judiciously and be very clear on the baggage policy of the airline in question before booking your trip. One airline might appear cheaper, but once you factor in the luggage fees, it may not be the case.
Assigned Seats on the Plane: Right after you book, it is my job to look at it and figure out what needs to happen with regard to your assigned seats. If the flights are on a carrier (usually Charters) where you must go online and pay a fee for the seats, I will call and let you know. If it is on a scheduled carrier, I look at the seating chart and assign the best possible seats. If no pre-assigned seating is available, I will let you know. Sometimes it just comes down to assigning the seat at the airport on the day of departure. I will my very best, but I don’t have the ability to throw passengers out of a seat. As much as I’d like to, the airline doesn’t give me that right. How to avoid it: Book early.
Room Requests: Frequently people have a request regarding their room assignments. Groups like their rooms to be assigned together. Some people want to be in a certain building or near a certain restaurant or pool. Sometimes people want a higher floor or a specific floor. We do make our room requests directly to the management of the hotel. Room requests are, however, requests. Sometimes the hotel is able to fulfill them and sometimes circumstances dictate that they cannot. How to avoid it: Understand the difference between what is confirmed, and what is on request.
Ocean View Rooms: Many resorts offer an ocean view room category as well as an oceanfront or maybe a beachfront room category. In this scenario, ocean view would be less expensive. It also offers the least view of the water. Some resorts are very liberal with how they define which room category. If you can see the slightest sliver of water in the distance while standing on your tippy toes on the balcony, it’s an ocean view room. How to avoid it: Be clear what your expectations are for your view. Book accordingly.
Mattress Comfort: Just like Goldilocks, some people find their mattress too hard, some find them too soft. Others find them just right. How to avoid it: Generally speaking, at lower end resorts you’re going to find harder beds. (They last longer and need replacing less frequently.) At higher end resorts you’ll find pillow tops and high thread count sheets.