Jump to content
DonnaLB

Poor help from guest services with travel

Recommended Posts

We had the air2sea package so when American cancelled one of our flights home, I expected Royal Caribbean to help. Isn't the air2sea package supposed to make it easier? Not so.  Guest services sent a cryptic letter that included the flight numbers and times but didn't even mention what airline. It also clearly put us overnight in Orlando but didn't mention any accommodations. I felt those were reasonable questions to ask at guest services (on Freedom of the Seas). I felt like I was treated as if I had no right to ask. Long story short, we did get a hotel but no meal vouchers (the hotel clerk told me if we had been on Carnival, we would have gotten meal vouchers).  But RC failed to ticket our second flight out of Orlando. We were left stranded at the airport with no tickets!  Thankfully, a Delta ticket agent was kind enough to help me find an emergency number for RC and after 20 minutes on hold, we got tickets on another flight but had an extremely stressful scramble to get the boarding passes and through security in time.  Honestly, this was a bad enough experience that I won't be going with RC again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should have called Air2Sea.  Guest Services was just passing along the information as messengers.  They are not travel agents.  They cannot access your flight reservations.  Only Air2Sea can access your flight reservation.  

Emails from Air2Sea always clearly list contact information for them.  A simple phone call would have cleared it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And how was I to know that?  And how was I to make that phone call without incurring exorbitant fees from my phone carrier since I was out of the country at the time? If what you say is true, then guest services should have informed me of that and should have facilitated that phone call!!  

Plus, the title of the person I was dealing with at that guest services desk was "guest departure officer." I think any reasonable person would have assumed as I did that she could have helped me.  And, even if I had gotten the information that I wanted promptly, I assume that I still would have ended up in Orlando without any tickets.  Someone at RC made a mistake and reserved our party of four but failed to ticket our party of four. I am a reasonably savvy traveler and  it was scary being told by the first Delta ticket agent:  "Sorry, I don't know how to help you. You don't have tickets."  Thankfully, I went to another Delta ticket agent who helped me get an emergency number for RC. And, had we not gotten to the Orlando airport more than 2 hours before the flight for which we thought we had tickets, we would have been in more difficulties. As it was, we had to run to the United ticket counter to get our boarding passes and check our luggage, wait through security lines and then we had to run to the gate.  Thank goodness that all four of us are physically capable of running.

So, no, to say that I could have resolved this by calling air2 sea may be true but doesn't absolve RC of this. 

Edited by DonnaLB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming is rarely productive.  In every one of my Air2Sea emails it clearly states it.

 

  • What happens when my flight is delayed or cancelled?
  • Assured Arrival is our guarantee to assist our ChoiceAir® guests when they encounter any flight disruptions that occur through no fault of their own. We have a team of Emergency Travel Specialists standing by that proactively monitor flights and act as a liason between our ships and our guests. This team is available to assist you 24/7 @ 800-256-6649 (domestically) or 305-539-4107 (internationally).

I travel for business often and stuff like this happens often.  Frequently a change may result in a booked reservation that has to be ticketed at the airport. When I flew a lot that happened 5 to 6 times a year.   Un-ticketed does not mean you are stranded.

I understand you wanted someone in an RC uniform to solve your concerns.  That is not a reasonable expectation.  

I think you'll find the same on your next cruise line.  In the future print out those Air2Sea documents or whatever your next cruise line calls their program and bring them with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DonnaLB said:

And how was I to make that phone call without incurring exorbitant fees from my phone carrier since I was out of the country at the time?

Well, yes, if you made a call through Cellular At Sea it would be pretty expensive but your phone company would be passing along that charge to you.  There are plenty of other options for making calls though.  Besides, I'm quite certain guest services would have provided a complimentary phone call to Air2Sea if you'd asked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm beginning to wonder if you work for Royal Caribbean.  Clearly, I didn't know these things and again I don't think it was unreasonable to expect a guest departure officer to direct me to the right person. Nor do I think it unreasonable for RC to have ticketed my flights correctly in the first place and to have provided meal vouchers. Anyway, my purpose in writing in this blog was to warn other passengers like me who only cruise occasionally and do not know these things. I've hopefully succeeded in providing that warning. Enough said. I'm done with this message board and done with RC.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, DonnaLB said:

I'm beginning to wonder if you work for Royal Caribbean.  Clearly, I didn't know these things and again I don't think it was unreasonable to expect a guest departure officer to direct me to the right person. Nor do I think it unreasonable for RC to have ticketed my flights correctly in the first place and to have provided meal vouchers. Anyway, my purpose in writing in this blog was to warn other passengers like me who only cruise occasionally and do not know these things. I've hopefully succeeded in providing that warning. Enough said. I'm done with this message board and done with RC.  

Clearly you didn't catch on, Royal Caribbean likes to purposefully mess up flights so their guests have no other option but to take another cruise on one of their ships

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DonnaLB said:

I'm beginning to wonder if you work for Royal Caribbean.  Clearly, I didn't know these things and again I don't think it was unreasonable to expect a guest departure officer to direct me to the right person. Nor do I think it unreasonable for RC to have ticketed my flights correctly in the first place and to have provided meal vouchers. Anyway, my purpose in writing in this blog was to warn other passengers like me who only cruise occasionally and do not know these things. I've hopefully succeeded in providing that warning. Enough said. I'm done with this message board and done with RC.  

Twangster very clearly doesn’t work for RCI as there have been multiple times when he has been less than thrilled with them and their actions and has voiced that here. I understand your frustration and it sounds like a very stressful and confusing ordeal that I would never want to experience. Thank you for posting and sharing this. I don’t want to minimize your continued frustration with Royal, but please understand that @twangster was just trying to help and, like you, share information for others if they find themselves in the situation. 

It is definitely your prerogative to not do any more business with Royal and I do wish you luck and hope your future travels go much smoother!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Million miler on Delta so I have some experience flying them.

During IRROPS, an airline industry term for Irregular Operations, it's very common for a confirmed reservation to be altered.  This frequently results in re-booking a passenger on alternate flights.  Very frequently this requires that the passenger's tickets be re-issued or re-ticketed.  This is an airline phenomenon.  Travel agents can not re-ticket these alerted flights.  It almost always requires an airline employee at an airport using an airline computer terminal to re-issue the tickets for the new itinerary.  Why?  It's an airline thing.

Note that you can have a confirmed booking and a seat on the plane yet the revised itinerary has not yet been re-ticketed.  You won't yet be placed on upgrade or standby lists based on your elite status with the airline, this requires that the itinerary be fully re-ticketed, but you can have a confirmed seat.

DELTA stands for Deliver Every Living Thing to Atlanta.  I can't count the number of times I've connected in Atlanta and during summer thunderstorm season it is very common to miss connections and find yourself re-booked on an alternate flight.  During IRROPS Delta will automatically re-book you on alternate flights.  It's done by computers.  When it happens it is very common to have to see a gate agent or other airline employee such as those in the Delta Sky Club to have the new flight re-ticketed despite having a confirmed reservation on the alternate flight.  

My company travel agent can't re-issue tickets during IRROPS.  They can re-book me on alternate flights but I still have to see an airline agent at an airport to be re-ticketed.  

Having said that it's not a perfect system.  Sometimes a phone call to a human is required to overcome a mistake when IRROPS occur.

Having been subject to countless mechanical, weather and air traffic delays this is second nature to me but I can see how it can be a source of stress for anyone who has not experienced it before.  

Crew on ships are limited in scope to functions of the ship itself.  They have very limited reach beyond the ship itself.  A departure officer will be involved with the process of debarking thousands of guests in an expeditious manner so that the ship can be turned and prepared for several thousand new guests to board in just a few hours.  It's a daunting task but so vital to turn around day and sailing away on schedule.  A departure officer is not responsible in scope to see that you reach your home where ever that may be even if you booked airfare through the cruise line.  

For future reference the same can be said for insurance purchased through the cruise line.  Guest services can not file a claim or answer questions regarding your coverage even if you purchased the cruise line travel insurance policy.  They are not insurance agents.  Make a note of the appropriate contact information for your travel insurance policy regardless of where you purchased that policy.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, twangster said:

Million miler on Delta so I have some experience flying them.

During IRROPS, an airline industry term for Irregular Operations, it's very common for a confirmed reservation to be altered.  This frequently results in re-booking a passenger on alternate flights.  Very frequently this requires that the passenger's tickets be re-issued or re-ticketed.  This is an airline phenomenon.  Travel agents can not re-ticket these alerted flights.  It almost always requires an airline employee at an airport using an airline computer terminal to re-issue the tickets for the new itinerary.  Why?  It's an airline thing.

Note that you can have a confirmed booking and a seat on the plane yet the revised itinerary has not yet been re-ticketed.  You won't yet be placed on upgrade or standby lists based on your elite status with the airline, this requires that the itinerary be fully re-ticketed, but you can have a confirmed seat.

DELTA stands for Deliver Every Living Thing to Atlanta.  I can't count the number of times I've connected in Atlanta and during summer thunderstorm season it is very common to miss connections and find yourself re-booked on an alternate flight.  During IRROPS Delta will automatically re-book you on alternate flights.  It's done by computers.  When it happens it is very common to have to see a gate agent or other airline employee such as those in the Delta Sky Club to have the new flight re-ticketed despite having a confirmed reservation on the alternate flight.  

My company travel agent can't re-issue tickets during IRROPS.  They can re-book me on alternate flights but I still have to see an airline agent at an airport to be re-ticketed.  

Having said that it's not a perfect system.  Sometimes a phone call to a human is required to overcome a mistake when IRROPS occur.

Having been subject to countless mechanical, weather and air traffic delays this is second nature to me but I can see how it can be a source of stress for anyone who has not experienced it before.  

Crew on ships are limited in scope to functions of the ship itself.  They have very limited reach beyond the ship itself.  A departure officer will be involved with the process of debarking thousands of guests in an expeditious manner so that the ship can be turned and prepared for several thousand new guests to board in just a few hours.  It's a daunting task but so vital to turn around day and sailing away on schedule.  A departure officer is not responsible in scope to see that you reach your home where ever that may be even if you booked airfare through the cruise line.  

For future reference the same can be said for insurance purchased through the cruise line.  Guest services can not file a claim or answer questions regarding your coverage even if you purchased the cruise line travel insurance policy.  They are not insurance agents.  Make a note of the appropriate contact information for your travel insurance policy regardless of where you purchased that policy.  

The other part forgotten here is that any premium credit card would have covered those phone calls after the original flight was cancelled, assisted with hotel and meal costs, etc..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What am I missing here? I guess that I didn’t read it as everyone else. I am sorry they had such problems. They are irritated, I am sure that I would be too. Hindsight is 20-20, but it might be less easy to figure it all out on the fly  (especially for people who haven’t traveled a great deal) and they were just seeking assistance from some rep who might be able to lead them in the right direction. For what it’s worth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll go out on a limb here:  For the most part, I've found that when you treat anyone with kindness and respect, the other party will do the same.  I've found that to be especially true in the travel/tourism industry.  I'll give you an example:

Two weeks ago, my wife and I spent a wonderful week in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  We wanted to have dinner at an oceanfront restaurant called 'Hemmingways' on our last night (Friday).  Being that my cellphone was expensive there and we had a car, I stopped in on Tuesday to make a reservation.  The nice lady said "sorry, we're booked to half Friday, and since it's supposed to rain Friday, and half of our seating is on the beach, we can't add any more reservations now."  She went on to say, "come by Friday morning, and we'll see if anything has changed."  I stopped in Friday morning at 10:00 only to be turned away without a reservation again by the same nice lady as there was still rain in the evening forecast.  She was as pleasant as can be, and I was to her as well.  She did say that "if you and your wife can be here at 5:45 this evening, I will try to help you".  We arrived at 5:45 and it was not raining.  She said "I was hoping you would come back, and I was able to save the best table on the beach for the two of you".  We had a really good, albeit pricey, meal with a front row view of the sunset over Grace Bay Beach.

 

Point is, kindness, respect, and working with people goes a long way.  Talking down to people and issuing threats seldom works.  Based upon the reaction of the OP to other posts in this thread, I can see what happened.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are mix of things here , 

I agree RCL can not do everything and some can be done only by the airline (as @twangster said , re issue once you started the travel or if the airline is changing anything the ticket can be locked to be handled only by the airline). Happened to me more than once that ticket had to be changed and my TA could not re issue and had to contact the airline for me.

But I would expect that guest services will have some kind of procedures how to handle the situation even by simply heaving the phones of Air2Sea to be called. 

Anyway it is prove once more why its always better to come early enough to the airport , I travel quite allot but even if I do not have suitcase with me to send I am still arriving at least 1:45 minutes before if not earlier, I never know if traffic will be an issue or other surprises.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think having copies of your travel docs with you, including the appropriate customer service phone numbers were key here. You've got to know which tree to bark at. I believe that was the issue here. Had the traveler had that info, I doubt she would have been at the ship's guest services.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, twangster said:

Million miler on Delta so I have some experience flying them.

During IRROPS, an airline industry term for Irregular Operations, it's very common for a confirmed reservation to be altered.  This frequently results in re-booking a passenger on alternate flights.  Very frequently this requires that the passenger's tickets be re-issued or re-ticketed.  This is an airline phenomenon.  Travel agents can not re-ticket these alerted flights.  It almost always requires an airline employee at an airport using an airline computer terminal to re-issue the tickets for the new itinerary.  Why?  It's an airline thing.

Note that you can have a confirmed booking and a seat on the plane yet the revised itinerary has not yet been re-ticketed.  You won't yet be placed on upgrade or standby lists based on your elite status with the airline, this requires that the itinerary be fully re-ticketed, but you can have a confirmed seat.

DELTA stands for Deliver Every Living Thing to Atlanta.  I can't count the number of times I've connected in Atlanta and during summer thunderstorm season it is very common to miss connections and find yourself re-booked on an alternate flight.  During IRROPS Delta will automatically re-book you on alternate flights.  It's done by computers.  When it happens it is very common to have to see a gate agent or other airline employee such as those in the Delta Sky Club to have the new flight re-ticketed despite having a confirmed reservation on the alternate flight.  

My company travel agent can't re-issue tickets during IRROPS.  They can re-book me on alternate flights but I still have to see an airline agent at an airport to be re-ticketed.  

Having said that it's not a perfect system.  Sometimes a phone call to a human is required to overcome a mistake when IRROPS occur.

Having been subject to countless mechanical, weather and air traffic delays this is second nature to me but I can see how it can be a source of stress for anyone who has not experienced it before.  

Crew on ships are limited in scope to functions of the ship itself.  They have very limited reach beyond the ship itself.  A departure officer will be involved with the process of debarking thousands of guests in an expeditious manner so that the ship can be turned and prepared for several thousand new guests to board in just a few hours.  It's a daunting task but so vital to turn around day and sailing away on schedule.  A departure officer is not responsible in scope to see that you reach your home where ever that may be even if you booked airfare through the cruise line.  

For future reference the same can be said for insurance purchased through the cruise line.  Guest services can not file a claim or answer questions regarding your coverage even if you purchased the cruise line travel insurance policy.  They are not insurance agents.  Make a note of the appropriate contact information for your travel insurance policy regardless of where you purchased that policy.  

I’ll defer to the Million Miler expert, but I always thought DELTA stood for:

Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport

🤔

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Hoppy2cruise said:

I’ll defer to the Million Miler expert, but I always thought DELTA stood for:

Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport

🤔

Lot's of acronyms for Delta but in fairness I generally like Delta.  I've been top elite on AA, 2nd from the top elite on Continental/United and A-list on Southwest.

Fly enough and you'll see all sides of any airline.  The key for flying in modern times is an overdose of patience.  It's not like it was 20 years ago.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Fuzzywuzzy said:

I wasn't completely buying her tale of woe as soon as I saw "a Delta ticket agent was kind..."

Every time I hear of Delta, I always think of the John Mulaney bit:

"I'll book a ticket on some garbage airline--I don't want to name an actual airline so let's just make one up.  Let's call it "'Delta Airlines'" hahaha

Never flown Delta, so nothing against them, it's just the first thing that pops in my head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/31/2019 at 12:04 PM, DonnaLB said:

I'm beginning to wonder if you work for Royal Caribbean.  Clearly, I didn't know these things and again I don't think it was unreasonable to expect a guest departure officer to direct me to the right person. Nor do I think it unreasonable for RC to have ticketed my flights correctly in the first place and to have provided meal vouchers. Anyway, my purpose in writing in this blog was to warn other passengers like me who only cruise occasionally and do not know these things. I've hopefully succeeded in providing that warning. Enough said. I'm done with this message board and done with RC.  

I appreciate your post and your actions seemed perfectly reasonable to me.  On all fan blogs you will find that some are apologists to the brand and will defend any comments that are perceived as negative.  Don’t let it bother you.  Thanks for posting and ignore the little snarky comments.  I hope you continue to enjoy  this overwhelmingly positive forum that had loads of good information.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hutcherl said:

I appreciate your post and your actions seemed perfectly reasonable to me.  On all fan blogs you will find that some are apologists to the brand and will defend any comments that are perceived as negative.  Don’t let it bother you.  Thanks for posting and ignore the little snarky comments.  I hope you continue to enjoy  this overwhelmingly positive forum that had loads of good information.   

I would say calling @twangster an "apologist" of the RC brand is a little far fetched.  Yes, he has sailed a bunch with them.  He has sailed with other lines as well.  Flies just about every airline it seems.  He's probably one of the most informed people on this board-- no offense to Matt or anyone else that provides great feedback from their multiple sailings per year to those of us less experienced. The guy just travels a lot. 

In fact, I remember when RC screwed him over a few months ago and in return he canceled a bunch of sailings (I think the total amount lost was over $10k in rooms).  Apologist?  Nay, I'd say informed. 

I feel terrible for this person who had to figure all this out after what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation, but Twangbot was just pointing out the avenue to take should this be an issue in the future.  Sure, now after the fact its not helpful to them, but maybe helps someone else out who is reading it.  The OP was angry, rightfully so, but had they had their documents in order and been informed, maybe it could have played out different.  I know personally I'm sailing next week for the first time as an adult and first time in over 12 years. I've gone over everything I can think of and have a folder with all my docs in it to bring with me. Be as prepared as you can be.  Even then, sh*t happens.

Also, I believe it's fair to mention that all too often we see people who have zero posts who just create a profile on here to bash the brand and never return for whatever reason.  Not saying that this was one of those times, but well you know what they say about ducks.

I hope they do come back and "enjoy this overwhelmingly positive forum" as you mention.  Sadly, I doubt they will.  Then again as a good amount of this info is brought to you by the apologist Twangster, I don't know how willing they would be to receive it anyway.

Not trying to cause a stir so take this how you will. My opinion is just that, mine.  I just find that unfair from someone who has been around the boards as you have to call out a valued and knowledgeable poster like Twangster.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is pretty clear from the OP's tone where the real problem lies here.  Thanks Twangster for you invaluable tips and views.  Your Alaska periscope VBLOG has been the singular best item I have encountered so far in my search from cruise knowledge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...