Costco Travel: How a vacation package deal might strand you

Costco Travel: A Saratoga family’s vacation package turned out to be a disappointment. They claim that there is a lesson in vacation packages for everyone.

Maiko and Nate decided to spend their 15th wedding anniversary in Hawaii with their children.

Maiko declared, I really wanted to do this.

They reserved a trip to Maui for the beach. They made a package reservation with Costco Travel, a business they are confident in, for $8,700. That is the reason we joined them, Maiko stated.

The seven-day journey to Hawaii started out perfectly. But after two days, things got nasty. Nate remarked, we looked out the window and we saw, like, a storm coming in. A firestorm had come. A portion of Maui was on fire.

Fire officials soon gave everyone the order to exit the hotel. Nate made a move. But then he encountered an unanticipated obstacle.

We were formally evacuated at this time. Okay, we replied. Just let’s get home. I asked United to change our flight when I called them. Get us out of here as soon as you can, as soon as you can. They apologized but couldn’t change your ticket because it had been made through an agency.

That was confirmed to us by United Airlines.

Nate then dialed Costco Travel. Another obstacle. They were shut down, he declared. And, given that emergency situation, every hour, minute, or flight availability really counted, Nate continued.

The family of Nate and Maiko ended up in an evacuation shelter. Maiko remarked the entire environment there at the shelter was a very tragic one. But the natives were friendly to us. That was also pretty lovely.

The family had to wait three more days to get home, according to Nate. They only slept in the shelter for one night before finding a vacation rental. But when they got home, they requested a refund from Costco for their canceled package trip.

Nate and Maiko claim that the phone offer from Costco Travel was far lower than they had anticipated. Out of the nearly $9,000 they spent, Nate stated, it was a thousand-something. He therefore called.

I didn’t know what else to do, he admitted.

Costco Travel was contacted. It objected to being interviewed. The vice president and general manager stated in an email that for all members who were in Maui during the fires, we have been working with our vendors to see what refunds we can provide for our members.

In regards to Nate and Maiko, Costco Travel stated that it …has refunded the member in full for the hotel and car portion of their trip during [sic] for the dates of Aug 8 – 12.

That’s $2,058. Although it has improved, Nate still believes it is inaccurate. We requested an itemized list of everything Costco was and wasn’t refunding. When asked, Costco Travel declined, stating that per our contracts [with vendors like airlines and hotels], we are not able to break down the individual component pricing.

Costco Travel was done after that.

Understand that you are not the one controlling the situation while hiring a third party, whether it be a travel agent or a travel agency in general, advised Katy Nastro of the travel website Going.com.

The most control to make changes and truly see the individual pricing you’re paying, according to Nastro, comes from booking directly with airlines and hotels. Nevertheless, certain travel agent bundles come with discounts. Nastro advises that you can attempt to recreate the package yourself if a low bundle price tempts you.

It’s great for you to look around and try to create your own itinerary, she advised.

Let’s say you decide to book through a travel agent. Find out whether there are any costs. Some travel firms might not have eliminated change and cancellation fees, however many airlines have. Ask the travel agent if there is a 24-hour staff member as well. According to the American Society of Travel Advisors, many companies do provide after-hours assistance to assist you whenever your trip goes awry—like Maiko and Nate’s did.

It was quite an adventure, Nate remarked.

These weary and cautious travelers advise making your own travel arrangements with hotels, flights, and other accommodations. Future vacation packages are being avoided by Maiko and Nate.

It was the worst vacation experience they had ever had, he added, adding that this was the only occasion they had ever ordered a package.

Read more at News Intercept:

Costco Membership’s 9 Free Perks

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