Tag Archives: #travelwoes

One saga ends. @AmericanAir @RAM_Maroc @Iberiairlines

Arriving at the Tangier airport, I asked of the Iberia agent about my luggage.  She called the service desk.

“Yes, sir.  Your luggage is here in lost and found.”

And thus I was united with my luggage, which had apparently arrived on our around May 23, three days later than I did.

Of course, no one from the airport called the hotel, even though they knew where I was staying.  And no one from the hotel seemed to be able to find the luggage either, or knew who to call at the airport.

[An update at 6 p.m. Madrid time on Tuesday: as of this moment, according to the screen captures on my computer, Iberia is still showing my luggage as lost with a WorldTracer on it.  No one at TNG scanned a bar code, or even asked me to sign anything.  No wonder this system is a mess.]

Reunited. At the end of the journey.

I have my luggage.  Now I I have fresh clothes, thanks be to god.  And all my toiletries.

Next: doing battle with the airlines for reimbursement, and doing battle with the private insurance company to gain restitution as well.

Here are the original posts, in chronological order:

@AmericanAir, @RAM_Maroc, the plot thickens

The plot thickens.

No one wants responsibility for even investigating my luggage loss.

American Airlines: “We’re sorry to hear you’re still separated. As Royal Air Maroc was the final carrier, please continue working with them directly.”  Apparently the protocol is that the final carrier manages the investigation.

Royal Air Maroc:

And of course Iberia had nothing to do with this mess. From an email to a contact at AA, some local context:

“We arrived TNG at 11 p.m.  This is a tiny two-gate airport, and two jets arrived at the same time.At least six people on the AT flight arrived without luggage.  We were all escorted to the tiny office of Iberia, the largest carrier here, who apparently services the AT luggage problems.”

That seems to be why the irregularity report was entered that way.

Current status:

  • Royal Air Maroc says to talk to Iberia.
  • American Airlines says to talk to Royal Air Maroc.
  • Iberia Airlines is out of the loop, and hasn’t responded at all to the irregularity report filed with them more than a week ago.

Who is going to take responsibility and pony up the compensation I’m due?

@AmericanAir, an update

Ok, now I’m peeved.

@AmericanAir replied to my tweet with “We’re sorry to hear you’re still separated. As Royal Air Maroc was the final carrier, please continue working with them directly.”

Please see my original posting.

The problem is — Royal Air Maroc has no record of the luggage in their system.  No one has a baggage claim number. NO ONE!

So until @AmericanAir can prove that they sent my luggage on to Royal Air Maroc, then @AmericanAir is in my view responsible for my luggage.

Embassy Suites Westport/Plaza

I usually don’t blog about my hotel stays, but this particular stay has been frustrating. I stayed at this hotel for three nights this week.

My usual writing here is happy and hopeful. Today, however, is a tale of semi-woe.

I’m a Diamond member of Hilton Honors. I travel enough that I can tell when hotel staff is not paying attention, or management apparently doesn’t care.

None of these transgressions are major, but taken together, they indicate that something is wrong at the Embassy Suites near Westport and The Plaza in Kansas City.

While the hotel is showing weary signs of needing a makeover in general, the details were what got me this time:

  • A four millimeter chip in the top of a drinking cup, and a crack running another three centimeters down the side of the cup. Had I not spotted this, I would have messed up and bloodied my face.
  • Sheer curtains falling off the track where they are mounted, and falling apart at the base of the hem. Not just fraying, but literally falling apart.
  • A sink where the faucet leaks all over the flat surface where it’s mounted.
  • A bedside lamp that is shorting out.
  • Door handles literally falling apart on the armoire.
  • Obvious signs of rusty leakage on the ceiling by the bedroom window.
  • The single worst shower-head I’ve seen and felt in many years of being a loyal Hilton customer.

I’m on the premium floor, with ‘upgraded coffee amenities.’ On my second morning, I found that the K-cups were only flavored coffee or decaf. The two pods of black coffee I had used the previous morning had been replaced with decaf.

At least the bed was the usual Hilton-brand comfy, the pillows firm, the iron functioning. The responses to my frustrations (which I did share without making a scene) were swift, polite, and mollifying. Let me make that final point clearly: staff was apologetic and doing what they could on Christmas Day, and the day after, to fix the little details.

But my point is: these details matter in a higher-end Hilton property, and I should not have had any cause to even speak with hotel staff in the first place, had the details been tended to.

I had planned to stay here again next week, but I shan’t. Now I understand the favorable booking rates at this location.

An update on Wednesday evening:

The lamp, the fraying curtain, the faucet — all were fixed today.

But now the dust-ruffle on the bed is all ajar and sideways, and the cleaning crew left a long, very dark black hair on the floor of the shower room. It’s certainly not mine. It was stuck to the floor, so it got mopped over today.

My point here is not that I can be finicky, because lord knows I can, but that details matter, and I’m staying in what is supposed to be a higher-end hotel in the Hilton brand-list. Were I at Motel 6, I wouldn’t even be expecting things to be satisfactory at the level I do here. But brand loyalty and nearly $200 a night ought to be worth something!

NYC18: Airbnb woes

Arriving on Tuesday with just minutes to spare before my show’s curtain time, I listened without much worry as my landlord told me that the City of New York had that very day sent him notice that he was in violation of NYC Airbnb laws.

He asked me, were I to be contacted at the property by city officials, to say that I was staying with him, since that’s allowable.

“No problem” said I.

On Wednesday evening, during my visit to see My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center, I got a text: “Jeffrey, the City notified me today that I must cease operations and all guests must be out by 2 p.m. tomorrow.”  He went on to offer me a property in Chelsea at 9th and 24th, or a full refund.

After the show, I got on my Hilton app and booked myself five nights at the New York Hilton on 6th at 53rd.  And then I took a taxi back to my rental, packed up my belongings with haste (this is the first time I’ve ever felt like I was in a scene from a movie, throwing my belongings into a suitcase), hailed a cab, and made my way to the Hilton.

The landlord was of course unhappy with the situation.  He’s lost some of his livelihood in this NYC crackdown on unlicensed hoteliers.

And Airbnb had a full refund issued prior to midnight, plus a $100 credit for a stay within the next year.

All is well that ends well, except for my loss of sleep time last evening (crawling into bed at 2 a.m. today), and my lack of proximity to those great restaurants in Hell’s Kitchen!  All things being equal, I’d rather stay in Hell’s Kitchen than in a soulless hotel.

Oh . . . as a Hilton gold member, I get free breakfast, so that’s a perk too.

Other positive take-aways: I had planned so many meals with others this trip that I had not bought provisions for the apartment, leaving me less to carry.  The Hilton bed is so much more comfortable than that in the apartment, and the daily ablutions are so much easier in a Hilton bathroom. I get more Hilton points and a better shot at diamond status for 2019.  And I have now learned how quickly I can throw belongings in a suitcase and leave!