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Help!!!!!! Leaving for Egypt in 9 days with Global Gate Vacations and still no travel documents.

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We have booked a tour to Egypt with Global Gate vacations and are scheduled to leave in 9 days. We still have received no travel documents from the travel agency. I have confirmed our flights to Cairo on Lufthansa and gotten our seat assignments so I know we have airline reservations but I have not gotten anything except emails from Global Gate. I am concerned because we have no hotel vouchers, cruise vouchers, airline tickets for flights within Egypt, luggage tags or itinerary. Has anyone else ever had this problem with a travel agency. Any suggestions??? Thanks for any help or info.

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    No, I haven't traveled with Global Gate but when I've traveled with a group I've had my tickets and itinerary about three weeks before the departure date.

    You say you get nothing but e-mails, but not what they've written. Did they give you a date to expect the documents?

    I understand your concern and hope your documents arrive soon. Have you called the company? I'd call and keep calling until I got answer.
    It might be that the airlines haven't issued the tickets yet but the agency should tell you that and when to expect them.

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    It's not unusual these days, not to receive actual hotel, cruise, airline or other vouchers until in-country. All the things you might forget to pack and bring with you.

    You should have this confirmed to you by Global Gate, which I assume you've inquired about thru the various emails.

    Apparently you've booked your flights directly so have that informmation - e-tickets. That's about it, till you land in Cairo.

    Your meet/greet person on arrival at the airport should provide a briefing and if he/she will be escorting you around Cairo on tours, transferring you to airports for checkin, handle these while under their care - all other confirmations/vouchers will be provided once you're in Egypt.

    Reconfirm with your agent that this is what they will be doing or if they have some other procedure.

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    I traveled with OAT to Egypt in late 2007. Approximately three weeks before the departure date I received a booklet with the hotel contact information, the trip itinerary and other group members names, my air tickets to Cairo and luggage tags.

    We didn't receive vouchers for the hotels, the boat cruise or the incountry air travel. Our group leader gave us the tickets before our flights.

    I received a list from OAT of what to expect and when to expect it long before I actually got the booklet, tickets, luggage tags, etc.

    Even when you have e-tickets you should receive an itinerary and hotel and cruise contact information before leaving to give to your family.

    I hope you've heard something from Global Gate by now.

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    Yikes!!! We also booked with Global Gate vacations. Our trip is in less than two weeks and we have not received anything either (other than our flights).

    It would be nice to know where we will be staying or which boat we will be taking.

    My travel agent is bugging them for more info. Please let me know what happens to you (cheriegal) with regards to your documents.

    Thanks.

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    I have talked to Global Gate's rep - Richard - and he has been less than helpful. He has e-mailed me the hotels, and e tickets for our flights over and back. I know we have flights with United and Lufthansa to Cairo because I got seat assignments from the airlineswhen the tickets were first booked. I have traveled with GCT, Ritz and Delta Dream vacations- among others - and always got a packet of info about 2 weeks before the trip. The only info I can get from Global Gate is by e-mail. and that is after repeated requests and phone calls. When I first booked the tour he told me would mail me all the documents 2 weeks before the tour.

    I talked to Gilbert from Affordable Tours because I saw that they sell Global Gate and thought he might have some insight - even though I didn't book through them I booked directly with GG. He (Gilber)was very nice and said he had never had any complaints about them but that they didn't sell a lot of their tours either. He told me that the owner was a man named Sharif and that he had never heard or talked to "Richard". He also told me he understood my concern about having received nothing from GG and said he would be concerned. He thought it very odd that I had not received any documents from them.

    I called GG back and got Richard and asked to speak to Sharif - he said he was out of the office. When I persisted that I needed to speak with him I was told he is out of the country and won't return until Monday . I told Richard of my conversation with Gilbert from Affordable Tours and Richard got very defensive. He told me he would email me the embarkation card from Sonesta Cruise Lines and send me an email of our itinerary and hotel info. He said we will get our tickets for the flights within Egypt from the local tour company when we arrive. He also told me I had been "nothing but trouble and that I didn't trust him". He says I will have the best trip of my life and will owe him an apology when I return. He then told me not to call him again.

    I looked on Trip Advisor and found some very bad reviews from people who had traveled with Global Gate. I didn't realize Trip Advisor had reviews on tour companies and I didn't find this info until a few days ago when I started to get concerned about not receiving any documents.

    I intend to call back tomorrow and attempt to speak to Sharif but at this point I don't have high hopes. I am hopeful that I can get more information from Sharif and that all this works out - since we are scheduled to leave on Feb 24th. We also called the BBB in DC and they say they have no bad reports on Global Gate - which is strange because people on Trip Advisor say they have reported them. If anyone has any suggestions - I'd love to hear them. Thanks for all you input

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    Oh - by the way - to the poster who has also booked with Global Gate - did you book directly with them or through another agency/. Just curious if you've had any dealings with Richard.

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    We are now 8 days away from our Egypt tour and still no documents/emails from Global Gate.

    I booked the tour through my local travel agent. I'm not sure if she spoke with Richard, but I will check with her. She has had a difficult time with them as well with promises of documents in the mail and "lost" emails.

    I'm hoping for the best.

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    I called Global Gate and asked to speak to Sharif - the owner. I briefly described the problems we have had and told hime that Richard had been very rude and told me not to call him again. Sharif was very nice and apologized for Richard's behavior and said he would take care of it. He has emailed me our embarkation card for the Sonesta St George cruise that we are booked on and gave me his personal cell phone and personal e-mail. He promises that our trip will be wonderful and asked that I call him when I return. I feel much better after speaking with Sharif and having the cruise card info. I will definitely post a trip report when we return. I want to thank Debbie Senters for offering to contact Sharif for us. We have hired her to take us shopping while we are in Cairo and she has been very helpful with our trip planning. I found her here on the Fodor's board.

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    Shopping!! Be sure to report back on that experience. I bought some nice pants and a t-shirt at a store called Mobaco Cottons, made in Egypt, very good quality, priced about the same as comparable pants/shirts here.

    I'm glad that you were able to speak to Sharif and get your embarkation card. Richard needs to get another job -- one that doesn't require customer service.

    Have a wonderful time -- I'll be watching for your report.

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    I'm glad that you were able to get in touch with Sharif and that he was able to smooth things out for you.

    I wish things were going as well for my trip. My travel agent has been dealing with Richard as well. He has been extremely difficult with her.

    Earlier this week she asked that the documents be mailed. She also requested an email of the itinerary. Richard said that he would only mail the documents and that email was too time consuming for him.

    It is now 5 days before we leave home and still no documents. Richard gave my travel agent a tracking number but the package was "missent" according to the USPS website. He still refuses to email us our itinerary.

    We are desperate and tearfully considering cancelling our dream trip. How could things go so wrong before we have even left home? We don't know what to do at this point.

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    I am also booked for a Egyptian vacation upcoming in April with Global Gate. I am hoping that you are back from your trip, that is was enjoyable and special and that can you give me some insights (and hopefully a good report) on Global Gates services. We are scheduled for three nights in Cairo at the Meredien Pyramind, three nights on the Sonesta Sun Goddess nile cruise and then one more night back in Cairo. I have never been to Egypt, or that part of the world. Of course, I am looking forward to it with great anticipation, but am very ignorant or all customs, obtaining a visa, use of money, must see attractions,etc. Hoping that the guides at Global Gates are competent. Your suggestions are most welcome and appreciated.

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    I booked an "Egypt & Jordan In Depth" trip with Global Gate in June, 2007 for the time period of 2/21/08 thru 3/12/08. We just returned from our WONDERFUL trip and want to comment on our experience with Global Gate and their affiliates.
    I initially booked my reservation with Sameh who was wonderful in helping me decide what specific plans would be the best for us. I had contact with him several times by email and he was very responsive in helping me. I also had email contact with Richard who was also responsive in answering my questions.
    Unlike other trips we have taken, we did not receive a "package" through the US postal service but did receive all the information through email. We received them about 10 days prior to our trip. Once we arrived in Cairo, our Cairo agent met us and had the same documentation that was sent to us from Global Gate. They just verified the trip schedule to make sure all the information was as scheduled.
    The agents, drivers and guides in both Egypt and Jordan were very professional, friendly and courteous. Without them leading us through their countries it would have been very difficult for us to navigate. Most Egyptians and Jordians speak English but many of the signs are only in their language.
    Our experience was an exceptional one and far exceeded what we expected. I contribute this success to Global Gate and their contacts in each of the countries. I will definitely use Global Gate for future vacations because of their outstanding service.
    One must remember that when traveling at this time of year, you can experience airline delays that are out of the control of your booking agent. We always make sure we leave at least 1 to 2 days early to ensure we are on time in case of an airline delay.
    I hope this helps anyone who is considering using Global Gate. I am very satisfied with their service.
    Joyce R

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    As a honeymoon, my wife and I purchased the “Grand Tour of Egypt” vacation package as well as an additional 2 night extension to Petra, Jordan for 2 people totaling $8750 USD from Global Gate Vacations (Herndon, Virginia, USA). We believe that substantial portions of itinerary promised by Global Gate Vacations were never delivered and fraud was committed despite timely and full payment.

    Below is an itemized list of the non-authorized changes made to our itinerary by Global Gate Vacations and their Egyptian travel agent counterpart Ancient Royal Tours.
    (1) The original itinerary promised 3 days and 2 nights in Sharm El Sheikh. Upon our arrival to Egypt we were given a new itinerary with only 2 nights and 1 day in Sharm El Sheikh.

    a. During our trip, with only 12 hours of notice given, we were informed by the local Global Gate / Ancient Royal Tours Luxor contact (Ibrahim) that one day in Sharm El Sheikh was changed to an extra day in Luxor. According to our local Global Gate / Ancient Royal Tours contact, Ibrahim, the travel agency was unable to secure a morning or early afternoon flight to Sharm El Sheikh as promised and detailed on our itinerary. This left us with a day spent in Luxor rather than Sharm El Sheik, which was not agreed upon on the original itinerary.

    b. We inquired with our local travel agent and he told us “there are no flights from Luxor to Sharm El Sheikh before 8pm” and since we had no place to go, we would have to check into a Luxor hotel to spend the day instead of heading to the airport. Later, when we inquired directly with Egypt Air, we learned that 9 flights were capable of getting us to Sharm earlier that day. This is different than what our travel agent had told us, and different than what the original itinerary had stated from Global Gate Vacations. We believe that the local Global Gate agent lied to us in an attempt to avoid a potentially more costly early morning flight, or even worse, hide the fact that no flight was ever booked ahead of time relegating us to last minute stand-by status on a late night flight (despite having booked the trip 3 months earlier). This cost us one day in Sharm El Sheikh.
    (2) Global Gate / Ancient Royal Tours never booked a hotel room for Sharm El Sheikh leaving us with no place to stay upon arrival.

    a. When we finally arrived to Sharm El Sheik at 21:00 after having lost a day that was promised on our itinerary, we were stunned to learn our promised hotel (Movenpick Jolie Ville) had no vacancy. We spoke directly to the hotel manager who informed us Global Gate / Ancient Travel never made a booking for us . After 2 hours of sitting in the hotel lobby with our luggage and my direct dealings with the hotel staff, a room awaiting repairs was made available to us out of pity on the hotel’s behalf ( at that time it was already 23:00 and we had no place to sleep that evening). The local Global Gate / Ancient Travel agent, Yasser was useless and the room was acquired through my direct dealings with the hotel. The room, unfortunately, was only for one night and we were left to find accommodation for the next night. The Movenpick agent informed us that the odds of finding a room in Sharm on such short notice were slim due to the demand of high season. The stress of not knowing where we would be staying for the next night ruined the atmosphere for the next day in Sharm El Sheikh.

    (3) Because of no vacancy in Sharm El Sheikh, we were required to waste our only day in Sharm El Sheikh trying to book a hotel room for ourselves at a different resort. Finding a room, as well as checking out of the Movenpick hotel, packing up our belongings, transferring to a different hotel, checking in, and settling in wasted the majority of our only free day.

    a. Hotel staff kindly asked us to pack our bags and check out of the Sharm El Sheikh Movenpick Jolie Ville, which we did at 1 pm. We again sat in the hotel lobby of the Movenpick because our Global Gate / Ancient Travel Agent could not find accommodation for another 2 hours. Eventually, only after I insisted, a room became available at the Sharm El Sheikh “Intercontinental” resort. We were transferred to there and checked in around 15:00 and learned that the resort was the “Continental” not the “Intercontinental”. However, since we had no other place to stay, we did not object. Due to the ridiculous uncertainty of where we were supposed to be spending each night, our remaining one true day in the beach resort of Sharm was wasted sitting in hotel lobbies and transfers instead of sitting on the beach. We regret ever visiting Sharm El Sheikh. At this point of our trip, poor planning on behalf of Global Gate / Ancient Royal Tours required us to check into/out of 4 hotels in less than a 36 hour time span.

    b. Our travel agent in Sharm, Yasser, repeatedly lied to us regarding our dismal time in Sharm. At one point, he asked us to stop talking to the Movenpick hotel staff because “they do not know what they are talking about” and this is “his world”. He repeatedly urged us to disregard the hotel’s request that we immediately check out, and urged us to leave our luggage and valuables in the room while he “took care of the problem”. After several hours of watching heated discussion between Yasser and the Movenpick staff in Arabic, we asked that all discussion take place in English, not Arabic, so that we can understand the problems regarding our accommodation. Yasser refused to speak to the hotel agents in English knowing that we did not understand Arabic in an effort to conceal the real problem. Only through the benevolence of the hotel staff, were we actually informed that we had no booking and it was because Global Gate / Ancient Royal Tours never made a booking.

    (4) The transfer from Egypt to Jordan was completely misrepresented by Global Gate / Ancient Royal Tours. There was no “meet and assist” upon transfer for the 13 hour excursion until arriving in Jordan leaving us extremely vulnerable in a hostile environment.

    a. After awakening in the Continental Resort in Sharm, we had to quickly check out at 9:30 am to begin our “few hours” transfer to the next leg of our trip to Petra Jordan. Our Global Gate / Ancient Tours agent informed us of a 2 hour drive from Sharm to Nuweiba, Egypt where we would catch the 1 hour high-speed ferry to Aqaba, Jordan followed by a few hour drive to Petra. Rather than “transfer, meet and assist” as promised, we were simply abandoned at the port of Nuweiba by our non-English speaking taxi driver. Only after spending 4 hours at the port without promised “meeting and assisting and transfers” did we figure out that the ferry was running 4 hours late. At the Ferry terminal, no one spoke English, there were no English signs, and we were often harassed by locals. This was not a “tourist” ferry. There were no working toilets and the putrid conditions of the terminal were riddled with millions of flies. We arrived to Aqaba at 9 pm, much different than the scheduled time of 3pm. We did not arrive to Petra until nearly midnight on April 14, 2008. The travel agent who was awaiting our arrival in Aqaba was furious because he was told by Global Gate / Ancient Royal Tours that we were supposed to arrive at noon and had been waiting 9 hours. Overall, it took us 13 hours to reach Petra – much different than the high speed ferry was billed. Once again, an entire day of our trip was wasted – this time sitting in a disgusting third world ferry station getting bitten by flies and getting sexually harassed by Arab men – so that our travel agent could save extra money.


    (5) Our original itinerary included two nights in Petra, Jordan. A Change was made from our itinerary from two nights in Petra, Jordan to one night in Petra and another in Amman, Jordan.

    a. Despite having made this change to our itinerary prior to departing, we were forced to spend a night in Amman Jordan rather than two nights in Petra as we requested and paid for.

    We are experienced travelers who travel abroad regularly and typically do not whine or complain and understand the difficulties associated with travelling in lesser-privileged countries such as Jordan and Egypt. We feel, however, that the aforementioned issues are not matters of unfortunate coincidence but calculated decisions made by Global Gate / Ancient Royal Tours as a result of poor planning, or even worse, to save money.
    We paid a premium for an itinerary that was agreed upon by the Global Gate Vacations and my family prior to departure, and the items we paid for were substituted resulting in a vacation experience that failed to meet the expectations. We feel the business transaction with Global Gate Vacations is fraudulent, as promised items were not delivered.

    I would strongly avoid any business interactions with Golden Gate Travel. We contacted them upon returning home and never got a response.

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    I might be able to make some explanation for some of the issues you had, but I'm perplexed - Did you take this holiday in 2008? And we are now hearing about it 4 years later? Not exactly a timely report. Hard to know exactly what might have been happening then in 2008.

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