Wat a relief! Xmas trip finally booked

Nov 15th, 2006, 07:06 PM
  #1  
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Wat a relief! Xmas trip finally booked

Finally!!

I am officially done checking in with airline web sites, hoping desparately that I will find 4 seats (any four seats...two to a flight would be fine even!).

Got Honolulu to BKK via Narita on All Nippon Air, I like them; then BKK to Siem Reap and return on Bangkok Airways, then Bkk to Hong Kong (Gulf Air, who are they?) and home to Honolulu, again on ANA.

All hotels are also booked. One thing that bothered me though- the Oriental Bangkok has already charged my credit card for two room nights. It would have been nice if they had warned me...I was planning to put it on a different card once I got there.

Then, the Peninsula just sent me an email. Not only did they confirm a balcony room, (I booked grand deluxe), but they want me to fill out a lengthy charge authorization, and FAX it with a copy of the front and back of my credit card to the Hotel by this weekend.

Once received, they will immediately charge a non-refundable $2100+ for our two rooms/three nights over New Year's. I really don't like having to Fax all this, both for the cost and for the security issues.

Salisbury Y in Hong Kong has also charged me in advance without noting it.

I never use booking sites for hotel rooms, as I hate paying in full in advance, but these hotels went ahead and did it without even warning me!!

Now I'll need to take the credit card statements with me to make sure I get the correct credits once there.....

Oh well. It has been such a chore getting tickets for this trip that I'm just glad to have everything locked in.
lcuy is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 07:55 PM
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Gulf Air is the national airline of Bahrain. In recent years, both the airline and the airport has been dwarfed by nearby Emirates of Dubai.

They use the Airbus 340 for BKK-HKG, painted in a beautiful golden color. Older photos show no personal video screens in coach, but it's a short flight.

As for the YMCA Salisbury, if you use the direct link from their site, this is what I found in the bottom of the page when you choose the room type:

One night room rental will be debited if reservation is guaranteed by credit card or one night room rental will be forfeited if advance deposit received, in the event of guest not showing up as scheduled and even reservation is canceled on same day. Cancellation will only be accepted in writing with at least 72 hours advance if reservation is guarantee.

So, if they immediately charge your card for one night, they're following the policy.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 08:45 PM
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You're right rkkwan (and I missed that), but they charged me the full amount for both rooms, two nights.

It isn't all that big a deal, just I feel these hotels are a bit cheeky billing everything upfront. I know it is the holiday season, but I hate paying 6 weeks before I arrive.

My DH on the other hand, says I should be happy we'll come home without any money due on our credit cards in January. Ha! food, shopping, spas?
lcuy is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 09:00 PM
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Lucy, you're really going! How exciting...glad that you finally booked your airline txs...ouch on all those hotels that have already charged your credit card without informing you. When we booked at the Marriott Resort in BKK last year between Xmas and New Year's, not only were we charged full price for our four nights there, but the hotel informed us that our two rooms were totally non-refundable should we cancel 2 or 4 weeks prior (I forget which now) due to the major holiday week...but at least there and at the Angkor Wat Resort, unlike you, we paid at the time of check-out, and not six weeks in advance as you've had to.

How customary is this practice of being charged in full in advance...is this because it is a major holiday week...or because you booked all your hotels through a booking site that has such a policy?

I am excited for you and your family with your upcoming trip!

Terry
terryr is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 09:11 PM
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lucy
you got all reservations so early...I'm impressed and you are probably less stressed.

Now what are you going to do, work?lol

You can always get back at the Oriental by making new resies under the card you want to charge then cancel the one they did charge and have them credit.....now that you have so much time on your hands that is

Glad it all worked out for you!!

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 09:29 PM
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lucy, good for you. i knew you could do it.

btw, where did you pick up the term "cheeky", and what does it mean to you?

ht, 24 should be easy?
kuranosuke is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 10:40 PM
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Work?? What do you call all this lurking I've been doing on the airline and hotels websites? The only saving grace is that much of my RE work is also done online, so I was searching for client stuff at the same time!!

It did get to the point where I shifted my computer screen so my employees couldn't see me ALWAYS on Bangkok Airways!!

The hotels got me under their control, since they are basically sold out over our days in Bangkok (Dec 23-25, and Dec 31-Jan 3). That's what I get for going fancy. ;-)

HI Terry! What are you doing up so late or is it early, in Boston? Yes I'm very excited that we are now actually going, instead of it being a "goal". I have NEVER had such difficulty booking a trip. For a while I was really getting nervous that I'd have to inform the DH and DDs that we'd be going to Maui for Christmas instead! (And I even figured out how was going to tell them: "Cambodia? I told you we were going camping"

All my bookings were done on the hotels' own websites- I still think I got the best rooms and nightly rates, but I think they've taken this "charge em in advance" idea from Sawadee.com and the others.

HT- We're spending 4 nights at the Hotel de la Paix, and two at Prince d'Angkor. That is the one you and L stayed at, isn't it? The photos on the website look very nice, and the prices are really reasonable.

K- I spent several summers in England as a teenager. I think of cheeky as bold or nervy. My sister and I really liked the word, and as well as "brilliant", and "bloody twit".

lcuy is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 01:21 AM
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Lucy, glad to hear you are all set for your trip. I have faxed credit card information in the past - supposedly it is more secure than e-mail, provided it doesn't get into the wrong hands at the other end.
Craig is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 02:35 AM
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I really like Gulf Air, the BKK to Hong Kong flight arkkwan has said is wide body Airbus A 340, that's 2x3x2 in Coach, 2x2x2 in Business.
Multi-national cabin crews I have found great, food is good, should now be seatback TV's and telephones in all seats including coach.
It's about 2 hrs 50 mins so you will get a nice meal.
Put on you most charming smile at check in and also check on the counter for any upgrade offers, you never know your luck !
These days they are not as 'famous' as Emirates but they were the 'original' airline of the Gulf and a good history.
JamesA is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 02:36 AM
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Sorry typo: Coach is 2 x 4 x 2 so if 4 of you try and get 2 sets on the 2 seats eaither side instead of 4 together in the middle.
JamesA is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 03:51 AM
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Great to hear from you, Lucy. Now that all this booking is behind you, you can really concentrate on planning your time in SEA. I'd be really interested in hearing about your time at the Oriental, the Pen, and Salisbury Y! Also, please let Ponheary and Dara know that our family sends our warmest wishes to them!

Terry
terryr is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 04:11 AM
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Yes, as you noticed, I can be a night owl...a bad habit of mine picked up last year when our daughter was teaching in Thailand for the year... I discovered that I could be "talking" to her in real time by staying up to 1 AM and reading her email correspondences to us, which she did during her lunch break...my internal clock has never been the same since (lol)! Off to work now...
terryr is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 04:25 AM
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Lucy
Good for you on getting your trip all finalized. Wish I were going also... We'll be home for Christmas, but then making a trip to Vegas immediately after New Years. It's not quite the same as BKK (lol) but will have to do for now!

Have a wonderful time.

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 08:08 AM
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lucy:

Yes,the Prince d Ankgor is where we stayed. Really nice place but might be a letdown after the 5 star de la Paix , we loved it and Ponheary's price to us $65.00 us per night was a bargain! Are you using her to get your hotels? Eat at the Indochine Restaurant across the street and to the left. Get a table on the second floor so you can see the street traffic walking by.

Take a look at their "genuine gemstones" in the lobby jewelery/convenience store. It's a hoot!

I love "bloody twit" brilliant!

k-might be time to lay low, already 5 weeks up so feeling unlucky about this one.DT always has the d.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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i also fax credit card info as it's supposed to be one of the safest ways to send your credit card info!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 01:34 PM
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Lucy, glad you got this out of the way. This is really stressful, especially if you have limited time and budget. Until this coming trip, I've never had to plan one before.

To All: NEVER send your credit card info via email. 1. Your email goes through multiple computers before it reaches its destination. In addition, the email might be stored for years. 2. Most emails are NOT encrypted. If someone captures your email, he/she has your credit card info and can easily use it. Many e-tailers only require credit card # and card expiration date.

j_4tay is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 02:30 PM
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Just for interest two balcony rooms at the Peninsula for 3 nights would have cost $1808 with all taxes/service charges. You are paying $2100 plus 17.7% = $2472. But of course you may not have got the rooms if the booking agent Sawadee or one of the others can't get them.
Scotters is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 03:17 PM
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Actually, we're paying 300 a night + taxes, or 702 a night for two rooms. $2100 (roughly) total.

Plus, I'm actually supposed to have Grand Deluxe rooms. I have the confirmation that's what I got for $300/night, but their request for the autorization form stated Balcony. I'll be letting them know before my card gets charged.



lcuy is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 03:52 PM
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Yes if you get a balcany room that is a good deal. When you said $2100+ I took it as taxes etc were extra. Sorry about that.
Scotters is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 04:54 PM
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Lucy...We'll have to definitely get together in BK. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  

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