It was supposed to be an exciting trip for Gary Glass and his family: a three-day stay in Jamaica that he had booked through a travel agency.
“I went to Jamaica … for my father’s son’s wedding,” Glass said.
But when he arrived at the hotel, he was told that there had been a change in his booking.
“They told me that the room I originally booked, which was an ocean view room, would be downgraded to a garden view room,” he said.
The invoice provided by Glass shows that he paid $1,008 for a three-day stay in a junior suite overlooking the beach.
At checkout, Glasse said he received a form offering to refund the price difference “in the room category for three nights… as a gesture of goodwill.”
Glasse said he didn’t know how much money he would get back, but went ahead and signed the form.
He said he spent the next months trying to get a refund. So he turned to NBC6 Responds for help.
NBC6 Responds contacted the hotel and travel agency that Glasse used to book his trip.
“Shortly after my initial conversation with you, I got a call from a travel agent saying they would offer me a refund,” he said.
Glasse added that he received a $54 check in the mail for the difference in the room rate. He said the hotel also offered him two free nights for three people and a free round trip transfer.
“I’m definitely grateful for all the help you’ve provided,” he said.
Clint Henderson, editor-in-chief of the popular travel site The Points Guy, shared some tips.
“You really have to ask for what you want,” Henderson said. “If a good hotel belittles you, transfers you to another hotel or refuses you entry, it is extremely important to fight for your rights with the hotel chain. Often the big brands will take care of you, especially if it’s their fault.”
Henderson said hotels often offer compensation to guests in situations like this. But it is important to keep a record of the difference in the price of the rooms and get a written offer for a refund with a specific amount.
He also said that you should be mindful of any additional costs incurred due to travel disruptions.
“Whether it’s food, Uber or Lyft rides, car rentals, hotels, or other flights, make sure you have digital copies or paper receipts of all those expenses as a backup,” Henderson said.
The Insurance Information Institute reports that most travel insurance policies do not cover number changes, but do provide protection against things like flight delays or cancellations.
You can also get a premium credit card, which includes travel cancellation insurance and can serve as an extra layer of protection.