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JBean

Group booking stress

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Yes! Glad to hear someone else having success with Expedia. I just wanted to add one thing: my FI and I used Expedia and Travelocity to book our own trip (Expedia for part of the flights, and Travelocity for the 10 days we'll be staying at Dreams, as we're flying from Calgary to Cabo, Cabo to San Diego and San Fran back to Calgary - it was impossible to book as a package) and our WC asked for our booking number right away, so she could upgrade us from our Junior Suite to the Honeymoon Suite. I have found my WC and hotel to be super-accommodating, so never forget to ASK FOR UPGRADES!!! The worst that they can say is no :)
 

Originally Posted by JBean View Post

We had the exact same experience and we've decided to have everyone book on their own. Most people are happy with this, as they want to search for the best rate anyways. 

 

We booked through Expedia yesterday and saved $1000 over the Westjet "group rate". We even got an upgraded room and $250 spa credit. Expedia seems was definitely the way to go for us.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by proti007 View Post

I am going through a very similar experience:

 

Our guests are flying out of three different hub destinations (Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto) and received quotes from both Air Canada and Westjet in October. The rates from both carriers were quite high, much higher than a site like Expedia/Travelocity, and only a $100-$150 difference between their listed rates. The problem that we had (and continue to have!) is that our resort (Dreams Los Cabos) has placed an "early booking bonus" on the package. Well, one would think that this saves money (which it does, about $300 per package) but required quests to pay in full by January 7th. We declined the rate, and said we would start shopping again in the new year. We've now received our new rates (which are dollar for dollar the same as we got in October) and there is a NEW EBB on there from our hotel (which would require our guests to pay in full by the end of February!). The rates that we were able to find on Expedia/Travelocity are between $250-$300 less than our group rate, so we have suggested that our guests go forward with that (as they would have to pay in full in 3 weeks if we went forward with the group booking). It has been a giant headache.

 

So to sum up, for us, we've decided to have our guests book on their own and find their own rates and deals, rather than locking them into a group rate. 


 


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Hey there! I had the SAME problems with trying to do group rates and ultimately found that Expedia had the best prices for our guests. I put detaied directions on our wedding website (www.marshall-ballantynewedding.com) and let the guests book themselves. We have had 46 guests book thus far with no difficulties. We would have gotten a free stay out of the group booking, but I felt bad knowing that there were better deals out there for our guests than what the group rate offered. It also allowed everyone to book as their budget allowed. Hope this helps!!
 

Originally Posted by JBean View Post

We are wanting to do a group booking through Westjet so that people are able to put down a deposit and have a few months to save for the rest, however, some people are starting to find cheaper rates on Expedia and may book through them - and then I'm worried we won't have enough people booking through the group booking and our rate will go up.

 

My MOH found a higher tier room AND a $250 spa credit package through expedia for $200 less than our group rate, on the same airline. Which means we'd be on the same flight - but she paid less than other guests AND gets the spa credit. It's frustrating. It seems group rates aren't so great at all. :(

 

I find it all very stressful. Is anyone else going through this? What did you do?

 

I guess our options are:

 

1) Let everyone fend for themselves and try to find the best rate they can - but that may mean less people come if they're not able to use the deposit system.

 

OR

 

2) Go through the group booking (which means Fi and I pay a little more too) so that people have the option of putting down a deposit, and hope people book that way.

 



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We thought about doing a group booking thing, but I didn't like the idea. What we are doing is we gave the info to book and some good sites to use and have our guests book themselves. However, for those of our guests who never travel and are therefore not very "travel smart," we gave them the option of giving us the money and having us book for them. I was worried because I wanted to make sure they were booking at the right Barcelo, in the riviera maya, and some of my family would have gotten it wrong!! So far we have about 10 people booked and we've booked 8 of them using our computer and their money!! I like the feeling of control and ease...lol

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Yes - we are doing that too. Except I screwed up. I was booking the trip for my mother-in-law to-be and I just assumed she was paying in full (and Fi forgot to tell me otherwise), but she only wanted to put the deposit down right now. 

 

WARNING TO EVERYONE - We called Expedia IMMEDIATELY after I pressed "submit" and tried to get them to reverse the charges so we could rebook with just the deposit. They REFUSED even though we're booking 30 people through them! So much for customer service. If we had gone directly through Westjet, at least they have a 24 hour policy to make changes or cancellations with no penalty. So, although we're saving some money with Expedia, you may pay for it in customer service.

 


 

Originally Posted by june11bride View Post

We thought about doing a group booking thing, but I didn't like the idea. What we are doing is we gave the info to book and some good sites to use and have our guests book themselves. However, for those of our guests who never travel and are therefore not very "travel smart," we gave them the option of giving us the money and having us book for them. I was worried because I wanted to make sure they were booking at the right Barcelo, in the riviera maya, and some of my family would have gotten it wrong!! So far we have about 10 people booked and we've booked 8 of them using our computer and their money!! I like the feeling of control and ease...lol



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I didn't even think you could pay a deposit only on Expedia. That's the whole point of the site: cheaper prices for PIF, and "no-frills" customer service. Expedia had a great sale on this weekend for our resort and we had 12 guests book this weekend alone! Awesome :)
 

Originally Posted by JBean View Post

Yes - we are doing that too. Except I screwed up. I was booking the trip for my mother-in-law to-be and I just assumed she was paying in full (and Fi forgot to tell me otherwise), but she only wanted to put the deposit down right now. 

 

WARNING TO EVERYONE - We called Expedia IMMEDIATELY after I pressed "submit" and tried to get them to reverse the charges so we could rebook with just the deposit. They REFUSED even though we're booking 30 people through them! So much for customer service. If we had gone directly through Westjet, at least they have a 24 hour policy to make changes or cancellations with no penalty. So, although we're saving some money with Expedia, you may pay for it in customer service.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by june11bride View Post

We thought about doing a group booking thing, but I didn't like the idea. What we are doing is we gave the info to book and some good sites to use and have our guests book themselves. However, for those of our guests who never travel and are therefore not very "travel smart," we gave them the option of giving us the money and having us book for them. I was worried because I wanted to make sure they were booking at the right Barcelo, in the riviera maya, and some of my family would have gotten it wrong!! So far we have about 10 people booked and we've booked 8 of them using our computer and their money!! I like the feeling of control and ease...lol


 


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Yes, when you pay it gives the option of "Split/Partial payment". 
 

Originally Posted by proti007 View Post

I didn't even think you could pay a deposit only on Expedia. That's the whole point of the site: cheaper prices for PIF, and "no-frills" customer service. Expedia had a great sale on this weekend for our resort and we had 12 guests book this weekend alone! Awesome :)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBean View Post

Yes - we are doing that too. Except I screwed up. I was booking the trip for my mother-in-law to-be and I just assumed she was paying in full (and Fi forgot to tell me otherwise), but she only wanted to put the deposit down right now. 

 

WARNING TO EVERYONE - We called Expedia IMMEDIATELY after I pressed "submit" and tried to get them to reverse the charges so we could rebook with just the deposit. They REFUSED even though we're booking 30 people through them! So much for customer service. If we had gone directly through Westjet, at least they have a 24 hour policy to make changes or cancellations with no penalty. So, although we're saving some money with Expedia, you may pay for it in customer service.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by june11bride View Post

We thought about doing a group booking thing, but I didn't like the idea. What we are doing is we gave the info to book and some good sites to use and have our guests book themselves. However, for those of our guests who never travel and are therefore not very "travel smart," we gave them the option of giving us the money and having us book for them. I was worried because I wanted to make sure they were booking at the right Barcelo, in the riviera maya, and some of my family would have gotten it wrong!! So far we have about 10 people booked and we've booked 8 of them using our computer and their money!! I like the feeling of control and ease...lol


 

 


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We had issues with Expedia when we booked for my FSIL wedding.  It was such a mess, but we were the only ones who went through Expedia, and now I feel horrible after knowing what she could have had if we had booked through her TA :(  We suck

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My MOH found that the resort was doing an on-line special if you booked through them, so I contacted my travel agent and she got the group rate re-contracted so that it was lower than what they were offering on-line.  If you have a good travel agent, they will make things happen!!

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Unfortunately all of the TA's I've spoken with (and there have been several) have told me that they cannot beat Expedia's rates, as the group booking quotes they are getting are coming directly from the package carrier (Westjet Vacations, Air Canada Vacations, etc). Hence pointless to make a group booking (in Canada, anyway). For booking your own individual trip, I would definitely use a TA!
 

Originally Posted by Tammy Host View Post

 you do know that most TA's can match expedia rates and sometimes even beat them...


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