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Picture this: you book a hotel in advance and upon the day of arrival, you discover-it's not there. This travel nightmare is exactly what happened to Lorne Johnson.
Johnson booked a week's stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Oneonta, New York, from his home in Fremont, California, for him and his son. He paid for the stay with cash and points.
After receiving a confirmation text from the Holiday Inn the day before, and driving from New York City, Johnson and his son arrived in the evening to discover the Holiday Inn was no longer there.
The words, "Quality Inn," were on the front of the building, so it seemed the hotel was under new ownership."I was wondering if my navigation system took me to the wrong address,'' Johnson said told ABC7 News. "It was the correct address. It just wasn't Holiday Inn."
Johnson went inside the Quality Inn property and gave his name to the receptionist, and even though he had proof of booking and payment, they couldn't find his reservation. It hadn't been transferred over with the sale of the property.Quality Inn offered Johnson a room for $129 per night, which totaled $1,000 for the entire stay. Johnson agreed to pay for the room, which ended up costing him three times the amount he had originally booked the room under the Holiday Inn ownership.Busy with his son's baseball tournament during the week, Johnson didn't contact Holiday Inn or Quality Inn until he returned home. Once he did, both refused to refund him his money. So he contacted 7 On Your Side, a segment of ABC7 News that attempts to help people resolve issues with companies.7 On Your Side contacted both hotel companies. Holiday Inn apologized for not contacting Johnson and refunded his money and points.
While Choice Hotels, the parent company of Quality Inn, said it was the responsibility of the Holiday Inn to contact Johnson and re-accommodate him, they eventually fully refunded Johnson the $1,000 he paid for his room.
Johnson never expected two refunds, so it made for a nice ending to his travel nightmare.
Alex Temblador is an award-winning travel writer and the award-winning author of Secrets of the Casa Rosada, Half...
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