Booking travel deals online
Travelzoo? Groupon? Priceline? Hotwire? Expedia? Travelocity? I, like many of you, have used one or many of these travel booking sites (or something similar). There is always a question of legitimacy when some deals are too good to be true, or the concern of shelling large amounts when booking or making an online purchase. This is not an endorsement to use or not use any of these sites. However, I can tell you that I’ve used all of these sites and have found them reliable and easy to work with whenever there was an issue or a dispute.
The road to Maldives – Travelzoo booking
What a crazy week! Nancy and I just got back from our very first trip, our very first flight since the news of the pandemic broke out back in March. We took our first flight at the end of September, and came back home not knowing we’d be booking another big epic trip.
56 of us booked an epic trip to the Maldives
Just a day after coming back from our trip to Texas, on September 30th, my buddy, Drew, informed me that the great deal to the Maldives that I missed a few weeks ago, well, the deal magically came back. I frantically alerted my friends, my family, and my followers on my Daddy Travels Now Facebook page. I quickly went to the Travelzoo website, I had hit purchase, the transaction went through, and boom $1,995 was charged to my credit card. Here’s how we booked this epic deal.
Shortly after I booked, I reviewed the transaction and realized my mistake of not using my legal name. In my haste, I booked my trip using my “common name” – what does that mean? Jason Francisco is not my full name. I had booked our reservations under the shorter version of my full, legal name. Ooops!!!
Why did it matter? To me, this booking was for an international trip, meaning I expected the resort to look at my US passport upon check-in. I didn’t want to get into a fiasco in the Maldives when they try to match my passport with my long full name vs. the shorter version that was shown in my Travelzoo booking.
My brother-in-law had a similar situation a few weeks ago, he had to cancel a booking he purchased with Travelzoo, and he told me that it took a couple of days for the refund to get back to him. So I guess I had to see it for myself.
1. Before requesting a refund
This is my suggestion before requesting a refund. If your intent is to fully cancel without booking again, then yes, request a refund. In my case, my intent was to get the same deal, and all I wanted to do was to change my name. I called Travelzoo directly and the customer service rep advised me that there was no way of making a change to an existing voucher. The only way to change is to cancel the reservation, and purchase a new one.
2. The risk of canceling
You have to know the popularity of your booking. I knew for a fact that our Maldives booking sold out rather quickly when we first attempted to book this a few weeks ago. So, I had to trust what my brother-in-law experienced, that he got his refund within a couple of days, and that Travelzoo said that the offer was advertised as FULLY REFUNDABLE.
Before requesting my refund, I decided to purchase ANOTHER Travelzoo deal, the same package, the same amount of $1,995. But before purchasing another deal I had to update my account and changed my name, I had to go back to Travelzoo and clicked on:
- My Account
- Account Details
That’s where I was able to change my account information to my Full Name. Once updated, I proceeded with the purchase, and as expected, the transaction went through quickly. Once I had the confirmation of my second package, it was time to request my refund.
3. How to request for a refund with Travelzoo
The process was quite simple
- Sign in to your Travelzoo account
- Click Purchases
- You will see your voucher/s or things you’ve purchased with Travelzoo
- Go to the voucher that has the booking you want refunded
- Click request refund and follow the prompts
4. Received my Travelzoo refund in two days
I did this on Wednesday, Sept 30. I paid via PayPal, and I checked my Paypal account on Wednesday and Thursday and did not see the refund. I waited and then on Friday, October 2nd, I received an email from Paypal stating that I had a refund from Travelzoo.
- Whenever I have a big purchase, before pulling the trigger, double check the details, in this case, I was in a hurry to get in on a deal, and didn’t realize my full name was not on my account.
- Save your receipt, that is always key
- Know the exchange, return, or refund policy (some merchants do NOT offer any of this)
- Use a credit card with a purchase and return protection.