If it seems like I haven’t posted anything in awhile it’s because I haven’t. In the past couple months I have gotten married, received a promotion at my day job, and recently returned from a honeymoon. Not to mention that blogging has sort of taken on a life of it’s own, and has turned into more of a side business than the joyful hobby it once was. Life has been anything but boring lately!
The latter part of my busy schedule is actually the inspiration for this latest article. It involves travel, theft, money, etc., but I thought my finance blog was the most relevant pulpit to express my disgust with travel agents, airlines, airports, and the overall dishonesty and disingenuous nature of people. My wife (yep…still getting used to saying that) and I recently returned from a weeklong trip to Jamaica. Don’t get me wrong the honeymoon was a lot of fun, we definitely enjoyed ourselves and spent some much needed time together in a carefree environment. Unfortunately, some 3rd parties involved failed to meet our expectations.
Let me first explain that I used to be anti-travel agent. There was a time that travel agencies could find the best deals for you and do it with ease. I actually booked two springbreak trips in college through a travel agent. Unfortunately for them the travel landscape has changed over the past decade. Sites like Kayak allow you to do a multiple site comparison at once, and other sites like TripAdvisor provide in depth travel reviews from real life people. The need to use a travel agent is just simply not as valid as it once was. However, you only honeymoon once and getting everything exactly right was just too important to leave to chance. My wife knew she wanted an all-inclusive resort with a beachfront walkout room, which sounds ideal to me, so I visited a local travel agent near our house to find out what he could offer. After two hours and a ton of niceties we had book our beachfront walkout room at an all-inclusive Sandals reort in Jamaica…or so I thought. Yes, we got the reservation at Sandals, we just didn’t get the one specific request that we stressed to our agent, the beachfront walkout room! Instead we were put on the 4th floor. This may not sound like a big deal to you, but that specific request was one of the major reasons I used a travel agent to begin with, simply because I didn’t want to screw up the specifics that my wife and I really wanted. However, our travel agent managed that all on his own. Stay tuned for further updates on this going forward as I’m still in the middle of working our an amicable resolution with him. What would you expect as compensation for such a screw up?
The rest of the honeymoon went great, without a hitch. The next unfortunate event to befall us happened at 2am upon our arrival back to home sweet home. As we unpacked our belongings before bed we noticed an open box in our suitcase, the contents of which were strewn about the top of our still neatly folded clothes. My wife had packed some of our valuables in that box, and despite knowing that we shouldn’t, it’s common practice for us to put some valuables in our checked baggage. Let’s just say that some TSA agent or baggage handler at the airlines is three watches, a bracelet, and diamond heart pendant richer! These weren’t exactly inexpensive items either! The feeling of violation that this brings is simply overwhelming, how dare they take our belongings, how dare they steal from us, how dare they create the hassle that is about to ensue. Not to mention the heart pendant was the first gift I bought for my wife when we were dating, it’s practically irreplaceable. You simply can’t put a price tag on such an item, though if I want reimbursement for these items I’m going to have to try. After realizing that my homeowners insurance and travel guard insurance are going to make me jump through hoops and sell my soul (almost literally) to get PARTIAL reimbursement, I decided to go back to where the issue began…the airline!!! For now I won’t mention the airline, one because they will probably Google their name and sue me, and two because they haven’t failed to compensate me, yet. I don’t expect much from an airline that employs thieves, but for the next eight weeks I will give them the benefit of the doubt. I say eight weeks because that’s how long it’s going to take them to “resolve” my issue. I’m sure they will do their best to avoid reimbursing them for the stolen items, at which point I will have to spend 6 months of my life devoted to dealing with the hassle of my homeowners insurance and travel insurace to get our money back. Oh yeah, and the price of gold has gone up, so re-buying some of those items is going to cost me more money than when I initially purchased them. There’s no way of getting that additional money reimbursed to you either.
Sorry for the ongoing rant, I wish I expressed how great the honeymoon was instead, but people tend to go on and on about the negative rather than the positives. We had an amazing time, and I quite honestly can’t wait for our next all-inclusive vacation, this time booked by myself rather than a useless travel agency! Oh yeah, and we’ll be carrying all of our valuables on person from now on!