by John Wilson
I honestly don’t make this stuff up. I’m just the unluckiest traveler ever.
The goofiness started when I sat down in the window seat for my CHS to ATL flight. The lady who sat down beside me, probably in her late 50′s to early 60′s began by spraying her seat, and in turn me, with disinfectant. Yep, she sprayed the seat and (probably) unintentionally my leg and arm. She then took out a disinfectant wipe and wiped down the head rest and the tray table. She then asked me if I minded to move my arm while she wiped down the middle arm rest.
I couldn’t help myself, this is probably why I have such bad luck during travel, but I thanked the lady for wiping everything down because “I haven’t felt good for the last three days and am just getting over a cold (insert evil grin).” I said this, of course, while I breathed all over her.
To make matters worse, on my Delta flight from ATL to BWI (Baltimore) the seat I was in had a broken arm rest with a metal spike poking up through my arm. The streak continues.
Where is “John Wilson”
So I land in BWI and there are no cabs around. It’s basically a ghost town around the cab terminal. Near the cab stand was a line of sedans. One of the guys leaning on his asks me if I need a cab. I say yes but I’m looking for a cab. He tells me that his sedan is the same rate as a cab. So I get in.
When I get in the back seat, I hand the guy the address of the hotel I’m staying in. He tells me he knows exactly where it is. Twenty minutes later we pull up in front of the Hilton Garden Inn near the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. I pay the guy ($40) and go to the desk to check in. No reservation.
“Sir, do you have a confirmation number?” – I hand him my paper and he says, “Sir, you’re not even close, you’re hotel is out near the airport, about 20 minutes from here. Your cab dropped you off at the wrong hotel.” I look down at the receipt the cab driver handed me and obviously it had no address, no phone number, no cab company, just a rate…
What kind of horrible luck is this? $40 later (not including tip) and I’m not even in the right city. The desk guy calls me a cab that takes an additional 25 minutes to arrive (yes, I should have just went outside and grabbed one) and the cab ride back took an additional 25 minutes (driving right past the airport) and $48 bucks.
Disputing Charges with American Express
Because I don’t want to have to explain all of this to the finance and travel departments at work, I call American Express to dispute the charges. I was under the impression that they take their card holder’s word (for the most part) and block charges what were inappropriate or fraudulent. I consider intentionally driving someone to the wrong hotel fraudulent.
The gentleman from AMEX tells me that I will need to wait until the charge clears and then file a formal dispute. This entails:
- Calling them for a case number
- Faxing all of my information, including plane ticket, receipt and hotel address to AMEX
- Possibly waiting up to 60 days for a ruling
AMEX stated that if there wasn’t enough information to rule one way or another, that I would unfortunately have to eat the charges. Sigh…