UPDATED: Uh oh. At the time of posting I was not aware (though I should have been) that the offer code was provided for the National Foundation for Blindness - that has the Sherpa feeling a little guilty. Then Travelocity decided to cancel the reservations because the Sherpa (and others didn't qualify). But that has more than just myself a little irritated.
If you were Travelocity and sent out an email stating that this was an intended promo code for NFB members and that they were now being denied the discount because people who were non-members had secured the remaining coupons, and then asked us to cancel, I probably would have.
But they didn't.
They canceled stating that we were ineligible, and then asked us to call in if we thought we were eligible. That caused a few people to check the terms and conditions and it doesn't look like any of my readers broke the rules. Nowhere does it state that you must be a member, nor an attendee of the convention, in fact there is no mention of a requirement to be affiliated with the organization at all. It looked like this:
Then it gets worse.
One reader of TheTripSherpa who got in on this deal got this message shortly following the cancellation:
Another faithful Sherpite received the same notice of $0.00 refund. As I told them though, this violates a host of DoT regulations and is likely part of a broader computer function to try and get the system back to working properly again. This Sherpa, coincidentally did not receive such a notice and booked two separate itineraries. The plot thickens.
I pledge to keep my readers abreast to the latest. Don't get out the torches and pitchforks just yet...
Travelocity still has not answered any direct questions (from anyone in the public domain) regarding the terms and conditions of the offer which allow them to cancel the reservations. Many suspect that from early this week there will be a revised approach, either reinstating the tickets to those who request or to all who booked.
In terms of those who received the erroneous email that stated their refund was $0.00, those folks will have a full refund without question (not only thanks to the law) according to this tweet from the official Travelocity Twitter account.
One final note. As stated above, I was feeling a little guilty about using this code being that it was intended for the National Foundation of Blindness. After thinking about it some more, and reading comments from around the web, I would like to state that neither myself, nor any Sherpites that booked had any knowledge of this beforehand, so it was not a malicious or sneaky approach. I probably should have further investigated, but I didn't. I rushed to push out a story so my readers could get a great deal. As a blogger I feel responsible for anyone who took this offer up and I want to make sure that I safely guide you (that's what a Sherpa does) through this travel maze.
From this moment forward however, I have a new pledge and stance to my readers.
Before posting about a deal or offer, I will evaluate whether this is an ethical offer. In the instance where there is some room for debate like 4 Mile tickets to Hong Kong, I will tell you what the ethical implications may be of booking the deal, whether or not I did for myself, and my justification for pursuing the matter or not.
As your Sherpa I owe you that much.
Original Post Below
It's turning out to be another Sunday special, though this time, this isn't an airline "glitch". The consigliere Gary Leff (that's my appointed name for him - meant to be an honor so I hope that's how it's received) posted this great coupon deal for $200 off Travelocity.
So here is the deal:
- You have to stay 3 nights
- You have to book flight+hotels
- You have to book no later than Aug 4th (though I doubt there will still be coupon codes active after today)
- Must travel by December 31st
- Must enter coupon code: NFB2012 upon checkout
We had a look from OMA and found DEN for $241 (before the $200 discount and us switching all flights to United), and that's over a weekend (Fri-Mon)! The Sherpa and the Sherpstress both searched the same details, traveling for one person using the coupon code (limited to 3500, who knows how many are left). We checked out at the same time make sure we would both travel but were both able to use the discount as if we were traveling alone.
We have friends in Denver who have offered us a place to stay. That's the reason we chose Denver and didn't actually care where we stayed (the one included at $241 was not a choice hotel) because we are going to see them so the hotel was unimportant. But as a newly Platinum Hyatt Gold Passport member, I thought it would make more sense to pad the account a bit, review the hotel, and maybe even stay there one night. My price was $119 in total, which of course is not as cheap as it could be, but I figured an $80 extra dollars would be worth it to earn some points, and enjoy a continental breakfast (truthfully it was just for the points).
Sherpa tips to finding a great deal using this offer code:
- Choose cities that are highly competitive (Chicago-New York City, LA to San Francisco)
- Choose places to go where you may have someone to stay with, making transportation and decent accommodations possible
- For cheaper fares try Saturday-Tuesday or Friday-Monday, or for really cheap fares Tues-Sat
As of now (2:35AM Indochina time... 2:35PM US Central for those unfamiliar with the Indochina time zone), I can confirm at least six of the fellow sherpites (definitely not a word), have scored this deal! Get in before they are gone!