The Big Easy, Part 1- The Wyndham Whitney

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Brooke and I got to New Orleans last night around 6. Our flight was on-time and despite a bit of turbulence and a bout with travel crabbiness everything was going great. Unfortuantly, the misadventure began right after we checked in to our hotel, The "Historic" Wyndham Whitney. Apparently the hotel was a bit overbooked and so without telling us, guest services put us in a smoking room regardless of the specific request we made for non-smoking a few weeks ago. No problem, mistakes happen, so I figured I would call down to the front desk and move to a non-smoking room. According the friendly front desk staff, the hotel was booked solid and they had no rooms or upgrades to accommodate us. I was then told that when someone books on-line at Expedia or a similar travel company, they can't guarantee a specific room type. That privilege is reserved for only those who book directly with the hotel. Obviously there wasn't much I could do because the hotel was full, so I decided to suck it up for a night and move rooms tomorrow. Guess what? The Wyndham Whitney's staff couldn't even guarantee us that move. So, I asked for a credit and it was promptly denied. Why? Well, apparently we aren't Wyndham Whitney's customers. We're Expedia's customers and the Wyndham Whitney in New Orleans makes it their policy to treat guests who were unlucky enough to book through a travel agency, as second rate suckers. If you know me, you know I love a good fight, and this one had just begun. Brooke got things rolling on the phone with Expedia. Expedia was concerned with the poor service and was able to strike a deal with the hotel for a suite upgrade at "only" $30 more a night. As a courtesy Expedia extended a $75 dollar credit for future vacations packages booked through their site. Why would we ever book anything with Expedia again if we'll be treated like this by some other property? At this point I just wanted out of the room, so Brooke took the credit and we agreed to the $30 a night upgrade. Case closed, done deal? Not quite, Brooke and I got our stuff out of the old room and moved it into her Mom's room so we could wait for the new suite to be cleaned. There we find out that Brooke's Mom and Diane were almost thrown into a smoking room as well, but the damn hotel upgraded them to a suite for no additional cost. Obviously, them was fightin' words. Brooke and I walked down to guest services and were again basically told that the Wyndham Whitney in New Orleans Louisiana doesn't considers us customers, we're Expedia's customers and despite the fact that I'm sleeping in the Whitney's bed the rest of this weekend, we don't matter at all. Well, I threw out a few futile logical arguments to no avail and then I got mad. Fortunately Diane shoved me out the door after I fired off a brief shot of profanity at one of the Wyndham Whitney's finest representatives of horrible, horrible customer service. If you haven't noticed I'm trying to type the Wyndham Whitney's name as often as possible so Google can pick up this post easier. Please don't ever stay here!!! Always book your freakin' hotel directly with the hotel. What ever you save on some web site is not worth the hassle you may get later. Believe it or not, after all of this, the upgrade was finally comped. Too little too late in my opinion. Oh well, once this incident was behind us, we ended up having a great night in the New Orleans and I'll write all about that in the next day or so. I just needed to get all this anger out. Thanks for listening!!!


That's one thing I didn't warn you about in the Big Easy. Customer service isn't always on the top of their priority list. You'll usually only find really good service at the most expensive/exclusive places in town. It's damn near cultural down there. The only top flight service you'll find comes in places owned by outside firms.

Oh well. I look forward to hearing some more of your hijinks and there will be more!!