"Everyone I show, they laugh and think it's a joke," she told Los Angeles' KCBS. "No one can believe a company as credible as Expedia would ever do something like this."
Viramontes has sneaking suspicion that she knows why the comment was directed at her. She'd complained about being charged for travel insurance for her 8-month-old son even though he didn't need an airline ticket and was going to sit on her lap.
Difficult countries for Americans to travel to
Difficult countries for Americans to travel to
The Asian kingdom opened its borders to foreign tourism in 1974, but in order to keep traffic down they have a 'High Value. Low Impact' policy. All U.S. tourists must obtain a visa and book their holiday through a Bhutanese tour operator. Visitors must have $200-250 per day to visit, which includes a tour guide, meals, accommodations and gear.
It is also tricky to physically get to Bhutan. Only two carriers fly into the country, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines, and you must connect from another Asian country like Thailand, India or Singapore.
Belarus makes it difficult to Americans to visit. You need a letter of invitation from a company or organization in Belarus. You need to fill out an application that needs approval. The payment to enter Belarus was reduced in 2015, but it is still $70 for single entry. This is down from a whopping $160. These daunting requirements make the former Soviet state one of least visited places in Europe.
Russia also has a laundry list of requirements that turn off American travelers. You must list all areas in Russia that you intend to visit on your visa application and carry your passport and migration card with you at all times.
You must have a Russia-based sponsor, such as a tour group or hotel, in order to get a visa. The Russian visa application is notorious for its long list of questions, including a list all the countries you have visited in the last 10 years. The visa will also cost you $198.
It goes without saying that the Kermit kingdom is difficult for Americans to visit. The United States is a focus of hateful propaganda and tourists are at risk of long-term detention and imprisonment. Americans can legally travel to North Korea, but the State Department strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to North Korea. However, if you must go, there are tour groups that leave out of China.
Despite sporting an eccentric dictator who draws comparisons to Kim Jong Un, this country is lesser known to Americans.
Travel to the country is not forbidden, but you need a letter of invitation certified by the government of Turkmenistan and a tourist visa that you need to schedule an interview for.
Very few tourists visit the nation, perhaps because they are turned off by the fact that they are required to have a guide, which can be costly. There are also no travel zones, mainly the border areas next to Iran, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.
Not only does State Department urge caution when traveling to Saudi Arabia due to high terrorism risk from ISIS right now, but women and children must be accompanied by a male family member. U.S. citizens need to fill out a visa application that costs $110.
The country has been known to deny visas to non-Muslim applicants, and holders of passports with Israeli stamps or travelers with an Israeli birthplace have been refused entry.
Saudi Arabia is not the only country known to give tourists with Israeli stamps a hard time, so Israel changed their policy to give tourists an entry card instead.
There is a high-risk of terrorism, armed conflict, violent crime and kidnapping if you are an American. Even family members of U.S. embassy personnel are not allowed to reside in Sudan if they are under 21. Similar to Saudi Arabia, the authorities may refuse entry to holders of passports that contain visas for Israel.
The Chinese government will make you jump through hoops to get a visa. You have to submit your application to a Chinese embassy or consulate based on your state and then pick it up. There are only six locations that serve the entire United States. They do not accept mail-in visa applications, so you'd need to find a friend or visa service to drop it off and pick it up if you are far from a spot.
Luckily, the government has a rule that allows visitors without visas to stay within mainland China for 72 hours.
Only about 1,600 tourists visit Tuvalu each year and hardly any from the United States. Only 12 consulates in the world offer tourist visas to this tiny country, home to less than 9,000 people, making it the world's second smallest country. There is also only one flight that services it.
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She said the employee she talked to wasn't helpful and wouldn't let her speak to a supervisor when she asked to do so. Viramontes said she was "honest" when responding to a survey about her customer service experience.
Two days later, she learned her trip had been canceled. She also noticed the message containing an expletive. She contacted customer service and was told she was to blame for the canceled reservation.
Viramontes said the company hadn't compensated her for the $600 she paid for the plane tickets and told her she'd have to pay $200 to book another flight.
She then sent the company a screenshot of the message to prove her point.
She didn't receive a response about the foul message until the TV station intervened. In a statement, the company said it was taking the matter seriously and investigating the actions of its employees.
Expedia said it would rebook Viramontes' flights, refund her money and give her a $500 voucher.
Viramontes shared her story on Facebook. She wrote:
"I need advice... We booked a flight for over New Years on EXPEDIA and had to pay travel insurance for 8 month old son whose ticket was free. I thought that wasn't fair so I called to inquire. Nothing was resolved so EXPEDIA sent me a survey and I answered honestly.
2 days later I received an email from EXPEDIA that our flight was cancelled. (NO I DID NOT CANCEL MY OWN FLIGHT)
I went to look online at my itinerary and saw the words F*** YOU from EXPEDIA (See attached pic below) and right below it said flight cancelled. I called and 2 hours on the phone later had a man from corporate tell me I was basically lying and I cancelled my own flight and never addressed the fact his company (EXPEDIA) wrote the words F*** YOU on my itinerary. He said I would have to pay $200 more dollars to get back on that flight.
PLUS I was never credited back my money on my credit card for supposedly "Canceling" my flight. TOO MUCH COINCIDENCE THAT AFTER A BAD REVIEW I GET MY FLIGHT CANCELLED AND A F*** YOU ON MY ITINERARY EMAIL!
How should I proceed ?? I have never in my life experienced something like this. As a mom of an 8 month old this is not how I pictured our first family vacation."