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Old 01-31-2013, 09:49 PM   #1
rosiegmendez
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Bad Experience getting quotes thru AAA

I just had the worst experience getting quotes thru AAA. January is their "Disney Month" so I thought I would give it a shot.

Let me first say, if this type of thread is not allowed, please dont flame me, I will happily delete. Just thought I'd vent to a group that would certainly understand my frustration.

I was provided email quotes for Boardwalk Inn from a travel rep and the rates were outstanding! For the price of room only, they included 6 day base tickets plus an Amex $50 card! As soon as I got the emai lyesterday I jumped on it and replied to book it. I even had her confirm via email that this included tickets and she replied yes. We were so excited and were making plans for our trip upgraded to a deluxe resort.

Well the agent didnt respond today, even after my many emails and calls not wanting to miss the January specials (since it is 1/31 today).

Well I finally got a hold of another agent at 4:30 today and she reviewed the email and apologized profusely. She immediately told me the numbers were too low to include the park tickets. Sure enough the rates were room only.

I know people outside of this forum will not think much of it but for 24 hours I thought we had a great deal and upgraded to deluxe only to find out the agent was incompetent. The worst part, when I asked the supervisor what he would do in the name of customer service he said since it was 5:00 and the AAA January promo was about to end, I could pay a "deposit" now and then they could help me tomorrow to finalize my reservation but they could NOT honor the prices quoted by their rep.

I told him I was under no circumstances giving him any of my money after the service I received.

Several people have said on here to deal direct with disney and did I learn my lesson.

Vent over.

At least we still have our current reservations for AoA/POR...
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:59 PM   #2
allthingsmickey
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Sorry you got a bad agent through AAA. The one thing about AAA is that their agents are not always Disney experts. i understand that many other travel agents can book the AAA packages. I know it's too late this time, but you might go through one of the agencies that specialize in Disney and ask if they can do the AAA price if that is the best package for you.

I wouldn't have expected that they could honor the price, but I would have thought they would offer a little extra -- a little bit larger gift card or something for the mistake.

The truth is, even when you book directly with Disney, the Disney CM's make mistakes too. I trust my travel agent more than many of the Disney CM's to make sure I am getting the best deal and actually booking what I am asking for.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:05 PM   #3
minnie mum
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I can definitely empathise. My one and only experience with AAA booking a Disney vacation was a nightmare. The agent really didn't have a clue about Disney vacations. I had to tell her about a new discount the day after it came out. And she managed to mix up a bunch of details on our package that took multiple phone calls to iron out. Lesson learned and I've booked all of our Disney trips myself ever since. I really don't get how they can call themselves Disney specialists when they are so ill informed.

However, I know that there are a lot of people who book through TAs who work for agencies that ARE real Disney Specialists, and are happy to use their services year after year.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:27 PM   #4
rosiegmendez
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Well, thanks to this forum and all the experts on here I certainly knew more than the AAA agent (she didnt know off the top of her head which rooms can accomodate 5, etc).
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:25 AM   #5
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Someone please jump in and correct this if I'm wrong, but...

I do believe you can only book a AAA package through AAA.

I know you can book room only with a AAA discount on the room through other travel agents or with Disney directly. That's what I've been doing, then I buy park tix through Undercover Tourist via the MouseSavers newsletter (something I learned on the Dis!). I don't do the dining plan.

Our first two family trips, we went through AAA and were very lucky to have a really great agent who actually did know and love WDW. She left after we booked but before we took our 2004 trip, and the guy who replaced her did not impress me. When I talked to them again in more recent years the (different) guy I spoke with definitely didn't know as much as I did. They're just really hit and miss, depending on the individual.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:13 AM   #6
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We've been AAA members forever and love them for their car services, etc. They are wonderful and have helped us out over the years, BUT their travel services I have found to be very lacking especially Disney. My husband and I were in our AAA office a few years ago for something and I overheard an agent talking to a couple about a Disney vacation. They were telling them all wrong info and I was getting more frustrated by the minute. The couple left and as soon as we were through talking to the person who was "supposed" to be helping us (concerning cell phones, we left because we knew more than they did!) I went our into the parking lot to see if I could catch the couple but could not. IMHO AAA should stick to auto stuff or at least bring in real experts who know what they are talking about. I think you will get all the info you need for a Disney vacation right here in the Dis. Do it yourself. You will be in control of your vacation.

Enjoy The MaGIC!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:53 PM   #7
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I think there are some people who work for different AAA branches who really are experts on Disney and then there are branches where someone has been appointed the disney agent or expert (but honestly I think there are a lot of things in life that work that way). If you go back 15 or 20 years you probably would find that the experts were more experts because they had access to information that the average person would not...now that isn't the case. They probably really need CEU/CEC like some other professions get..every year you need to take a certain number of credits so that you are really staying up to date on what's happening at Disney so you can truly call yourself an expert.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karly05 View Post
Someone please jump in and correct this if I'm wrong, but...

I do believe you can only book a AAA package through AAA.

I know you can book room only with a AAA discount on the room through other travel agents or with Disney directly. That's what I've been doing, then I buy park tix through Undercover Tourist via the MouseSavers newsletter (something I learned on the Dis!). I don't do the dining plan.

Our first two family trips, we went through AAA and were very lucky to have a really great agent who actually did know and love WDW. She left after we booked but before we took our 2004 trip, and the guy who replaced her did not impress me. When I talked to them again in more recent years the (different) guy I spoke with definitely didn't know as much as I did. They're just really hit and miss, depending on the individual.
I booked an AAA discount through Dreams Unlimited Travel.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karly05 View Post
Someone please jump in and correct this if I'm wrong, but...

I do believe you can only book a AAA package through AAA.

I know you can book room only with a AAA discount on the room through other travel agents or with Disney directly. That's what I've been doing, then I buy park tix through Undercover Tourist via the MouseSavers newsletter (something I learned on the Dis!). I don't do the dining plan.

Our first two family trips, we went through AAA and were very lucky to have a really great agent who actually did know and love WDW. She left after we booked but before we took our 2004 trip, and the guy who replaced her did not impress me. When I talked to them again in more recent years the (different) guy I spoke with definitely didn't know as much as I did. They're just really hit and miss, depending on the individual.
AAA is no different than any other travel agency. If you want room only at Disney, AAA can do that. They are licensed IATA travel agents, no different than Liberty Travel, Dreams Unlimited, or any other. Plus, it doesn't really make sense to offer a AAA room only discount and not be able to book it at AAA, does it?

OP, sorry about your bad experience. Before anyone changes their minds on AAA, remember that AAA is a national company. Experiences and agents vary greatly between clubs and even between branches. I used to work for AAA and we had very knowledgable Disney agents called Travel Generalists. These agents focused solely on Disney, domestic travel, and basic hotel/car/flight reservations. The Travel Specialists focused primarily on cruises, international travel, vacation packages, etc. The Specialists could book Disney but didn't do it as often so weren't as knowledgable, plus they would get a little bitter about booking Disney since Disney commission is considerably lower than other tour companies. So, if you go to AAA, ask for a Generalist, even if you have to wait a few extra minutes. It will be worth it. Also keep in mind that AAA and Disney are preferred partners. Often, AAA agents have a little clout with Disney because neither company wants to lose that distinction. AAA also works with regional Disney Reps who they speak to on a monthly basis, sometimes more frequently. These Reps have been known to pull strings in a pinch too. Something to keep in mind.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karly05 View Post
Someone please jump in and correct this if I'm wrong, but...

I do believe you can only book a AAA package through AAA.

I know you can book room only with a AAA discount on the room through other travel agents or with Disney directly. That's what I've been doing, then I buy park tix through Undercover Tourist via the MouseSavers newsletter (something I learned on the Dis!). I don't do the dining plan.

Our first two family trips, we went through AAA and were very lucky to have a really great agent who actually did know and love WDW. She left after we booked but before we took our 2004 trip, and the guy who replaced her did not impress me. When I talked to them again in more recent years the (different) guy I spoke with definitely didn't know as much as I did. They're just really hit and miss, depending on the individual.
We booked our AAA rate straght through WDW. After a conversation with our local AAA agent, a conversation in which I knew much more about WDW then the agent did, I went directly through WDW to make my ressie (It was 10% room only for April at POR preferred). The AAA package price I got offered though the AAA agent did NOT add up to what room ad ticket savings should have bee. And the agent wouldnot go over the numbers to seewhy they did not jibe with mine. I was leery to leave the ressi in teir hands knowing a better WDW offer was most likely coming.

I have since changed to the current discount (25% room only POR rivr view).
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by karly05 View Post
I think maybe I didn't phrase that correctly. I didn't mean to say that AAA could only do packages.

What I was trying to say was, if you want a AAA package, you have to book that through AAA.

If you want to book room only with a AAA discount, you can do that through AAA, another travel agency, or directly with Disney. Hope that makes more sense.
Yes! This is correct. I was probably reading too fast and read it wrong
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:09 AM   #12
davedmaine
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Sounds like you just had a bad agent. Before we purchased DVC, we always made our resort reservations through AAA -- the deals were always better than whatever special Disney was offering.
I might suggest you just try doing it online at AAA next time.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:12 AM   #13
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Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience.

We have used the same TA at AAA for years to book all our vacations. She know our preferences and is a Disney expert (Disney College I think?). She is also a Disney fanatic.

Really depends on who you get and sounded like you had gotten a dud
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:29 AM   #14
Ginny Favers
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I used an AAA agent the first time I booked and thought it was great. The second time I booked, I realized I knew more than she did and she was not helping me at all-- I had to let her know of new discounts before she would apply them to our reservation. This year, I did much better using Magical Vacations. I don't think I will go back to AAA as their discounts are not that great.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:57 AM   #15
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We've had similar crap shoot experiences with AAA travel agents, but I finally found one in the know. Although she has thorough knowledge of AAA rates/packages, she isn't very knowledgeable about the parks in general.

We had one travel agent that failed to inform us that the pool of our resort would be closed for renovation. If you book through a TA, those notifications come through them and not directly to you.

I think with any vacation, Disney or otherwise, you have to educate yourself on the options so you can ask good questions of the travel agent.

Better luck next time!
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