Beheading, disembowelment or Priceline?

As I mentioned yesterday, Nate and I are taking our youngest daughter Helena to New York City this week.

And before you start thinking that I have locked up my eldest daughter in the basement because she’s a moody, emotional, fifteen year old hormone, don’t worry. She’s in Myrtle Beach for the week with her dad. Now she’ll be a moody, emotional, fifteen year old hormone with a tan.

Our New York City trip is spur-of-the-moment. And despite the whole expired-drivers-license-strip-search-terror-watch-list-OH-MY-GOD fiasco I’m dealing with at the moment, I was pretty proud of myself for 47.5 seconds because I don’t do anything on the spur of the moment except retain water and sprout cold sores.

And that’s probably because when I do venture out of my meticulously orchestrated comfort zone, it leads to expired-drivers-license-strip-search-terror-watch-list-OH-MY-GOD scenarios.

See how that works?

We booked our hotel through Priceline and I feel very comfortable in saying that we will never book anything through Priceline again. Yes, we got a good deal on the room but honestly, it was not worth the huge, gaping hole in our kitchen wall from repeatedly slamming my head against it. Nor the concussion I sustained afterward.

Due to my anal-retentive, semi obsessive-compulsive nature, I need to know the who/what/when/where/why and how of everything that involves me, my family and checked baggage. Bidding on a reservation at a sight-unseen hotel in an unconfirmed location pretty much guarantees that my world will cease to exist as I know it and I will be left in an alternate universe with Kotex pads in my armpits to soak up all the stress sweat.

It’s hard enough moving to a new place, but who wants to meet their extra terrestial neighbors wearing feminine hygiene products as accessories?

Not me, that’s who.

Unfortunately, buying anything off the Internet, especially sight unseen, is right up Nate’s alley, which alley I like to refer to as HERE LIES OUR MASTERCARD, MAY IT REST IN PEACE Drive.

Nate purchased a hotel room in New York City through Priceline and all was good for 47.5 seconds until I contacted the hotel to confirm the reservation and was told in no uncertain terms that our room could be occupied by no more than two people at any given moment lest we die a horribly, grisly and immediate death. Or be in violation of the fire code. One or the other, I can’t remember.

So I said But, but, but …

And they said I’m sorry, this happens all the time with Priceline and we encourage our guests to contact us directly for reservations. And no, we can’t upgrade you to a larger room because there are none available. And no, since you went through Priceline, we cannot cancel your reservation. And no, we cannot hate Priceline. Officially, anyway.  Please contact them directly for help. We are very sorry.

So I said But, but, but …

And they said No, your daughter cannot sleep in the safe or the bathtub. Please don’t ask again because that’s just weird. Unfortunately, our hands our tied. Again, we are very sorry.

So I said But, but, but …

And they said See what you get for being spontaneous? EMBRACE WHO YOU ARE. There’s a reason your towels are folded with a straight edge and organized by color and purpose. Who did you think you were kidding?

Actually, that might have been my subconscious.

I called Priceline and spoke with three graduates of the Bend Over and Grip Those Ankles School of Communication, each of whom had obviously majored in SCREW YOU, with the third, a supervisor, having a double major in AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON and was advised of the following:

  1. Contact the hotel
  2. Contact the hotel directly
  3. Directly contact the hotel
  4. Did you try contacting the hotel?
  5. This is not our problem
  6. This is not our problem, to the tenth power
  7. No cancellations
  8. No refunds
  9. Too bad, so sad

Then I cried.

Then Nate told me to call the hotel again.

Then I told Nate to call himself, I was busy having a breakdown.

Then Nate told me I should be the one to call since I was already holding the phone.

Then I told Nate that by the same token, we could just wait three seconds and then his small intestine could make the call.

This went on for awhile, until I decided to be the bigger person which, roughly translated, sounds like OH, FOR SHIT’S SAKE! FINE! And I called the hotel again.

I spoke with three different people who told me there were no upgrades available and wow, we were really in a pickle, weren’t we? And I answered YES.

Stupid pickles.

Because I knew it wasn’t the hotel employees’ faults that there were no additional rooms available and what did I expect them to do? Build one?


Finally, by the grace of God who either took pity on me or got distracted, I was finally transferred to one last employee who discovered, of all things, an upgrade available. Right there on his monitor for everyone in the whole wide world to see.

Apparently, his three counterparts do not reside in the whole wide world. I’m not sure where they reside but wherever it is, I hope their room will only house two of them and the third has to sleep in the air shaft.

I called twice more than night and spoke with two different hotel employees who confirmed our upgrade.

I called the next morning and spoke with yet another employee who also confirmed our upgrade.

So I’m trying to relax and transfer all my worry and anxiety about the hotel room to the issue of whether or not I can even board the plane to New York City in the first place.

The hypotheticals surrounding this one moment of spontaneity are threatening to eat my sanity.

I hope Homeland Security and the TSA and the airline like me. And the baked cookies I’m bringing them.

I hope they give me a boarding pass. And another one on the way back. One’s not going to do me a whole lot of good without the other.

I hope the plane doesn’t crash, even though that would totally resolve the entire hotel issue and give me one less thing to worry about.

If we don’t crash, I hope our hotel room is upgraded.

I hope we have a great time and don’t crash on the way home.

And failing all that, I hope Priceline falls off the edge of the earth.

So I can shout after them SUCKS TO BE YOU.



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34 thoughts on “Beheading, disembowelment or Priceline?”

  1. Avatar

    I have to share my own Priceline story with you. They are a scary organization and I will never do business with them again either. I used them to book a 3 day weekend to visit some family. Since you can’t see the reservation before you give them your credit card, you basically have to give them a window of when you want to be there and hope for the best.

    We said we wanted to come in early on Friday morning and leave late on Sunday evening. Not on your corset cover! They booked us coming in at near midnight on Friday night and leaving at 5:00 AM on Sunday morning, thereby reducing our 3 day weekend to just over 24 hours with 2 redeye flights. Fortunately we were able to find a loophole and get out of it, but it took a lot of fast talking and not a little screaming. If I ever see William Shatner, I’m going to punch him right in the mouth! Or, I’ll hold him and you punch him.

  2. Avatar

    MY Gawd! Did you use to do stand up? If not, you need to head for the “Last Comic Standing” showcase next time it is on & sign up! Your writing is a hoot! And yet so true~
    So glad I tripped across your site from the Are We Human or Are We Dancer blog I was at. Thanks for the laughs…I will be back. Oh and have a great vacation (and don’t let anyone help you with your luggage. I’ve heard they tend to steal it in the Big Apple.)

  3. Avatar

    Alright, that Bendover school… I knew it was a secret society with THOUSANDS of graduates!!! *lol* Many of which I appear to have met, as well…

    I’m a little worried about your lack of ID too! What are you going to do?? Can’t you just drive over to the licensing bureau and get a duplicate the same day?

  4. Avatar

    Two things:

    1) If you *must* go to the DMV, I recommend the one in Greece on Ridge. They are the one DMV branch I’ve ever encountered where the employees seem to have failed out of Bendover Academy, as they are all relatively nice AND helpful. (I speak from experience on two levels: license renewal and passport renewal.)

    2) If you can’t get a boarding pass to fly home, give me a shout and you can ride shotgun with Kiddo and me on Wednesday. 😀 She used her headphones with the DVD player pretty much the whole drive down, so I was neither driven insane by singing, animated veggies nor “Are we there yet? Yet are we there? There are we yet?” type questions. It was practically like being in the car alone, except for the fact that I couldn’t blast my Child Ears Inappropriate Music like I do when I’m truly alone or use certain words to describe the driving of all the yahoos on the Under Construction roads through PA.

    Lastly (whoops, didn’t realize there was going to be a third thing, sorry) HAVE A GREAT TIME IN NYC and if you bump into George Clooney or Hugh Jackman, kindly tie them up and bring them back with you as they seem to have forgotten how to get to my house. Merci!

  5. Avatar

    Listen, I am From Kentucky. Although I have traveled extesively through the Upstate NY (From Albany and Saratoga Springs to Rochester and Utica! Visit the Sarnack Brewery!)area I have never, EVER, Been in “The City.” The reason for this is because NO ONE will take me to “The City” that lives in Upstate Ny. So to me, You are THE BRAVEST Person on the Planet for WANTING to go “The City”. So seriously, GO YOU!!!! 🙂 I hope you have a fabulous time!

  6. Avatar

    I guess thats one of the pleasures of reading blogs that you can learn from their mistakes-sorry it was you that learned that lesson for the rest of us!

  7. Avatar

    Wow. You’ve started a whole Priceline Movement. I’m thinking it’s time to print up the t-shirts and make the picketing signs…a peaceful protest, but a protest nonetheless…

    So glad that you did get it upgraded–good for you! While I hate the process of having to make continuous calls to get something rectified, it’s amazing how often it can work…

    Have a blast!

  8. Avatar

    AGH!!!! Never never never use priceline..or anything online to book your hotels. AGHH!!!! I hate employees that don’t know their front side from the backside.

    Glad you got it upgraded. The best places to joke is hilton properties. Can you tell I have done way to much traveling with DH for his work? Seriously, they provide a breakfast and some even provide dinner too (with wine). Unless you are a rock star with a vault of money available, then hilton properties are the place to go with.

  9. Avatar

    That is why I use a travel agent NOT Priceline or any of those other services. You do get what you pay for… I hate aggravation…. I’ve found it really isn’t that much cheaper than AAA.

  10. Avatar

    My husband took me to NYC for our anniversary last May. It was awesome. I am not a crowd person, but loved it! I loved just being nobody in the crowd. We saw a show, ate a lot and walked a lot.

    I’ve used priceline for airtravel with no problems. I think I might avoid it in the future. I hope you have a great time!

  11. Avatar

    My husband takes care of all our travel stuff, so that when/if something goes wrong, it’s always his fault, and his problem. Good idea, no?

    Freaking Priceline. I’d be calling Shatner if I were you.

  12. Avatar

    First of all you KNOW how terrified I am just thinking about NYC!!!!! shudder!! I still believe down to the core that they’d eat this Kentucky gal up and spit her out! Anywhere in NY for that matter!! 😉 LOL!! Hey DO have fun, don’t think about “us” **sniff** and just one tiny last thing…

    Call the hotel again!! LOL!! Hope you have a great time!

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    Uhh. I love priceline. we’ve always used it, but maybe we’ve used it so much they know better than to screw with us….

    anyway why I really wanted to comment:
    do you have a passport? take your passport, they won’t even ask for the drivers license if you have the passport…

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    Oh my goodness! What a nightmare! I’m with you on telling Shatner what you think of Priceline, but then again, he won’t care. He just gets paid to talk for them. Try and have a good time, keep a tight hold onto your personal belongings, for the will get stolen otherwise. And drink a glass or two of wine before you get on the plane, it will clam your nerves, so you don’t think about crashing so much.

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    You know, I hate to say it, but I’ve heard nothing but horrible things about Priceline from a couple friends who have used them to make reservations. Huge headache! But I’m glad you got it resolved. I just love how you’re able to take a really pissy situation and turn it into something so humorous!!!

  16. Avatar

    Thanks for the heads-up. I will definitely NOT be using Priceline. I think I have plenty of issues without Kotex in the armpits added to that.

    Hope your trip goes great! Really… nothing else can go wrong now that you’ve got your i’s dotted and your t’s crossed… Right? RIGHT?!


  17. Avatar

    Do you have enough energy left to actually GO to NYC?

    Have you checked the hotel web site? Do they rent by the hour?

    Just sayin’……

    Happy traveling!

  18. Avatar

    You had me peeing in my pants this time!
    Besides that, though, yep, HATE Priceline. We got plane tickets through them. From Albany to Orlando. Well, my mom passed away, and they would not give us a refund for the tickets. UGH. They have since not gotten one penny from us. Freakin’ priceline, they can kiss a horse’s booty for all I care. 😉 😀

  19. Avatar

    OMG…I have laughed until I have cried at this post! I love the way you write! I have added you to my blogroll! I am hooked! Thanks for a great laugh…I REALLY needed it!!

  20. Avatar

    I want to get a job at that hotel. Then I can just answer the phone all day and say, “Nope. Sorry. Can’t help you.” And get paid. Everyone nowadays does just enough to get by, no one goes the extra mile.

    I hope you have a wonderful time. And that the plane doesn’t crash. And that Nate doesn’t have to sleep on the fire escape because the hotel employee that checks you in can’t seem to locate your upgrade.

  21. Avatar

    You’ll have such a great time in NYC that you’ll forget the whole Priceline thing. Well, for a little while at least, until you see how small the hotel room for three people actually is.

  22. Avatar

    My family has a trip to Kauai this summer and our hotel reservations don’t match our flight reservations. I have no idea what we’re going to do. I can’t shift either reservation the one day that would match the whole thing up.

    I came to your site through Five Star Fridays. I’m featured as well. Congrats! Hutch

  23. Avatar

    hey there – i find you today in the SITS comments, and i’m just sayin… your writing TOTALLY cracks me up! new finds are so totally cool… 🙂

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