This “historic” stay was an epic disaster

Somchi/Shutterstock
Somchi/Shutterstock
The historic Rathbone Mansion offers an “authentic” New Orleans experience, with its antebellum architecture and “warm” Southern hospitality. But it was a little too authentic for Cori Maldonado, who reserved his rooms through Bookit.com.

“Our room was strewn with debris, insects and rodents,” he says. “My partner and I were forced to leave the property and check in elsewhere after management refused to move us.”

A hotel representative scoffed at the guests, chiding them because, “Two grown men could not kill a few bugs.”

Then again, isn’t that what you hire exterminators to do?

Should the TSA pat down kids?

If you haven’t seen this video yet, you should. This is six-year-old Anna Drexel getting a pat-down in New Orleans earlier this month. The TSA is taking a lot of heat for the rather thorough screening of this young lady.

Alright, maybe TSA Administrator John Pistole’s reaction was a little inappropriate, calling the screener to basically congratulate her on a job well done.

And maybe the TSA’s overall response was somewhat predictable: Defend something that, for many parents, is indefensible, and then admit that it’s wrong — although not in so many words.

Can this trip be saved? Cheated by half a star on my New Orleans hotel

Half a star may not sound like much to the average hotel guest, particularly when there are no nationally-recognized hotel rating standards in the United States. But it means the world to Sandi Tanner, who is planning her 20th wedding anniversary in New Orleans.

Hotwire offered her a pre-paid, nonrefundable room at The Inn on Bourbon, which TripAdvisor gives three stars and AAA rates as three-diamond. Even Hotwire gives it a three-star rating at the time of her booking.

Just one problem: She paid for a 3.5-star room.

Now, before you say, “What’s half a star among friends?” consider what fudging half a star rating can mean to a business. Putting guests in slightly cheaper hotels can translate into millions of dollars of additional revenue per year. It’s like skimming a little off the top. It adds up.

Tanner, though disappointed, at first did what the average hotel guest would do: she went along with it.

“I would take the hotel,” she told me. “But it won’t work with me. The woman I spoke with had a very uncaring attitude even when I explained the situation. On the hotel’s own website they are still offering non-smoking king rooms, but according to her they are out of them. How is this possible?”

A downgraded hotel, forced to stay in a smoking room for her 20th anniversary. There’s got to be a better way, right?

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