A room at the Plaza Hotel for $119 a night? Where do I book?

In early June, room rates at the five-star Plaza Hotel start at about $725 a night. So when Mania Baghdadi found a $119 rate through Booking.com, she pounced on it.

And who wouldn’t? The Plaza, which is managed by Fairmont, is one of Manhattan’s top hotels. A $119 rate is a steal.

And you can probably guess what’s coming next, right?
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Hyatt charged me for my canceled hotel room and now I’m stuck

Songquan Deng/Shutterstock
Songquan Deng/Shutterstock
Question: I recently attended a job fair in Marietta, Ga. Because I was unsure of the number and date of interviews I would have at the event, I decided to book a room for one night at the Hyatt, in case I had to extend my stay.

I didn’t need the room, so I called a full day before I was supposed to check in to cancel. But a Hyatt representative told me they could not find my reservation and that I would need to call back later in the day to cancel. I called back that afternoon and was transferred to central booking. A representative said they could not process a cancellation for me. So I called the hotel and they agreed to cancel my reservation.

When I tried to book a flight back home this morning, my card was rejected because of insufficient funds. I checked my account and found the Hyatt had charged my card $141.

I immediately called the hotel and they told me that if I did not have a confirmation number there was nothing they could do. I kept calling back until someone in accounting said they would research the issue but no one ever said they would be able to refund my money. Without a cancellation number, they said, I would be considered a “no show.”
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Is this enough compensation for my canceled room?

stormy weatherWith Superstorm Sandy bearing down on the New York area last fall, Monica Greene sent a concerned email to their Airbnb host in Jersey City. The host told her she could cancel her reservation in light of the looming natural disaster.

What her host didn’t say — but Greene now knows — is that the homeowner intended to keep her money. All of it.

“Our airline gave us full credit on our tickets,” she says. “Airbnb refunded its part of the fee, but she kept $1,500. I am wondering if there is any other recourse for us?”
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Surviving the great train robbery of Arkville

The two-hour train ride from Arkville, NY to Roxbury runs through some of the most beautiful scenery in New York’s Catskills.

Add a dozen passengers in historically accurate attire, reenacting a 19th century train robbery, and you have all the makings of a fun-filled afternoon.
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“They have declined to honor the discounted rate”

Question: We were offered a special rate of $199 a night at the Hilton New York, as part of a package deal by the organizers of a trade show. Although we specifically requested this rate at the time of booking, the reservation agent reported that she could not find it on Hilton’s system. We were denied this rate and instead booked at $239 a night rate for three nights for two rooms, resulting in a $250 overcharge.

We took up the matter with the organizers of the trade show, who later informed us that there was some kind of glitch in the reservation system and that we should get the special rate. When we checked the hotel Web site, we saw that they were indeed offering this special rate — though it was not offered to us.

I have spoken with the reservation agent and also emailed the hotel but they have declined to honor the discounted rate without offering any reason other than saying that the erroneous bookings made by them are nonrefundable. I would appreciate it if you can resolve this. — Joy Valentine, Chapel Hill, NC

Answer: If you were offered a $199 a night rate, you should get it.

A review of the email correspondence between you and Hilton — which I’m sparing my readers because of its length — shows you repeatedly asking the hotel to fix the rate error, and hotel representatives repeatedly refused your request.
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