This story will make you want to do your own research before booking a hotel room. Our viewer was looking for a much needed, quiet vacation, but wound up with a huge letdown instead.
"I had just found out I needed heart surgery," said Dianne Macnair of Sunnyvale. She wanted a peaceful getaway before undergoing major surgery. "You know just trying to run away to paradise."
An ad from AAA Travel caught her eye. It offered a vacation special at the Hilton Village on Waikiki Beach.
"It just sounded really beautiful. With five pools. It has its own private beach," said Macnair.
So she called and booked the trip, but when she got her itinerary, it seemed there was a mistake. Instead of the Hilton, she was booked at the Ala Moana Hotel.
"So I called back and I said, 'I don't understand what's going on. I thought I was going to the Hilton Village,' and she said something like, 'Well, the Ala Moana is better. It's a four-star hotel. You'll love it there. I've been there myself,'" said Macnair.
So, Macnair agreed to stay there instead. She flew off, got to the hotel, checked in and her aloha spirit plunged.
"When I got to the room it was dirty," said Macnair.
She showed us pictures of her room. She says the chair was moldy, the carpet was stained, and the lamp was held together with duct tape. When she took a shower, she says this fixture fell out of the wall and her balcony? It was actually a railing outside a sliding door, overlooking a parking lot, with a warning to keep the doors locked at all times.
"'Do not open' because if you did you'd fall out the door," said Macnair.
Macnair says she kept out of the room, touring the island, taking pretty pictures, and when she got back home she asked for a refund.
"What I ended up with wasn't anything like what they had advertised," said Macnair.
She showed her room pictures to AAA which promised her a voucher for future travel, but she says she never received it. Months later, she contacted 7 On Your Side and we called AAA. The company tells us, "AAA is dedicated to serving its members and providing them with the ultimate travel experience through AAA Travel packages. We are investigating this incident to assure that we are presenting accurate information to our members, and to avoid any re-occurrence. Unfortunately her experience did not measure up to our standards. We have issued Ms. Macnair a voucher to compensate the difference of the hotel she was originally booked into."
We also contacted the Ala Moana Hotel. The general manager tells us: "We pride ourselves on providing each guest with warm island-style hospitality and do our best to promptly address any issues. There is no indication in our records of anything amiss with Ms. Macnair's visit. Our staff would have been happy to assign a room more to her liking. I sincerely apologize for any inconveniences."
Macnair came through that surgery, enjoys pictures of her island tours, and she finally received that $500 voucher from AAA.
"Within two or three days! Thank you very much I really appreciate it," said Macnair.
She also received a $250 voucher from the tour company that provides those AAA packages. Macnair is still deciding what to go with that money. We'd like to thank AAA for that refund.