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Our Gate1 trip to South Africa was a big disappointment because of the many issues we encountered.The first problem was that Gate1 booked us on a Jet Blue flight from Philadelphia, PA to Boston, MA with a connection in Boston to an Emirates Airlines flight to Dubai.

Then when we tried to select our seat assignments with Emirates we found that because of the inexpensive restricted Emirates airfare selected by Gate1 that we had to pay an additional $130 each just to be able to select our seats. When we tried to check in online for our departure flights to South Africa, Emirates said that we had to check in with Jet Blue. At this point we were concerned that there may be a problem with our flight reservation. The Jet Blue check-in agent at Philadelphia was very nice but said that he could not check us in because of the way that our flight reservations were made.

We then showed him our printed flight documents, he then had to make multiple phone calls to resolve the issue with our reservations, all of which took over an hour just to check us in at Philadelphia for the flights to South Africa. Then we noticed that the seat assignments on the Emirates flight were not what we had reserved and paid additional money for. The Emirates agent in Boston said that he could not help us because Emirates had changed the type of aircraft being used on the flight from Boston to Dubai. When we were getting near Dubai there was an announcement from the Emirates crew that we were being diverted to Doha because of weather problems at the Dubai airport.

At Doha we sat in the plane on the ground for about 2 plus hours. Then there was an announcement that the plane would be proceeding to Dubai. When we got to Dubai our flight was over three hours late and our scheduled flight to Johannesburg had already taken off. We were then told that we needed to go to the “Connections” desk to get new flight assignments.

When we got to the connections desk there were already hundreds of people at the “Connections” desk trying to get their flights changed. We stood in the “Connections” line for hours, the lines were not moving, it appeared that no one in any of the lines was being helped and Emirates did not provide anyone that we could talk to about our situation or to advise us in any way. A gentleman in the line left the Emirates “Connections” line to go check on his luggage and found another “Connections” desk in another part of the airport that was not real busy. He got his tickets changed and came back to our line to advise us about the other “Connections” line.

The other line was much shorter and it took another half hour in that line to get our tickets changed. Then I was advised that we had only 45 minutes to catch our new flight which was in another terminal of the airport requiring a train ride. We did get to Johannesburg but it about 10 hours beyond our original scheduled arrival time. The next event was at one of the hotels on the tour we were assigned a room, when we got to the room it was a two bedroom suite and we were unpacking our things when we heard someone else trying to enter the room.

The person was a single man from our tour group and he announced that he was also assigned to our hotel room. We went to the front desk to complain and we told that the hotel was booked and that there were no other rooms available. We are a couple and we did not expect to have to share the privacy and security of our hotel room with someone else on the tour. The next event was when we tried to check in at the Emirates check-in desk in Cape Town to return home, the Emirates agent could not check us in.

We showed him our printed flight documentation, it then took him more than a half hour to fix our reservation and complete our check-in. The same thing happened at the Jet Blue check in at Boston. This was our first trip with Gate1 and Emirates, we encountered additional expenses that were not made aware of when we made our Gate1 reservation, we encountered extreme frustration and uncertainty with the airline reservations, we encountered extreme frustration and uncertainty with the Emirates “connections” desk in Dubai and we had to share the privacy and security of our hotel room with someone else at one of the hotels on the tour in South Africa. We did share the details of our bad experiences with Gate1 Travel and their response contained “We do regret your disappointment with…, your flights were based on an inexpensive restricted fare…, but please understand….

I followed up with our supplier…, they explained that theirs is a unique property where…..etc.” These events are almost unbelievable except that they did really happen.We would like to share this Gate1 Travel experience so that others can adjust their expectations when considering travel with Gate1 Travel.

Review about: Gate1travel Tour.

Reason of review: Poor customer service.

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As indicated in our response, it seems that the flights selected were booked and reviewed by the Travel Agency you booked through.Nevertheless, we apologize for any disappointment in what was selected and regret if you felt there was any lapse in service.

Furthermore, we are sorry if your hotel accommodations caused you any discomfort, but it appears each room has its own private door leading off the communal lounge.Nevertheless we have shared your feedback with the appropriate individuals.

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