I have taken two trips with Gate One and have had flight issues both times. The first trip was guided and the problem was mechanical in nature.
No other plane, had to fly one in from Mexico, we were in Quito. The airline took responsibility of its own and issued credits for the flight. The second trip was to Australia and was an independent trip. The airline was China Eastern.
The time in Australia was wonderful. The hotel was in need of a refresh, but the reviews had made that clear. We spent little time there, but it was not the quality most people would expect. I did some research before I booked so I was not surprised.
I SHOULD have researched the airline better, who knew! China Eastern has a poor reputation. Flying though China in general is best avoided. On the return trip we were late landing.
There was only 30 minutes until the next flight left. China Eastern just refused to let us leave the arrivals area and said we could leave the following day at 1:00 or 9:00 PM. Go get the luggage and be taken to a hotel. This meant applying for a temporary visa, finally got through that process only to have people very rudely tell us to wait 30 minutes for the hotel.
Of course we were not in the right place, after almost an hour of waiting for the people to come get us. Next place, 30 minutes, bus will come. Asking for an updated was not well received. 90 minutes later we are put on a bus and taken to another shabby hotel.
I spent the night trying to make new travel arrangements as we were supposed to land in LAX at 6:00 PM Saturday night and fly out at 6:00 am Sunday. Instead, at 6:00 am I was in Shanghai. Re-booking the flight resulted in $200 per person fees and put us home on Monday - cost a day of PTO. The hotel in LA was non-refundable of not canceled by Thursday of the previous week - an additional $155 loss.
The car was airport parked for two additional days due to the delay - 21.90 plus tax. We spent 13 hours at LAX - add meals and agony that cannot be calculated with a price. Overnight flight home - maybe the best part of this ordeal since it was very quiet since most people slept. While at LAX talked with China Eastern (why not, had plenty of time!) They said (as stated on the website) that any refunds for trip delays/interruptions had to be handled by the booking agent if one was used.
You guessed it Gate One says their terms and conditions that were agreed to say no trip insurance no relief. They also said if I "didn't know what I was doing" I should have called. Of course they also said the layover time in Shanghai was "legal" and would have been offered by phone as well. I am a seasoned traveler and the only time I have used an agent has been the two Gate One trips, all others, domestic and international, I have booked myself without indecent.
They were insulting and did not care whether I planned to remain a customer or leave poor feedback. BEWARE of Gate One. Great when all goes smoothly (but do your independent research and understand what hotels they are using and apparently airlines as well)! I would suggest avoiding their independent tours completely.
Even guided, they deposit you at the airport so you are on your own with flight issues. The numbers you are given to use if there is a problem were useless. The group of people that I was stranded with in Shanghai tried calling, no answer. As a final thought, don't connect through China if you can avoid it, all Chinese airlines have a poor reputation and the country is notorious for having flight issues and doing nothing more than providing a room if absolutely necessary.
I have yet to find a place on the Gate One website to leave a review.
That speaks volumes! You can read positive reviews, but just try to leave a review, not happening!
Review about: Gate1travel Tour.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $850.
Preferred solution: Price reduction.
I didn't like: Unreliable company.