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Beware of using Gate 1 Travel.

First, you are required to put down a deposit which you are told is to hold services. Should you decide to cancel, you are not given the deposit back as the company will tell you that they paid a penalty for the canceled service. This is not the case. Gate 1 banks your deposit - sometimes a year in advance of travel - and collect interest and pays NO cancellation fee to its vendors.

If you are booking a tour, beware. Many times in the past, the owner, Dani Pipano is aware the tour will not be running or that MAJOR attractions advertised will not be available - however, employees are not allowed to tell the passenger instead are required to wait until just 14 days before travel to tell you that you won't get to see what you've paid for. The logic is: you'll go anyway because you've purchased other services in conjunction w/ this trip. Ie, it will cost you too much to cancel.

If you complain enough, you will get a credit for future travel. Your trip is ruined and Gate 1 thinks $50 per person toward future travel will make a difference.

The owner is currently looking for ways to cut costs - its a major campaign of his. He is downgrading hotels, cutting costs on contracts so that vendors are not as willing to cooperate and systematically letting go some of his more seasoned employees, replacing with new graduates with no background. These new employees are diligent and eager to learn - but it can be at your expense. With very low pay, you get very low commitment - this is who is booking your trip of a lifetime.

The company employees about 3-4 FULL TIME people who read complaints all day. Most are answered - however, even 2 employees at 8 hours a day.....do the math. There are a LOT of complaints.

Do your homework - don't accept what it says on the website. Don't accept hotel changes and last minute substitutions....you are getting bottom of the barrel and its not right.

Product or Service Mentioned: Gate1travel Tour.

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Anonymous
Levittown, Pennsylvania, United States #1302134

Rude, absolutely rude reservation person named Ben. I'm a professional senior travel agent and have never been treated with such rudeness in 30 years in the business.

He represents the face of Gate One and an employee with his attitude would not be on board for long. Service is the name of the game.

Anonymous
Mountain View, California, United States #1255691

I've traveled with Gate 1 on 7 different trips over the past 10 years or so, and was largely satisfied.

Anonymous
#830317

Unfortunately, this is also my experience. We just returned from the tour that omitted the major attraction in the Glacier National Park and we learned about it last minute.

Needless to say, they have known about it for a long time.

Moreover, the guide of this tour, Judy, was absolutely the worst guide I have met in my 10+ years of intensive traveling. At some point, she wanted to remove 8 people from the bus since they were complaining about her services!

Anonymous
Buffalo, New York, United States #747728

This one definitely sounds like a disgruntled/former employee wrote it.

Anonymous
Gilroy, California, United States #679457

I have had nothing but trouble booking with this company. I was quoted a price, paid it, then was sent a bill for more.

According to them, they are looking into it. The 1st person told me their computers were updated and these are the new prices! Huh! I don't think so!

If thats the case I WILL be getting all my money back.

If this wasn't a private tour I would have not dealt with these people! They are horrible

Anonymous
#535764

I tried contacting Gate1(8-29-12..7pm) and a recording message informed me that the person was not answering...there was a backlog of 19 calls...was simply to trying to book a trip for the 3 of us.

Anonymous
#513947

I use gate 1 quite a bit, i did have an issue on one of my trips with them. About 5 years ago I took a trip through gate 1 to Australia, with a stpover in Tahiti.

it was like 12 days total. The tour was great except for one thing. When I booked the trip it stated that the breakfast was included for all days at all hotels (in Austrailia & tahiti). The first morning in australia, at the Hotel I went to get breakfast, they said i needed a breakfast voucher.

I informed them that Gate 1 was to include it in the package, I even showed them the travel documents showing it. But for some reason, gate 1 didn't pay them for the breakfast package, only for the room. We tried to call gate 1 while in Australia, but because Australia is 16 hrs ahead of Eastern standard time, that was unsuccessful, The hotel left them a message so they can call back and fix the issue for the remaining 11 days. I even called myself and left a message.

They never called back, the hotels (in Australia & Tahiti) called them every day to get this fixed, but they never got a return call from Gate 1. I then made sure to keep all my receipts for breakfast since I had to pay for 11 days of breakfast which should have been free. Each day cost $10 - $15 for breakfast, so for 11 days, you can do the math and see that this was an unforeseen and unwelcome expense I didn't plan on.

So when i got back, home I let Gate 1 have it, and i sent them all the breakfast receipts I had, and demanded a refund. It took them a month to refund me, but at least they did refund me for their incompetence in booking the correct packages with thee hotels.

Anonymous
#421443

I booked in Nov with Gate 1. Due to someone not doing their job, flights and extras were not booked.

Now in January this has all gone up 1500$ we can not afford that. They will not give back the deposit.

They will put part of it toward another trip. At this time I would never book with them again.

Anonymous
#259012
BTW whoever wrote this article thanks for sharing such information. That will make me think twice before i consider booking my next trip in advance.

:p

I'm certainly not slamming Gate 1 [it has been my primary travel agency] but people put their hard earned money into these trips. I for one can't afford to throw money away and i only get to go somewhere maybe once a year. So I want to know that the company cares enough that their patrons have an enjoyable time.

I'll see how the next trip goes and if as terrible as others say the company has gotten to be lately then i'll be taking my pennies elsewhere. Looking at Tralfagar and others now.
Anonymous
#259006
I like Gate 1. It makes travelling affordable and possible for people who have moderate incomes like myself. But not all of my experience with Gate 1 has been positive either. :(
I have had my share of experience with some sloppy customer service reps that made me never want to consider travelling with them again. You'd think they'd work harder to retain business in times like these.
I have taken 3 vacations with this company, and so far they were not cancelled nor was the itinerary misleading. :zzz
I wish i could have more trust that this company won't do its loyal and new customers grimy but sometimes i wonder and just keep my fingers crossed. :?
Anonymous
Erode, Tamil Nadu, India #231691

i agree with first post. i had initially a terribel experince with a sales associate by the name of donna davidson..rude rude rude.

when i asked for someone else i was gven sharon palm..she was wonderful, thorough, patient, and informative. later i was told she left the company. the rude ones stick around and the best ones leave.

the owner of this company Pipano also gave me false information when i had called and i have to question his ethics and practices. no more gate 1 or donna davidson for me

Anonymous
#228043

It's unfortunate if this person had a bad experience with Gate 1. However, I've taken two tours with them and found the entire process to be honest, straightforward and NO PROBLEMS whatsoever.

I did Egype & India tours and Gate 1 was very helpful and informative, with great hotels and local guides. Can't wait to go on another tour with them.

My best advice: Use a reliable, experienced travel agent who's looking out for your best interests in making the arrangements for you.

Anonymous
#214847

As the manager of Gate 1 Travel's customer service department, and as an 11-year employee of the company, I would like to respond to this post.

First and foremost, if a customer has a concern about our policies they can contact us at anytime to review their concerns. We do indeed have several team members in our customer service department, not only to handle the unforeseen problems that arise when travelling, but also to address constructive feedback and ensure that we continue to provide the level of service that our clients have come to expect. We thoroughly research all issues brought to our attention and provide an individualized reply. We enjoy a tremendous amount of repeat business due to the level of service our clients receive.

It is standard within the travel industry to require a non refundable deposit; many other companies mandate significantly more. The deposit covers the costs related to the reservation and pre-travel services provided.

We do our best to advise our clients as soon as we are aware of any changes to an upcoming itinerary or tour departure. And we demand of our suppliers that substitutions of hotels or any other component be of equal of higher standard than initially booked.

We do strive to reduce costs, but never at the expense of our customers. We negotiate with our suppliers in order to live up to our motto of More of the World for Less.

Senior management is comprised of staff with 5 years to 20-plus years of employment with Gate 1 Travel. Within the entire company we are proud that we have numerous employees who have stayed with us for many years.

-Christine

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