Local News

Couple's Vacation Marred By Theft, Refund Runaround

Posted June 27, 2003 10:43 a.m. EDT

— James Crone and his wife are veteran travelers.

"We just love to travel.We always have," he said. "Particularly as it related to English literture, which which we love."

One of the their favorite destinations is London. In November the couple took a trip booked through American Airlines Vacations. The deal included a week's stay at the Thistle Victoria Hotel.

"Well, then all of a sudden Ethyl couldn't find her bag," Crone said.

Ethyl Crone's purse was stolen while they were inside the hotel. Their vacation came to temporary halt.

"We lost about two days stopping credit cards, collecting cash, getting a new passport. So it became a little bit of a problem," Crone said.

Then the Crones noticed a copy of a law posted in their hotel room. The law holds British hotels responsible for guest security.

Crone mentioned the law to the hotel's general manager, who reimbursed $100 spent on calls to get credit cards cancelled. He also agreed to refund two nights of the stay, totaling almost $300.

A couple of months went by without a refund.

"I tried to call them and they never would return my call," Crone said.

Crone called 5 On Your Side, which called Thistle Victoria in London.

The general manager said American Airlines Vacations was reimbursed for the Crones' stay since they booked the room and that American Airlines was supposed to refund the Crones.

American Airlines spokeswoman Tara Bateon told Five On Your Side "it wasn't made clear" that the hotel expected the airline to refund the money. As a matter of "customer service" Bateon agreed to pay the Crones $300.

The Crones are satisfied and said next time they take a trip, they will keep a closer eye on their things and save themselves a lot of trouble.

Crone said he received the refund on his credit card. The experience has not changed their minds about traveling. The couple hopes to visit England again.