abc13 helps family get travel refund after booking error

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Eyewitness News helped a family get a $700 refund from a travel booking site after a booking error. (KTRK)

It was supposed to be a family vacation full of memories and adventure. But when they got to their resort, they learned they had to pay a lot more to get into the hotel. So what went wrong with the initial booking, and could this happen to anyone?

Looking back at their pictures, it looked like Kristin Stevens planned the perfect family vacation to Mexico.

"We went through Orbitz," Stevens explained to us.

It was for her husband and two sons, ages 17 and 14.

"I plugged in all the information will the ages that they did, and it came up with a price" Stevens said.

But when they arrived at the resort, there was a problem.

Stevens said, "They said we can only allow 3 adults in a room, or it's 3 adults and one child."

Citing maximum occupancy in the room, Stevens says the hotel told her their youngest son was older than 12 and considered an adult. He would have to stay in a separate room and they had to pay $729 more.

Stevens says she called Orbitz to get it taken care of and after speaking with numerous representatives, she says she was eventually told to pay the resort fee. It would be taken care of after they got back to the United States.

"They would reimburse us," Stevens says she was told.

After returning home, Stevens says, "The reason I could not get a refund, 'cause the gentleman I talked to down in Mexico didn't put any notes in."

Stevens says she spent nearly a month going back and forth with Orbitz reps to get that refund with no success. We reached out to Orbitz on her behalf. Within 24 hours, we received this statement:

"It was an error on our part and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused the customer. We have provided a full refund and we are happy that the issue has been resolved."

Sarah Schimmer with AAA says it's important for any parent to do their research when traveling with minors.

"Documentation requirements, and age requirements, any additional fees that come with traveling with children or minors, because those details can vary from vendor to vendor, and country to country," Schimmer said.

When booking through any third party site, Schimmer says to also call your destination resort and check that everything with the booking is accurate.

"Simply picking up the phone yourself and double checking all that information to make sure you know that you're equipped with anything you need to know. Especially when traveling with children or minors," Schimmer explained.
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