A newlywed couple almost missed out on an $2,000 honeymoon in St. Petersburg, Russia because they tried to fly without first obtaining Russian visas for the trip. According to this story in USA Today, Bethany Thomas and Dmitri Zagidulin booked the Russian honeymoon via Expedia.
They weren’t sure if they needed visas or not, but the Expedia travel agent assured them they didn’t. The newlyweds didn’t even know that they had a problem until they got to Frankfurt and were not allowed to get on board the plane into Russia. To add insult to injury, their luggage was sent on to St. Petersburg, and all Expedia would do to fix the situation was offer them a $100 hotel credit. Not cool!
Fortunately, this story does have a happy ending, thanks largely to the magic of Facebook and Twitter. Thomas, a writer, chronicled the couple’s frustration on her blog. The blog entry spread via Twitter and Facebook, and people began calling and emailing Expedia on their behalf.
To its credit, Expedia acted quickly to prevent a potential PR disaster by doing the right thing for the couple, reimbursing for extra expenses like the cost of securing expedited Russian visas and giving them $3,000 in future travel credits. Nice!
There are 2 lessons we can learn from this story:
- Social networking is powerful.
- Don’t rely on a booking agent to tell you whether or not you need a visa. Check the Department of State’s website or call RushMyTravelVisa.com!
At RushMyTravelVisa, we’ll be happy to research your itinerary and let you know what visas you will need for your trip. We’ll also help you with application paperwork and then forward your application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for faster processing.
You’ll work with a trained, knowledgeable visa specialist to get the paperwork you need for your trip. This is especially helpful when it comes to countries like Russia, which maintain what even the US State Department calls a “restrictive and complicated visa regime.”