Travel agency offers tourists taxi ride from Russia to Greece


(Photo: CGTN)

Two Chinese tourists got the shock of their lives when a travel agency booked them at a hotel thousands of kilometers from their intended destination.

When they had hoped to stay at Barbados Hostel in Vladivostok in Russia, accommodation was actually reserved at Island Barbados Kavos in Greece.

To make matters worse, they were advised to take a taxi from the Russian city to the Greek seaside village.

According to the Weibo account one of the tourists, he booked a three-night stay at Barbados Hostel in Russia on Mafengwo, a Beijing-based online trip-planning platform earlier this month. But when he and his friend got to the venue, they were told that there was no booking record.

@Ercunbuting immediately approached Mafengwo’s online customer service to check his booking but he kept waiting for some time by an online customer service representative.  

After several rounds of questioning, @Ercunbuting said he was told he that he needed to check in the afternoon. But he had actually arrived at the hotel at 2:21 pm.

Unsatisfied, @Ercunbuting decided to ask a friend at home to phone the agency at which point he was offered two options. The screenshot shared on Weibo shows that he can either accept a 216-yuan compensation or hail a taxi in Russia to Island Barbados Kavos, the wrongly-booked hotel in Greece with the fare to be paid by the travel agency.

@Ercunbuting was shocked by the solutions and returned to the online customer service to double-check. The response reconfirmed that he could definitely get reimbursed for a taxi to Greece.

Perplexed, @Ercunbuting posted his experience with the travel agency on Weibo on Saturday and got a statement from Mafengwo the next day.

In the statement, the company made an apology for the wrong booking and the solutions offered by its customer service. Mafengwo promised that it will compensate three times the booking fees, all fees for his accommodation in Russia, and pay the taxi fares from Russia to Greece, around 80,000 yuan.

Mafengwo’s decision to take a taxi from Russia to Greece was greeted with a mixture of incredulity and hilarity on Weibo.

“You may create the record of the longest taxi ride and can earn more by live streaming your taxi journey,”a  Weibo user commented.

“I also had the similar experience. I booked a hotel in Hong Kong and I was told there’s no booking record when I was going to check in. I contacted the customer service but they told me not to tell the hotel via the platform on which I booked the hotel room. Finally, I was told that my booking information was not forwarded to the hotel,” said one traveler.