My Castaways Travel Experience
I put up this website because of the poor service that I received from Jennifer McCoy at Castaways Travel in The Woodlands, TX. The company is owned by Jim Bailey and Barbara Daniels through Fox Travel. Jennifer is Jim's daughter, and she and one other employee handle the day-to-day service for Castaways' clients.
I'm a seasoned traveler and have used travel agencies to book recreational travel all over the world (at least 50 international trips). None has performed as poorly as Castaways Travel in The Woodlands near Houston, TX, in providing customer service, privacy protection, and follow up.
Castaways Travel Customer Service Issues
The last two experiences booking travel with Castaways Travel were so bad that I feel compelled to share them on this site.
- Castaways Travel's Price was Double Quoted Amount - On one of our trips, Jennifer asked us to provide payment of $2444 for our trip by a certain day. We did. Subsequently, we got an e-mail from her that she had been mistaken about the cost of the trip and had processed the credit card we provided for $4888 instead and "was that okay?" While I understand mistakes can happen, the right answer is not to process the card without advising a client of the mistake and the best way to clear up that the trip is going to cost twice the quoted number is probably not to process the card and then e-mail asking "if that's okay."
- Castaways Travel Gave Me Bad Check In Codes Twice - We booked a cruise with Castaways. When we arrived to check in for the cruise, the code that Jennifer had provided did not work. We called to get the correct code. She gave us a second one. It didn't work either. Worse still, she implied that the problem was that we were not doing the check-in process properly.
- Castaways Travel Forgot to Make My Hotel Reservations - On our trip from, we contacted Jennifer McCoy at Castaways Travel a few days before the start of our trip because we did not have the details about the hotel reservations she promised to make for us. She said that she thought that she had made reservations for us and offered to cancel them. We just wanted to know what they were. When she figured out that she had not actually made us any hotel reservations, she offered to make them. We did it ourselves.
- Castaways Travel Provided Incomplete Information about Security Issues - On a recent trip to Istanbul, Turkey, we asked about security issues because of well publicized unrest in that country and region. The response was that we "should be fine" so long as we "stayed in the tourist areas." Jennifer offered no specifics on which areas those were. Rather than rely on her assures, we did our own research.
- Castaways Travel Has Absentee Ownership with Poor Follow Up - On a four occasions, I escalated issues to James, the owner, because getting even basic itinerary information took several e-mails to Jennifer. Because he frequently is away on guided trips, he often took few days to respond. Each time, he promised to e-mail me once he was back in the office. Only twice did he actually do so. This fits the pattern of most of our experiences with Castaways Travel of The Woodlands, TX.
We have talked to other travelers about their experiences with Castaways. To be fair, some reported no problems. However, that's not at all what we experienced on our last two bookings with them. Our experiences sucked from start to finish.
I love just telling the truth. It always prevails. I saved every e-mail, and everything I've discussed here is documented.