Family's Trip to Cuba More Expensive Because of a Car Rental
By Myriam Masihy
A family paid in advance to rent car in Cuba. But they were late to pick
up the vehicle. When they got there, It had been rented out and their
money was gone.
(Published Wednesday, April 5, 2017)
Yurayma Jorge saved for months so her family could spend the Christmas
holiday with relatives in Cuba.
"I expected to have my dream vacation," Jorge said.
The Jorge family used travel agency, Caribe Express, to plan the trip.
Among the plans they made was renting a car to use to see the island and
to help take her ill mother-in-law to doctor appointments.
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They signed a contract and paid $1,452 in advance to rent it.
The family planned to pick up the car from the rental car agency,
Havanatur, after landing at the airport in Havana. But when they got to
Havana, their kids were sick.
"We decided to go to the hospital instead of going to pick up the car,"
Their contract with Caribe Express required them to pick up a voucher at
the airport. They did pick up the voucher and expected the car to be
waiting for them the next morning.
But it wasn't. It had been rented to someone else.
They spent the week trying to get a car or a refund. Neither happened.
When they returned to the US, Jorge called Caribe Express and filed a
complaint with Florida's Division of Consumer Services. But she still
wasn't able to get any money back.
A Caribe Express spokesperson says the family made a critical mistake.
"It's a 24-hour rental facility. The moment they don't pick up their car
by midnight, they rent the car to the next person waiting on line," said
Linda Dieguez with Caribe Express.
The state closed the complaint after Caribe Express provided a signed
document which states the family was supposed to pick up the car when
they picked up the voucher.
"If you do not pick up your car you lose your reservation you lose the
funds," Dieguez explained.
Caribe Express says they had to pay the agency for the vehicle in
advance so they don't have the money to return.
Yurayma still feels she deserves some money back. Either way, she's
hoping others will learn from what happened to her so they can avoid
stress on their getaway to Cuba.
A spokesperson with Havanatur in Cuba told us it's important to
communicate with your travel agency and report in advance any delays in
picking up your vehicle on the reservation date. They also said they
would look into this case to see if there is anything they can do about
But the Jorge family is still waiting.
Published at 7:32 PM EDT on Apr 5, 2017
Source: Family's Trip to Cuba More Expensive Because of a Car Rental |
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