Apple VacationsI will never use apple vacations or destinations travel again!

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a verified customer
Verified customer

Below is the text of a letter I sent to John Mullen, President of Apple Vacations and their response.

4380 Bunting Ln
Columbus, IN 47203
January 6, 2007

Mr. John Mullen
Apple Vacations
P.O. Box 6500
Newtown Square, PA 19073

Dear Mr. Mullen,

I am writing to let you know of the extreme disappointment my family and I have with Apple Vacations and our local travel agency, Destinations Travel. We just returned from a December 28, 2006 through January 4, 2007 vacation in Riviera Maya, Mexico booked through Destinations and Apple. However, had we known the changes Apple would make to our arrangements and lack of support from Destinations, we would NEVER have booked this vacation.

Our original flight plans (flight 420) were to leave Cincinnati at 11:00 am which would have allowed a 7:30 am departure from our home. Our return flight (FLIGHT 421) from Cancun was to leave at 2:20 pm giving us the morning to enjoy breakfast and a final walk on the beach at the hotel. Your company saw fit to not only change our return flight time but also our departure time. Had we know the flight would leave at 7:30 am from Cincinnati, OH we would never have booked this vacation since it is a two hour drive from our home, and Apple Vacations suggests we arrive two hours early. We would have had to leave home at 3:30 am to meet your suggestion.

The return flight (flight 411) was changed to 10:50 am requiring us to be checked out and at the pick up point at 5:50 am. This not only robbed us of our last morning in Mexico but also disrupted our final evening due to the need to rise so early to meet the pick up. This flight also went to Cleveland and then to Cincinnati requiring us to travel until nearly 6:00 pm that day... over 12 hours... just to get to Cincinnati (a normal 2.5 hour flight from Cancun). The bus did not arrive at the pick up point until 6:30 am. When I asked at the airport about getting on the Cincinnati flight, I was told by USA3000 that Apple would have to approve it. When I asked the Apple representative, I was referred to a supervisor. When he checked a list of flights he said, there would be a charge, and he would have to call for approval. I told him I did not intend to pay for a change when Apple made the change originally. He then asked for the original documents before he would call. We did not have the original documents with us, and it was obvious he had no intention of making the call. I gave up extremely frustrated.

The flight from Cleveland was on a 19 passenger prop plane operated by Continental. It hardly met your claim of non-stop vacation flight on new, technically advanced Airbus A-320s providing state-of-the-art aircraft for transportation.

Despite the early pick up, there was no food offered to us until we were on the flight to Cleveland. Then it was a small sandwich. By the time we reached Cincinnati, that was all that we had to eat and it was 6:30 pm (more than 12 hours since we were supposed to be picked up).

Further, while all of this is upsetting, it is infuriating to know that you chose to withhold this information from us until last week before the trip even though the flights were changed the first of December. This made it impossible for us to reschedule to another vacation for our family. I consider this a blatant act since Apple owns USA3000 and knew far in advance of the planned flight changes.

The bottom line is Apple and its charter service USA3000 failed miserably in providing the transportation service we were led to believe was part of the package for which we signed up.

As a result of all the changes, we had to stay the night in Cincinnati, board our pets an extra day, and disrupt our Christmas celebration plans with our children and our stay in Mexico. For all of this inconvenience, you gave us $100 per person. That does not begin to compensate us for the inconvenience and the additional cost we incurred. The additional costs for the hotel rooms in Cincinnati, dinner, and boarding our pets (2 dogs and a cat) for an additional night was $500. The inconvenience compensation should not only reflect the disruption to our plans and vacation but also penalize Apple for this obvious disregard for us, your customers. I believe an additional $400 per person plus reimbursement of our additional expenses would better reflect Apple’s understanding of this inconvenience.

Without this compensation, I assure you the six members of my family and I will NEVER use Apple Vacations or Destinations Travel again and will actively share our disappointment with our family, friends and various travel internet review sites. If you are as customer oriented as your literature suggests, you know that a vocal, dissatisfied customer will cost a company in future sales many times any compensation provided to reduce the dissatisfaction.

Dennis Steele

cc: Destinations Travel, 2780 N. National Rd, Columbus, IN 47201
Arnie Weissmann, Editor in Chief, Travel Weekly, [protected]
BBB of Metro Washington DC & Eastern Pennsylvania, 1411 K St. NW, 10th Floor, Washington, DC [protected]

Apple's response to the above letter was:

February 14, 2007

Dennis Steele
4380 Bunting Ln
Columbus, IN 47203

RE: CVGCUN20061228CL07 Steele #[protected]

Dear Ms. Steele,

"We are in receipt of your correspondence in regards to your Apple Vacation to Riviera Maya Resort.

Please be assured that we have a very deep concern for serving our clients and the travel professional community and we are committed to offering quality service in the travel industry.

APPLE VACATIONS deeply regret that we found it necessary to inconvenience you by making a schedule change. Although we try to minimize the impact of a schedule change, it seems that it can affect some vacationers' plans more than others. Please understand, however, that APPLE VACATIONS can all airlines, including charter and scheduled airline carriers, reserve the right to reschedule and/or reroute flights For this reason, we will stand by the compensations which was previously issued." ($100 per person) "Unfortunately, we are not able to provide the reimbursement you are requesting as glight times are subject to change.

We appreciate you taking the time to write to us. APPLE VACATIONS is considered America's favorite vacation company, therefore you feedback whether positive or negative is very important to us. In spite of this incident, it is our hope that all other aspects of you APPLE VACATION was a positive and memorable experience. Also, we hope that you will reconsider choosing APPLE VACATIONS when planning your future leisure travel needs.


Paula Kirby
Customer Care Department

Cc: Destinations Travel
2780 North National Road
Columbus, IN 47201"


  • Do
    Dorothy Zielinski Apr 06, 2010

    I agree!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ta
    Tamaragor Feb 24, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    We just got back from staying at the Riu Playacar and were very disappointed.

    Let's start out with the bad... #1 - the beach was closed for 5 days when we arrived. This is a public beach and under control of the Mexican government but staff tried to lead us to believe that they just showed up and closed the beach (for reconstruction from the last hurricane) without notice. What surprised us the most is that the other tourists from Great Britain have already known the beach being closed even before they left home. The travel agent told them beforehand. Our entire vacation was built around laying on the beach and going snorkeling. That wasn't going to happen until day 6. Moreover, we had to walk several miles in the heat to the other beach locations, which were changing every day. No shuttle or transport has been provided and I cannot walk so far in the heat.

    I saw roaches in both restaurants – La Porsche and Torcuesa. It is very hard to understand how people can eat there and not to complain. My husband and I went down to see the other two resorts that we had privileges to the Rui Tequila and Rui Yacatan and it certainly looked like the guest were having lots more fun. However, it you want to eat at either one of these resorts it can only be breakfast! The drinks were of very poor quality and brands. They tasted like soap, we were afraid to be poisoned, and did not risk to even get any other.

    Pool area
    I was disappointed that the pools are overcrowded with very hot contaminated water, we got ear infection after the 2nd day we stay there, also you need to have cards to get a beach towel, and not enough beach chair or umbrellas to protect you from the sun.

    Bath Towels
    Time to get some new ones. The ones we had were raggedy and faded. Definitely not the towels I'd put out for your guess unless they are homeless. We did not have the towel service in the other 2 RIU resorts we went to when the beach has been closed. The first day we had to walk 2 miles to the beach to find out we cannot get any towels there and stay this way or walk back to pick up one, which is ridiculous!

    The air conditioner just barely worked and sounded terribly loud, the shower did not drain, and there were no light fixtures there. So we had to take a shower in a completely dark space. We had to ask them to provide the missing screen to prevent more mosquitoes from flying in. The beds are hard and very uncomfortable. The room we stayed in was in need of a good deep cleaning, there is going to be some mildew, but the ceiling in our shower definitely needed to be cleaned from mold & repaired. The grout in the rest of the room (especially the bathroom) also could have used a thorough cleaning. Additionally, our shower did not drain properly which left us standing in about 4 inches of water each time. We have been awakening all the time by loud voices and other sounds, as the walls were so thin. We experienced a constant noise coming every night from the 3-hour shows from outside. The room had a terrible smell we could not get rid of even when the doors were open. All our cloths smell the same way now and needs dry cleaning. I am afraid it is more then that because of the mold.

    Terrible place would NOT recommend it even to my worse enemy thinking of traveling there, the Riu Playacar is very old and definitely not a 5 star resort is more like ½ star resorts.

    -1 Votes
  • Pr
    prairways May 01, 2009

    Schedules are Subject To Change Without Notice - Times shown on ticket, timetable or elsewhere are not
    guaranteed and form no part of the Contract of Carriage. USA 3000 will notify Passengers at the gate and on board an
    affected aircraft, in a timely manner, of the best available information regarding known delays, cancellations, and
    diversions. USA 3000 will not be responsible for errors or omissions either in timetables or other representation of
    schedules. No employee, agent or representative of USA 3000 is authorized to bind USA 3000 by any flight information

    Transportation of Passengers and Baggage provided by USA 3000 Airlines, are subject to the following terms and conditions, in
    addition to any terms and conditions printed on or in any ticket, ticket jacket or eticket receipt, or specified on any internet
    site, or in published schedules. By purchasing a ticket or accepting transportation, the passenger agrees to be bound thereby.

    -1 Votes
  • Ga
    Gary Derwin Apr 15, 2009

    Apr 2009 We love Jamaica. Our 4th trip was Riu, Nigril . It was over rated. We had the first two days without a working air and a frig that was warm and leaked water. I complained to the desk which I had to walk to because the phones didn't work. After the second day that gave us a new room. It was great, but we still lost two nights of good rest and the tension I felt wasn't like I was on vacation. The entertain ment at the resort was not at all good. I will never go back to this place and I am not sure I will use Apple again. Gary Derwin

    0 Votes
  • To
    Toni Mar 09, 2009

    In January, 09 I booked a trip for 8 adults and one child for Punta Cana. Today, March 9 and just 14 weeks before our departure date I was informed that Apple would no longer be providing air service on Saturdays. We can fly out on Friday morning or Monday morning, both of which causes all of the working people to take an additional day off from work. At this late date, I doubt that we will be able to find other flights available to other destinations or to even make reservations at our local beach. For our inconvenience we will be given $50 off of our next trip with Apple! Needless to say, although I have been an Apple customer for 10 years, there will be no "next trip with Apple".

    0 Votes
  • Je
    jessica Feb 18, 2009

    please email [email protected] if you would like to join a class action lawsuit against apple vacations. I have had the same experience and we should not let them get away with treating people like this!

    0 Votes
  • Au
    Aurica Butiri Nov 20, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I was in Dominican Republic, Barcelo Resort on Sept [protected]. Everything was OK, but the hotel maintenance was horrible, in rainy days was raining in the room also and nobody could do anything about it. We called for help, they came repaired it, and last for 10-15 min. until started to rain again.We were supposed to get a plate with fruit, rum etc. The next day we saw the fruit plate for few hours, when we came back in the room, the plate was gone. Where? We don't. After complaint we were told we'll get it the last day. Did we? No! It was my first time to Punta Cana, I heard friends saying it was great other times but this time it was horrible, Why? Do I want to go again? Of course not!

    0 Votes
  • Mg
    M grey Dec 02, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I was about to book a $1500+ vacation with them for the Jamaican Jazz Festival, Jan 2008, but after reading this complaint, I will not. I'll spend my money elsewhere.

    Thank you
    Mr. Steele
    Sorry for you vacation mess.

    -1 Votes
  • Rh
    Rhonda Onuszko Mar 30, 2007
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    $100 per person was fair.

    0 Votes

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