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Customer Service

1800 682 3333 (USA and Canada)
1300 653 618 (Australia)
+1 215 572 7676 (International)
455 Maryland Drive
Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
United States - 19034
Mon9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tue9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wed9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thu9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Fri9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sat10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Australia
6/10 Hoddle Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067, Australia

Complaints & Reviews

Peru tour

I recently did a Peru tour with Gate 1 and I enjoyed Peru despite them and I will not be using Gate 1 again.
Where to start?
The booking process went okay, but when it came to receiving the travel documents, it was ridiculous. First, they charged to have travel documents delivered and what was delivered after emails to ensure they did send them, were just black and white copies that probably cost them 2 dollars, instead of the 20 they charged me.
When the tour began, it was okay. We had a good tour guide and the local Lima tour guide was simply fantastic.
However, they have these "optional tours", which they charge quite an amount of money for and after doing them, I realized should be standard. For instance, to see Cusco at all, you would have had to pay for optional tours. So they essentially take you to Cusco, include nothing in the tour and make you pay an exorbitant amount to do "optional tours". It became so annoying for me. I wondered why in the world I had booked with them in the first place.
Then of course, the highlight, Macchu Pichu, right? You would think they would make sure it went well. Well, things run on time, but we were really screwed. They had the option of the vista dome and charged 76 dollars, for the upgrade and what did we get for it? We did not have a guide with us, cause the guides on our group went with the group that did not upgrade. We only had a local guide at the site itself, who was to put it mildly, useless. He spent more time talking about himself and his degree in anthropology or something, than making sure we appreciated the history of the site. He rushed us through the tour and did not bother to orient us to the various sections of the site when we got the chance to spend our own time there. I mean, really? And as if that wasn't enough, the extra cost meant they cheated us out of 2 hours at the site, that those who did not pay extra got. You would think one would be informed of something like that before making such a decision.
The hotels were adequate, nothing to write home about.
All in all, I will never use Gate 1 again and recommend to travelers who want to enjoy themselves and get good value to use other tour companies.
No one needs the aggravation.

  • Ga
    Gate1Travel Jan 24, 2012

    Hello. My name is Candice and I work for Gate 1 Travel. Our Customer Service Department has also received these comments and we certainly are concerned over what has been written. We have been in contact with the customer and are conducting research into the issues that are outlined.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    Carson5 Apr 05, 2013

    Overall, our family of 5 was satisfied with the Gate 1 tour of Peru. I personally, was very dissatisfied and sickened with the selection of hotels (May 2012) in Lima and Machu Picchu. I don't recall the budget (cheaper of two options ) hotel name in Miraflores, but two of our three rooms had musty, dirty smells on our arrival. However, on our return from Machu Picchu, the rooms seemed clean without the odors. Hanaqpacha Inn, Machupicchu, literally made me sick. Upon our return from climbing Machu Picchu, I stupidly used a glass from our hotel bathroom. I noticed that it had a white dot spot at the bottom of the glass. I washed it out, but an hour or so later, I felt quizzy. My daughter and I shared the same drink of boxed fruit juice and vodka but in different glasses. Around midnight, Shigella symptoms hit hard. I was diagnosed with Shigella upon return to the States. A month and a half later and after two rounds of antibiotics, I was back to normal. Thankfully, the rest of my family is healthy.
    Our tour guides were all very helpful, knowledgeable, on time. Peru is a beautiful country. Loved Lima's Museum and sites along the way to/in/from Machu Picchu on the regular train. I agree with the above reviewer, that the the more expensive dome train is not needed.

    0 Votes

Scam: Liars, unreliable, DO NOT USE THEM

We booked our wedding anniversary celebration trip to Switzerland with Gate 1 Travel, through Virgin Vacations. Believe Virgin is the broker and Gate 1 is a supplier to Virgin Vacations. Our flights from PIT to NY to Zurich was re-routed due to an airline cancellation on the first leg. We contacted Gate 1 and gave them options for a later flight that would have delayed us for 2 hours, but still follow the original itinerary. Gate 1 was very unresponsive and made us wait for several hours in the airport, they gave us another flight option that added an extra leg and added half a day to the trip to Zurich.
Once arrived we were supposed to get a rental car with Hertz, as booked
with Gate 1. Once we got to the Hertz counter they had no rezervation for rental, in fact they told us they had a vaucher on our name that was cancelled by Gate 1 and if we want to get a car it would cost us 1100 for the week. So we had to pay the new rental fee after we already paid it through Gate 1. After numerous phone calls and e-mails with Gate 1, Joe from customer service told us to accept the new charges and we will get reimbursed once we get back to US. It has been 1 month since we got charged twice fornthe same rental car and we have still not seen any reimbursement, they keep giving us the run around. At this point we have started the dispute of charges through the credit card company. I am sick of waiting for our money and sick of their lies. They are crooks, do not get tempted by their low prices because you will ruin your vacation. I would never use them again!

  • Ga
    Gate1Travel Jun 28, 2011

    We have been working with Hertz Customer Service, and have been assured the refund will be applied to their account as soon as possible.

    0 Votes
  • Ga
    Gate1Travel Jul 01, 2011

    Certainly cancelled flights are an inconvenience. We did our best to offer the best available flight options at that time and are also pleased to inform that the rental agency refunded the client what was due. We regret if any misunderstanding occurred.

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Christina Myron Mar 29, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I just returned from a 12 night trip to China using Gate 1 Travel. While I cannot comment on your experience mine was A1 right from the start. I flew from Vancouver, spent three nights in Shanghai, four on a riverboat on the Yangtze River with optional excursions, two nights in Xian and three in Beijing. The flight arrangements went smoothly, the choice of places to visit were well selected and highlighted China's history. Twenty six meals were included in the price and they were all great.

    Our tour guide was first class and went out of his way to see that our needs were met. His attention to details e.g . including a couple of birthdays and adjusting his arrangements to include celebrating them made the trip even more special.

    We all commented on how much value we received for our money and couldn't figure out how Gate 1 could include all that they did at the price we paid.

    Nothing in this world is perfect, and I understand that one bad experience can surely turn
    you off using the same carrier again, but having also met other Gate 1 groups en-route I heard the same positive feedback from them.

    Don't let one bad experience keep you away from using a company, who I truly believe do all that they can to give their customers a unique and cost effective vacation.

    0 Votes

Update to prior Complaint

Good news: I received a call from my travel agent that Gate 1 Travel has cancelled the trip to Egypt and will allow the deposits to be applied to a future vacation.

  • So
    socalsally Oct 23, 2012

    My sister and I also had a trip planned to Egypt that was cancelled. Gate1travel did return our deposit and gave us one hundred dollars each toward our next trip. We just got back from Thailand and had a great time. Our tour guide was the best and our hotels were 4 and 5 star. We are looking forward to planning another trip with Gate1travel.

    0 Votes

Refuses Trip Rescheduling

VERY DISSATIFIED with Gate1. Six members of my family booked a tour of Israel and Egypt with Gate1 before the violence broke out. The trip is scheduled to depart in only three 47f3fweeks and the political situation continues to deteriorate, but Gate1 has not cancelled the trip, nor will it allow its customers to apply the deposit to a different Gate1 trip. It appears that Gate1 is hoping my family will forfeit the $2, 400 deposit rather than go through with a vacation in a war zone. I'll post an updated review of Gate1 if its position changes, but that doesn't appear to be likely.

  • Mj
    MJPlante Apr 20, 2011

    Good news: I received a call from my travel agent that Gate 1 Travel has cancelled the trip to Egypt and will allow the deposits to be applied to a future vacation.

    0 Votes
  • Su
    Susan62 Sep 25, 2013

    My daughter booked her trip to Turkey several months ago. With the imminent threat of the US bombing Syria and the protests in Istanbul she was of course extremely concerned. All Gate1 did was say she would forfeit her money if she cancelled. I sent them an email and finally got a reasonable answer as to the situation, but they were adamant about not cancelling even though the US was pulling their diplomats out of Turkey. My advice...get travel insurance (which my kid had) and make sure it covers civil unrest as a reason to cancel a trip and get a refund.

    0 Votes

Cancelled flight

I recently went on a trip to Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast on a 9 day tour through Gate1 Travel. We paid for a...

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Nightmare

I'm a parish priest who recently booked a trip to Europe with Gate One after explaining that I have a parishioner who is dying and would have to play it by ear. The agent suggested getting the full insurance coverage which would allow me to cancel without loosing my money. "No problem, " she said.I did so.

A week before my scheduled departure it began to be clear that the person from my church might die during my absense so I called Gate 1 to notify them that I would probably have to cancel. They said that it was no problem as I had the full coverage insurance and to call back on 72 hours prior to departure to cancel.

I called early on the morning of the day I was told to and did not receive a call back for several hours. When the agent returned my call, she informed me that I would receive a travel voucher that would have to be used within one year and that I would have to cancel in writing. She also mentioned that since this person was not immediate family I could not receive my money back and suggested that I take it to the insurance company. Neither the voucher, the fact that it had to be immediate family, nor the cancellation in writing had been mentioned prior to this time. I was away from home at that point and could not get to my computer to receive her email with instructions until after the deadline. I also contacted Travel 1 and left a message for a manager to contact me and did not receive a call back. Doing some research on the net, it appears that the full coverage insurance does not include airfare and that there are all sorts of fees tat will not be covered. What does full coverage mean?

At this time I have already contacted my credit card company to complain and asked both the agent and the manager to contact me. Later today I will attmept to sort this out again but will also contact a lawyer and the state attorney general's office. This is very dishonest and unprofessional.

  • Ba
    Babbott Jun 28, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am outraged at the total lack of service from Gate 1 Travel after spending about $2, 000 for me and a friend to tour Venice, Florence and Rome with them.

    For this extaordinary fee, all that we got were the hotel reservations and train tickets. That's it! I could have done that myself, which I did to travel from London to Paris to Milan to Verona to Innsbruck, Austria. My friend had traveled with them before and thought it might be a nice idea to catch up with one of their tours beginning in Venice on May 23, 2011 to finish our trip with visits to Florence and Rome.

    We never received any information from Gate 1 Travel when we arrived at their hotels, which they made the reservations for. The hotels claimed to know nothing about the tour:. We never met anyone from the tour, including any local contacts for assistance|. We did not get any restaurant or sightseeing recommendations". We got nothing--all for $2, 000.. That only paid for the hotels and train tickets from Venice to Rome.. This is a ripoff and any other word that can be used for thievary?. This is the lowest form of customer service for the highest price that I have ever received in over 40 years of travelling in Europe|.

    0 Votes

[Resolved] Airport transfer

In June 2009 I took a Gate 1 tour of Spain & Portugal. I paid Gate 1 in advance for an airport transfer ($100) from the Madrid airport to my hotel since I was arriving a day before the tour began. The driver never showed up (was told car trouble), so I took a cab for about $40. My Gate 1 tour guide promptly reimbursed me for the $40 in cash. Upon my return home I contacted Gate 1 to get reimbursed for the rest of the money owed me, $60. I was told by Gate 1 as far as they were concerned I had been reimbursed, case closed. Unacceptable. I will not patronize Gate 1 again!

  • Ga
    Gate1Travel Jul 02, 2010

    Hello. My name is Candice and I work for Gate 1 Travel. It seems there may have been a bit of miscommunication and we certainly apologize for any inconvenience. It was our understanding that you were reimbursed locally, however if that is not the case, please contact us directly at [email protected] and we will be more than pleased to research your concerns.

    0 Votes

Will never recommend

If you are thinking of booking a trip through Gate 1 Travel, please rethink. They are very quick and very...

Poor customer service

Do NOT use their vacation builder. I asked for assistance on the Vacation Builder. The woman took my phone...

Tour Bus Accident

The tour minibus driver was speeding on a narrow roadwhile going across the Atlas Mountains, when it suddenly broadsided a private car.
There was a heavy impact but, fortunately, nobody was seriously injured.
My wife was thrown forward and fell into the stair well, and I banged both my knees and hands on the seat in front.
Some passangers suffered minor cuts, but my wife and I ended up with a few bruises, and my eye glasses were broken.
After about two hours, another bus came in and we continued the trip, except that it was not possible for us to go on the walking tours for the next two days, on account of our bruised legs.
Upon returning to the USA, we reported the accident to GATE1 TRAVEL and requested that they pay (even in the form of vouchers for future trips) for my eye glasses and my two visits to an orthopedist.
They were very rude, and did not assume any responsibility for the accident.
Beware of GATE1 TRAVEL: they carry our lives on their hands, but they are not responsible for any problems they cause.
No wonder I heard from people in the travel industry that they are on the brink of going out of business, leaving many people's money in limbo.

Tour of Turkey

Turkey is such a wonderful country to visit, with its great cultural and historical assets.

Unfortunately, we chose the wrong company for this trip, because GATE1 TRAVEL delivers tours of very poor quality.
The hotel in Istanbul was old, poorly kept, and located in a seedy part of town.
In Izmir, the hotel was far from everything, so that we wasted a lot of time on public trasportation to go to town.
Some of the other hotels were mediocre at best.

To add insult to injury, we had to endure a tour guide who was anti-American, and spent the long hours on the bus putting down our values, our society, our way of living, and our people.
He even had the gall to make disparaging comments about Christianity.
All 34 passengers on the bus were American.
When we confronted him, the result was interminable arguments that only reinforced his intent to go on with his speeches.

The atmosphere on the bus was very uncomfortable, and some passengers were left with a bitter taste in their mouths at the end of the trip.

That was not what we paid for.
We will never again tour with GATE1 TRAVEL.

Terrible Service

GATE1 TRAVEL IS A JOKE
My wife and I are very experienced travelers, having toured all over the world with several tour companies, and never had any significant problems.
However, on a recent tour of Morocco with GATE1 TRAVEL, it did not take us long to realize that the quality of their service is well below par:
1- Four days before the trip, they completely changed the itinerary of the tour, which rendered the airline reservations we had independently made totally unusable.
If it weren't for the actions of our personal travel agent, we would have been in an impossible situation.
Needless to say, we were very stressed when the trip started.

2- When we arrived at the airport in Casablanca, we could not find the person responsible for our hotel transfer.
After looking for him all over the arrivals area, we decided to change enough money to buy a phone card, in order to call the local GATE1 TRAVEL office for instructions.
It took three phone calls, and we were finally told by their incompetent office manager to take a taxi to the hotel.
The whole fiasco wasted about three hours of our time, and when we finally arrived at the hotel, the tour of the city that was included in the package had just left.
The hotel in Casblanca was very dirty and dreary.

3- At the end of the tour, we were supposed to return with the group to Casablanca.
Instead, the tour guide told us that we would be dropped in Marakesh, where we could take a train to Casablanca on our own.
We had bought an all inclusive tour from Casablanca to Casablanca, and warned him during the tour that his paperwork was incorrect.
This cost us several days of arguments with the tour guide, and many calls to the inconpetent office manager.
In the end, we had to wake up at 2:30 in the morning to be able to catch our early morning flight in Casablanca.

Obviously we were wrong in assuming that we would be well cared for when we bought an all inclusive tour.
Not with GATE1 TRAVEL: they drop the ball, and the customers are left holding the bag big time.

Belatedly, we heard from other people that these fiascos are commonplace with GATE1 TRAVEL.
Once they collect your money, you are completely at their mercy.
There are are many good tour companies around, but GATE1 TRAVEL is NOT one of them.

Tour guide was very rude

Went on a tour of Jordan and Egypt two weeks ago. Jordan was great, our tour guide there was so informative and friendly and always welcomed questions from us. Our Egypt guide on the other-hand(Ameen) was very rude from the start. Instead of taking control of his group when he wanted to talk about something he would pout and whine that no one listens to him in a very unprofessional way and would get upset if some one would ask him a question, because he felt that questions should be asked after the tour and not during the tour because felt it slowed down the process (whatever).

  • Dc
    dctourguide May 01, 2011

    I have no idea of your expectation of every tour guide you will experience but if this is a "group" tour, the tour
    guide has to accomodate the "masses". Sounds very reasonable for a "group" tour guide to ask that you hold your questions and he or she will probably address it in their regular presentations. The guides are usually also responsible to keep the "train" running on time. They have to meet time deadlines and get the most information to you in the time they have allotted. If they open up the floodgates of individual questions during their talks at each site, there are distractions, delays and everyone suffers.
    Judging from your dismissive "whatever", sounds like you might be an immature kid in an adult's body. Only junior high kids on groups tours get upset because they can't interrupt the tour guide when they are speaking inorder to get your personal spur of the moment thought addressed. (whatever dude)
    If this is REALLY your complaint, hire a private one on one tour guide at a higher price and they can be your on the spot
    expert at your command.

    0 Votes
  • Su
    Susan M H Jul 12, 2015

    We were on an Egyptian tour with gate one and it was truly one of our best tours ever. The guide had her masters degree and was working on coming to the UNited States to continue her studies. She was extremely proud of her heritage and shared it with us! She would get us up every morning very early and when anyone in the group complained she would tell us - " You can sleep when you get home" To this day - we laugh and use that same line when we travel. Thanks you Gate One for our fabulous Egyptian trip!!

    0 Votes

MSC Musica Cruise Ships

As a travel writer, I have had the pleasure of visiting many international destinations. My last trip to...

Awful experience

I wanted to give my wife a surprise birthday gift---a trip to Buenos Aires. I booked with gate1 two month...

Misreprentation

NEVER USE GATE 1 TRAVEL!!!

We were interested in the "independent" travel package for Costa Rica which included the aifare, transfers, hotel & rental car because we thought it was a good deal for less than $1000/per person. We weren't sure if it was sold out or not so we also reserved flights on Delta airlines which allows you to cancel within 24 hrs without charge.

When we called the Gate 1 agent said the package was available and the only thing "on request" meaning they could not confirm was 1 of the hotels at one of the cities we would be staying at. However, the travel agent assured us that the policy is that they look into another hotel of equal or better status and give us the option to accept.

So, happy with being able to book 2 wks of our travel date for a good deal I put down a deposit and told the bf to cancel the Delta tickets since everything was taken care of. Later that week getting worried about the "on request" hotel I checked the invoice online and it said they had upgraded us to a better hotel that was "on request"as well. When I called in they said they were waiting to hear back on the "upgraded" hotel that would cost us $94 more to see if they had room & would get back to us.

So a couple days pass and about 1 wk before our departure - I check online to find that the ENTIRE RESERVATION WAS CANCELLED!!!

I received no e-mail, no call, there was no explanation on the website. We call in the next day to have the supervisor tell us that they couldn't confirm the upgraded hotel and then that the airfare had expired. But then he goes to check the hotel and finds that he can now offer us the exact same package because now suddenly the hotel has room..but the flights will cost us $400. Which is ridiculous - the same package - is now $400 more due to them prematurely cancelling.

Then we tried to explain that no one told us that the flight would "expire" or that the whole package would suddenly be cancelled just because they couldn't confirm a hotel.

The supervisor then tells us it is "common" that when the air is reserved he can't get the land or when the land is reserved air is on request. He then tell us that the "whole" package was "on request"

When we told him that;

1.) On the invoice it only said the hotel was on request NOT the entire package
2.) It was never explained to us or written anywhere that the entire reservation would be unilaterally cancelled
3.) It was never explained that the "reserved" airline flights would expire at a certain time

His only response was that it was OUR fault for booking so close to the date. Which doesn't make sense because if they knew this would happen why would they still offer the package.

So in then end my bf & I who are left w/o a vacation only days before I fly out to NYC just so we could leave for costa rica and ticked beyond belief.

Oh a day later I get a call from the travel agent letting me know that they cancelled my reservation because they couldn't confirm the hotel. Funny - how the supervisor could find us one a day after they cancelled our entire package.

They provided a budget tour at a deluxe price

This describes my evaluation of Gate1's "11 Day Athenian with 3-Day Cruise" package in June 2008. Gate1"s contract hotels are not anywhere close to 5 or 4 stars, as advertised. The best, the Royal Olympic in Athens, which is billed as 5 stars, had a single restaurant, not two as advertised, and it was closed for dinner on 2 of the 3 nights I stayed there; so I had to have dinner "poolside, " which, because of the temperature, was definitely not my choice. Dinner selections were extremely limited, to essentially one entree per type (chicken, beef, veal, fish, etc.), hardly the mark of a 5-star hotel, and the prices were, in a word, outrageous ... Dinner with house wine for two came in at over 100 Euros in one case and nearly that amount in the other! The remaining hotels are worth perhaps 2 stars for the Europa in Olympia and Amalia in Delphi, and a bare 3 for the Divani in Kalambaka.

The Athens city tour was brief and rushed, included entirely too much "lecturing" by the tour guide in the hot Athens sun and the ferocious wind atop the Acropolis, while not allowing enough time for unhurried photographs, did not include a visit to the fabled National Archaeological Museum, and the afternoon of the second day in Athens was basically wasted, because there would have been ample "at leisure" opportunities to explore the city on the previous (arrival) day, if our flight had arrived as scheduled (see below). However, the first really serious turn-off came when, on June 23, we had to wait in the hot sun for 30 minutes after being dropped off by the hotel pick-up bus at a so-called bus "transfer point" waiting for the tour bus to Olympia ... No seats, no shade, only standing room in the direct sun ... Unacceptable!!!

The overland bus trips of up to 8 hours were incredibly long and boring, with few stops for sightseeing, and some of those included disguised "shopping" opportunities. Once at a major sightseeing destination, visits often seemed too short and hurried, and were scheduled during the midday heat, rather than early mornings or late afternoons. In the case of Olympia and Delphi, visits to air-conditioned museums were scheduled in the morning, while the heat was still bearable, and before the visits to the outdoor archaeological sites, which were scheduled in the full midday heat. It would seem intelligent, considerate, and feasible to reverse the sequence in both cases.

The cruise ship M/V Aquamarine was yet another story. It was billed as 3 stars, yet it was far inferior to ships on which I had taken multi-day river cruises on the Yang Tse in China and the Nile in Egypt. Although I paid for a cabin upgrade and thought I was getting a "superior" outside cabin, I have never been forced to live in anything so small, so sparse, so cheap-looking, and so inconvenient. The tiny portholes were partially painted over! The worst part was the bathroom ... The shower stall was almost too small to turn around in (and I am a quite "normal" 5'10", 172 lbs) ... Flimsy, shabby, without even any bath soap or other amenities. The in-cabin safe didn't work, or at least it didn't work for me. For the first two nights on the ship, there were diesel fumes in the cabin. After I complained to the tour director, they seemed no longer to be present on the 3d night. The restaurants were also not satisfactory to me. The main restaurant, while attractively decorated and featuring white linens and formal place settings, served lukewarm food, and it was almost impossible to get the wine steward's attention. The "Bistro/Pub" looked like a cheap version of a McDonald's, the food on the serving line was habitually cold, one orange juice dispenser did not work, and the only reason we used that facility rather than the main restaurant for breakfast was the ease and speed of self-service versus the incredibly slow service and directed seating in the main restaurant. Then came the shore excursions sold through the cruise ship! First, they were vastly overpriced, even though the tour guides were generally competent and knowledgeable. But up to 59.95 Euros per person for a less than a half-day tour is simply too much for the experience, especially when that experience includes more disguised solicitations/opportunities to shop. In general, the escorted portions of the shore excursions were also limited and brief, with passengers left to "explore" on their own afterwards. This was especially true on Rhodes, where we were literally rushed through the old city/citadel in about one hour. At least another hour should have been allotted for a guided tour of this World Heritage site.

Finally, our experience with Gate1's contract airline, Olympic Airlines! Our outbound flight (OA 412) was originally scheduled to leave JFK at 4:30 PM, on June 20. It finally took to the air at about 1:00 AM, on June 21 ... 8-1/2 hours late, causing us to miss at least a full afternoon of "at leisure" activities in Athens! Similarly, our return flight (OA 411) was scheduled to leave Athens at 11:25 AM, on June 30. It took off over 2 hours late, at about 1:35 PM, almost causing us to miss our connecting flight at JFK. In fairness to the airline, I will note that we were provided a room at the JFK Holiday Inn and two meals on June 20. A word about our connecting flight at JFK (Delta 5619): The plane's air conditioning did not work, and we sat on the tarmac at JFK sweating for over 1 hour because the flight also was late taking off. To add insult to injury, the stewardess served lukewarm water; on request, she added some ice cubes!

  • Di
    dick and jane Aug 09, 2011

    GATE 1 August 9, 2011
    455 Maryland Drive
    Fort Washington, PA 19034

    Re: Russian Waterways Trip Reservation #351402

    Atten: C. E. O.


    My wife and I have traveled internationally for over thirty years. The following comments are based on considerable experience with a wide variety of travel companies as well as travel on our own.

    We learned just a few days before departure that our Visas had not been issued because the passport photos we sent in reflected a “smiling face”. Did Gate 1 not know that a “solemn face” was required?

    We entered into a contract many months ago for the St. Petersburg to Moscow river cruise. Our early booking was to insure flexibility in travel arrangements. Due to five recent successive right shoulder surgeries and some other orthopaedic issues, my wife needed the bracing afforded against the right (starboard) window side of the plane flight for the long, ten hour flight to Moscow and then the two hour flight to St. Petersburg. When I requested such seating (any row in the cabin would be acceptable) a GATE 1 agent replied that seating assignments could not be made at such an early date.

    I contacted GATE 1 at a later time and was told, “GATE 1 is not and can not be responsible for seating assignments.” During a later phone conversation, a GATE 1 agent informed me that “seating assignments can only be made by Russian Aeroflot officials –according to Russian policy.” I conferred with Aeroflot personnel and was told that seatings were determined at the departure gate at flight time. I was also told that prior boarding passes could not be issued and that also must be done at the gate. I confirmed this information at the airline’s web site.

    To insure that we would be first in line on departure day, we spent an extra night and day in the JFK area. Long before departure time (with a 5 hour delay) and with almost no passengers at the departure gate, I requested right side window seating. I was informed that “all window seats have been PREVIOULSLY assigned.” We were placed in the center of the cabin with no shoulder bracing and my wife experienced 10 hours of hell. Since the departure time for the flight was almost five hours later than we had been told on the previous day, we stood in line and sat that much longer in the airport waiting area, again with no shoulder bracing available.

    Now one might accept this unfortunate circumstance as a difficulty encountered traveling with foreign carriers. However, as we met fellow passengers on the cruise, an entirely different scenario appeared. NUMEROUS passengers had GATE 1 documents identical to ours in format which clearly contained specific seat assignments that were finalized well prior to departure, and most of those assignments were at window/wall seats.

    I can only conclude that we were lied to by GATE 1 representatives. Will we travel with GATE 1 again? Of course not. Will we recommend GATE 1 to our extended family and our numerous travel companions? Make your guess.

    Enclosed is a brief list of other concerns that we feel detracted immeasurably from a potentially marvelous excursion.


    GATE 1 could only afford to provide pure drinking water at the dinner meal. Water should be available at all meals, all tour sites, all bus tours, etc. There were NO refills at any meal. No coffee refills either at dinner.
    Get some class…….up the price a few dollars and provide the basics.


    Itinerary mismatch. We signed up for Russian Folk Lore night. That particular optional tour didn’t even begin until the first of June. We went on an optional tour to Pushkin and Peterhof for $100+ each. Nope, Peterhof was closed that day, so we only strolled through the park, and the local guide had no idea what the trees or birds were or any historical information.


    Tour information. Much of it was provided only verbally. The daily single page sheets were entirely inadequate. On day one we should have received local maps, tour maps, historical lineages of people described later, simple language translations, etc. As an example, we received NO in hand out materials at Varaslovl. We considered only three of the guides as being knowledgeable about the particular area/site as well as being literate in the English language.


    Walking tours were often races to keep up with the guide so as to hear his/her descriptions. At least 50% of attendants never heard a thing as they necessarily walked a bit slower or could not get close to the guide. Forty people can not walk simultaneously at the same speed. Only on the tour of Hermitage was the guide on a microphone.

    We asked for information about times and rates for massage, sauna and the hair dresser. We were told that no such printed sheet was available. We could only scribble down what the receptionist told us from her single copy.


    When the piano player entertained at cocktail hour, his choice of concertos
    and his playing was so loud that casual conversation was impossible.

    The Convention room was far too small for the number of passengers. Many
    people simply never entered for any program.

    98% of the company employees did not speak even basic English. It was almost
    impossible to ask for a spoon or replacement for a fork that had fallen. When the
    coffee pot went empty in the morning, good luck getting it refilled. Even to order
    a beer was a matter of getting up and pointing to the dispenser.

    There were at least three separate tour groups put together on this trip. The dining experience was chaos especially at breakfast when there were overlaps of the groups.

    The “spartan” rooms should be more fully described as well as the kind of cots provided for sleeping.

    Dr. Richard A. Solberg
    Box 187
    Whitefish, MT 59937


    Cc: Customer Service Representative

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    ron irby Nov 13, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    got serious food poisoning in Ecuador, damaged luggage, and totally unanswered e-mails. Also, trip cut short because we refused their over priced airfares.

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    jarka ftacnik Feb 19, 2020
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Our trip in January 2020 to Myanmar did have many issues and bad experiences. After return we did contact Gate1 multiple times on the phone and e mails.No solution and respond.Be avare that Gate1 will not help you with any issue or problems after they get your money.This was very disappointing experience on our bucket list trip.

    0 Votes

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