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Trip to Dubai with SOTC - a nightmare to forget
30 days ago 245 Views (via Mobile)

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It was more than 2 years that our US trip with SOTC was cancelled due to the pandemic . Our advance payment of 1.24 lakh to the SOTC traveI was stuck . They refused to give back cash and offered to arrange the trip elsewhere once the pandemic subsided , for the money due . Hence our trip to Dubai with SOTC was decided upon.

We , i. e. , my self and my husband , both senior citizens, were in for a shock at the series of happenings that shattered all our faith in SOTC.Though we made it very clear that we needed company , guidance and assistance , they failed us at every stage . There was no transparency and everything was in wraps.

They gave iterinary , visa tickets only one day before our travel asking us to make copies and prepare the files for each . We had to download the copies , in addition to undergoing covid test, which was hectic just before the travel .

They told us that there would be a group from Bangalore.But we could see none in the airport .

We boarded Air Arabia on 13th December, Saturday, at 3.30 am and reached there after 4 hours. Breakfast was not included in our tickets contrary to what SOTC had shown us in the itinerary.

We reached Sharjah and from there a taxi took us to Dubai . Instead they could have booked the tickets to Dubai directly as there was no site seeing at Sharjah .

On reaching the hotel The SOTC agent from Bangalore messaged that dinner would be given by hotel that night . The receptionist and the local travel agent told that we were entitled only breakfast .There was no coordination among SOTC people and the we had to suffer because of this .

Next day I.e. on Sunday we had to stay in the hotel room , though the travellers from other travel agencies had gone outside to see places . For us there was no guidance or intimation or instructions. On Monday they took us along with other travellers in a tourist bus , all from different travel agencies for a city tour by 9.30 am and the guide left us in Burj Khalifa at around 11.45 am giving us tickets to visit 124 th floor of Burj Khalifa at 8.30 pm . He took leave asking us to assemble by 9.30 pm near 2nd 3rd pillars . All of us were like strangers and everybody dispersed. We bought food in the food court and roamed around for some time . How to kill time upto8.30 was a million dollar question. We went out and the watchman told that there would be a musical show and lighting of Burj Khalifa. We saw these two spectacular events because of the guard . We went inside and sat for nearly five hours and visited 124 th floor of Burj Khalifa.

The real struggle started then . We had to walk a lot to reach the pillars and asked many people for directions. After reaching the place we saw many taxis and we had to enquire

each vehicle whether our names were there in the list . At last we got our vehicle and came back to the hotel .

On Tuesday the local guide sent a whatsapp message for visiting expo and sent a vehicle . We were left near the expo and were given metro tickets to come back ! After finishing expo we went to metro station and when ticket was shown she told us that we had to take another connecting metro train to reach our destination. That woman ticket collector was such an Angel that she came along with us and made us board the next train . May her tribe increase.

Wednesday was a day of night cruise which went well as the driver gave proper instructions where to stand after the event.

Thursday we had gone for Dubai safari for which pick up and drop were arranged properly.

Saturday was our day of departure and on Friday we had to message to remind the local travel agent regarding corona test . After two messages they arranged for the test . Then local travel agent has sent suvidha form pdf on whatsapp asking us to fill up and download and keep it ready . He never bothered whether we could manage it . We messaged mr. Narahari, SOTC , to fill and send which he sent promptly for which we are thankful to him.

SOTC once was a company with human touch . Now it has become more commercial, irresponsible and reckless.

Our trip was full of uncertainties and tensions but was made enjoyable by local people who were kind and helpful , be it the TC on metro , Mrs Jasmine of PK super market which was situated near our hotel Arabian park , and the staff of the hotel ....

A travel agent should have integrity , empathy , resourcefulness and skill which are lacking completely with SOTC.... We would never travel by SOTC in future and would never recommend this agency to anyone..

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