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Is a Scam? Why You Shouldn’t Trust Them




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Is Booking a scam or is it legit? Before my recent experience with Booking, I would have told you that it was an awesome site to find cheap accommodation around the world. However, before now I had never actually had a problem that required me to call Booking and try to resolve it. Now, I’ve looked closer and realized that Booking is not a safe or trustworthy site at all, here is why.

Booking has charged me double what was presented on their site and I most likely will not be getting my money back.

Here’s the scam tactic that Booking is currently using to mislead its customers into reserving accommodations that are much more expensive than is presented on their site.

You can read through my experience below and decide for yourself. However, as a full-time traveler for the past 5 years, I do NOT recommend using Booking and you should not trust them with your hard-earned money.

Is Booking a Scam?

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The answer is yes, Booking can be a scam, and this site can scam you out of a lot of money. That might sound extreme, but this is not the case in every scenario. You can decide for yourself after you hear what happened to me.

What is a scam? Keep this definition in mind as you hear my story: A scam is a deceptive scheme or trick used to cheat someone out of something, especially money.

So how was I scammed by Booking?

A little background about me first: my husband and I are full-time travelers and have been for the past 5 years. We’re both Genius members on Booking on multiple accounts and we have booked hundreds if not thousands of flights and hotel bookings over the past 5 years.

I was booking a hotel for a trip to Naples, Italy on my laptop. I got to the final payment page and saw the price as “301.13” for 9 nights. Then next to that price breakdown, you enter your credit card information.

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The Price had an asterisk next to it, which leads to the bottom to just say that you need to be aware of health codes. No problem!

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Then you type in your credit card information and press “Complete Booking.” This is the whole payment page that I’ve screenshotted, I haven’t left anything out.

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Now since I’ve brought your attention to the scam, you might have caught it already. But from these screenshots, how much do you think charged to my credit card?

According to this payment page, I believed I would charged $301.13. However, when I logged onto my credit card statement the next day, I actually charged $513.13!!

But what’s wrong with this? Yeah, they had the price in bold at the top, but underneath in smaller writing, it says that there additional costs.

However, there is NOWHERE on that payment page that tells. The actual number that will be charged to your credit card. Instead, Booking presents a cheaper number in a layout that looks like. It is a price breakdown of the costs of your accommodation.

Instead, they expect you to get out a calculator and add those numbers together to get your total. This is intentionally misleading and would definitely con a lot of people into booking accommodation for much more than they originally planned to spend.

But it gets worse…

So the screenshots I’ve posted above were not from my original booking since I didn’t know that I needed to be screens hotting while I was booking, so the prices above are for the same dates but the actual price has gone up.

When I booked, I got a discount for being a Genius member and the price actually 208 euros instead of the 255 euros listed above.

So here’s how it gets worse…

Booking Scam: They Know What They’re Doing

Like you saw in the earlier screenshots, Booking did NOT show the actual total ANYWHERE before I put in my credit card information.

Which makes this next thing even more scammy and underhanded.

After booking, I received an email confirmation of my payment. Which I only double-checked after being totally shocked by the amount on my credit card.

Here is what that email looked like:

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All of a sudden, Booking knows EXACTLY how to present the payment information in an accurate way that isn’t misleading, conveniently only AFTER I had paid.

It shows the price of the room, plus the fees, added together to show. What would actually be charged to my credit card. It even states that the city taxes wouldn’t be charged to my credit card. But that they would be collected at the property.

So why was Booking suddenly able to add the numbers together in a transparent way in this email but not on the payment page?

This is a scam, an intentional scheme to trick the customer into believing that they are paying a certain number. But then blaming the customer after by saying they didn’t pay close enough attention to the fine print.

Booking is using plausible deniability and blaming their customers instead of showing a transparent pricing layout on their payment page.

In my opinion, this should not be legal. You should be fully aware of the number. That will be charged to your card ahead of time without needing to whip out a calculator.

And with that email, Booking proved that they knew how to do just that. But instead wanted to trick their customers into paying for something more expensive than they were expecting.

That original payment page, which I’ll put again right here, doesn’t tell me at all what will or won’t be charged. It doesn’t tell me if the city taxes will be charged to my card or collected in person.

It doesn’t tell me that those service fees are not included in the price above. Not even in the fine print. There is nowhere on that page that makes this booking explicitly clear to the user.

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Booking is a Giant Company Taking Advantage of its Users

For those of you who don’t consider this a scam, I think you might be used to being screwed over by companies. We should expect a higher standard from companies, not just a “Haha, you got me, you win this time!” type of relationship.

If even 1 out of 10 people is misled by the pricing layout, then it is a scam and should absolutely be changed by Booking.

Why are we allowing such a giant company like Booking to steal money from travelers? To mislead them and then place the blame on them even while they knowingly present the information in a way that is meant to trick them?

Even if this is legal, why is Booking using scam tactics on its users instead of trying to build an honest relationship with travelers?

Booking (also known as Booking Holdings Inc.) also owns Priceline, Agoda, Kayak, Cheapflights, Rentalcars, Momondo, and OpenTable.

They are worth ????

This Booking Scam Doesn’t Happen on the App

Another very strange thing about this Booking scam tactic is that it doesn’t appear to be happening on the Booking app, although I still don’t love the layout of the pricing. Here is what it looks like for the same accommodation as above:

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The blotted-out part is just the made-up name and email that I created for this booking. Now, if you compare the payment page above that from the Booking app with the one from the desktop. You can see that the app page does actually tell you what amount will charged to your credit card.

This payment page still isn’t great, but it’s MUCH better than the one used on the desktop. What I don’t love about this layout is still the misleading use of bold and smaller writing.

At the top, they write in very small letters what you will charged to your credit card. But at the bottom in quite large writing and right next to the “Book Now” button, they have a completely different price.

You may say that this nitpicky, but remember that these scammy sales tactics used by websites in order to get you to book.

They know that the eye will go to the bold writing with the red price crossed out right away and that there is still a chance you wouldn’t see the smaller writing above.

Don’t think for one second that Booking doesn’t know what they’re doing in scenarios like. They are one of the biggest travel sites in the world and design their payment pages like. This on purpose to get more bookings by tricking customers.

The number right next to the “Book Now” button should reflect the exact number you will charged. Period.

What Booking is doing is absolutely wrong.

Trying to Contact Booking After Scammed

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Besides having all of that proof above, my experience with contacting Booking has been absolutely horrendous.

If travel blogging weren’t my full-time job, there’s no way I would have enough time to be on hold for 20-30 minutes EACH CALL and then proceed to be hung up on, ghosted through email, and ignored on social media.

Booking is banking on you not having that time.

Discovering Another Scam Through Calling Booking Customer Service

I’ve called the Genius Customer Service line 6 or 7 times and by doing this I’ve discovered another scam that I think they’re doing to waste their customer’s time instead of resolving their problems.

When you call the line, they ask you to type in your confirmation number each time. Being as careful as possible each time I called, I NEVER got through on the first try no matter what. I can even see on the keypad that I had typed it in exactly right.

On almost every call it took 3 times of typing it in exactly right, some calls took only 2. However, not one call let us through the first time.

After getting through, the interactions with their customer service were absolutely terrible. Here is exactly how my interactions with Booking have gone so far:

Day After Booking: Calling & Chat Line

After seeing my credit card statement, I immediately decide to call Booking. I spend the next 10 minutes scouring the internet for an ACTUAL number that would reach them.

It was not easy to find, that’s for sure. (FIND PAGE AGAIN AND POST HERE)

As I was on hold for over 20 minutes, I also used their chat line to try to reach someone there. Nobody ever came.

I finally reached someone on the phone who told me that I must not have understood the difference between euros and dollars so that’s why I was upset about the number I was charged.

I informed her this was not the case and emailed her screenshots of the payment page from the desktop version of Booking. She told me that she would ask the hotel if they would refund me while waiving any fees.

I never received another answer from her. The hotel responded the next day and refused the refund.

The next day happened to my birthday so I waited 2 more days to call back and check up on the case.

3 Days After Booking: Calling Booking Again

I waited another 20 minutes, typed my confirmation number in multiple times, and finally reached someone. They told me they would email the hotel and try to get them to refund me again, even though the hotel had already refused.

My question at this point is why this was the hotel’s responsibility at all. I can see clearly on my credit card statement that Booking is who has charged my card. Know that the hosts do not actually receive the money until the booking has started or completed.

I told her that it’s fine to ask for a refund, but this was Booking’s fault, not the hotel’s. So I should refunded regardless of what the hotel says since Booking the one who scammed me.

She said she would call or email when she heard back from the hotel. I don’t think she’ll ever hear back, why would she? Why would this hotel agree to a refund?

4 Days After Booking:

The worst day so far. I called 4 separate times (while working in the background since I work from home) and every call took over 25 minutes to reach someone.

I asked them to escalate a complaint about Booking and stated that I upset at the hotel, but at Booking itself.

They hung up on me and when I called back, someone else told me that the notes on my case said. They were not going to file a complaint with Booking for me and that there was nothing they could do.

At this point, I stopped calling and have resorted to disputing the charge on my credit card.

More Scam Tactics Used By Booking

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If my personal experience isn’t enough to convince you to stop using Booking. Maybe this list of other scams that I’ve found during my research will!

Booking Warned by the UK to Stop Using Scammy Pressure Tactics

In 2019, the UK (like the whole country!) warned Booking to stop using fake pressure tactics to get travelers to book.

When you are on Booking you may notice that it will tell you that there only one room left. Or that a lot of travelers currently booking in that area, so hurry and book before it’s too late!

Well, it turns out that a lot of those little warnings completely made up and  scams used to you to book quickly.

Booking Fraud: Travelers Can Booked at One Hotel and Walked to a Completely Different Hotel

Ever heard of “walked” by a hotel? Basically, this means that the hotel you booked overbooked their rooms, so they can “walk” you to a different hotel.

This hotel could be in a completely different location than you had planned and it obviously not the room you actually booked. There isn’t much that you can do if this happens to you!

Some people even report that they were unable to review the original hotel booking because they didn’t actually stay there. So other people will continue to book without knowing that it isn’t what it says it is.

Spain Hotels Have Filed a Complaint: Booking Charges 40% More Than Room Cost

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Spain’s hotel industry has filed a complaint with Booking stating that their hotel prices are no longer competitive. Since Booking adding a 40% commission on top of their room prices.

This has discouraged travelers from choosing Spain as a destination.

No Money Back if the Room is Not as Described or Not Clean

If you book using Booking, you should prepared to not get your money back even if the room isn’t what described. This Quora thread shows what can happen and why you should not trust. Booking to give you your money back, even if the room is dirty and unhabitable.

Booking Is Ripping You Off

Another blogger, Danny Mekic, wrote out their terrible experience with Booking and states a few things you should be aware of.

Booking is adding a ton of money on top of the hotel room for commission. So you’d save a ton more by booking directly.

Booking stops certain hotels from giving discounts.

They might be passing your sensitive credit card information and personal information directly to the hotel.

So, is it Safe to Use Booking?

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No, I don’t think that it is safe to use Booking unless. You are one of the only travelers on the planet who never has anything go wrong.

Is Booking safe? No. Is Booking reliable? Also No. Can you scammed by Booking? Absolutely. Just read the comments others have left at the bottom of this blog post!

If anything goes wrong with your accommodation, you can essentially kiss that money goodbye. They will use scammy tactics to get you to book, and then leave you hanging when things don’t work out.

Even if Airbnb is more expensive, I personally can say that Airbnb is a safe site to use and they will refund you if something goes wrong.

I’ve called Airbnb, reached an actual person within a reasonable amount of time (not 30 minutes, Booking!), and able to report the problems and it fixed quickly.

From a scary landlord in Bali who promised a wifi speed that he never had. To air conditioning not actually working at Lake Powell in the middle of summer. Or showing up to an Airbnb that was actually a public bathroom that they converted into a room… Airbnb has ALWAYS refunded my money and answered my calls.

Booking is not a trustworthy site, although most won’t find that out until something goes wrong.

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Tour & Travel

Scandic Hotels Review : Scandic Popular Hotels & Destination



About Scandic Hotels

Scandic Hotels was founded in 1963 and has since become the largest hotel chain in the Nordic region. The brand’s journey began with a single hotel in Luleå, Sweden, and has expanded significantly over the decades. Scandic is known for its dedication to creating memorable guest experiences, promoting sustainability, and ensuring accessibility for all guests.



Stay at our new hotel offering plenty of variety and good parking facilities. Scandic Kødbyen is designed with respect for its location, sitting as it does among the artistic and gastronomic experiences of diverse Kodbyen, home to some of the city’s best nightclubs and bars. These can be both heard and felt at our hotel, and its location in the urban centre, helps give Scandic Kødbyen the pulse that the area is famous for.



Scandic Voss has 215 rooms, a restaurant and bar with outdoor seating, as well as stylish and flexible meeting facilities. With its central location right next to the train station, and being the largest hotel in town, Scandic Voss is a natural meeting point for both tourists and locals.



Modern urban hotel in a impressive 1920s printing house next to the Old Church Park in Helsinki city centre. Loft-style rooms, an inviting restaurant area and inspiring setting for a relaxed stay.

Downtown Camper by Scandic


In the heart of Stockholm, at its most vibrant core, lies Downtown Camper – the perfect base for intrepid urban explorers. Just a few minutes’ walk from our hotel you’ll find the best of Stockholm to explore; shopping, outings, restaurants, parks and other adventures. Downtown Camper is the ultimate base from which to explore the city.




Stockholm is unique. Built upon 14 islands connected with each other by 57 bridges. Surrounded by one of the most beautiful archipelagos in the world. Stroll around in the medieval alleys of the Old Town, within a few steps from modern architecture – this gives the capital of Sweden both a small town feeling and a big city.



Stay at one of our 14 hotels in Copenhagen and you’ll have the ideal starting point to explore one of the best cities in the world! Copenhagen was named Best in Travel 2019 by the Lonely Planet travel guide.



Visit one of our 19 Oslo hotels, some of them in the city center and some outside. Oslo enjoys a unique location by a fjord with easy access to the great outdoors. The capital has so much to offer in terms of culture, history and nightlife. Top attractions in Oslo include Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park, the Opera House, Holmenkollen Ski Jump and the Viking Ship Museum. Of our many hotels in Oslo, you’re sure to find one to suit your stay perfectly!



Helsinki is a vibrant city known for its design and architecture. Located by the sea with more than 300 islands, easily reached by ferries or bridges, offers stunning views any time of the year. With hundreds of events every year, there´s always something on the agenda. In the summer Helsinki hosts many festivals and week-long events. Helsinki has also become an exciting destination for foodies with its many restaurants and ever evolving culinary scene.

Exceptional Guest Experiences 


Scandic Hotels & Destinations excels in crafting memorable guest experiences rooted in its core values of inclusivity and accessibility. The brand’s commitment to accessibility is particularly commendable, with many of its hotels featuring thoughtfully designed rooms and facilities to accommodate guests with disabilities. This inclusivity extends to a diverse range of travelers, including families, business professionals, and solo adventurers.

Scandic’s modern and inviting designs are evident throughout its properties. Whether it’s the cozy lounges or elegantly furnished guest rooms, the Scandinavian influence is unmistakable, combining minimalism with aesthetic appeal. The brand’s dedication to guest-centricity shines through in its culinary offerings as well. Scandic’s restaurants serve high-quality, locally sourced cuisine, showcasing the gastronomic diversity of the region. Guests can savor traditional Scandinavian delicacies and international fare, ensuring a delightful dining experience.

Scandic’s community engagement initiatives are a testament to its commitment to fostering connections beyond the hotel walls. Its properties frequently host cultural events, art exhibitions, and local activities, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of the destination. These initiatives not only enhance the guest experience but also foster a sense of belonging and a deeper connection to the location.


Scandic Hotels & Destinations stands tall as a pioneer of Scandinavian hospitality excellence. Its rich history, unwavering commitment to sustainability, diverse destinations, exceptional guest experiences, and profound impact on the hospitality industry make it a brand of distinction. Scandic doesn’t just offer accommodations; it opens doors to a world of inclusivity, eco-consciousness, and cultural immersion. As Scandic Hotels & Destinations continues to grow and innovate, it remains a top choice for travelers seeking authentic, meaningful, and unforgettable experiences in the Nordic region and Northern Europe.

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Tour & Travel

Scandic Hotels – A Pioneer in Scandinavian Hospitality Excellence




Scandic Hotels, a prominent name in the world of hospitality, has been setting standards for Scandinavian hospitality excellence since its inception. Established in 1963, the brand has not only become synonymous with premium accommodations but also a symbol of sustainable, guest-centric practices. In this comprehensive review, we will explore the journey of Scandic Hotels, its commitment to environmental sustainability, the unique guest experience it offers, and its influence on the hospitality industry.

A Brief History


Scandic Hotels was founded by Kurt Ritter in 1963, starting with a single hotel in the Swedish city of Luleå. Over the decades, the brand has expanded significantly, becoming the largest hotel chain in the Nordic region. A key milestone was the acquisition of Rica Hotels in 2014, strengthening Scandic’s presence in Scandinavia and expanding its portfolio. Today, Scandic boasts over 280 hotels across the Nordics and Northern Europe, showcasing its impressive growth and market dominance.

Scandic’s Commitment to Sustainability


One of Scandic Hotels’ standout features is its unwavering commitment to sustainability. The brand has taken substantial steps to minimize its environmental footprint. Scandic was the first hotel chain in the world to offer entirely organic and Fairtrade-certified coffee. Additionally, it consistently ranks among the top performers in sustainability ratings.

Scandic’s dedication to eco-friendliness extends to various facets of its operations, from reducing energy consumption to responsible sourcing of food and beverages. This commitment aligns seamlessly with the growing demand for eco-conscious travel experiences.

Guest Experience


Scandic Hotels excels in creating memorable guest experiences through its commitment to guest-centricity. The brand’s hospitality philosophy revolves around inclusivity and accessibility, making it a preferred choice for a diverse range of travelers, including families, business professionals, and individuals with special needs. Scandic’s dedication to accessibility is noteworthy, with many of its hotels featuring wheelchair-accessible rooms and amenities designed to accommodate guests with disabilities.

The brand’s contemporary and welcoming designs are evident throughout its properties. Scandic hotels are designed to offer a warm and inviting ambiance, whether it’s the comfortable lounges or the stylishly appointed guest rooms. The Scandinavian influence is clearly visible in the minimalist yet aesthetically pleasing decor.

Another highlight of the Scandic guest experience is its culinary offerings. The brand is committed to serving high-quality, locally sourced food and beverages, reflecting the culinary diversity of the region. Guests can savor traditional Scandinavian delicacies and international cuisine at Scandic’s in-house restaurants.

Furthermore, Scandic takes pride in its initiatives to engage with the local community. Its hotels often host cultural events, art exhibitions, and other activities that allow guests to immerse themselves in the local culture. This not only enhances the guest experience but also fosters a sense of belonging and connection to the destination.

Influence on the Hospitality Industry


Scandic Hotels has had a substantial influence on the hospitality industry, particularly in Northern Europe. Its dedication to sustainability and accessibility has set industry standards. Many hotel chains have followed in Scandic’s footsteps, adopting eco-friendly practices and striving for inclusivity.

Scandic’s emphasis on locally sourced and diverse culinary offerings has also influenced the dining experiences in hotels worldwide. The brand’s commitment to serving high-quality, region-specific cuisine has inspired others to explore similar approaches, promoting local gastronomy.

Moreover, Scandic’s success in creating guest-centric spaces and promoting cultural engagement has underscored the importance of providing authentic and immersive experiences. This has encouraged other hotels to consider not only the physical comforts of their guests but also the emotional connections they can foster with the destinations they serve.


Scandic Hotels has established itself as a trailblazer in the world of hospitality. Its rich history, unwavering commitment to sustainability, exceptional guest experiences, and significant influence on the industry make it a brand of distinction. Scandic Hotels doesn’t just provide accommodations; it offers a gateway to the Scandinavian way of life, emphasizing inclusivity, eco-consciousness, and a deep appreciation for local culture. As Scandic Hotels continues to expand and innovate, it is sure to remain a top choice for travelers seeking exceptional hospitality in Northern Europe and beyond.

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Tour & Travel

Exploring Grandi Navi Veloci: The Gateway to Mediterranean Adventures




Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV), renowned as one of Italy’s top ferry operators, serves as a gateway to the wonders of the Mediterranean. Connecting Italy with several neighboring countries, GNV promises an extraordinary journey on the seas. Let’s further explore the company’s offerings, what sets them apart, and how travelers can make the most of their GNV experience.

The Beauty of Sea Travel with GNV


Traveling with GNV is more than just a means of transportation; it’s a chance to enjoy the beauty of the Mediterranean. Here’s why GNV stands out:

  • Panoramic Views: Enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean coastline, sunsets, and open sea.
  • Culinary Delights: Indulge in authentic Italian and Mediterranean cuisine served onboard.
  • Entertainment Options: From cinemas to children’s play areas, GNV ensures an entertaining journey for all age groups.

An Experience for Everyone

Whether a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a business trip, GNV has something for everyone:

Innovative Technologies


GNV leverages cutting-edge technologies to enhance the customer experience:

  • Easy Booking System: A user-friendly online booking system allows passengers to customize their trips.
  • Real-time Tracking: Keep track of ships and schedules through GNV’s real-time tracking feature.

Social Responsibility

GNV’s commitment to social responsibility is evident in their practices:

  • Environmental Protection: Energy-efficient ships, waste recycling, and other green initiatives.
  • Community Involvement: Regular collaborations with local communities and charitable organizations.


Grandi Navi Veloci isn’t just a ferry operator; it’s a provider of unforgettable experiences that allow passengers to explore the Mediterranean’s magic. Whether it’s the picturesque views, gourmet dining, or the comforts of modern ships, GNV brings the beauty of sea travel to life.

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