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Alcatraz tour rip-off

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Spokane
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Alcatraz tour rip-off

As several people have noted, if you get to the official sight early enough (www.alcatrazcruises.com), you can get a ticket for a reasonable price. But we just booked tickets almost a month in advance for an evening tour in early August and they were booked the entire weekend we wanted. Instead we had to buy through something called Alcatraz Tickets and pay an extra $10 a head. And if you read the fine print, you see that Alcatraz Tickets provides absolutely nothing at all; they just buy out a bunch of reserved seats with Alcatraz Cruises and charge you extra for the privilege of booking through them. What a ripoff!

Spokane
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1. Re: Alcatraz tour rip-off

My apologies for posting twice; I have no idea how that happened.

Santa Cruz...
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for Santa Cruz
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2. Re: Alcatraz tour rip-off

YUP. I hope everybody who wants an Alcatraz tour reads your message.

Does anybody in San Francisco know why Alcatraz Cruises allows this? Surely they could sell out without doing a 'franchise' business with sleazey tour groups?

San Francisco
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3. Re: Alcatraz tour rip-off

Moral of this story: the evening tour in summer is very popular. Plan ahead. Frankly, I think an extra 10 bucks isn't that bad when I've read how many people have been disappointed about not getting the evening tour, or any tour for that matter.

Bottom line, it's supply and demand. I could go out and buy up tickets and resell them if I cared to take the risk being stuck with a bunch of unsold tickets. Hmmm, maybe a new venture for RamblinSal!!

Germantown...
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4. Re: Alcatraz tour rip-off

Just off the top of my head I wonder...since this service works (more likely contracted) with the National Parks Service, maybe contacting the NPS will give them a heads up to what is going on with this company? It's all on how their contract reads...but it wouldn't hurt to see what the Parks Service has to say. And I must agree with Puter, something is wrong when Alcatraz Cruises sells tickets to other companies so they can then both make a profit. (And in the case of Alcatraz Cruises, an even greater profit since I'm sure they get a percentage of the sales to the other companies.) I understand supply and demand but I also put stock in some moral standing of companies. It's a shame...

Santa Cruz...
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5. Re: Alcatraz tour rip-off

Agree with Sharon.

San Francisco
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6. Re: Alcatraz tour rip-off

Sorry but Alcatraz Cruises (which is the concessionaire) can sell these tickets to whomever they choose. After all this is a capitalist economy, at least the last time I checked.

It's very obvioius to anyone who checks it out, that a certain number of tickets are farmed out to resellers or those who package other tours in conjunction with Alacatraz.

This is a tempest in a teapot. There are a limited number of seats on the ferries over to Alcatraz. It's always a popular attraction, most especially so in summer.

And with all due respect, I believe the title of this post to be quite inaccurate and inflamatory (which you posted twice).

But I hope you have a wonderful time on the Alcatraz tour and come back to tell us your thoughts.

Edited: 06 July 2010, 06:31
Germantown...
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7. Re: Alcatraz tour rip-off

Sal, I don't disagree about having to act quickly, especially during high season, to obtain desired tickets but I do wonder about the authority AC has in selling tickets to additional vendors. There has been suits filed in the last year against concessionaires and the NPS in regard to violations of the Administrative Procedures Act relating to due process, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and other points of law. Specifically questioned is how the NPS is monitoring the concessionaires due to concessionaires contracting with, and favoring, vendors they hired. It would be interesting to read the contract between AC and the NPS as to the sale of tickets to another agency that is not contracted by the NPS.

And yes, thankfully capitalism abounds...or my husband wouldn't have a job! :-) I have already noted the date, 90 days in advance, when I can purchase tickets to visit Alcatraz. But I can feel the frustration of those who don't realize the time frame needed to obtain tickets to many sites. I saw this in Italy this spring with person after person who had not purchased tickets early to see the Last Supper, or to visit the Vatican, etc. Thousands of miles traveled and they didn't see what they assumed would be available at the gate; it's just sad (and mind you, I am a serious planner but I empathize with their 'loss'.) AC practices may be legal but sometimes it just doesn't 'feel' like it is right. If anything, this title may help someone else avoid the additional fees on the tickets by purchasing them early. Hopefully tculb3 will put this sour experience aside and enjoy their trip.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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8. Re: Alcatraz tour rip-off

There are also companies that reserve lodgings in National Parks, then resell them to folks for a much higher price and a dismal cancellation policy. It doesn't seem right.

tculb3 ~ in the dropdown menu for Report Inappropriate, choose Remove My Post on your other (duplicate) thread. Folks who have linked Facebook to TA sometimes get double posts.

Edited: 06 July 2010, 15:24
Pacific Grove...
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for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey County
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9. Re: Alcatraz tour rip-off

ALL ticket services charge a processing fee. $10 is peanuts. Just be glad you got tickets. Also, these companies take a risk when they buy a block of tickets. The ones they don't sell, they're stuck with.

Edited: 06 July 2010, 15:27
Bolton, England
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10. Re: Alcatraz tour rip-off

Just noticed that the internet sales of tickets isn't working. It's 92 days until we want to do our Alcatraz tour. Is it likely to be back up and running shortly or should I just phone in 2 days time to book it?