[Resolved] Cheap O Air / bait and switch
June 2, 2008
When reservation was made the fare was listed at $138.00, during booking I was informed that fare was no longer available but I could book at $219.00. While at the same time I was looking at the Express Jet online booking page the fare was listed as $235.00, so save a few dollars and go with cheapoair.com. I received an email confirmation from cheapoair.com. I then checked the itinerary at the Express Jet website, everything was there and an Express Jet confirmation number was issued and to check in online 24 hours before flight.
June 5, 2008
My husband calls @ 8am to inform me he received a phone call stating his reservation has been canceled unless he pays an additional $106.00 to book the flight, which leaves WITHIN HOURS.
When I returned to the house, I also had a message about the reservation I assumed was from cheapoair.com although not one word was understandable because of the thick accent and the speed in which the woman was speaking, had I not received the phone call from my husband I would have deleted the message as a wrong number.
I then check my reservation for the customer service number and contacted a rep who informed me they had tried a number of times to book the ticket days after the reservation was made and that the fare is now higher and would I like to pay the $106.00 difference.
Why was I informed only hours before the flight, why was the ticket not purchased at the time of the reservation, and why is the ticket only $82.00 higher on the Express Jet website. This is a bait and switch operation and that is a practice which is not allowed in the United States. I see a class action heading their way and I will be a participating plaintiff.
Customer care service did everything in their power to resolve this complaint. All attempts to contact the complainant have failed. Therefore, this complaint has been annulled and must not be considered where image of the company in question and it's services are concerned.
CheapOair Customer Care's Response, Sep 29, 2008
I can only say that when you book your flights within hours or days of going on a trip, that would be a reason why you received a call within hours. If you had not been reachable, or returned phone calls that could be another reason for the delay. However, we do not run a bait and switch operation!
CheapOair uses 3rd party software and feed to display fares on over 300 Airlines, 75, 000 Hotels, and 35 Car Rental cos., We use best industry practices to display fares based on the most current data supplied by the GDS's - Global Distribution Systems. The Airlines load their fares on ATPCO, from where the GDS's access these fares and supply to us and other Online Travel Agencies. There is approximately 10-15% chance of the fare not being available which is Industry standard, all major Online agencies have the same policy. This is also due to cached data and not real time data provided to us by the GDS's. We make best efforts to minimize these by reducing our SOLD OUT issues but we are totally dependent on 3rd parties for this information. We regret this and apologize for the in-convenience".
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