Cheapoair / illegal and fraudulent behaviour - refuse to honor their own t&cs and refused to process re-booking
I made the unfortunate error of booking flights for my son and I through this terrible website from Istanbul to London August 2017 on Turkish Airlines. I subsequently cancelled the flights, paid the cancellation fees, and was informed that I had the value of the tickets ($420.42) as credit which I can use towards a rebooking within one year. It is now June 2018 and I have tried to rebook flights using the credit that I have but CheapOair are refusing to honor their own T&Cs!
The cancellation email I received from them literally states the following: "Once the booking is canceled, you will have a $420.42 credit with Turkish Airlines, valid for one year from the original date of issue... When you use the credit, there will be an airline penalty of $100.00 per person, plus any applicable fare difference. This credit is non-transferable and non-refundable, and may only be used by the person(s) name don the original ticket..."
I am a person named on the original ticket and I am the one asking for a rebooking using the $420.42 of credit available, since my son is incapable of travel. CheapOair are claiming that I only have $210 to use (!!!) and that, otherwise, this is treated "as a transfer". Nowhere in the cancellation email does it say that the available credit is to be apportioned 50-50 between my son and I. Their T&C's literally spell out that I have the whole $420.42 to use. Nowhere in their T&Cs does it say that the amount has to be used by both or all persons named on the original ticket and not one of them. It literally uses the term "person(s)" which denotes either one or more persons.
I have wasted hours on the phone with their customer service team to no avail. They are very unhelpful and just repeat the same thing over and over again, in that this is transfer (when it is clearly not!!!). At one point, a supervisor said they are happy to allow a rebooking with the full credit if I contact Turkish Airlines to get "a waiver code" (even though their T&Cs explicitly state that an rebooking should be handled through CheapOair and not through the airlines). I spoke to Turkish Airlines customer services who said that they never issue "waiver codes", that CheapOair should know that and know better than to suggest otherwise (!!!), and that this is CheapOair's problem and the least CheapOair can do is allow me to use the credit towards a new booking.
Relayed the message to CheapOair and, again, to no avail. It is literally like talking to a brick wall. I have wasted so much time being put on hold while their customer reps disappear for ages, before coming back to refer me to another rep (who once again places me on hold before making another referral).
This is the absolute worst level of customer service I have encountered with a travel agency before (and I am a very frequent flyer). I am reading out their own T&Cs for them and yet they refuse to honor them, and instead are making up terms after the fact (at one point, one of their customer reps explicitly said to me that I should not be reading the cancellation email that they sent "too literally"!!! This is a legal document, for crying out loud!!!).
I fail to understand how is this agency still allowed to operate despite their blatantly illegal and fraudulent behaviour. This is absolutely appalling.
Safe to say that I will never, ever be using this shameful excuse of a website ever again (and will make sure that I let everyone I know avoid it at all costs).
Updated by Rita Hayek, Jun 04, 2018
Oh, and now, after being put on hold for 24 minutes (this is my fourth call with the customer rep team), they hung up on me.
Updated by Rita Hayek, Jun 04, 2018
Call number 6 - got hung up on again. I have spent 2 hours 28 minutes on the phone with CheapOair's customer services (not an exaggeration - I added up the time from my phone) with no solution whatsoever. Instead, CheapOair have: 1) insulted me (the customer service rep said I cannot read simple words); 2) offered a rebooking which involves me paying an extra $300+ (this is in addition to the $420.42 I paid them and which they are refusing to let me use towards my rebooking; I should mention that the flights I have looked up on their failure of a website before calling were for a total of $380); 3) refused to honor their own T&Cs; and 4) illegally took my money.
What a bunch of crooks. Anyone would be out of their right mind to even consider using their website ever again.
CheapOair Customer Care's Response, Jun 05, 2018
The terms of the ticket and you posted it here The ticket is non transferable, period. So trying to split the ticket is a portion trying to being transferred to another person. Person(s) is mainly if there are multiple people in the reservation, doesn't mean multiple people can use the ticket. Feel free to check with Turkish airlines, and any airline, name changes are not allowed on a ticket and are the rules of the airlines, not CheapOair. As a travel agency we have to follow the rules put in place by the airlines.
Updated by Rita Hayek, Jun 06, 2018
I am not trying to transfer it to another person and I have made that clear numerous times - I am the original person who is named on the original ticket and I am the one who want to make and use the rebooking. Person(s) means one or more persons on the original ticket, and I am a person on the original ticket. Plain and simple. Stop trying to make it sound like I am asking for something which I am not. Nowhere on the ticket does it say I am only entitled to use half of the amount. If that is the rule, it should state that in your T&Cs. You cannot make this up and try and impose it afterwards, because that is fraud and misrepresentation 101.
I have contacted Turkish Airlines and they told me this is for you to deal with, not them (and the Turkish Airlines customer rep said that CheapOair should not be referring their customers to the airlines to avoid dealing with their issues). Again, stop trying to push this onto others when this is CheapOair's fault. I cannot get over how unprofessional you guys are - at least own up to your mistakes!!!
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