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Travelocity / british air confirmed travelocity fraud!

1 United States

Booking with Travelocity on two occasions was an absolute nightmare. Our Puerto Vallarta get-away and my Thanksgiving trip to London were both ruined by Travelocity, yet they still managed to charge us TWICE for the same ticket, which was never issued to me.

Short summary:
Travelocity CONFIRMED my trip by email then a month later (on the day of my travel!) when I attempt to do online check-in I find out that I have no reservation with British Airways. I call BA immediately and the agent confirms that there is no record of a booking under my name; it never existed at all. Impossible, I say, I have confirmation from Travelocity. She laughs and says Travelocity routinely waits until the very last minute to purchase the ticket from the airline. What does this mean to the customer? Frequent "fair-jumping" and "cancellations" of reservations that were never even made! This is their dirty little secret and, like with most business tactics, the customer gets screwed.

After literally waiting on hold for half the day during multiple phone calls and disconnects with Travelocity Customer Care in INDIA, finally "Gearald" the manager basically tells me, "We're sorry, but we tried to inform you of the cancellation by email." I say not true, I have no spam blocker on this private email account. He says sorry, but it looks like a "hiccup" in our system; we apologize (I'm in business and I know the classic "system glitch" BS excuse when I hear it). He just keeps piling it on, until I reveal the fact that BA already confirmed that no booking/reservation existed at any point with their airline, so what gives? Awkward pause, then "Sir, I'm going to confer with my supervisor, may I just place you on hold for two to three minutes please?" Go ahead, "Gerald," tell me another one.

After the day-long fiasco with customer service, as if that was not enough, I get my Master Card bill next month and see that Travelocity ended up charging me for my "canceled" non-existent ticket not once, but TWICE! Beyond absurd.

So I opened a dispute with Citibank MC and in December '06 I overnighted via FedEx a formal letter of complaint to "Customer Care Relations." They do not care. Lots of empty promises from pseudo-supervisors like "Gerald" and "Sean" in India. It is now almost six months (May 21) and we're still getting the run-around. This is not just unbelievably bad service or outright deception, it is both.

Their parent group, Sabre Holdings, is negotiating its sale. In the meantime their customer service has deteriorated and the company uses fraudulent booking procedures [ask Airline ticket agents; they hate them]. Travelers should avoid Travelocity like the plague. If you've been burned, file a complaint with your state attorney general's office. Better Business Bureau has less credibility but still worth reporting to BBB because they at least publish unresolved disputes. Spreading the word on the web is our only chance at changing things.

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