Explore your opportunities! Create an account or Sign In
The most trusted and popular consumer complaints website



Bait and switch

Complaint Rating:  91 % with 117 votes
91% 117
Contact information:
Wholesale Flights Inc.
Burlingame, California
United States
Service Sucks and they are a total bait and switch operation. They will give you a really low fare on their website and ask you to call. I called them and the first thing I was asked if I was ready to buy tickets today! Apparently they would not spend time looking for tickets if I was not ready to buy today. I was ready.. so I said yes.. next thing he asks is if I've checked any prices . I thought the job of the agent was to check prices for me and not ask me for prices.. but anyway.. I said I had. So he then asks me what was the price I was seeing and which airline. So I gave him the ballpark price I was seeing online. So he does some checking for a couple of minutes and says that he cant find anything for that price and says that the lowest price he can find is almost double of the price I saw. He then says.. can we go to the website where you saw the price and both look at it! I'm like.. hello I called you because you are the travel agent supposed to look for prices and not because I want you to tell me how to search online! I told him that.. and he says he's trying to "help me"... and then he decides that he cant con me and asks me to call back when I want to buy tickets!! DO NOT USE THIS AGENCY.
Complaint comments Comments (46) Complaint country United States Complaint category Travel Agencies


Sort by: Date | Rating
N  7th of Aug, 2009 by    -2 Votes
Just bought a ticket to rome save about $250 on the ticket. Agent was nice. Good luck
A  24th of Sep, 2009 by    +2 Votes
Worst company ever. Stay well away from them. Bait and switch plus tons of other dubious practices. ALso they have a sister company called whole-sale Fares which is the exact same kind of operations.

Avoid at all cost
N  30th of Sep, 2009 by    +2 Votes
i did the exact thing the other people...i got the run around too and he was really rude about it.
A  22nd of Dec, 2009 by    +2 Votes

My husband and I bought tickets from them to the Philippines. First, the price quoted on the website ($998) was not the price he quoted on the phone ($1188). After giving him my credit card number to lock in the price, I received a confirmation email with the flight information; however, that too was not what was said on the phone (2 stops and not the promised 1 stop). Attached to the email was a mandatory Security Form, which when opened, was yet another price difference ($1250). I emailed him about this, and he said that the taxes were higher than what he quoted me and that he had no control over the taxes. Once I sent over the Security Form, I emailed him and asked if he was sending me over the tickets and he didn't respond. Being concerned I called NWA and they said that they flight was indeed confirmed, so I thought the guy was just a flake, but at least he got me the tickets.

Long story short, we arrived at the airport ready to go, and the agent says we don't have any tickets. The tickets were confirmed but never ticketed, and if we wanted to purchase them it would cost us $6000! I called the guy back (Greg) and he said that he tried to "contact" me - of course there were no emails or phone calls from him- and that the tickets were now gone. After speaking to him and his useless manager who insisted that I was lying and that it was my duty to contact them to make sure the tickets were purchased, I ended up hanging up and rebooking with Orbitz.

Called the CC company to stop all charges from them, which were pending... Full on scam. Don't be suckers like we were.
A  31st of Dec, 2009 by    +1 Votes

These three words best describe wholesale-flights.com. i was searching for a ticket to London when i came across them. the prices on there website were obviously fake but i wanted to double check. Then when i tried to call, i got hung up on after about 30 seconds. I had to call 3 times just to get to some one that would talk to me, There service sucks ! I spoke to the agent who found me a better deal than i could find, so I decided to buy the ticket(Bad Idea). After i gave him my credit card while i was waiting for some confirmation email so i decided to shop around for a bit more sites. Then i came across 1800flyeurope and i found the price there was 300 below what i was getting with that scam wholesale-flights.com so i called the agent back and i told him i don't want the tickets any more, he replied that they were issued and confirmed. After reading some reviews online i decided to call my credit card company to stop any and all charges then i called the airlines to double check if my ticket was actualy issued and it was not. they wait to issue the ticket until the get some Ticket release form that dose nothing but lock in the sale between ripoffee and ripoffer. I came real close to getting ripped off but after reading forms online i'm safe and sound thank you forms
D  3rd of Jan, 2010 by    -1 Votes
I just called them and they were very pleasent to deal with. Spoke to one of their agents and booked a last minute ticket to Beijing. Sorry to see you guys had a bad experience, but I just had to say a good word since Im a happy customer.
A  7th of Feb, 2010 by    +2 Votes
I also bought a ticket with them in January 2010, had similar experience as described in other posts where the advertised price is much lower than the quoted price when you do call them. Still, I foolishly bought the ticket from them, gave them my credit card number, faxed back the ticket release form with my signature, and one day later received a confirmation phone call from the agent that they've received the ticket release form and have issued the ticket for me. At the time I thought, "wow, what a nice company, they took the time to call me to confirm as opposed to just sending me an email confirmation".

3 weeks later I happen to want to make a change to my departure day, so I called them. And they told me that they could not find my ticket and that I do not have a seat on the flight. I was completely shocked, because I could have gone to the airport on my original departure date and then found out that I have no seat!!! This was totally unacceptable, given that I have received an e-ticket from them and also a personal confirmation phone call. Then they promised to fix this and finally quoted me a new ticket which was $400 over what I had paid for back in January. I asked that they must honor the original price but they refused and was absolutely rude over the entire episode. I ended up emailing them a formal letter saying that I do not give them permission to charge my credit for any reason. But I feel uneasy enough that they have my credit card information, so I ended up cancelling that credit card and have my credit card company issue me a new card with a new number.

Long story short, here is my advice to all of you regarding this company:

1) When you think that they are giving you extra personal attention because they would pick up the phone and call you several times regarding your flights and confirmation, it is because they DO NOT want to send you emails which could serve as evidence and documentation if you ever want to pursue legal action.

2) If anything goes wrong with your flight ticket, you are basically screwed, because they are likely a semi-scam operation, so there is no amount of reasoning or logic that you can give them which will make them act in a honorable manner. I spoke to my agent Frank Krimotat and his manager Josh, and both are complete ###s.

3) Your best bet is not to go with them. Whatever discount they can give you is not going to be worth the trouble of having to deal with them later on. Their discount is not significant if you are willing to do a bit more research online. And honestly, do not trust any of the positive comments about this company. Remember that there is generally less incentive for happy customers to come to complaint sites like this one, so they are probably posted by their employees. Trust your fellow traveller who are reasonably upset about their experience with this company to take the time and write/post negative reviews.

I'll be posting this same comment in any complaint boards that I can find.
A  11th of Feb, 2010 by    +2 Votes
I found this company via a link from Kayak.com (a reputable site). Wholesale-flights.com showed prices for my itinerary which were ridiculously lower than any other fare I found on reputable travel sites, even if one discounts the abundant taxes levied on international flights.

A little research indicated this company is indeed a scam. Don't touch them, folks! If it seems too good to be true, then it is.
N  11th of Feb, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I would like to know why the credit card companies allow these scammers to continue to run transactions through them when they clearly have a significant number of disputed transactions.
A  11th of Feb, 2010 by    +3 Votes
...they also clearly have their employees (or owners) posting positive comments on message boards where real customers complain about them. Wow. What ###.
A  20th of Mar, 2010 by    +2 Votes
I am so very upset with myself for falling or this scam that I can barely stand it. Please, please, please stay far away from this company.

I found this company online-a link from another flight seller. I poked around their website and thought they looked legit. I gave them a call and was amazed by the level of service I was getting from the friendly agent, Anna. I would ask a question she would call the airline and call me back. If I needed something else I would call and leave a message. She would return my call in less than 15 minutes. I thought it was great. I decided to purchase my tickets from her because of her help versus the local travel agent who seemed to be too busy to get me all the information that I was requesting in what I considered a timely fashion.

I gave her the credit card number, got the itinerary and the security form. We looked it over. The price matched what her had given us we sent it back to her signed and never got a confirmation email or eticket numbers. I watched all night for that email, I emailed her again, I checked my bank and sure enough the charge was going through...I thought...give them till mid morning. Next morning I called Anna wasn't in I left a message. I called again and asked to speak with someone who could confirm my tickets, because I was worried. I was disconnected three times AFTER I explained my concern. I called back again and dealt with the WORST customer service agent I have EVER had to deal with. I don't even think that customer service is something he even cares to understand. He was aggresive, mean and belittling. I was dumbfounded. I have never been treated so poorly EVER! He told me that he doesn't call me at work and accuse me of things. That he didn't deserve to start his morning this way. He refused to listen to my concerns, told me that I was obviously over reacting and that I just needed to calm down and listen to him. Keep in mind that I was not yelling, not swearing, just very frustrated and concerned and trying to get SOMEONE to help me. Shane, that was the name he gave me and I can't believe that any legitimate company would knowingly allow someone like that to deal with the public.

Anna did finally call me and reluctantly issued me e-tickets. I called both airlines to confirm my seat assignments... there were none, but my tickets were there. When I called the second airline I was informed that my return flights were a misconnect. I would need to have Anna switch us to the later flight. They were surprised that she had even been able to book them that way. I called Anna and left a message. I waited...I called again and tried to talk with someone else and got the same run around...I would have to wait for Anna to call me back. Well, wait I did and nothing.

Meanwhile, I get a call from Visa Fraud and guess what. There are LOTS of travel and airline charges going through my account and they would like to confirm that I authorized them. NO! I did not. I authorized a set amount on the security form and no matter how you tried to add these charges together they were MUCH higher, at least a couple thousand higher. None of them came from Wholesale Flights like the agreement stated. The agreement/security form did say that the carrier might charge. Two of the charges looked like they were from one of the carriers we were using, but upon investigation it was not the carrier-I called to check with them and found out that my tickets had been voided and were no longer valid for travel.

I put a hold on the card and went to the bank. The charges that looked like they came from the carrier itself were from a company with a VERY similar name to the carrier, but strangly out of Burlingame CA. Weird, but that is where Wholesale Flights is from. All in all they have charged me for well over twice the arranged price, from a number of different company names and all I have are voided tickets. Apparantly, I had real tickets long enough for me to call and verify them and that was it. I have had to cancel my card and file multiple disputes with VISA and I hope that all works out for me. I also hope that someday somebody catches these scam artists and rights all the wrongs they have done gullible consumers like myself. I just kick myself for being the fool here, but hopefully I can help someone else not make the same mistake. Please avoid them. The risks outweigh any benefit.
A  24th of Mar, 2010 by    +2 Votes
I had very similar problem.
My name is Tom Psillas.
My fiancee Lisa's mom passed away last week and I need to find cheap tickets to the Phillipines.
They pulled a bait and switch on me, telling me the original flight I agreed to were wait-listed.
He claimed gthey did not notice that.
Orignal price was $1, 380. per ticket, which I agreed to.
They then claimed that Cathay Pacific would not be able to honor the wait-list, so I would have to pay more.
They wanted me to pay $1695.00 per person.
Being a distressful situation (death in family), I agreed, reluctantly, but told them I would search for a better deal and cancel, if found.
They ran the credit cards, authorizing $1, 000 over the $3, 400 agreed amount for the 2 tickets. The fraud department at the bank called me and I cancelled the authorization. Josh at Wholesale-Flights.com, then calls and trashes me, calling me a fraud, con artist, plus a few other words, not becoming of a travel professional.
I had politley has asked him to cancel, when the bank declined the charges, due to him charging me over the amount authorized, per signed agreement.
Stay away from these con artists. I am surprised they have not been shut down yet.
D  24th of Mar, 2010 by    -1 Votes
When Thomas contacted me he informed me of his situation. I told him that I would get him a flight. I found him a flight with Cathay Pacific which was pretty good fare, cheaper than anywhere else that he could find it for. When he agreed to the original price I sent him the itenarary. On the itenarary it clearly showed that they were on the waitlist on the return flight home. When the waitlist didn't clear I contacted Thomas to inform him of the situation and what had happened. I told him that I was able to confirm them a flight but it cost $250.00 more per person. During the time Thomas was totally aware of the situation and was aware that they was on the waitlist. We had already offered to pay for more than half of the extra cost of the ticket. The total ticket price was $700.00 all we asked him to do was to cover $250.00 out of it and we would cover the rest of the difference. He agreed to it, now if he didn't want to pay the extra amount all he had to say was "no" and we could have cancelled the ticket for him. However when he agreed to the price we issued the ticket using our company credit card to purchase the tickets. He gave me a credit card to cover the difference and he told me how much to charge on each credit card. First credit card he told me to charge $3200.00 and the second one was to charge the rest of the balance which was $190.00. We first attempted to do an authorization for the amount he told us to charge for each card and it declined. So my thinking is that Thomas knew from the begining that his credit card would declined because to me all he was trying to do was to get out of the situation. He claims we attempted to charge more than what he told me to charge on each card. How can we charge more than on each card when we never charged anything all we did was an authorzation for each card. Nothing we did was a bait and switch the whole time the customer knew that they was on a waitlist on the return and I offered to him that the cost was more and he could have said no and not agreed to the charge. It's a free country you have choices and you don't have to do or purchase anything that you don't agree with. So to me the complaint is totally bogus because I did my job and I tried to find them the best fare. I emailed him and cancelled his tickets even though he agreed to the charges and we paid for the penalty to cancel the tickets. If anything the bait and switch happened with the customer not with Wholesale Flights.
N  26th of Mar, 2010 by    +1 Votes
In response to JCUSING,
1. I agree with Josh, that the first time the charges were run on my credit card, they were declined.
When I called both banks yesterday, they informed me that the merchant making the charges is on a watch list and that the charges would not normally be declined. That was not my fault. I think the main issue was that the charges presented were over $4K, whereas the amount authorized was $3200.00, which was well know to Josh.
2. Josh was aware that I had we had a death in the family, which was the purpose of the trip. Understandably, I was looking for the cheapest air fares and noticed Wholesale-flights.com had fares as low as $888 per person, so I filled in a form.
I was offered fares from JFK to Naga, PH for around $1, 400 per person, which we agreed upon. I signed the forms, giving Josh my credit card information, after being told the flights were confirmed for 2 people.
The next day, I get a call saying that the return flight was waitlisted and that Cathay Pacific could not honor the confirmed flight that I thought we had. He then went on to say that we could book the flight by paying $500 more. I agreed at the time, by returning the form.
3. Josh then calls and said the credit cards were declined. After calling my credit card companies, they said that over $4K was presented for payment, so they obviously declined that amount. Josh was aware othe amounts available on the 2 cards, or I would have only presented 1 card. This scared me, because I was already bait and switched to higher prices, plus the way the payment was handled.
4. I called Josh to cancel the reservations, but he said the tickets were issued. I verified with the air carriers that no ticket was issued, so I asked Josh to cancel my reservations.
5. I immediately booked with another travel agent who booked me at much lower rates, plus issued the tickets immediately (within 1 hr).
6. Josh then calls me in a very threatening manner, of which I told him I am now recording any futher conversation.
He was very unprofessional and nasty on the phone. You do not expect this in the travel business. Even worse, knowing that I had a death in the family, he could have tried to be polite at best. He finally taked to his boss, who agreed to cancel my reservations with them. Josh emails me back that the matter was closed, but that if it were his company, he would NOT have cancelled the reservation and he would do anything so we cannot fly with the other carrier.
7. This attitude is not acceptable and reinforces why I woulod never use Wholesale-flights.com again.
8. Checking on the Internet, including this site, there are thousands of complaints against this company; on BBB.org, [redacted].com, and other sites. Many travelers were stranded at airports with no tickets, etc.
I did not find any complaints with the travel agent I went with, so why does Wholesale-flights.com have so many complaints?
Why can they not learn to do business the right way and treat ALL their customers with respect, at a minimum.
If Josh's boss was running a legitimate business, he would fire Josh immediately.
The only reason Wholesale-Flights.com agreed to cancel the reservation was after I told them that I would take the matter to the CT Attorney General's office. Mr. Blumenthal is well known to the community, plus I have worked with him directly.
I think the facts speak for themselves. I always treat my customers with respect. If I fail to do the job, I promptly refund all monies, even if I know the customer is wrong. This is because the customer is alwasy right. It makes no difference how outrageous a customer may be. In this case, I was the customer, plus I was 100% correct that there was a bait and switch going on here, which is very illegal in all states.
My suggestion to all is: Use a local travel agent; ALWAYS, unless booking a domestic flight on a know airline directly.
A  31st of Mar, 2010 by    +1 Votes
My Lord, i decided to call them just for fun and see if they are actually THIS rude. I thought maybe Thomas could have been exagerating a little, but to my surprise, they are as RUDE as he explains.
The first time I called an agent asked me if I was ready to book and when I told him I was just looking to get a quote, HE HUNG UP!!!.
I called back and got a different agent and he seemed like he was having a bad day. After reluctantly giving me a quote, he basicly cut the conversation short and told me to call when I'm ready to book, but he was nice enough to leave his extension number.

Even if I did get the bad apples of the company, why would you risk giving your credit card to a company that would hire people like that.

N  7th of Apr, 2010 by    +1 Votes
Thanks for all advices. I saw this website and the great deal from them. This is a little weird because we can't book the ticket online. So I decided to read some complaints online first. I don't think I will go with wholesale-flights.com ...It sounds dangerous to me :)
A  7th of Apr, 2010 by    +1 Votes
Called them three times - first time the guy kept yelling, "Hello?!" every time he couldn't hear me. He then hangs up on me. Second time, they put me on hold and then dropped the call. Third time, a very rude "agent" asks me the prices I've found to Paris from my city! Then said, well, what if I can beat that? (That's what I'm calling for.) He gives me a price that's twice as much as the advertised price, but supposedly doesn't include any fees. I told him I'll keep shopping and will get back to him if I can't find a better price - so he hangs up on me!
N  8th of Apr, 2010 by    0 Votes
I was looking for flights to Germany for this summer, I also came across this wholesale-flights.com but since it just gave me a phone number to call, I decided to research the company first and came across this and other sites with many complaints, I am glad that you all shared your bad experience I believe it will save me from making a big mistake and I really appreciate that.
A  13th of Apr, 2010 by    +1 Votes
This is a complete nightmare. I booked, they sent me the wrong dates. 5 calls later they fix this. one day later I dont have my confirm and then when they call me back after repeated calls they have the wrong dates again. They bait and switched the prices on me 5 times and then tried to negotiate each time. They start off very nice and then once they have your money they will not waste a second with you and are nasty. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!
A  21st of Apr, 2010 by    +1 Votes
Agree with all the obove comments. Same experience here, and I have to add one more. On the form they sent me, there were some small prints underneath that talking about enrolling their frequent flyer program. I would NEVER expenct anything like that on the authorization form when you thought you just sign up a form so they can charge your credit card.

Then guess what happened? they charged me $9.95 per month for the fee. I first noticed it was a month later. I sent them an email. No response. Then when I found out they had charged me 3 months, I was furious. I sent another warning email and C.C. to my bank manager, and they replied. Simply asked me to "unsubscribe" the membership. Until then I finally found out how I got "subscribe" this program! If this is not called "fraud", whatelse?

So, a warning to all people with your hard earning money:


Post your Comment

Please check text spelling before submitting a comment
Your attitude towards Complaint Agree Neutral Disagree
Comment text
Attach photos (optional)

Wholesale Flights Logo Wholesale Flights
Customer Care Service
851 Burlway Road, Ste. 502
United States - 94010
+1 877 233 3727
View Full Information
Contact Us

Reply to