I’m not going to bore you with my airline horror story, but I recommend you take note of section 2.3.1. of Spirit Airlines Contract of Carriage if you are flying that airline. They state that you must obtain a printed boarding pass 45 minutes prior to boarding for most major airports. Compare that with 30 minutes (electronic tickets are valid) for most other major airlines, for example section Rule 5 D) 1) a) of United Airlines Contract of Carriage.
Well, I ran into more trouble with Vayama. It just isn’t worth it to use them anymore.
They will grovel until they are blue in the face so that they can keep a semblance of legitimacy as they rip off one customer after another. I’m not going to bore you with my story this time, but I left a small review over at Trustpilot. The site is simply an email address grabber and upsell outfit.
Original Article ():
I recently had an experience with Vayama (and antecedently Kayak) that, along with a search for Vayama, temporarily had me thinking they were scam artists. However, after I sent the following email of my experience to both Vayama and Kayak, David from Vayama completely resolved my issue.
The email that I sent to Vayama, which describes my experience, was:
I fly quite a bit and usually use Kayak to find a travel service through which to purchase my ticket. I recently purchased a ticket from Vayama via its partnership with Kayak (for which Kayak receives monetary compensation) on April 17th for $1488.65. In all previous cases, from services other than Vayama, when I purchased tickets online I quickly received an e-ticket. So when I received an email from Vayama stating the trip ID and flight numbers and times I thought I had booked my flights. Unfortunately that was not the case. Looking again at this email I see that it states, “…we will issue your ticket(s) and you will receive an “E-ticket Confirmation” email within one business day.” Furthermore I see that I received an email from Kayak stating, among other misleading statements, “Vayama will email your ticket number within one business day.”
This morning, April 21st – four days later – I received a call from a Vayama representative. He said that one of the airlines flying a leg of my itinerary, Swiss Air, raised the price of its leg, and that now the price of my trip is $1685.00. This has never happened to me before, so I am under the impression that Vayama negligently did not reserve my seat with the airline immediately after I submitted my information as other services do. Instead they attempted to purchase my ticket much later than is expected (or agreed upon) by the industry. Therefore the price that the airline had quoted them had expired.
Since prices for my flight itinerary in general have gone up over the past 4 days I cannot purchase an equivalent ticket for an equivalent fare. I feel blackmailed by Vayama. Due to Vayama’s negligence I am asking that you reimburse me for the difference of the flight prices, i.e. book my flight at the price you originally quoted me. Please let me know your response immediately so that I may take appropriate actions.
The next morning I received an email from Kayak and very soon thereafter from Vayama. The Vayama response was:
Dear Roel –
Your communication to KAYAK regarding your recent booking experience was forwarded to me by my contacts at KAYAK.
Let me first start with an apology for this less than satisfactory experience.
In reviewing your booking history I found that your booking request got stuck in our automation process which prevented our normal (and speedy) automated ticketing processes from completing the ticketing portion of your booking. It remained stuck for a number of days until someone noticed. By then the fare had been lost within the booked class of service.
Given that none of this was your fault, I have authorized the ticket to be issued to you at the original fare quoted ($1488.65) with Vayama absorbing the increased fare difference.
The ticket has now been issued and confirmation email sent to you.
If for any reason you no longer need this ticket, please respond to this email TODAY so I can void the transaction and have the fare charged to your account voided as well.
Again my apologies. This was an isolated and unfortunate issue.
I’d say that is a very legitimate response to my issue. I asked David whether he would have responded to my email if I hadn’t emailed Kayak. He stated that he had received my email and would have responded to it but that he responded to the Kayak email first since that was presumably the more urgent one.
This kind of thing may happen infrequently at Vayama but since it happened to me I am going to dock them one star out of five and rate them 4 stars at Trustpilot. At a minimum, Vayama appears to be a legitimate company that stands up to its word.
Here is a letter from Vayama that I received on April 26th.
First of all, please accept my most sincere apologies for this error having occured in your booking. I believe this issue has already been satisfactorily resolved with a full refund from Vayama, which was processed on April 22nd. The error that occured in your booking happens when availability is updated by the airline when you are actually in the booking process. We receive your payment, however the flights at the fare originally offered cannot be honoured by the airline, as there is no longer availability. We unfortunately have many bookings with this error, and need to manually process all of them as we aim to find flights for the same price. Our notification to you was not within a satisfactory time frame, this I do realise, once again please accept my most sincere apologies on behalf of my colleagues who deal with processing these errors.
Don’t fly Air India unless it is your only option.
On my way home from Torino, Italy on Feb. 27th, 2006 I had the unpleasant experience of being delayed on the first segment of my three-segment trip,Torino-Dusseldorf-Frankfurt-Los Angeles. Since I had purchased the ticket from Air India through CheapTickets.com I asked Air India to rebook me on the next available flight to Los Angeles. They told me no, that they would put me up in a hotel for the night, and that I could leave on the next flight in 24 hours. So I asked Lufthansa also, which was the airline for the first two connecting segments, to rebook me on the next flight to Los Angeles. They said Air India had to give the OK to do the rebooking since they were the ones who sold the ticket to me. On my behalf, Lufthansa, who by the way has great service, called Air India and also received an answer of “No”.
I travel from the US to Europe and within the US several times a year. Each time I have missed my flight, even when I missed it due to my own error, the airline has booked me on the very next flight to my destination. You can imagine how pissed off I was at Air India’s response since there were several more flights to Los Angeles that day connecting through cities such as Washington D.C. Even Lufthansa was shocked that Air India would not rebook me on the next available flight.
I had an uneasy feeling about flying on this particular airline when I unsuccessfully attempted to access airindia.com to register for a frequent flyer number. Although the website showed me a generic “under construction” sign, I continued with my online booking through CheapTickets.com.
The overhead light of the passenger in the seat next to me could not be turned off. And his entertainment monitor did not display anything at all. My monitor played French in one ear and English in the other on some channels, on others the video and audio flickered in and out. When I tried to raise my headrest it broke away from my chair. The 747 fleet of Air India must be one of the oldest.
Lufhansa, PLEASE, in the future do not accept connecting flights for Air India and thereby mix your upstanding reputation with that of Air India’s.
General Flying Recommendations:
Reduce the number of segments as much as possible, not only to reduce travel time and discomfort due to takeoffs and landings, but to reduce the probability of missing a connecting flight.
Purchase tickets that use the same airline for all segments.