27
Sep
10

Dear online travel site: what are you guys good for?

Dear online travel site,

Thank you very much for offering to, uh, expedite me three plane tickets for our family trip to Canada next summer.   The price I thought I was going to get was most reasonable.

Filling out your pages and pages of order forms was a treat, as was the receipt of notification at the very end that it was not possible to fulfill my booking request at that time.  It was, however, quite helpful to re-direct me to your telephone service hotline, who told me the same thing.

The friendly lady on the other end kindly offered to remedy the situation, however.  She passed me onto a colleague in the sales department, who also informed me that the tickets I wanted – the cheap ones – were no longer available, but that a competing airline was offering nearly the same route for only €250 more per ticket.

Gee, how could I possibly pass up such an incredible deal?  Call me crazy, but I guess once in a while you have to let others enjoy the good things in life.

I then went directly to the site of the airline offering the much lower fares.  Funny thing, the tickets were still available!   Within minutes I had the booking code, and the airline had its money.  Wasn’t that simple?   Just what are you guys good for, anyway?

With some of the €750 I’ll save, I will gladly send you framed, glossy photos of my daughter with her grandma when next summer rolls around.

Yours sincerely,

A non-customer


15 Responses to “Dear online travel site: what are you guys good for?”


  1. September 27, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    GRRRRR. I feel your pain. We check the airlines’ sites almost every day.

    • September 27, 2010 at 4:36 pm

      Pain is perhaps too strong a word. Frustration, anyway. I thought these sites were supposed to get us the best deals? Maybe the best deals for them I guess. I mean come on. How can they claim the flight is sold out when the airline’s site sold me the tickets 10 minutes later?

  2. September 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Perhaps THEIR ALLOTMENT of the attractive fare was sold out…was there any fine print about that?

    • September 27, 2010 at 6:57 pm

      I don’t know if the fine print had anything on that, Cliff, but for curiosity’s sake I went back to the same site to see if it was still available, and they’re saying it is! So either they’re system is screwed or they’re deliberately putting up so-called deals hoping to do a bait-and-switch. It’s a well-known site, too.

  3. September 28, 2010 at 4:03 am

    No air travel for me these days, so I escape those frustrations. But I got a good dose of bait-and-switch from the medical establishment a couple of weeks ago. Not only that, I got a wrong diagnosis from little Ms. I’m-your-substitute-dr. Looks like we both profited from our second opinions. Well, I guess yours was a 4th opinion, by the time you got your tickets.

  4. September 28, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Did you send them the link to this post?

    • September 29, 2010 at 5:21 am

      Hi nurse,
      I don’t know what good it would do. I talk to other people about this particular site, and they say they avoid it. So will I in future.

      Dina, I hope nothing in the air was affected! :-)

  5. September 29, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Maybe there software comes from the same manufacturer as does Virgin’s.(a few hours ago, in Australia, Virgin suffered another meltdown.)

  6. September 29, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I still say tell them. If they don’t get feedback they’ll never rectify the problem

  7. 11 Vodka and Ground Beef
    September 30, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    You seem to have such a lovely attitude toward this online travel site. I’m sure they’ll take that into consideration when they try and steal your identity.

  8. 13 lejupp
    October 6, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Heise online just had an article about bait-and-switch tactics used by online travel sites:

    http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Online-Reiseportale-wegen-Lockvogelangeboten-in-der-Kritik-1102348.html

  9. 15 J
    October 18, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    That’s exactly why I use skyscanner.net and sometimes travelocity only for references. I always book directly through the airlines.


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