PORTLAND, OREGON -- I have been trying to purchase a ticket from Portland, OR to Buenos Aires, Argentina for weeks now. I have been monitoring the prices for the last 45 days but was not able to purchase my ticket till recently for personal reasons. While searching (I use Mobissimo and Kayak.com normally) I kept having Cheaptickets.com coming up as the cheapest deal. I was really surprised because the tickets at the time were around $1300-1500 each, but magically at Cheaptickets.com they would appear for $1064.
But each time you tried booking them, when you got to their web site and after you clicked to purchase the ticket, it would say that the quoted price was no longer available and gave the following message: "We're sorry. Due to changes in airline availability, the fare for your selected trip is no longer available. We have adjusted the fares for all affected flights. The fare for your selected trip is now $ 6380 total. See below. (Message 1048)"
In actuality, the price in the results would be: "$1,316+ $305 taxes & fees = $1,621 per person". But wait.. when you chose that price and clicked on it to purchase it you received the following message: "Due to changing availability, the fare you selected is no longer available. Here's the lowest fare for your flight(s). (Message 102a)". And the new price was now quoted to be: "Total trip cost $1,657.19 USD". So the ticket advertised for $1064 was actually $1657.
Now this happened on every one of the cheaptickets offered on their web site. I should know because I had tried to purchase them for three days. In some of them you would get the following message: "Great news! We found an even lower fare for this itinerary. Act fast to take advantage of this fare before it expires. (Message 102b)" and the price would be quoted as "Total trip cost $5,881.19 USD".
Of course, I understood this was a scam, but then I was so angry I tried each and every one of them, and saved most of the results. So now I have this collection of price quotes from Cheaptickets.com that are all false. And the worst part is that if you try using a search engine for airfare tickets, like Kayak.com or other ones, they all quote Cheaptickets.com and Orbitz.com as the cheapest ones, but yet, they both are false advertisements to lure customers in and hope they purchase one of their more expensive tickets they actually offer. I am not the only one experiencing this because other friends and family members are having the same experience.
I will forward all the information I have collected with my complaint to the Attorney General's office and the Better business bureau because this is not right. People are trying to get a better deal on an airfare and we waste our time with false advertisements. I could have purchased a cheaper ticket much earlier, if I wasn't spending all this time to purchase a cheaper ticket that didn't exist.
HONG KONG, ALASKA -- I booked a ticket to Taipei 6 weeks ago. When I got to the airport the airline had no record of my reservation. But somehow I was charged for the flight insurance. When I called to complain. They told me that I had to call the insurance company, Alliance. When I called them, they told me they would refund my money but I had to provide proof that I had never taken the trip.
I asked them how I could do that since there was no record anywhere that I hadn't taken it. They gave me an email address to send the proof too. And after calling cheaptickets a second time and arguing with the person on the other end until I got to talk to a manager, the manager simply told me that they would straighten it out. But this was 3 weeks ago & I haven't heard from them yet and nothing has happened. And after all of these calls at international rates. I spent more money trying to get my money refunded than the actual refund would be.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I booked an international flight from Canada to London on Cheaptickets because it had a slightly cheaper fare than any other site I could find, and have since lived to regret the decision significantly. I've called to change the ticket 3 times. When I tried the first two times I was on hold for over 45 minutes each time, and had to hang up before getting through to a customer service agent because I had to return to work. The third time I called I checked the price of the ticket through the airline and noticed that it had dropped by $40.
Despite this, the completely unhelpful people at Cheaptickets told me that the fee to change was still $200, plus the $75 to Cheaptickets. I told them that the price of the ticket had dropped, and they said there was nothing they could do about it. When questioned about what the $275 was for, they told me that they have a "sophisticated" system that requires them to charge an operating fee. They are quite easily the worst service I have ever come across, and it has been an absolute nightmare dealing with them. For anyone reading this, NEVER USE CHEAPTICKETS!
Cheaptickets.com is not a bargain! I have been trying to reach customer service in the international flight dept. to change my flight reservations for a week now. This last time, I was placed on hold for more than an hour which leads me to believe that they don't have the staff to handle their business. I tried to change the flights online myself but because it was an international flight, the website directs me to call them directly. After waiting for an hour on hold, I asked to speak to a supervisor, of which does not pick up. This company is a scam!
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- I bought a package from the Bay Area (San Francisco area) to Las Vegas for my wife's best friend's bachelorette party (including roundtrip airfare and hotel for my wife and her friend during the Memorial Day Weekend). The departure flight involved Aloha Airlines and the return was with United. When Aloha Airlines went bankrupt, we instantly contacted Cheapticket to ask if it would affect the vacation, if we needed replacement flight etc. The staff at Cheapticket could not answer and recommended us to do nothing. Approximately 1-2 weeks before departure Cheaptickets contacted us to inform us that the Aloha ticket was canceled.
I called Cheapticket and asked for options, hoping that the bachelorette party would still be able to proceed as planned. The sales person suggested I got a single ticket from the Bay Area to Las Vegas to replace the canceled flight. I asked him 3-4 times during the conversation whether he could ensure that the return flight with United would still work out. I said that my wife would be very upset if they got stranded in Las Vegas. He ensured me the trip would now work out as planned.
At the last night in Las Vegas, my wife and her friend tried to print out their boarding passes for United but found out that their tickets for their flight at 6 am were canceled. Panic ensued and they called Cheapticket around midnight to inform them about their predicament. The staff just confirmed that the return flight was canceled without providing any further assistance. After a lot of hurdles, it was possible to find an alternative ticket for them home (without assistance from Cheapticket).
I contacted Cheaptickets and demanded an explanation and spoke to **, a supervisor. He claimed they had a recorded phone conversation with my wife's friend, where they informed her ahead of time that the trip was canceled. He offered me a $100 voucher as compensation because they HAD noticed us ahead of time that the return flight was canceled. I accepted the offer, thinking that my wife's friend had missed to inform me about this phone conversation. However, when I spoke to her, and we looked at the date for the phone call, it turned out that ** referred to the "panic call" at midnight, 6 hours before the canceled flight should had departed.
I contacted Cheapticket again, spoke to supervisor **, arguing that "the 6 hours notice" (done during a phone call initiated by us) hardly can be seen as a timely "warning." He promised to look into the matter. When three weeks had passed I called Cheapticket again (today 07/08/08). I spoke to supervisor **. He again referred to that "they had warned us that the return flight was canceled" (the panic phone call at midnight) and that because I accepted the $100 voucher (sent to me by e-mail and never used) the issue was settled.
He was even rude enough to say "Well, you did use the hotel room, didn't you?". Through my bank I have disputed the dollar amount of the trip related to the Aloha Airline ticket. The case is still pending. ** tried to make it sound like THEY had refunded my money related to Aloha, while it was ME who took action.
I ended up spending an extra $800 on flight tickets because Cheapticket NEVER warned us that the return flight was canceled with enough notice for us to act properly. Their substandard customer service has created unduly hardship on a very special event (a bachelorette party) that only happens once and cannot be redone. As a customer, I did all in my might to make sure the trip would work out as planned - still Cheapticket did not fulfill their part of the contract.
I found it shameful that ** tried to "trick" us by claiming that the "panic call" was a timely notice of the canceled flight (he had access to the dates and I had no calendar in front of me during the call) and that ** was trying to take credit for the pending refund of the canceled Aloha flight. In addition, as a customer, I should be able to expect that Cheaptickets is actually trying to help me. Not trick me (as ** tried to do), not ignore my issue (as ** did), and not behave rude or trying to take credit for pending settlements that was initiated by me (as ** did).
CALIFORNIA -- My husband and I had to fly to Chicago, from California for a funeral. Since it was short notice, I went through cheaptickets.com to get a lower priced ticket. I got us both tickets and noticed that same day they "reserved" the money in my checking's account. The day we had to fly I didn't check my bank account. We had to be at the airport early. We got to our destination, with no problems. Until I tried to get the rental car, my card was declined.
Since this was a unexpected trip, money was a little tight, but I got the rental car through cheaptickets.com and the hotel was very inexpensive, so it was do able, we were only staying 3 days. My husband had to put the car on his card and we knew that was it. He was taking care of all the bills at home (either of us have a credit card, we only use our ATM/debit cards). So we get to the hotel, I tried to put the room on my card (its was cheaper than the rental car) but again my card declined. The lady behind the desk was so nice to allow me to use their computer so I could check my checking account.
I noticed that a new charge of $320, then another for $320 was made to my account that day, along with two separate over draft fees of $24 (since I didn't have the money in my account). I also noticed cheaptickets was still holding the $640 reservation fee for the flights, even though I was charged that day. (Each ticket cost $320 each). I didn't know what to do. All I needed was $210 for the rental car and hotel room, but I didn't have it, they were holding onto it. I called back home, to my in-laws house and asked them to get us cheaptickets.com customer service number. In the meanwhile, my mother in law called the hotel and put the room on her card. She didn't want me, who is pregnant sleeping in a car for two nights.
I called the number and after being put on hold forever. I finally got through to some guys, who barely spoke English. I explained to him the situation and he said there is nothing they could do about it. He said they never "hold" money, even though the amount help was the exact amount the plane tickets cost and it was the exact day I initially "bought" the tickets. He said he was looking in my account and only charged me once, which wasn't true, they actually charged me twice, each ticket separately. He said I need to call the bank because they are holding the money.
I told him my bank was closed, its a Credit Union and they are only open Mon - Fri and I was calling Sat night.. banks aren't open at night either. My bank doesn't have an 800 number, where people work late. But in the past my bank has never done this, weekday or weekend. I had this happen to me once before by a different company and when I called it was a simple minute and the money was released and I told them that and he said he wouldn't do anything. The guy kept putting me on hold and each time he came back on line, he was very mad and "bothered" by me.
I told him I was done speaking to him and asked for a manager and he said the company doesn't let people like me talk to managers. He continued to put me down and be mad at me and told me the money problem was my problem and if it doesn't get better by Mon call him back and he will see what he can do. I told him if he could fix it Mon then he needs to fix it NOW, that we are on the phone. He said No; it's not his problem. He put me on hold, this time it was close to an hour. I waited, I needed my money. Finally he asked me for my phone number so I gave it to him and he said the manager would call me back.
I was upset, crying and gave up. I didn't know what else to do, but at least my mother in law got us the room and we had gift cards for different restaurants. Right after the funeral I get a phone call from a manager, I told him what happen with the money being held and about the conversation I had with his employee and he asked me to hold on and when he came back he said the money should be there and asked if there was anything else I needed.
I told him about the 2 over draft fees and he said he couldn't help that. I was still upset about the guy I spoke to the night before but he never apologized or anything for his employee's behavior. We hung up, I went to an ATM and the money was released, this was on a Sun (when my bank was definitely closed). I used cheaptickets so help us out, but in the end, they caused more heartache, as if we weren't suffering enough. I will NEVER use them again.
VIRGINIA -- The site says it has lots of tickets available a a certain price but when you select any of them, it says, "sorry, no longer available at that price; the new price availability is $**" which is $700 higher. Beware of this site! It is a scam!
I will NEVER utilize ORBITZ or CHEAPTICKETS again! All they have are complaints against them I now see why. I booked a hotel room with this company for only two nights thinking they were saving me time and money. Yeah they saved me time (a little) but money NOT! In fact what they charged me was MORE than the room actually cost! Their excuse is BULK BOOKING!
All I wanted was a small refund less than $20.00 and I would have gone away happy, MAYBE return for future travel needs! Well, when they insultingly "offered" me a travel voucher for future travel in the tiny amount that they should be giving me back all they did was drive me to find and utilize EVERY avenue I could to tell everyone I can of the dishonest and shady practices at the hands of this company.
All that VOUCHER does is guarantee THEM of future profits being made off of ME! That is something that will NEVER happen. I am also going to my bank to lodge a complaint to see if they can somehow reverse this for me. Not to mention the possibility that if banks get involved more will listen and put a stop to the shady practices to unethical and irresponsible businesses taking advantage of consumers.
I looked online and searched for Theater tickets in Chicago. Upon looking at a few websites, saw a good selection at cheaptickets.com. Debated and debated and decided to purchase 3 tickets at 105 per ticket. On top of the 19 service charge per ticket and the 15 total delivery, I paid 390 bucks which means 130 per ticket. Next day my wife searches the internet and discovers much to my dismay, better tickets and for less. Those three were 180 total including fees!! It's incredible, how does Cheaptickets.com rape the customers like this?
The 180 were better tickets. Face value of these were 60 a piece and my ripoff tickets were 50 so that means I got hit for 80 per ticket in fees. This company may be the biggest scam there is out there. When we called Customer Service, they were so rude, sure, we did a bonehead thing and buy the tickets but if they were 10-20 a ticket difference, I wouldn't have cared so much but if the fees are more than the actual tickets they're worth. They're Customer service couldn't care less hence I write this.
The seller of the tickets, a ticket broker who uses cheaptickets.com, didn't dare let me cancel. He even acknowledged that their fees are very high. Anyone who buys a ticket from these need their head examined like me. This is what they call buyer beware but please, please, do not buy anything from this scam artist. They're such a joke.