Cheaptickets.com Complaint - Thank You For Destroying The Bachelorette Party!
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 B., 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 B. referred to the "panic call" at midnight, 6 hours before the canceled flight should had departed.
I contacted Cheapticket again, spoke to supervisor M., 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 E. 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. E. 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 B. 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 E. 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 B. tried to do), not ignore my issue (as M. did), and not behave rude or trying to take credit for pending settlements that was initiated by me (as E. did).