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Do Not Use Cheaptickets.com

Washington Dc...
posts: 9
reviews: 9
Do Not Use Cheaptickets.com

Whatever you do, for your own sanity, do not use cheaptickets.com.

A few days ago, I booked a complicated itinerary on cheaptickets.com, because United's website blows for multi-city itineraries. Yesterday, I decided to change the routing a bit, and after being told by United that I needed to make any changes through the purchasing agents, I called cheaptickets' customer service hotline.

The first agent I spoke to was friendly, but left me on hold for approximately 30 minutes, after which point she told me the only fare she could find with the changes I wanted was, no joke, $18,000. Note the roundtrip flight I was looking for was available on cheaptickets.com for $350. She said she'd be happy to keep looking for better fares. I had an appointment, and had to run. I asked if there were a way to get re-connected to her later so that I wouldn't have to go through another half hour. She said no.

Later that day, I called back. Another agent spent another good hour having me on hold, checking in every fifteen minutes or so (I was told 3-5 minutes, alas!) after which she told me that she was having difficulty changing my reservation. The reason she gave was that my itinerary, with the changes requested, ended up having ten flight segments, more than the maximum nine possible with United. I said, well, that's reasonable enough. How about we just cancel the first two segments that I was trying to change, and I'll book them separately later?

Ok, please hold. Twenty minutes later: "Ok sir, your new flight itinerary is $64 more expensive, plus the $150 United flight change fee, plus the $50 flight change fee."

Q: "I'm sorry? How is it possible that taking two fewer flights costs $64 more?"

A: "Well, sir, you asked to change the first flight from the 4th to the 5th, and that date costs more."

Q: "Um, no. As I said, I would like you to _cancel_ the first two segments."

A: "Please hold."

Twenty minutes later, the agent returns to tell me that she's still having problems because my current itinerary still has more than nine segments. I literally count the segments out to her. The original itinerary had eight segments. The proposed itinerary has six segments. How is it possible that your system believes that either itinerary has more than nine segments?

A: "Well, sir, In our system there's another segment reserved as a 'reservation' segment. I understand that you don't understand."

Q: "You're right. I don't understand how your system believes that six segments are more than nine segments. That makes absolutely no sense. I have only six segments."

A: "Please hold."

(ten minutes hold)

A: "Ok, you're right sir, you only have six segments, I checked."

Q: "Yes. I'm aware of that."

A: "So, your proposed itinerary actually costs $140 less than before."

Q: "That would make sense that taking fewer flights would cost less, yes."

A: "Ok, but if you make the change through us, you're going to forfeit the $140, and you'd still be charged the $200 for the United and Cheap Tickets change fees. But if you call United they might be able to apply that to your ticket."

Q: "I'm sorry? I called United first, and they told me that i have to make any changes through Cheap Tickets. Now you're saying that I can call United and make these changes directly? Which is it?"

A: "Please finish sir."

Q: "Look, if I call United again they're just going to tell me that I have to make any changes through you. But you're saying I"m allowed to change the ticket with them. That would save me almost $200 - the forfeited $140 and the $50 Cheap Tickets change fee. So when I call them, what exactly do I have to tell them so that they allow me to make the change through them?"

A: (ten seconds of silence). "Um, sir I would recommend that you just go ahead and make the change through us, because I can't guarantee you that you'll be able to get this fare through them."

Q: (on the verge of suicide): "Just do it."

TOTAL TIME ON PHONE WITH CHEAP TICKETS: 2.5 hours

TOTAL MONEY SPENT ON CHANGE FEES, WHICH APPARENTLY WASN'T REQUIRED: $190

MORAL: Do not ever, ever, ever use Cheaptickets.com to book anything.

50 replies to this topic
Cala d'Or, Spain
posts: 2,984
reviews: 87
1. Re: Do Not Use Cheaptickets.com

The MORAL is, don't use third party websites. Just read the daily postings on TA and you will see what I mean.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 42,624
reviews: 57
2. Re: Do Not Use Cheaptickets.com

I don't even understand your post. MOST of the time, no matter with which site you book tickets, you canNOT just change flights easily. There are always difficulties and change fees .

I would NEVER book a complicated itinerary with a 3rd party site!!!

Seattle, Washington
posts: 7,030
reviews: 85
3. Re: Do Not Use Cheaptickets.com

I agree with riffsmom, not sure exactly what your point is. You would have had to pay the change fee ($150) even if booking directly with UA, and if there was a fare difference, even with fewer segments, you'd be charged that.

I haven't found UA difficult to deal with when booking multicity routings. You just have to sometimes tell the agent exactly what you want, segment by segment. Better luck next time.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 6,961
reviews: 77
4. Re: Do Not Use Cheaptickets.com

" United's website blows for multi-city itineraries. "

That's why they call it ".bomb"

I did a search on it a couple days ago for IAH to Jakarta. It started me in Singapore routing me back to IAH for the first flight. At least it warned me that there might be a missing segment (!).

"How is it possible that taking two fewer flights costs $64 more?"

Fares are market to market not based on distance flown or number of connections. Change the start point and you enter into a new price range. The costs they offered seem quite reasonable and appropriate... given the terms and conditions of the 3rd party provider.

Airlines don't like you using third party sites... unless they really need to dump seats, which is rare. When they do dump seats, it is bare bones service.

Edited: 11:33 am, April 30, 2011
Cala d'Or, Spain
posts: 2,984
reviews: 87
5. Re: Do Not Use Cheaptickets.com

So you bought the cheapest tickets available via a third party site and fully expected to be able to change your itinerary for no extra charge. What airline allows you to do this.

I think at $190 you did rather well, sorry no sympathy here.

Quebec City, Canada
posts: 1
reviews: 1
6. Re: Do Not Use Cheaptickets.com

Called them 3 times today to change my $1500 flight ticket, actually, only the return date. ALL 3 times, after speaking to people with almost incomprehensible accents, they disconnected the call. ALL 3 times!!! I had to wait 10-15 every time "while they were checking...". This is obviously their scheme, where they read a script and guess you will never call back. NOTE TO CheapTickets / Orbitz: Don't waste your time posting your automated response here. We, Customers, can read your 200 duplicated responses. Advice to other users/customers: BOOK Direct with airlines, unless you want to live the 85% ++++ UNSATISFIED Customers like us....

Liverpool, UK
posts: 9,605
reviews: 14
7. Re: Do Not Use Cheaptickets.com

Ray D

Welcome to TA although dragging up a 6 month old thread is unwelcome to everybody but

"Advice to other users/customers: BOOK Direct with airlines," - why didn't you follow your own advice, let me guess you booked at the cheapest site possible.

Boston...
posts: 1
reviews: 4
8. Re: Do Not Use Cheaptickets.com

we had a very difficult time using cheap tickets - they booked us on a flight from boston to new york on american, then on ethiad air from nyc to abu dabhi - then on to bangkok - we were to arrive in nyc at 8:30 and leave nyc @ 10;05. There was a snow storm so we called American and cheap tickets and said we wanted to drive to NYC to catch our next connection because we feared that our flight would not arrive on time. We were refused - by AMerican, cheap tickets and Ethiad said if we didn't come on our scheduled flight to nyc, they would not let us on the plane. So we took the 7pm flight and were delayed with deicing and the plane waiting for wind to die down in ny. The american folks had given us boarding passes for all of our flights - we arrived in nyc with 20 min. to get to our next flight - had to go from terminal 8 to terminal 1. when we got to terminal 1 the ethiad people said it was too late - we would have to go to their desk and get another boarding pass and even if we could do that it was too late to get on board - we said we already had boarding passes and tried to get to the gate. at the gate, the plane was sitting there, but they would not let us on. they told us to go back to american and get rebooked. Our whole family was waiting in bangkok for us to get a flight to an island and we were going to miss this. The whole point of this is to say that the way cheaptickets booked this flight, it is almost impossible to get to ethihad on time. they require you to be there on hour in advance in order to board the flight - arriving in nyc @ 8:30 - it takes 30 min. to get to the terminal - if anything goes wrong you can't get on the next flight. Needless to say I will never ever book with cheaptickets again. Nor will I ever use ethihad again. If american and ethihad are partners, why would ethihad hold the plane for 8 people who they knew were coming from boston. it was a horrible experience!

Llanelli, United...
posts: 4,076
reviews: 200
9. Re: Do Not Use Cheaptickets.com

You should start a new thread. It will also be very helpful if you can make your post easier to read by the use of paragraphs.

Edited: 8:20 am, January 05, 2013
Wayne
posts: 1
reviews: 1
10. Re: Do Not Use Cheaptickets.com

I agree with every negative review I have read. I just got off a *three hour* phone call in an attempt to change a flight.

I ant to emphasize to ANYONE HOPING TO USE THIS SERVICE: book through the airline; the price of the ticket will be comparable and you won't run into the EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLAR HEADACHE (I apologize for the caps but again, 800$. EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS) I gave them a very hard time, and they were "unable" to help. I hope other people are able to read these reviews and it will save them from unnecessary inconvenience

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