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Don't book with Crystal Travel, ATOL no: 3517

London
posts: 1
reviews: 1
Don't book with Crystal Travel, ATOL no: 3517

The website looked kosher, price for Qatar to Malaysia was cheaper than all others and even the online booking went well with email confirmation. However, the agent called back the next day to say that they cannot supply the booking and gave gave some excuse. He assured me that I can have a full refund if the alternatives he suggested do not suit me. I asked why the money was taken from my card when they haven't got the ticket to sell? The fellow replied that I'll have my refund in 72hrs. I emailed and asked for an immediate refund.

81 replies to this topic
Edinburgh, United...
posts: 8,001
reviews: 15
1. Re: Don't book with Crystal Travel, ATOL no: 3517

To be honest, if you get your refund within the promised timeline that's better than what you'd get with many 3rd party bookers.

Edited: 1:28 pm, July 19, 2012
London, United...
posts: 16,853
reviews: 23
2. Re: Don't book with Crystal Travel, ATOL no: 3517

Although very poor they sold a product they don't have, but it's how it works, it should not be a charge but a block on the funds. Basically they block the money to make sure you will pay and they will not be out of pocket when they then subsequently make the actual booking with the airline for you.

Then sometimes, they cannot make the booking, as ithe airline sold out,or the fares have went up.

This is the risk with third party bookers. Much better to just go direct. The fact the price was cheaper than all the others would be the sign it was not real time pricing. The odds are in most cases, if you can't book it with the airline for that price, neither can they.

London, United...
posts: 2
3. Re: Don't book with Crystal Travel, ATOL no: 3517

Also had a bad experience with these guys - they sell a ticket and then take forever to produce it. A sure sign that the prices quoted are not live. Very bad service at all levels - foreign call center, email addresses on website don't work, online chat session terminates when you complain, etc etc.

Avoid these guys like the plague - go to the airline site direct!

Italy
Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,245
reviews: 139
4. Re: Don't book with Crystal Travel, ATOL no: 3517

But did you get the ticket in the end or not?

UK
posts: 42,145
reviews: 88
5. Re: Don't book with Crystal Travel, ATOL no: 3517

This is the way nearly all these companies work, with unlikely fares that lure the unwary or niaive in, in order that they can actually sell you what likely will be the same fare you could have bought direct from the airline. Plus their booking fee. Plus probably their insurance unless you untick the box.

This would have been apparent had you looked at their Ts&Cs ( that box you ticked saying you had read them, when you hadn't ), or researched in here first (already a 50 post thread on them) rather than selected only on the basis of lowest price and then get paying with no research.

However, your warning may help the one in a hundred who research first and book later.

London, United...
posts: 2
reviews: 3
6. Re: Don't book with Crystal Travel, ATOL no: 3517

I would agree- had the same experience.

Got the confirmation email but never any tickets... then fobbed off with various excuses from their foreign call centre when I called up chasing them... being told my flight was 'cancelled'. I never received any notification of this from crystal travel so thank god I called up to chase the tickets early enough to book others with another company...

Avoid at all costs!

Manchester, United...
posts: 4
reviews: 2
7. Re: Don't book with Crystal Travel, ATOL no: 3517

I am in the middle of this by the looks of things. I have booked a flight but they havent taken payment. Now I have read all these bad reviews. Should I call my bank to stop the payment going through?

UK
posts: 42,145
reviews: 88
8. Re: Don't book with Crystal Travel, ATOL no: 3517

<<I have booked a flight but they havent taken payment.>>

Then you haven't booked a flight. You have probably *agreed* to book a flight through them at the price stated with them reserving the right to come back and say its no longer available at that price.

<<Now I have read all these bad reviews.>>

Why did you (presumably) search for reviews AFTER you booked????????

<<Should I call my bank to stop the payment going through?>>

That's a tough one, you are probably liable for cancellation charges (probably the whole amount), you've made an agreement, and they haven't done anything wrong (yet).

By "call my bank" do I take it you mean you paid by debit card? Rather than by credit card where if they screw up you can challenge the payment and not actually be fighting to get money back out of your bank account?

If I were you I'd call them and ask why you don't have your flight details yet. If they say the price went up, that gives you an out. If they say they just booked it, you'll have to hope its all OK and challenge it if you dont get the flight details quickly. Otherwise if you just cancel, they can almost certainly legally charge you, probably the ENTIRE AMOUNT ( which you almost certainly agreed to when you pressed "buy".)

Seems the only other thing you could have screwed up is that the flight you booked is with Ryanair so you pay double the Ryanair cost :-(

Edited: 6:04 am, April 12, 2013
Manchester, United...
posts: 4
reviews: 2
9. Re: Don't book with Crystal Travel, ATOL no: 3517

Yeah read the reviews once I checked my bank and the money hasn't been taken. Not before booking.

If I cancel I will be charged a ton - 50 quid a head. Thats in the T&C

Will call them.

Cheers

UK
posts: 42,145
reviews: 88
10. Re: Don't book with Crystal Travel, ATOL no: 3517

So, got your ticket?

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