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Delta's prices are not as advertised

Seattle, Washington
posts: 4
Delta's prices are not as advertised

I was booking a flight from Seattle to Florence and I chose delta based on primarily it's best price of the airlines. However when I went to finish my booking the price instantly increased by $300. I called Delta and spoke to a receptionist and was told that the price listed under trip adviser is not necessarily the price. I would discourage anyone from believing deltas advertised prices. I am flying Lufthansa better price and I get to check a bag free.

24 replies to this topic
San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 41,305
reviews: 57
1. Re: Delta's prices are not as advertised

Trip Advisor does NOT sell airline tickets!

It has a search engine that can show you prices but the ONLY prices that are valid are the ones you find on the Delta web site itself. Delta does not control the prices that Trip Advisor might show on its search engine.

Yorktown, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Machu Picchu
posts: 5,924
reviews: 14
2. Re: Delta's prices are not as advertised

Many times, the prices you see quoted on some flight search site -- even Trip Advisor -- might show fares that have sold out. The prices you saw on Trip Advisor were not guaranteed price quotes. Every airline has a large set of different fare "buckets," even for the same class of travel. The lowest-price ones sell out early, for obvious reasons. The prices you saw on the Trip Advisor search may have been valid at one time, but were no longer available when you wanted to book your flights.

Seattle, Washington
posts: 4
3. Re: Delta's prices are not as advertised

The Delta entry showed seats still available and I assumed at the listed price. I was able to puck one, go through entering all if my billing info and then..BOOM the orice immediately increased $300. What is the point of using Trip Advisor to look for flights if what you see "ain't necessarily so"?

Yorktown, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Machu Picchu
posts: 5,924
reviews: 14
4. Re: Delta's prices are not as advertised

You seem to be saying that you still expected the Trip Advisor listed fare to be same as what you found on Delta.

Did the lower listed price include all taxes and fees? There can be a pretty hefty difference between the "flight only" price and the all-inclusive price. I think some airlines still show the base fare first, without the extra add-ons. And then, there are often extra optional fees for checked luggage and choosing seat assignments -- with some airlines. Also, I remember a time my son tried to book a flight -- on the airline website -- and by the time he got his credit card out, the lower fare had disappeared! That cheaper fare bucket had sold out in just a blink of an eye.

For a transatlantic trip to Spain a few years ago, I paid more in taxes & fees than for the base airfare rate. Final ticket price was a little over 2x the initial fare listing, even on the airline website!

I use airfare search engines to give me an idea of what's possible -- does Airline X fly from airport A to airport B? Then I go to the airline websites -- often there are more flight options there, and sometimes even cheaper prices.

Edited: 9:44 pm, August 29, 2013
Chicago, Illinois
posts: 4,918
reviews: 75
5. Re: Delta's prices are not as advertised

The same problem can happen with every other airline, not just Delta, if you search through TA. It's unreliable as a price search engine. It's TA's issue, not Deltas.

Edited: 9:56 pm, August 29, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 30,073
reviews: 37
6. Re: Delta's prices are not as advertised

It is a mistake to consider Trip Advisor as the way to buying airline tix. IMO it's the last place. It's important to shop on more than one website. Operative word = shop, i.e. research. Then go to the airline directly to book your tickets.

www.kayak.com

www.expedia.com

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

www.skyscanner.com

www.farecompare.com

Trip Advisor is but one of the many "fare finders." Second hand information. And problematic in another way because if anything goes sideways or you need to make changes, you need to deal with that third party booking site you booked through. In your case, it does sound as though you booked through Delta, which is probably a good thing, even though the fare ended up being different than what you expected.

Seattle, Washington
posts: 4
7. Re: Delta's prices are not as advertised

You are so right, the fees and taxes can and do often exceed the cost of the flight that the airline charges. That is the case with The Lufthansa flight that I booked. But back to my issue. Why even look at Travel Advisor if the prices are not accurate? I thought it is supposed to be a time saver so one doesn't have to go to every airline and view flights individually. Also I was able to choose a seat assignment, and my seat that was supposedly available at the quoted price site was listed when I went to finalize the purchase. But then Bingo the price went up $300. Also Lufthansa allows 1 free checked bag, Delta charges for a checked bag.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 30,073
reviews: 37
8. Re: Delta's prices are not as advertised

>>Why even look at Travel Advisor if the prices are not accurate?<<

Most people who learn this then know better. TA is just not a reliable source for airfares.

Florida - Alaska...
Destination Expert
for Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Province, Outdoors / Adventure Travel
posts: 3,074
reviews: 1
9. Re: Delta's prices are not as advertised

Seat availability changes rapidly. By time you go from the third party search website to the airlines website and into the booking process the cheap seat could have been sold. Even starting from scratch on the airlines own website, the fare and availability is not guaranteed until your card actually gets charged.

Airfare search engines, like the one here on TA, are just guides, a way to figure out which airlines to check first. Some of them simply look at fares and show the cheapest, some of them look at availability then show the cheapest that is available. But with both there are no guarantees of the fares still being available when you due the booking process.

London, United...
posts: 14,526
reviews: 22
10. Re: Delta's prices are not as advertised

Personally I would not use TA to find flights. However if you do, it's simply indicative and shows you who flies that route and at approx pricing,mthe airline itself will provide actual live pricing, based on the fare available at that time. Ta dont carry live pricing.

However I have to agree with the op somewhat , I read the find a flight info TA has explaining their service, and it is certainly not clear that the price is not live and probably not available. Experienced fliers or forum regulars may know this intuitively, but for many that could be very misleading.

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