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Sudden price changes with online vacation bookings

Victoria, Canada
posts: 3
reviews: 9
Sudden price changes with online vacation bookings

Looks like I had my post removed because some people didn't like that I used some questionable language.

Ok, I'll rephrase.

Over the past few days, I've reviewed vacation getaways, narrowed it down to a specific region and hotel, and then went to find the best price for a flight/hotel all inclusive via several vacation package sites including redtag and flightcenter. After selecting the departure city, location destination, and flight dates, I got a list of hotels with prices for the week. The prices specify price with added tax in smaller font below that. These prices were close across the board on all the sites. Even if I switched forward or backwards a day or two, they all more or less aligned. Now, I had thought THAT was the final price, and they definitely lead you to believe that with the big "BOOK NOW" button next to it. WRONG. When you click that book now button, there's some automatic price bump that happens. In my case, it went from about $600 to $800, not including tax. That's a substantial bump. And worse, they don't give you a reason whatsoever. It just happens. And happens across the board.

After days of reviewing hotels and picking one that meets my budget and other preferences (location, etc), to suddenly be given a different price is frustrating.

23 replies to this topic
Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 1,825
reviews: 12
1. Re: Sudden price changes with online vacation bookings

So is there a question in there that someone can help you with? As it stands now, you have just made a statement - "to suddenly be given a different price is frustrating". While I don't disagree with the sentiment, you should realize that this forum is primarily for advice and questions - kind of hard to know how to help if you don't ask for either.

-JimG

Edmonton
posts: 7,163
reviews: 14
2. Re: Sudden price changes with online vacation bookings

You always need to go to the booking page as those are "from" prices. Everything will be added and the live availability will be checked when you go to book. Many, many sites operate this way (even the very legit ones).

uk
posts: 1,670
reviews: 147
3. Re: Sudden price changes with online vacation bookings

You have completely missed the point of the replies you had.

You are NOT booking/looking direct at a live system - you are using a third party site which uses "prices from $xxxxx" to lure people like you into thinking these are actual, real prices.

They are not. Search for cheapoair on this forum for classic examples of the situation you are in.

The price is NOT actually going up, because it never existed at the low price you think it did.

Book your flights and hotel real-time with an airline or hotel and you won't see these increases pop up just when it comes to pay.

You re-phrased: I'll repeat: there's no point moaning about sudden price jumps if you are using a third party site - that's what they do.

By the way, I have some gold bars for sale "from $10..." and you may buy them from my website..... but - just like what you're doing - don't be surprised when towards the end there will be a sudden price hike....

London, United...
posts: 14,882
reviews: 22
4. Re: Sudden price changes with online vacation bookings

I had a try on flight center in Canada, one of the agencies you were talking about, picked a vacation leaving I think tomorrow or the next day and the price was exactly as advertised on the first page.

When I said on the previous thread it was your dates, I did not mean change it by a day or two,,,the further you go from tomorrow,,and into what may be high season or higher demand periods, the price will go up,

However I am at a loss unless you tell us the vacation and the agency, because as said, I did a dummy booking all the way through to cc entry and final price and it did not change.

London
posts: 13,776
reviews: 73
5. Re: Sudden price changes with online vacation bookings

And I'll say what I said before. Unless you undertand that you are looking at cached prices not live ones, and that pricing is often quoted as 'from' your complaint is pretty pointless. When you book you are simply sending them a request for that itinerary. What the final price will be will depend on live pricing/availability by the airline/hotel/etc. They should probably put 'request this itinerary' and large disclaimers to that effect but it seems to be part of the job description that people who book like this don't understand what they are doing and don't read such warnings anyway.

(And FWIW I wish people would stop removing posts/threads just because they're a bit put out by them. It is helpful for them to stay on posters' histories so that people can see what they're dealing with).

Edited: 3:20 pm, April 02, 2014
Wellington, New...
posts: 514
reviews: 1
6. Re: Sudden price changes with online vacation bookings

Yup clearing cookies can help - if you don't know how to do it on your browser - use a different browser or a different computer - airlines are definitely known to do it - and I've had personal experience with it. IF you search history looks like you are close to booking - a price drop - due to change in demand may very well not show up.

And I have never, ever found it cheaper to buy a package - book direct with the airlines and hotels involved to get the best price.

(and #5 - I totally agree - the mods in htis forum are very trigger happy - I've had several threads where I've added usrful content to be removed just because they were slightly off topic e.g. passport issues on an airline forum where there is no where else to post such issues)

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 41,612
reviews: 57
7. Re: Sudden price changes with online vacation bookings

There are no "mods" involved. It is just other posters who can decide they don't think a post meets the guidelines and click on inappropriate. It takes a few people to do that so it is not just one person that gets a post removed.

Boston...
posts: 1,675
reviews: 92
8. Re: Sudden price changes with online vacation bookings

>>And I have never, ever found it cheaper to buy a package - book direct with the airlines and hotels involved to get the best price.<<

You must not have looked very hard. I booked a Delta Vacations package 2 months ago and saved $400 off what it would've cost me to book airfare and hotel separate. It cut my vacation cost in half.

Similarly, I did the same thing on a JetBlue Getaway 2 years ago to the Bahamas. Saved me $300. I always price everything separately, but if I can book a package with an airline for a low cost long weekend getaway I will certainly do it.

Oh and the cookies thing is a myth.

London, United...
posts: 14,882
reviews: 22
9. Re: Sudden price changes with online vacation bookings

The mods aren't involved, it's people voting the thread out as inappropriate. After x amount of votes it's automatically deleted.

And cookies has nothing to do with it either, I can't believe the Cookie Monster has reared it's head again, groan,

Kind of a major fail on all counts.

Liverpool, UK
posts: 8,957
reviews: 14
10. Re: Sudden price changes with online vacation bookings

"Yup clearing cookies can help - if you don't know how to do it on your browser - use a different browser or a different computer - airlines are definitely known to do it - and I've had personal experience with it. IF you search history looks like you are close to booking - a price drop - due to change in demand may very well not show up. "

As I've said previously to this allegation it is in my opinion an urban myth with no substance whatsoever but it's latched on by those who need a reason for why prices increase - it can so easily be disproven.

How can you relate your search history to being close to booking - I've searched particular flights covering 4 airlines on 4 different sets of dates on a daily basis for the last 3 months (sad I know) and the airlines have no way of knowing if I'm close to booking or even why I'm doing these repeated searches. I've seen price changes (both up and down) across all dates/all carriers for a number of reasons such as the start/end of a sale but nothing that could remotely be considered as cookie related.

Edited: 4:06 pm, April 02, 2014
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