I had a bad experience with Vayama. I booked a ticket and paid for it in August for a trip at Christmas time to Italy. In September I called the airline to obtain seat assignments. Then beginning of Dec. I called the airline to double check my record and was advised that in October they had notified Vayama that my flight was cancelled. Then contacting Vayama they said they are contacting travelers in area of urgency. I CALMLY SAID YOU WERE NOTIFIED IN OCTOBER AND THIS IS DECEMBER. No protection was given and they could only offer a ticket that was $1400 higher than my original ticket. It has been two months since I cancelled and still awaiting the refund to my card.
We at vayama value our customers and their feedback. While we rarely discuss a specific customer issue in a public forum, we do appreciate the opportunity to comment on the general issue, when warranted.
Today we would like to comment on flight cancellations and follow-up notification such as the one referenced in the February 2, 2009 posting.
Beginning last summer, high fuel costs and depressed economic conditions resulted in unprecedented cutbacks by the airlines in both fleet size and flight schedules. These changes resulted in a decidedly larger number of schedule changes and flight cancellations than nearly all travel agencies were capable of handling in the traditional time frame; there were literally thousands of schedule changes. In many cases passenger itineraries were impacted multiple times as the airlines continued to adjust their flight schedules.
Vayama definitely faced challenges working these schedule changes and associated cancellations in the latter part of 2008. In a few cases, we just did not get the information to our customer in a timely manner. We realize this caused inconvenience and frustration for some of our customers and we worked with those who were negatively impacted to find solutions to their travel needs.
The schedule change challenges vayama faced are behind us and our staff is now again able to handle airline initiated schedule modifications in a timely manner.
Once again, we appreciate this opportunity to offer our feedback. Forums such as this provide us the chance to provide our view on general and specific issues as well as to, at times, be made aware of areas where we may improve either our message or processes. We will continue to review comments on the TripAdvisor Airlines/Air Travel Forum and provide feedback when appropriate.
The vayama team
I recently booked a trip from Jacksonville, FL to Dublin, Ireland on Vayama. The original booking screen listed the flights as first class the entire way. Once my credit card informaion was taken and a confirmation given, the flights mysteriously changed to 1st class from Jax to Phili and COACH from Phili to DUB. I contacted Vayama immediately and was told a first class ticket would be an additional $4k. I asked to cancel the whole trip and was informed they would cancel but would charge me a $24 cancelation fee. I admit $24 is not the end of the world, however, I do not appreciate a bait and switch situation and then being charged to correct a mistake that was not mine. I will NEVER use vayama again. If you decide to use them, be sure of exactly what you are booking and what class it is in and print each computer screen as you move along.
I have had nothing but terrible experiences with Vayama! 2 months ago I booked 2 flights with them and now my company has changed my travel plans. I can not get any money back or to use again on new flights. Nothing! The "manager" I spoke with, Mike, offered to refund the tax I paid ($56.17 on a $478 fare) but that was all. I couldn't use the amount towards the correct flights nor could I change my flights. They have a $100 change fee regardless. I even paid extra for travel insurance, which has done me no good. I would stay away from Vayama!
I booked a flight 4 months ago to Italy and was thrilled to have found a great deal through Vayama. When I went to look up seat assignments on the various airline websites, I noticed that parts of our itinerary was missing. Upon calling Vayama, I was told that Alitalia had cancelled and/or fouled up our flights, the airline would not re-book us on another flight and Vayama was only offered a refund. They refused to put us on another flight or airline (side note: the same thing happened to us with Expedia and Aerolineas Argentinas and Expedia moved us over to Delta and ate the cost difference). I wonder if we would have ever been notified if I hadn't called. Now a refund will take up to two months. Alot of good that does. Clearly they do not stand behind the services they sell.
Well Vayama obviously think so.
""We will continue to review comments on the TripAdvisor Airlines/Air Travel Forum and provide feedback when appropriate.
The vayama team.""
Or do they just lie?
Actually GeoMedic I don't have a problem with keeping posts going as members can see the history unfold with other posters without jumping to other threads. I find that useful.
If TA had a system whereby one could see immediately previous posts as opposed to just the OP, I'd agree. Unfortunately, many new posters are not provided their just desserts when they post mid-thread. For example I would have liked to have seen today's poster have their own thread. I guess it certainly is a grey area and we all can have our own opinions.
I had a very bad experience with Vayama, and won't do business with them or any Airline Ticket Consolidator in the future. Expedia or other companies that sell the tickets directly from the airlines to the customer (without the third party Ticket Consolidator) are a safe bet to avoid an experience like mine.
On December 5, I get an email from them stating that they need to change one or more of our flights. When I called, they informed me that Lufthansa stopped flying from Paris to Bordeaux and that because of this Vayama had cancelled my entire trip (this is two weeks before the trip). According to them I had no alternative. They would refund the trip minus the booking fees and I was welcome to book other tickets at current prices (more than double what I paid; about $2500 more).
After about three hours (over the course of three days) of getting bounced back and forth between people at Vayama, and ultimately connecting a Lufthansa representative and the Vayama manager in a three way conference call, I learned that:
•Lufthansa had moved people booked on their Paris to Bordeaux flight to an Air France flight, which of course is normal procedure.
•My tickets with Lufthansa were still booked and Lufthansa was expecting us.
•Vayama, because they are a airline ticket consolidator, legally own the rights to the tickets they buy and resell to their customers, and had the legal rights to the tickets.
The only thing that saved us (besides a friend who offered us her frequent flyer miles) was that as a business in the U.S., Vayama is obligated to fulfill the service they sold us. That is why I think they caved in and gave us our tickets back only after I stated that I was prepared to sue them, and quite serious about it.
I don't think $2500 is worth the trouble of a law suit, but if I didn't do anything, they could go on doing this to other people. (In the U.S., in a situation like this, individuals have the option to use the justice system to make it unprofitable for a company to extort people, otherwise the poor behavior will continue.) Since they gave me my tickets back, I didn't have to.
I can't remember having a worse experience with any business. I have actually never written a review before, but I feel it is my responsibility to prevent this from happening to others.
According to to Lufthansa, Expedia is a safer bet, selling tickets directly to the customer. Basically, if one prefers to avoid any chance of an experience like mine, they should avoid companies with an "Ariline Ticket Consolidator" business model all together.
Expedia et al are still third parties. You are almost always better to book with the airlines directly.