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Bad service costs us more money,how can we stop it.

Brisbane, Australia
6 posts
1 review
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Bad service costs us more money,how can we stop it.

To take advantage of a special discounted fare, we have booked a 6weeks from the 8 Sept and returning home on the 22 Oct. The return flight was outside the booking window. We were told by the travel agency that we can change our return date free of charge when the tie time is nearer with no charge because we were too early for the computer booking time. However, when we attempt to made the change, the travel agent now tells us that the return date are in the balckout period. It will costs us extra &1000 approx per couple. Alternatively, we have to stay an extra 6 days as it is the earliest date to leave the city, even though the black out date is 4 days earlier than the date we can return.

What can we do? We felt cheated 1) Why should we have to pay extra $1000 to go in the blackout date as we were not told about this by the travel agent.'2) we were told there would not be a charge if we go outside the blackout date and yet we cannot get flight until 6 days after the blackout date. This would costs us extra money on accommodation and fodd costs and is not acceptable.

Any suggestions?

Edinburgh, United...
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14,650 posts
16 reviews
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1. Re: Bad service costs us more money,how can we stop it.

"We were told by the travel agency that we can change our return date free of charge"

The obvious question is whether you have any proof that this is what you were told?

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
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9,385 posts
49 reviews
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2. Re: Bad service costs us more money,how can we stop it.

Could it be that the travel agent won't charge you a fee for their services but you're at mercy of whatever the airline charge for changes.

Liverpool, UK
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20,813 posts
36 reviews
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3. Re: Bad service costs us more money,how can we stop it.

"We were told by the travel agency that we can change our return date free of charge"

Your only recourse would be to take it up with the travel agency - was it an online agency, a telephone booking or did you deal with them face to face.

Most flight changes, except for fully flexible tickets, do require a change fee and/or fare difference.

Fortaleza, CE
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9,183 posts
375 reviews
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4. Re: Bad service costs us more money,how can we stop it.

I would have been suspicious, since the need to pay a fee to change dates has been well publicized for years. And a special discounted fare with no fee to change dates? Sounds too good to be true. You didn't pay a higher fee so you could change travel dates? Your dispute is obviously with the travel agency. What exactly did they say? When you made your original booking did you not receive anything in writing? No written terms and conditions such as "this flight can be changed if . . ."?

London, United...
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27,179 posts
29 reviews
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5. Re: Bad service costs us more money,how can we stop it.

i would have assumed that the free of charge meant the TA would not charge a fee, not that you would not need to pay any additional airline charges, if the ticket for the date you wished to return on was more expensive than the one you had purchsed, which it appears to be.

That is unless you have a flexible ticket? Then changes can be made with some charge, or no charge, depending on the ticket purchased.

Also do you have anything in writing from the travel agent, that would clarify what they intended? It may simply be a misunderstanding, possibly even on the part of the agent themselves. I do suspect these are airline charges and not the agents.

Brisbane, Australia
6 posts
1 review
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6. Re: Bad service costs us more money,how can we stop it.

a the time of booking, the travel agent confirmed with the airline that there is no charge for the change of return date as it was outside the booking window. However, I feel the agent should know that the return date is within the blackout period and should inform us regarding the return date. The agent did not do so , 'tricking' us into purchasing a return ticket without full disclosure. shouldn't the travel agent bear this cost and not the customer?

Secondly, I feel we should be able to come home straight away and not 4 days after the blackout date finished because we can't believe that all flights are fully booked out 10 months out.

Garden Bay, Canada
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
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9,857 posts
94 reviews
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7. Re: Bad service costs us more money,how can we stop it.

What is the "blackout" period to which you refer? Is it simply a traditionally busy flight period, or might it be that the airline has not released cheap seats for that period yet?

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
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31,677 posts
6 reviews
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8. Re: Bad service costs us more money,how can we stop it.

There really isn't much to go on here is there?

Some agent promised a ticket with some airline for which the return could be changed without some fee.

If you could provide some more information such as which agent, which airline, what class of service, where you were flying from and to, we may be able to help.

The first thing that came to mind seeing "blackout period" was some kind of mileage ticket, but airlines don't usually have blackout dates in October. Unless the agent was being misleading with the term blackout.

Who were you dealing with?

Brisbane, Australia
6 posts
1 review
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9. Re: Bad service costs us more money,how can we stop it.

" blackout period' is the time where the class of ticket is not accepted. Because we have bought the 'Early Bird' ticket - therefore the ticket class is not acceptable during the 'blackout period'.

znojmo
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467 posts
13 reviews
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10. Re: Bad service costs us more money,how can we stop it.

Teresa, there are some great minds that contribute to this forum (i,m not one of them) and the more info you can provide, the more they will likely help.