Thursday, January 07, 2010

Do NOT do business with Cheap Tickets

I don't know how I managed to screw this up, but I've lost the cost of a round trip ticket from Orlando to Atlanta. And that cost is $219.

Three days ago (5 January) I tried to book this trip with Cheap Tickets, and I thought I had booked the flight correctly. In all the years I've flown around the country, first via phone, and later via the web, I've never had the kind of screw-up I ran into with Cheap Tickets. As I've stated already, I wanted to travel, round trip, from Orlando to Atlanta and back. I went to Cheap Tickets, thought I had set up the departing and arriving cities correctly, then clicked through rather hurriedly to finish the transaction. I got, via email, confirmation, and then forwarded that to my mother. My mother sent me a response this evening saying that she was confused, as the flights had me traveling in reverse, from Atlanta to Orlando and back on the correct dates. Sure enough, she was right.

I then tried to contact Cheap Tickets and see if I could reverse the departure and destination cities, which unfortunately, triggered their 'change flight' rules and penalties. Which, by the time they were levied, would have left me with exactly $19.40, that had to be spend with Cheap Tickets on another Delta Airline flight before January 2011. No if, ands or buts. I was already mad to find out how I had royally screwed up the flight, but I was pushed to incandescent anger when I spoke with a Cheap Tickets and discovered there was no recourse, none, nada, zip.

I could have lived with being given a 'credit' towards another flight. The flight was already pretty well booked, and I was traveling coach towards the back of the aircraft. But no go, so I finally just gave up and canceled the flight.

I then called my credit card customer service line, and they seemed pretty helpful. They checked and discovered that the ticket had not yet been charged to my credit card. I explained what had happened, and asked if there was any way to contest it. They said they couldn't do anything about it until the charge had posted, so I was given their billing disputes direct number; all I have to do is check my credit card via their website and wait for the charge to post, then call billing disputes. I have no idea if I will succeed, but I won't give up.

Lessons Learned:
  1. Don't do business with Cheap Tickets. Ever. Again.

  2. Try, try, try to pay better attention. Again, I have no idea how I screwed this up.

  3. In the future use Travelocity, Orbitz, or Delta directly. Maybe even Shatner's pitch, Priceline. But never, ever Cheap Tickets.

1 comment:

  1. I always use expedia, they are pretty good.

    Miss your Linux rants.


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