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Double-booked w/Turkish Airlines after Vayama Payment Issue, Want to Cancel 1 Ticket

Discussion in 'Airlines' started by Josiah, May 18, 2017.

  1. Josiah

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    Dear Elliot-ers,

    Last week, I booked a Turkish Airlines flight through Vayama from Atlanta to Sofia, Bulgaria via one stop in Istanbul. I got my e-ticket and was able to select seats, and the cost of the ticket appeared under my "pending" charges on my credit card. So far so good.

    The problem is, the pending charge never posted; it completely disappeared. This morning (May 18th), I called my card company (Bank of America, Visa) to ask what happened, and they said it was probably Turkish Airlines or Vayama that cancelled the transaction on their end. So, they told me to go ahead and book another flight and stay on the line to make sure it went through.
    After being assured by the representative I am no longer liable for paying the original ticket; I booked a new ticket with the same dates, this time directly from Turkish Airlines. Everything went normally.

    But I later checked and found out my original booking is still active. I'm worried about either being charged twice at a later time, or running into any confusion when I check in and there's two of me in the system. I therefore want to cancel my new (second) ticket.
    I called Turkish Airlines and told them I am well within 24 hours of booking (the second ticket, anyway), but they insist the DOT policy on cancellation does not apply to them and that I need to speak to Vayama about my first booking, instead. I will, but I want to cancel my Turkish airlines flight while I still can---and they're not letting me. I've since seen that one must select the "hold option," which was completely inconspicuous and not noticeable.

    I tried to send a message to their website explaining the situation and requesting a full refund of the second ticket, but an error message appeared saying the site is updating and cannot accept the message. So, per the recommendation of the site, I sent the message to the Facebook page via messenger. That actually worked, and I now have a reference number and request that's dated. An employee at the call center earlier said I would not have been issued a ticket the first time if Turkish Airlines hadn't received a payment, so it sounds like (if the guy was correct) they will still get the cost of a ticket even if they agree to cancel my second ticket.

    Haven't been able to get in touch with Vayama; the first time I pressed a few menu options as was on hold. Suddenly, their "holding music" went dead, and 15 minutes later I decided to re-dial. Their phone line was dead and would not so much as ring; if I was lucky I got a generic error tone from the cellular network ("we're sorry...please try again"). Not sure I'll get far with them in figuring out what on earth happened here.
     
    #1
  2. VoR61

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    First a question: by "still active" do you mean it's back to Pending on your credit card?

    Second, see this article: http://elliott.org/blog/so-much-for-the-24-hour-rule-turkish-airlines/

    They have to comply with the DOT's 24-hour rule when a flight originates in the USA, which yours does.

    And yes, they are the only one now, I think, that is using the 24-hour hold vs. cancellation option.
     
    #2
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  3. Josiah

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    VoR61, by "still active" I mean Turkish Airlines still has the ticket in their system, with no sign of cancellation or voiding. I can actually still find my reservation using my e-ticket number, as well. Wish I'd done that before booking, again.
    But the charge is completely gone. It was pending as of a couple days ago, never posted, and is no longer pending, even. Yet Turkish Airlines still says my ticket is valid.

    Of course, the second ticket (which is the one I want to cancel. so I'm not double-booked) is pending, right now. I figure that since I'm within the 24-hour window, that's really the only one I can cancel, or at least have a shot, thanks to DOT's said rule.
     
    #3
  4. Josiah

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    I have to say, the article is my first experience of Elliott, and the reason I came here. I was GoogleSearching "Turkish Airlines cancellation" and it came up. It's also where I got the idea of making a request, so I could get the dated reference number.
     
    #4
  5. VoR61

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    You are wise to be concerned. Airlines will often cancel all fights if they see flights booked to/from the same place(s) on the same day(s). I would call them back and explain what you "found" and request the cancellation again.

    I saw on the DOT site multiple fines levied against them for failure to comply with various DOT rules.
     
    #5
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  6. Josiah

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    Wow, it's amazing how much they want to walk the line!

    So I did fully explain the situation to them, earlier; they insisted that I get in touch with Vayama and make them void my earlier reservation. Basically, it sounds like they want to get paid twice on Vayama's and mine split bill.
    But as I mentioned before, I could not get in touch with Vayama.
     
    #6
  7. VoR61

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    It all comes down to how much time you have to straighten this out and how much risk you are willing to take.

    And this type of mess is why we discourage the use of OTAs (Online Travel Agencies). They are often the epitome of the axiom "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten." When issues like these arise, they add complexity that makes solutions difficult to come by.
     
    #7
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  8. Josiah

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    I mainly just don't know where to go from here. I can badger Turkish Airlines, again, but I'd wager I'll get the same response: "Talk to your third-party..." or, to wait for the electronic response to my request (that was the other suggestion I got after I failed to reach Vayama, saw the article above, and told them I'd like to have a request on file that's dated).

    In any case, I would hope it's possible to leverage DOT regulations, which only really help me in the case of the second ticket---since the payment issue took place well outside the 24-hour window on the first ticket.

    I hope Turkish Airlines will agree to refund thanks to the fact they're getting paid, whether Vayama cancels or they do.
     
    #8
  9. Josiah

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    My trip isn't until July, so I have some time to figure this all out.
     
    #9
  10. VoR61

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    You sounded as thought you wanted to cancel the second ticket, which you must do before the 24 hours expire. Keep in mind that, for Turkish Air you may not be able to cancel as they use the "24-hour hold" option instead. So you may be on the hook for that ticket.

    Hopefully the OTA will come through with a cancellation. If you continue to have trouble with Vayama, you can appeal to Turkish Air to intervene by using our Company Contacts link at the top of this page. Start with Customer Service and explain that Vayama is unreachable.
     
    #10
    Neil likes this.
  11. Josiah

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    I called Turkish Airlines again (seriously, what sort of hours do these guys have?!), and the representative appended some notes to my request ticket, forwarding it to the "responsible" department. Apparently my message needed more explicit clarification that I am requesting for the second ticket to be cancelled. Hopefully this will help my electronic request go more smoothly. But at this point I'm not sure if things will go quickly.

    You think the cancellation must happen within 24 hours, and that the fact I placed my request within that period wouldn't help?
     
    #11
  12. kenish

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    @Josiah - This is why we recommend against using online travel agents (OTA's) versus booking directly through the airline. Unfortunately neither Vayama or Turkish Airlines (TK) are known for their customer service. There are two things to understand, neither in your favor:

    - You are Vayama's customer, not TK's. As your agent, Vayama owns the booking and it's up to them to sort it out. Unless someone at TK does a backdoor favor, they are prohibited from doing anything with your ticket or itinerary which would usurp your agent.

    - It's correct that US DoT rules apply. However there are 2 ways an airline can meet the 24 hour rule. 1) Provide a 24 hour period to cancel without penalty. This is what almost all airlines do, and what you're pursuing. 2) A reservation can be put on hold for up to 24 hours. If the reservation is booked (purchased) during that 24 hour hold, the ticket is non-refundable. The reservation expires if no purchase is made within 24 hours. TK is one of the few airlines to use Option 2. If the second ticket has indeed been purchased, it's non-refundable even if 24 hours has not elapsed.

    I actually favor Option 2. AA used to do the 24-hour hold and it actually provided almost 48 hours if you timed your booking against midnight Central Time. They have switched to the 24-hour cancellation, though the "hold" option is still available.
     
    #12
    Last edited: May 19, 2017 at 2:39 PM
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  13. George M

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    As @kenish said, above, you are Vayama's customer and Turkish Air will be hesitant to deal with you.

    Vayama still uses its own brand but it was merged into a company named Travix a couple of years ago. Travix, in turn, is owned by a Netherlands company named BCD Group. Here's the contact page for BCD:

    http://www.bcdgroup.com/en/contact/

    There's a customer service email address on that page and there's a message service. Use the drop down menu to select Travix.

    Don't know if this will help but it's one way to contact the owners of Vayama. Elsewhere on the BCD site you can find the names of their executives, but save contacting them for later.

    You might want to try the suggestions on this Vayama page first:

    https://www.vayama.com/customer-service
     
    #13
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  14. Christina H

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    There are posts on a website indicating that it can take 7 to 10 days for a credit card to be charged for a ticket purchased on Vayama. As with the OP, the authorization (pending charge) dropped off and it took a few days for the actual charge to go through.
     
    #14
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  15. jsn55

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    Josiah, if I'm reading your post correctly, the tix you booked through the OBA are valid and paid for. The second tix you booked directly through Turkish and that tix has been charged to your card. You now own two tix, but legally can cancel the second one within the 24-hour period. It's beyond infuriating that Turkish told you to cancel the first tix, when it's the second one that should be cancelled, it just messes up the transactions. Just lazy on their part.

    Since BofA assured you that the first tix hadn't been purchased, leading you to book the second one, I would dispute that 2nd charge. But first, you need to ask TK in writing to void that second tix. Write them a concise, polite letter and don't do anything more on the phone.

    ADVOCATE ADVICE
    If you are booking airline tix, be SURE of all the details before you hit the 'buy' button, especially any cancellation policies. I usually check all the details twice, then wait a day, review again and make the purchase. Always book directly with the airline, never use an online booking agency. If your original purchase seems questionable, don't book a second tix until you are positive about the status of the first one. Take anything that customer service at the airline or your credit card company tells you with a grain of salt. Be patient; extricating yourself from a mess like this is much worse than just waiting another week to see what's what.
     
    #15
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