CheapOAir and a flexible ticket

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Jul 8, 2018
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#1
I have never had an issue with CheapOAir until yesterday. When I had booked my one way reservation 53 days ago, as I am driving my son to college then flying back. We are leaving earlier than planned and therefore I wanted to return about a week earlier. I still have just about 1 month to plan. Along with the basic trip insurance that they offer there was also a “flexible ticket” option. I read this and thought ‘what a great new service’ and since we were driving I wanted to have the added security of knowing I could change the ticket. I can not find anywhere other than my receipt that I purchased this flexible ticket option. I called the customer service department and the representative told me I needed to contact TripMate. Of course, I did but the office was closed this morning. I looked on the basic plan code F200B. This is only for the trip insurance everyone already knows about and is limited in what they cover.

Cheapoair was going to have me purchase another ticket and then I could file a claim with TripMate. It looks as though that this would be a wrong choice as it does not cover what I know they will refund me. I am after the Flexible Ticket option. The representative did not even know what I was referencing. When doing nag my own research, There possibly is another company that may handle this, GOTOGATE maybe? But I did not get a confirmation email like I had with TripMate after my original purchase. Yet I paid for it. I just wanted to change a date. I would not have even attempted this had I not bought this darn FlexTicket.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,450
13,077
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
I just checked what they say about flexible tickets:

Change travel plans with no additional agency fees within 24 hours 
Free rebookingFree name changesFree cancellations

This is a waste of money. It seems it’s only valid for 24 hours after you booked your ticket.

You can change almost any ticket within 24 hours without paying for it.

Has it been longer than 24 hours since you bought the ticket?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
One can change a ticket within 24 hours when booking with the airlines and some OTAs but not Cheapoair. They charge a fee even if cancelled 30 minutes later.
 
Jul 8, 2018
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#4
I just checked what they say about flexible tickets:

Change travel plans with no additional agency fees within 24 hours 
Free rebookingFree name changesFree cancellations

This is a waste of money. It seems it’s only valid for 24 hours after you booked your ticket.

You can change almost any ticket within 24 hours without paying for it.

Has it been longer than 24 hours since you bought the ticket?
That’s what I was afraid of. Yes it has been over 24 hours. Almost 3 months. I wasn’t in a hurry to change the date when I found out due to what I understood about their flexible ticket Insurance add-on. Very misleading. I will never use CheapOAir again. When I called them, they were quick at trying to sell me another ticket. Yea no thanks.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,450
13,077
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
Yea I won’t be using them again! Is this what they could call legal Scamming?
It’s borderline in my opinion. When you buy a ticket through a travel agency, they do not have to adhere to the 24 hour refund rule. That only is required when booking directly with the airline.

IMO this is a terrible way for Cheapo to make extra money by charging you when they know they can do it for free.

Unfortunately it clearly states on the option to add that that it is only good for 24 hours after you book.

Stay away from ANY OTAs. Use them to price a flight but go directly to the airline to book. You lose too many freedoms using them, as you learned. Plus it adds a level of bureaucracy when you need to make a change- you now have to pay their fee for changing the ticket plus the airlines.

You can change your ticket but it’s going to cost you - change fees from the airline, change fee from Cheapo and any difference in the cost of the flight.

Sorry this happened.
 
Sep 27, 2017
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#7
I saw GOTOGATE was mentioned. If they are indeed part of this process, they DO have a 'Flexible Ticket' option that can be activated up to 24 hours before takeoff. This is from their UK site; I'm not sure where the traveller is from or headed to or how that fact affects things.

https://www.gotogate.co.uk/flexible-ticket
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,450
13,077
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
I saw GOTOGATE was mentioned. If they are indeed part of this process, they DO have a 'Flexible Ticket' option that can be activated up to 24 hours before takeoff. This is from their UK site; I'm not sure where the traveller is from or headed to or how that fact affects things.

https://www.gotogate.co.uk/flexible-ticket
If the ticket was purchased through Cheapo, I’m not sure why gotogate was mentioned. Perhaps our writer can tell us.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#9
OP please stop looking at these crappy OTAs and not reading the terms and conditions. GoToGate is a different OTA. They have a Flexible Ticket Option which is not Flexible — all it means is that GoToGate will not charge a service fee but one may still have to pay a higher fare.

This is a separate company from Cheapoair.

Gotogate flexible tickets
The traveller must have subscribed to and paid for this customer service at the same time as booking the trip. The service cannot be added afterwards. Flexible ticket is Gotogate's own service and does not necessarily mean that air tickets can be rescheduled with the airlines. All rebooking through our flexible ticket service must therefore be via our customer service. The service is personal and non-transferable.

When rebooking, the traveller must contact Gotogate customer service by telephone (Sunday-Friday). The rebooking must be made during our business hours and at least 24 hours before the original time of departure. On Sundays, the rebooking can only be made over telephone (not by email). When rebooking, the journey must be completed within one year of the original booking.

No rebooking is completed until Gotogate has confirmed it via email. Gotogate is not responsible for missed rebookings if they are due to the traveller's failure to contact our customer services.

The flexible ticket service allows rebooking of flights, subject to availability. If the amendment involves an upgrade to more expensive tickets, this shall be at the traveller's own expense. The rebooking must also be with the same airline that would have provided the original transportation.
 
Likes: AMA
Sep 19, 2015
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#10
None of these online travel agencies have a magic wand that can turn a restricted economy ticket into a flexible ticket. It does not happen. period.

One can fly Southwest or pay for a flexible ticket.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,867
6,784
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#11
Yea I won’t be using them again! Is this what they could call legal Scamming?
Good decision. We always advise booking directly and pre-paying as few things as possible. Your online booking service perhaps charges a fee to change a tix in 24 hours and maybe that's what they were offering with the flex thing.

ADVOCATE ADVICE
A policy I've lived by when booking travel over the years is to assume that I'm being cheated and my #1 job is to ensure that I'm not. This means reading every word of every paragraph of fine print every time and never prepaying anything without travel insurance. Air I'm willing to prepay because I know how much the change/cancel fees are and I can "self-insure" those monies. .Always in the back of my mind is that an agent's goal is to get me off the phone or away from their counter as fast as possible. It's important to book things correctly the first time so I don't have to deal with agents who may or may not know what they're talking about. Check it, double check it, and the next day check it again ... then I'm ready to hit that "buy" button.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Aug 14, 2018
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#13
I have stopped using CheapOAir. My last issue was with a name change. I see what happened but did not catch it in time. I still am convinced that it is a way to trap you on a mistake for you to make corrections which means more money for them. Because of a name change they had me cancel my ticket, pay cancellation fees to the airline and to CheapOAir and then tried to book me on the same flight but with a higher fare.
 
Last edited:

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,450
13,077
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#14
I have stopped using CheapOAir. My last issue was with a name change. I see what happened but did not catch it in time. I still am convinced that it is a way to trap you on a mistake for you to make corrections which means more money for them. Because of a name change they had me cancel my ticket, pay cancellation fees to the airline and to CheapOAir and then tried to book me on the same flight but with a higher fare.
You have 24 hours to make a correction at no cost if you book directly with an airline. OTAs do not have to follow that.

Stop using OTAs and just book directly.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,867
6,784
113
San Francisco
#15
I have stopped using CheapOAir. My last issue was with a name change. I see what happened but did not catch it in time. I still am convinced that it is a way to trap you on a mistake for you to make corrections which means more money for them. Because of a name change they had me cancel my ticket, pay cancellation fees to the airline and to CheapOAir and then tried to book me on the same flight but with a higher fare.
Now you get the picture! These sleazy online services will make money any way they can. Customer loyalty is an unknown term to them, not to mention customer service ... it just doesn't exist. Everybody's got rules and regs coming out of their ears, but if you book direct and run into a problem, a charming phone call or well-worded letter can work miracles.