Puzzled as to what happened

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Jul 30, 2018
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#1
I am a long-time, experienced traveler yet something happened to me that no one has been able or willing to explain.

I booked a one-way flight through Travelocity (Expedia) with Thomas Cook Airlines in February 2018 for a June 19 flight from Manchester, UK to Orlando, Florida. It was the last leg of my 3-week vacation. I had a Travelocity itinerary number (7330000218209) and a booking reference number (L1EI8HQOF).

I thought I was good to go.

On the morning of my flight I logged into Travelocity and saw that my reservation was cancelled. I made several frantic phone calls to Travelocity in Arizona and no one was able to explain why or what had happened. My calls kept being dropped. I was in a panic and rather than try to tackle the issue at the Thomas Cook gate (and miss the only other flight that day) I booked a flight on Virgin to get me home. It cost me $1,950.

Upon my return, I started calling Travelocity and Thomas Cook for explanations but got nowhere for about 10 days.

It was only when I talked to Elliott Advocates that I was asked to check my credit card bills and learned that my credit card had NOT been charged back in February - and no one had alerted me. How can that happen? I know you will say that I should have confirmed my flight but I had poor Internet connections for most of my trip. Also, I expected to give my reference number at the airport for a boarding pass.

So my questions are:
How can I get a confirmation number and how can I be issued an itinerary number if my ticket wasn't paid for?

I know I cannot claim compensation. What I really want is an explanation of how that could happen. Travelocity has either not been able to explain it or is ignoring my question.

Thanks so much for any help you fellow travelers can offer.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#2
Unless you get an email with an actual ticket number - your booking isn't complete. You receive an booking confirmation but most of them tell you the booking isn't confirmed until a ticket has been issued. You always need to watch and make sure that happens. Sometimes these get caught in a que and there is no follow up on issuing a ticket. There might have been an issue with the credit card that caused a declination - could have been a security issue, etc. - and they usually do send an email. Are you sure it didn't go into spam?
 
Likes: jsn55
Jul 30, 2018
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#3
Thanks, Neil. No, it didn't go to spam. And my credit card company would have notified me if my card was declined. It was an expensive lesson and, admittedly, my own fault, but still puzzling.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#4
I think you should push this further with Travelocity - you should have received a notification that the transaction did not go through. Although this is just another reason to book directly and not use third party websites - if Travelocity wasn't notified by Thomas Cook - then they can't send anything either. If you had booked directly with Thomas Cook, they might have sent you an email.

This is how we learn unfortunately. I know I have to check every single ticket we sell to make sure that a ticket number has been issued as I've had it happen to me too.
 
Likes: jsn55
Jul 30, 2018
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#5
I have written to at least three of the Travelocity executives on the Elliott list with only one response, telling me they were in the busy summer season and would get back to me. Right!
I will never book through a third party again.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#6
Do you normally get notifications whenever your credit card is charged? Did you get an alert for a charge but it never actually went from pending to posted? Did you pay for that ticket and do you have proof of that payment to Travelocity?

Something similar happened with me when booking AA tickets several years ago. I had booked 2 plane tickets directly with AA but only 1 was charged to the credit card. My husband called AA over the weekend and the agent assured him that we both had tickets and it looked like one of them was free. Knowing that airlines aren't in the habit of offering BOGO free deals we knew better than to believe this. I looked up the reservation and sure enough my husband had a ticket number but I didn't. I called AA again on a weekday and found out my flight was never actually ticketed. She had no idea why it happened in this instance but it wasn't terribly uncommon. The agent fixed it over the phone and gave me the ticket at the same price as my husband's (it had since increased).
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#7
I wanted to add to my previous post that perhaps Travelocity messed up on their end and didn't book the ticket properly.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
Sometimes credit card processing can mess up. I went to the drug store over the weekend and the cashier rung up the items and it was $50 some dollars. Put the chip card in the machine and got declined. Lovely. Got me worried because there was no reason for it be declined. Paid with a different card, got home and checked. The credit card company had no record of declining a charge, it should have gone through, and so on.

In this case I believe the credit card company, as I do get notifications when something is declined. I got an email about a decline followed by an email fraud alert when sometime tried to buy thousands of dollars of furniture online on my card. I had just come back from traveling so there was a higher than normal balance but under the credit line. The decline notice came faster than the fraud alert......

What a painful experience. If I do not receive a confirmation saying I have been ticketed I check again. The mess up could have been with travelocity, the credit card processor, or Thompson.
 
Jul 30, 2018
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#9
I only get notified when my CC is declined or if the amount is unusually high. I received no notification.
The that particular vacation, I booked no less than 7 flights with various airlines with no problem. I must have been too complacent.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,738
15,353
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#10
See if you can set your preferences with your cc to notify you when a transaction is done without your card. That might help.

I have had nothing but problems this week with a cruise supplier we use located in Greece. Every Visa card we put through on the cruise lines automated system is declined, but if I call the company to put them through, they get an approval. Every client has said that when they call their bank, the bank doesn't see any transaction coming through. Sometimes it is the processing system. It can make you nuts.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#11
What an awful, expensive thing to go through, Annie. You'll never know why it happened, there are a dozen possibilities. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I constantly preach about checking, double-checking and triple-checking ... computers are not infallible and it's up to us to do our own quality control. It's ridiculous to have to ride herd on all aspects of travel plans, but nobody else will, you have to do it yourself. Please book hotels and airlines direct from now on, and scrutinize every detail, every transaction, every time.
 
Mar 23, 2015
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#13
I have to say that if my credit card bill were several hundred dollars less than my mental running tab expected, I'd notice. But, your threshold for what's unusual may vary. I recently stayed in a hotel in Georgia for business. I had a receipt with a zero balance upon check out and submitted to my company. They paid my credit card off. I showed a credit balance that stayed on there for 3 months until I got a check for it. Turns out the hotel charge never posted. I have no idea why or how since they ran it and I HAVE a receipt. *Shrug* vagaries of the systems. Gremlins in the works! It could also have been a transposed number when you typed it in so it wouldn't complete. A flake in the connection when the charge was attempted, etc … But ultimately, I'm kinda surprised that between Feb and June you never noticed that 1) you got no confirmation emails and 2) you didn't see a charge for x hundreds of dollars... I do hope they offer you a discount on future travel or something, but it's entirely possible the error wasn't on their end of things...
 
Jul 30, 2018
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#14
Mel, you're right. I should have noticed. But I booked many, many flights during that period for me and my daughter and grandson as well as my sister to places including Iceland, Switzerland, Sicily and the UK. Also the Thomas Cook flight was a one-way bargain at about $350 so it was hardly a blip on the radar. Thanks for your input.