Travelocity: Bait and Switch?

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Sep 19, 2015
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#1
My bride-to-be and I were planning our honeymoon this afternoon. We decided to go to the Travelocity website where we booked our trip at 1:55 PM. We selected a travel package consisting of AIRFARE + HOTEL. Then I entered the dates (November 25th and December 2nd,) our origin and destination airports (PBI and GPS respectively,) and finally, selected our hotel (The Hotel Albatross.) The website advertised this package for the price of $1717/pp. (When selecting flights, I chose the flights which added $0 to the base package.) However, when it was time to confirm our reservation, the price of $1917/pp. appeared.
This was and still is the cost of this trip as per the Travelocity ad.
This was the advertised cost as I see it:

Air/hotel package $1717 x 2 = $3434
Insurance $ 134 x 2 = $ 268
Total $3702
What I was charged:
Air/hotel package $ 1917.76 x 2 = $3835.52
Insurance $ 134 x 2 = $ 268
Total $4103.52
I immediately called Travelocity to complain about this inconsistency. I received a phone tree that said they would return my call in 12 minutes. That 12 minutes became an hour. When I finally got to speak with an agent, his explanation was that the change in the price was because we took out insurance. This was not the issue, as it is listed separately on the itinerary and in my illustration above. This agent went on to mention that insurance was the problem at least four more times, so I asked to speak with a supervisor. Supervisor Jen, tried to help, but we got disconnected. She tried to return the call twice but didn’t get through. I tried calling later and was told that due to high volume, I should try again later. I did try later and got an agent who gave me the same story. Do they think I can’t read? I asked to speak with a supervisor again. This time, I spoke with Aisha, who brought up the insurance issue again. I explained quite clearly, though heatedly for the umpteenth time, that this had nothing to do with the insurance, and I explained how the price was determined. She told me I didn’t know how to use the website. WRONG! She told me that had I chosen the proper flights I would have gotten the advertised price. I asked her to find me the correct flights, but she was unable to although she admitted that hers was the advertised price of $1717/pp. that I had. I then asked to speak with her supervisor. Aisha said she would speak with the superintendent, her supervisor. She kept me on hold and when she came back, she said this was not possible. She suggested I call back and ask for a different supervisor; she said she couldn’t connect me and then just hung up.
Well, I was frustrated and angry by the end of the last phone conversation; I had spent 2 hours and 14 minutes on the phone, and my problem was still not resolved. Next, I went to the web seeking a phone number for a human being with whom I could speak. There were several numbers which only turned out to be alternate means for connecting with an agent. I also found a number which connected me to Sabre for services -- which did not solve my problem. When I did find a number for corporate in Texas, the phone tree directed me to a number for customer relations which said that it was no longer in service. Now, short of writing to Michelle Peluso, President and CEO of Travelocity, on whose deaf ears I felt this would get to, I decided to seek your help.
Please see if you can help me to get the trip at the advertised price of $1717/pp.
I am attaching a copy of the Travelocity ad stating that the price for the air/hotel was and is $1717/pp. (It currently, 9/19, has the price of $1804;/pp. still $100+ less than what I was charged/pp. 10 days ago when this same ad had the price of $1717/pp.)
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#2
Taxes. Travelocity doesn't add them until you book, but you would have to pay the taxes anyway, I don't think they are higher- they are standard. The headline was just a bit misleading. If you find a better rate, not including the taxes, then you can submit it for adjustment under their price guarantee. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
 
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Likes: Neil Maley
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bodega3

Guest
#5
I just went in and put in your city pairs, dates of travel and the hotel and it showed me a price of $3608 but the final price was actually $3825.52. Unfortunately it doesn't give any breakdown in pricing, but I am not filling in the passenger names, etc. So there is something being added but without seeing the break down in fare, taxes, hotel and taxes, hard to say what you are paying for with the increase.
 
Likes: jsn55
Aug 28, 2015
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#6
I tried the same thing as @bodega3 and received the same thing she did. I also tried it with a different trip and each time the price discrepancy occurred. I think it is taxes. @Howard can you take a screenshot of where it says taxes are included in the pre book/headline price? I definitely saw that the number changed but there was no breakdown.
 
Likes: jsn55
Aug 28, 2015
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#7
@Howard If you took a screenshot of the lower price, what if you just filed it with them under their lower price guarantee to see what happens. I think you have 24 hours from booking to do that and they respond to those quickly, plus you get another $50 off. Try it. Then at least they will have to explain.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
@Howard - I may have gotten muddled by this ... did you actually purchase this trip? Has your card been charged the $4103.52 ?
Yes, and it gets worse. Turns out they (Travelocity/Delta) gave me 46 minutes between flights at ATL. I paid $300/pp. to change the flight to an earlier one. Delta said it was Travelocity's fault and Travleocity said that if I missed the plane that Delta would have to put me on another one. I could just see us spending the day oi ATL and an inordinate amount of money on another flight.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#9
@Howard If you took a screenshot of the lower price, what if you just filed it with them under their lower price guarantee to see what happens. I think you have 24 hours from booking to do that and they respond to those quickly, plus you get another $50 off. Try it. Then at least they will have to explain.
Nice. Was unaware of that. Immediately, as the thread says, I spent the afternoon on the phone with Travelocity. Everyone had the same line -- that it's because we took the insurance. Duh! The insurance was a separate line. I'm fairly good with numbers and reading any financial statement.
 
Likes: jsn55
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bodega3

Guest
#10
Yes, and it gets worse. Turns out they (Travelocity/Delta) gave me 46 minutes between flights at ATL. I paid $300/pp. to change the flight to an earlier one. Delta said it was Travelocity's fault and Travleocity said that if I missed the plane that Delta would have to put me on another one. I could just see us spending the day oi ATL and an inordinate amount of money on another flight.
To to be clear and fair, when you book on Travelocity, they provide you with flight options. You picked those flights as others were also offered.
 
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Likes: LaurieB
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bodega3

Guest
#11
You should be provided with the breakdown of the package. If not the actual cost of air and hotel separately, but at least the base cost and the taxes, along with the insurance. Not sure why people book with these OTA's. You rarely save anything...especially if you consider you time.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#12
You should cancel this whole thing and use a travel agent. Didn't you look at the connections before you purchased the air?

Travelocity, Orbitz and the other ota's are impossible to deal with when there is a problem. Look at all the posts we get about problems with them. You will see similar problems and when these agents have a problem they are like chickens with their heads cut off. They are merely order takers and not creative when it comes to fixing their problems and there is ALWAYS finger pointing when a problem happens.
 

Carol Phillips

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 28, 2014
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#13
@Promal and @bodega3 have solid points. The online agencies do not have a reputation of great customer service after the fact. Well, you're seeing this yourself in what you went through trying to get a Travelocity human to discuss the price difference you encountered.

You've also witnessed the fingerpointing when Delta said it was Travelocity's fault for the 46 minute connection in ATL (the day before Thanksgiving when airports are full and delays are rampant?)


Can you cancel now without penalty? Might be worth a look ...
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#14
Flight costs change all the time. And travel packages are bundled for a reason...the Wholesaler has no intention of breaking the package down to individual prices for a consumer. It is a "package". Buy it and that is the price, or reject it and search for a better deal. Did they have any kind of price match guarantee, where if you show a web page then they match price. If yes, then show them the lower price.
Otherwise the originally priced package was AIRFARE + HOTEL, as you stated above, and the insurance was added on to increase the price to what you paid. This is very confusing. It is likely that the taxes may not have been included. Yes it is a muddle, but you decided to purchase it didn't you?
 
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Sep 19, 2015
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#15
To to be clearn and fair, when you book on Travelocity, they provide you with flight options. You picked those flights as others were also offered.
They offer you packages containing connections. All 4 flights were offered as a package. I didn't get to pick and choose individual flights. There is either a wrong assumption or their software is bad.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#16
Flight costs change all the time. And travel packages are bundled for a reason...the Wholesaler has no intention of breaking the package down to individual prices for a consumer. It is a "package". Buy it and that is the price, or reject it and search for a better deal. Did they have any kind of price match guarantee, where if you show a web page then they match price. If yes, then show them the lower price.
Otherwise the originally priced package was AIRFARE + HOTEL, as you stated above, and the insurance was added on to increase the price to what you paid. This is very confusing. It is likely that the taxes may not have been included. Yes it is a muddle, but you decided to purchase it didn't you?
When I had originally clicked and received the increased fare, the message given was that the lower price was no longer available. However, as I had previously said, the current price is $100+ less than I paid per person and I had explained to them that hours after I had paid, the lower price was still advertised.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#17
@Howard you should cancel this. Your hotel is only $1k for a week on other sites and you can fly round trip from Miami for $900 each and only 10 hours of traveling with sufficient layover time. That would put the package at only $3k and you would be there in half the time. I feel like you should try to get out of this and get a travel agent to help.
 
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bodega3

Guest
#18
I am sorry, I don't understand what you purchased then. When I went into Travelocity, putting in your city pairs and dates, I got many flight options. Only one was at no additional cost, but many were offered for more money, less travel time and less connections. Only one hotel was offered and only one room left for your travel dates. It was take this or nothing at all, I had choices in the air.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#19
There may be only ONE seat left in the class that produces the lower fare. Because you are flying with 2 people, the booking engine automatically places your reservation for 2 into the next price tier and the package has to cost more. Also, every time you land and connect there are airport taxes, and taxes will differ based on the airport. So it is not possible to account ahead of time for taxes.....3 stops vs 4 stops and connections, and differing airports will produce different tax add-on costs.
 
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Realitoes

Guest
#20
Right under where it says "Start by choosing your hotel" is the following statement:

"The trip prices shown below include Flight + Hotel, taxes and fees, but do not include baggage fees or other fees charged directly by the airline for the included flight."
 

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