Bait and Switch?

Old Jan 13th, 2007, 08:29 PM
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Bait and Switch?

Why do some of the online ticketing sites list flights and airfares that always seem to be booked, unavailable, etc. when you try to buy, even though if you come back to the site 2 minutes, 2 hours or 2 days later, that same combination of airline, flight numbers, dates, is listed again, and can't be booked. I'm trying to book a flight to France for June, and I've noticed this on CheapoAir, BT-Store,, and on a ticketing site connected with a large regional travel agency with local offices. Since they were local, I called them after a couple rejected bookings and they used everything but global warming as a reason that the flights can't be booked. I softly accused them of bait and switch which of course horrified them. Has anyone else seen this happen repetitively, and if so, are there any reliable sites besides Expedia, Travelocity or Orbitz, all of which I've used previously? The big 3 are quoting me prices higher than most others, but maybe they're the only ones with legitimate information?
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Old Jan 13th, 2007, 08:52 PM
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I've seen the same thing on ITAsoftware which only refers the user to the seller, which can be Orbitz and Cheaptickets, etc. The same thing happened on Kayak. Each time the claim was that one of the flights was no longer valid. I finally got the tickets for $50 more each from Orbitz.
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Old Jan 13th, 2007, 09:00 PM
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Glad I'm not alone. Had a very similar experience with CheapoAir & Expedia. Finally gave up and called AA and had them book the same route. Better yet, I got the same route with shorter layover times! Even including the agent fee the total cost was LESS than the "best rate" the discount sites were advertising but repeatedly wouldn't allow me to book. Instead, they kept driving me to ever-more-expensive options.

The discount sites are useful for comparing costs and finding routing options outside what the major carriers can display online, but clearly they aren't always the cheapest or the most hassle-free way to purchase.
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Old Jan 13th, 2007, 09:51 PM
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Yes, I've seen the same thing time and time again on airline consolidators. It actually shows the flight as being available at a certain price but when yoy click to book it comes up with the same flight at a much higher price.
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Old Jan 13th, 2007, 10:06 PM
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Many of these websites only list <b>possibly</b> available fares that are published or they can get, and doesn't really check for availability.

They won't tell you that significant difference between them and instant booking sites, but that's their business. If one has the patience to go back and forth with them, then maybe you can actually get some low consolidator fare. But most people don't have that time to play their game.
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Old Jul 30th, 2007, 09:02 PM
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I agree with everyone about and also
I have tried to book airline ticket at both of these sites and even though they state that no seat is available, they are trying to get you to book at a very high price. I cleared my cache and everything and went back to these sites and they come up with the same cheap price, but when I try to book it, it states that it is not available.
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 04:16 AM
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Have you tried and

ira is offline  
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