Online Booking Agency- which one to use?

Old Jul 16th, 2014, 03:53 PM
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Online Booking Agency- which one to use?

I recently booked an international flight through directflights.com.au and was appalled at the level of service. My flight with China Eastern was over an hour late which caused more than a few headaches, as I was unable to catch the connecting flight (through no fault of my own). I was not offered a replacement flight or given any kind of useful assistance. Upon raising my concerns with the staff at directflights.com.au, I found them to be extremely unhelpful and rude. I asked for a refund for the flight that I missed due to the tardiness of the plane on the first leg of the journey, and they simply claimed that the ticket had been used so no refund could be given. This was obviously impossible, as I couldn't have used a ticket for a flight that had already departed upon my arrival at Shanghai airport. Both the airline and the ticketing agency refused to take responsibility. My emails to directflights.com.au were met with an arrogant and hostile attitude.
I would advise everyone NOT TO USE either the online booking service, nor the airline in question. In fact, my travels in China were riddled with such frustrations due to incompetence and a lack of customer service, so it's probably best to avoid travelling to China at all.
Has anyone had any positive experiences with online booking agencies that are reliable, polite and efficient? I would love some recommendations for the next time I travel. Thanks.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 04:08 PM
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This seems to be yet another argument for booking directly with the airlines.

I've had no problems whatever with China Eastern after using them on several occasions. If travel to a particular country is more difficult than enjoyable then, yes, I suppose the answer would be to not go there. Like the old joke about the doctor, "Doc, it hurts when I do this....etc"
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 04:19 PM
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By the way, for those who do want to go to China and book things yourself, I've had good luck using both the online agencies below, for flights and hotels, including good service when there were difficulties:

http://english.ctrip.com/
http://www.elong.net/
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 10:27 PM
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Holy cow. Take a breath.

1.) You're confusing the services/responsibilities of an Airline and those of a Travel Agency/Airline Consolidator. They're completely separate entities. Direct Flights has no more responsibility over China Eastern flight delays than China Eastern has responsibility regarding the cleanliness of Direct Flight's office washrooms.

2.) I assume your connecting flight out of Shanghai Airport was with another airline, correct? In that case China Eastern bears no responsibility for you missing that flight.

3.) Claiming that, "... so it's probably best to avoid travelling to China at all..." is a dumb statement. Period. I'm sure in hindsight you'll admit it was made in the heat of the moment.

I understand your frustration, but instead of misdirecting your anger start your travel education by reading the Terms & Conditions for the different travel companies that you do business with. Airlines, Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Ticket Consolidators, etc. are all separate and distinct pieces of the puzzle that is the travel industry.

Good luck with your research and better luck next time.

Cheers,
Terry

PS Start researching travel insurance too.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 12:53 PM
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Why I always book with the airlines directly.
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