Is Delta pulling the ole "Bait N" Switch"?

Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 07:25 AM
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Is Delta pulling the ole "Bait N" Switch"?

We are pateintly looking for a less expensive flight from CLT to SLC. We've been watching Kayak.com and Orbitz as well as searching airlines directly. We came across a flight for $158 R/T with tax comes out to $198. Found on Kayak as well as Orbitz. The flight is through Delta with a connecting flight both ways. Some of the times the flight comes up as a shared flight with either Southwest or NWA.

When you follow the link to Delta it says the flight is no longer available. We've done this multiple times, we re-search, the $198 flight comes up, when we try to book it says it's gone!

Is this just bad business or is there a logical explanation? I could understand if they only had a seat or two left, but if that's the case the fair should be taken off of the search results (assuming someone booked it).

Am I being crazy here or is this a bait and switch???

Any ideas what to do now?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 07:28 AM
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Sometimes in situations like that I call the airline directly, talk to a live person, and ask what's going on. Sometimes they can shed some light to help you resolve the issue.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 07:36 AM
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Is it available on Orbitz? Sometimes they do have lower prices than the airline website.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 07:37 AM
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If it is shared w/Southwest the itin would be via two differing airlines & SW does not codeshare w/anyone to my knowledge. Book it on kayak.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 08:10 AM
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Clearly SLWR mistyped and meant "Skywest" not "Southwest." Southwest flights do not show up in Kayak and Orbitz anyway.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 11:56 AM
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Andrew- I may have miss-read the airline in the fumes of my frustration. It may have very well been Skywest, being on the east coast I haven't seen Skywest much so my brain probably saw it as Southwest. Sorry.

MikeT & SAnParis- it showed up on both Orbitz and Kayak, but when you try to book through Orbitz it tells you the deal is no longer avail, and you can't book directly through Kayak, you have to transfer to another site. In this case there were three to choose from 1) Orbitz 2) Cheaptickets and 3) Delta. All of which once you get there, tell you the fair is no longer available.

It's just frustrating. I may try to call Delta and see what they have to say, just thought I'd see if anyone had any insight into the situation before I called.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 12:49 PM
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To answer the question in your title I say no, this is not Delta doing a bait and switch. I've seen this happen on several different airlines - the database or search that Kayak or Orbitz use may not be 100% up to date/in synch with Delta's actual available pricing. How this happens I have no idea, especially in this day and age of computer networks.

If you were seeing this happen on Delta's own website then you could fault Delta. I this case Delta is not showing you anything - Orbitz and Kayak are, and they have incorrect info for some reason. They should not be showing you prices you can't actually book.

Every airline I fly guarantees that their website has the lowest prices so I never use a 3rd party to book tickets - I go straight to the source website directly. The only time I would do that is if there is a multi-airline itinerary. NW doesn't classify as a separate airline anymore, even though the metal be NW it's all part of Delta airlines now.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 02:53 AM
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Happens all the time to me on Travelocity. Get all the way through picking the flight times even and then "not available".
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Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 06:02 AM
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Thanks J62, that does make me feel a little better.

It's frustrating when the economy had hit home and we're having to make that call if this is really a good idea and then find a seemingly good airfare only to find it's not available.

At least we still have 3 months, wish us luck and if there are any bright ideas of how to find a good airfare, feel free to share!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 06:20 AM
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FWIW - I agree totally with J62. Just to add - another reason to book directly with the airline site is that I've found it's easier to resolve any problems that develop if you've booked directly with the airline (may not be true in all instances, but that's been our experience).
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Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 06:31 AM
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What is probably happening is you are trying to book two seats at that site and only one is available.

FWIW, do you realize how cheap $158 cross country flight is? The airlines have to make money to stay in service.
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 07:17 AM
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GoTravel- I am indeed aware of how cheap a $158 is...for even a shorter flight. But for the record I didn't offer the $158 flight, I just would like to be able to take advantage of it if it's really available!

And I did try to run through those numbers for just one ticket and it still didn't work.

We were originally hopping to fly into JAC but realized that it would cost us double what it cost to fly into SLC, and we need to rent a car regardless, and then we found we could rent a car for less out of SLC... ultimately the trip is planned to see Yellowstone and Grand Teton's.

We've just found ourselves, like many other American's, on a tighter budget, than we were when we first stated planning this trip.

I'm just trying to figure out what fares are really obtainable and and trying to stretch my dollar out as far as I can and still get to see the bears at Yellowstone!
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Old Jun 4th, 2009, 07:36 AM
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Have you tried doing an "advanced" search on Delta's site? There's a red-eye that Delta offers that I take a couple of times a year, and while I can usually find it on Orbitz, I can't always find it on Delta's site. I called Delta about this and the rep said the flight was there but for some reason the system didn't always show it. I could (sometimes) get the flight to appear if I put in exact flight times in the advanced search. At any rate, I booked it through Orbitz and had no problems.
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Old Jun 5th, 2009, 08:26 AM
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Alright, for anyone following this, I got my tickets and only paid $199 each!!! I had to change my flight times some, but was able to book the flights and save some money and it looks like we'll be making a trip that is a dream trip for me.

Flights keep changing as do the rates but I was able to lock it in and we're all set!

I have a question about a rental car though if anyone can help: Has any one used ACE Rent a Car out of Salt Lake City (SLC) aka Rugged Rental? They're cheap but not sure if they're reliable.

Thanks for the input on everything else!
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Old Jun 7th, 2009, 05:34 PM
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SLWR,

I live in SLC, but have never heard of ACE. I would stick with some you have heard about. There are plenty.

Also, I am flying in Oct from SLC to CLT. I first started looking a year ago and was horrified at the rates of over $1,000! When gas prices started going down I looked again and decided I was satisfied with a price of $360. Now, I was looking again, comparing and saw the same fares you saw. HOWEVER, did you notice that those flights are with 3 hour layovers? You've just doubled the travel time for your "short Flight."

At any rate, you will love this trip. Have a wonderful time.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 05:10 AM
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Dayle- I believe my layovers average about an hour, so I got lucky on those.

The ACE Rent a car is apparently a rep for multiple local car rentals, the one in SLC goes by the name of Rugged Rentals...not the most promising name, but you never know.

I'm hoping to find at least one person who has dealt with them...
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 04:38 PM
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SLWR,

Yes, an hour layover I can live with!

Are the prices at ACE really that much lower to make it worth the no rep? I'll see if I can find out anything for you.
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