I have recently used Tripsta, an online booking agent, to book flights on Virgin Australia from Sydney to Wellington. I had selected the flights using skyscanner on the iPad and Tripsta was the default booking site associated with that flight.
I proceeded through the booking process without apparent problems, but upon receiving confirmation of the flights, noted that no checked-in luggage had been included in the booking. I repeated the booking process and indeed, luggage was never mentioned at any stage of the booking process. I'd used Tripsta just a few weeks prior to book some other flights and in that instance baggage WAS included, so naturally my assumption was that it would be.
I queried this with the Tripsta customer service team and they pointed out that the baggage policy for this flight was tucked away in the back of the terms and conditions and that I would need to buy baggage directly from the airline. My suggestion to them was that checked in baggage was very fundamental to the booking process and to exclude it, without notifying the customer, could be considered misleading. Addtionally, they refused to purchase the baggage on my behalf from the airline, even though the airline told me that they were only able to deal directly with the agent.
Unfortunately, dealing with the customer service team was a frustrating and fruitless experience. Often the responses were slow and when they did respond, the answers were often little more than generic template responses that did not address my specific situation or questions. At the end of a month of correspondence, I did not have any assurance that the issue was being looked at, or would be addressed.
In the end, I wasn't able to buy any baggage prior to the flight meaning I had to pay an extortionate fee at the airport. I was left about $120 out of pocket from using Tripsta instead of going directly to the Virgin website.
My advice is to avoid this agency altogether. They are clearly not a customer-centric company and have no interest in correcting an issue where customers are being mislead - be it intentionally or not.
Overall, this was an extremely disappointing and frustrating experience.