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Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Buenos Aires...
2 posts
Beware of Kayak and Vayama

On June 9, 2016 I booked a flight on Kayak, through their partner, Vayama. I even got a reservation number and was able to select our seats on the airline. More than two days (54 hours) later, I got an email stating "... your booking request has not been processed as your credit card did not clear the 3D security measures required by Visa/MasterCard."

My credit card (never a problem with them) told me that no authorization was requested to make the full charge; that there has been a pre-authorization request for $1 to test the card that was OK'ed, at the same time we made the reservation.

In these 54 hours we were never advised of any trouble nor suggested to contact them or make a different type of payment. Now the same flight with the same fare is not available any more, anywhere.

Has any of you have any similar experience? Is there anything that can be done to make up for this type of scam?

113 replies to this topic
Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
4,744 posts
1. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

>> Has any of you have any similar experience? <<

not regular posters...as I don't think any would touch vayama with a barge pole

If you type vayama into the search box you will find this is common, they do not use live pricing...appear at the top of the "cheapest list" by using fares that are long sold out...you may not have got the fare they were advertising even if there was not the card issues.

Head to the airline site and book there

Lancashire, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
Level Contributor
41,834 posts
62 reviews
2. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Kayak and Vayama aren't partners. Vayama pay to advertise on their site, as do many other shonky companies.

Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
6,944 posts
10 reviews
3. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Kayak is a search engine and does not sell tickets. They simply find the fares on various 3rd party sites and report the results. It is then up to the user to select which company they wish to use.

As is often recommended, the best option is almost always the airlines own site.

newcastle upon tyne
Level Contributor
13,455 posts
169 reviews
4. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Not a scam really, they just rely on stupid people who don't know what they're doing & don't read the terms & conditions

Garden Bay, Canada
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
10,415 posts
105 reviews
5. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Beware of people who do not know the difference between a search engine and a booking site and then complain about both. Use the search engine to identify viable routes then go to the airline sites.

An initial charge can be placed on a credit card but it sometime does take a bit of time before they become aware of the validity of the charge. Who knows what happened in this case, and you are unlikely to ever find out the answer. Vayama does want your charge to be processed. That's how the make their money. If your charge doesn't process they can't carry out the transaction.

We pretty solidly recommend buying directly from the airline in this forum. There are rare instances where you can save a few dollars off the price, but airlines stopped giving discounts, apart from blind purchase tickets, many years ago.

Edited: 12 June 2016, 03:02
Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
74,155 posts
478 reviews
6. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

The clue is int he email you received. You didn't make a booking or reservation at all, you placed a booking request with Vayama. This is the usual wording when sites don't have live pricing and so have to make the booking base don whatever prices they can find.

If the reports here are to be believed, some companies don't seem to want to admit that they do not have access to live prices, so they sometimes tell their customers that there is a problem with their payment card.

I don't know if Vayama have done this, but it look as if they may have, since the flight prices you saw weren't available anywhere else when you started looking, and presumably Vayama appeared to be the cheapest agent when you originally checked on Kayak as well.

Silver Spring...
Level Contributor
3,761 posts
10 reviews
7. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

It's not a scam. There are many complaints on this forum about Vayama but if you read most carefully, putting aside the complaint that they don't appear to have live prices, the majority of complaints are from people who didn't understand what they were buying. Such as complaining that they couldn't get a refund for a nonrefundable ticket, they want to change the name on the ticket to another passenger, change the travel dates, and are upset that none of this is free or even possible.

I don't know what happened, but it sounds like a problem with the processing of your payment. As another poster wrote, they want your money. Suggest you purchase directly from the airline.

Leeds, United...
Destination Expert
for Leeds, Bradford
Level Contributor
24,063 posts
378 reviews
8. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Vayama has a voice on here, incidentally he's called VayamaVoice. Have a search through previous threads on Vayama and you'll come across him. You can then send him a PM.

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
53,502 posts
1,800 reviews
9. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama


I cannot support Vayama, as I have never used them, and am unlikely to use any 3rd party airfare site.

However, I do see the complaints, to which you allude - mostly attempts to change/cancel heavily restricted tickets.

In the case of Vayama, Sunmagic offers good advice. It seems that Vayama Voice has been helpful to some.

Best of luck to the OP.


Buenos Aires...
2 posts
10. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Thanks to everyone who took the time and posted positive feedback.

As Sunmagic and Bill_Hunt_AZ suggested, I have contacted VayamaVoice: it did not help. As explained in the original post, the claim that "your credit card did not clear the 3D security measures" has been denied by my credit card (furthermore, they told me that there has been a pre-authorization request for $1 that was successful **at the same time of the booking**). Moreover, the fact that there has been no attempt to contact me regarding the "credit card not clearing the 3D security measures" in **54 hours**, leaves little room to believe in good faith of the company. No need to call it scam, pick the word that suits you better.

Regarding Kayak... using the https://www.kayak.com/explore/ I found (and this behaviour can be currently reproduced) that after clicking first on "show details" and then under "booking site" on "KAYAK", it redirects me to a page, still under the "http://www.kayak.com" domain, with the quote "Vayama will provide customer support for this reservation". (Note that to book using Kayak --and be redirected to Vayama-- the button reads "book", while for the other options it reads "Go".) Again, call Kayak and Vayama partners or whatever suits you better.

My personal conclusions: stay away from Vayama, and as some folks suggested, do not use Kayak for booking.

Kind regards

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