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Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Buenos Aires...
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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?

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11. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

After booking a flight with Vayama I was sent an email stating that my booking was processing and I would receive confirmation in one business day. After realizing I had not received any additional emails, I called Vayama customer service and the extremely rude and unprofessional agent who kept interrupting me informed me that my itinerary was cancelled. They claimed (in between putting me on hold several times without asking for permission or telling me they'd be back on the line) that they attempted twice to charge my card and it was declined, and instead of contacting me, that they'd canceled the reservation and I should call my bank. Knowing my card had funds, and faced with the extremely rude behavior of their agent, I asked to speak with a supervisor and was told they have no managers or supervisors on duty. I called my bank and was told that they had not denied any charges, that there was an open approval from Vayama, but that Vayama had never submitted the amount to them. The bank said they could still submit the charge, it was open. So I called Vayama back and received a different agent (Thadeus from the Berlin office) who was also extremely rude and interrupted me before I could even finish explaining the story. He then told me the reservation was canceled because they never got an approval code from the airline. When I asked why they never got an approval code and explained to him that now if I have to book again two days later and the flight has gone up in price, how their mistake has cost me $100, he again tried to blame my bank, saying there was no other reason that he knows of why the airline wouldn't issue an approval code. He didn't feel the need to investigate it further, just wanted to argue in an extremely rude, condescending tone and continue to interrupt me. I asked again to speak with a supervisor, since he was extremely unprofessional and obviously had no CS training, but was told again that they don't have any supervisors in Germany. Unbelievably bad experience and a waste of several hours of my day to deal with these people. I will never use this service again and highly advise no one else to. Their customer service agents obviously have no training and huge attitudes, failing to take any responsibility for their mistakes or try in any way to fix it or even figure out what went wrong. The worst part is that if I they put through the charge now, two days late, it will still go through because the bank has approved, so I may end up being charged for two airline tickets to the same destination. Wishing I never gave Vayama my credit card number! Dealing with their agents has made me realize this is a shady company and a huge risk to use.

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12. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

I also had trouble purcashing the tix - and when comparing to airline, definitely approved that the price no longer exist. My credit blocked the purchase, and even trying to fix it, didn't go through. I guess Im lucky that I didn't end up paying for something that isn't there. Buying tix needs to be a careful in purchasing.

Boston...
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2 reviews
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13. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

I completely agree that Vayama is a ripoff - they unilaterally changed a flight reservation that had been paid for for months for a complex family vacation overseas and refused to take any responsibility. When they let me cancel the ticket for a full refund they promised full refund within 45-60 business days (in and of itself a travesty). 70 business days later i called them up to find out why they had not made the refund, and they said it was because of the airline and it would be made in 15 more days. We shall see. In the meantime, I will NEVER use Vayama again in my life.

Garden Bay, Canada
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for Air Travel, Business Travel
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14. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Yeah... Dan, I think you are unclear on a few things. If the airline is giving a refund, it is because they changed the reservation, not Vayama. Airlines are very strict about refunds and unless you bought one of the fully priced fares that are refundable, there ain't gonna be no refund. Did you ever consider that they don't take responsibility because they aren't responsible for the change? Plus, "paid for months" doesn't mean "booked for months" did you ever receive a booking confirmation number and view the itinerary on the airline website, or did you just think that because you paid, that the ticket was real?

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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67,130 posts
65 reviews
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15. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Proving once again, go cheap and weep.

Neuquen
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16. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

I accidentaly made a flight double booking with VAYAMA a few days ago and David ( Vayama the Netherlands)

very quickly and kindly solve the problem.In my opinion VAYAMA offers good deals and a very efficient service.

Edinburgh
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17. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Hmmmm, have you actually got the money back yet Patricia?

Presume you haven't taken your flights yet. Perhaps when you have, you can say whether it was good service or not.

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18. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Please never buy any ticket from vayama they are big scammer

Boston...
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48 posts
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19. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

I agree. Kayak and Vayama are the poisons that could or would ruin your day. At some points in the past, kayak might have been 'useful' as a shopping tool. Today it's really a platform of scammers and untrustworthy booking companies like kiwi.com and vayama.com to prey on inexperienced travelers. They've basically polluted the on-line travel booking market and made it a dangerous to shop.

Always buy your tickets directly from the airlines if all possible, even if the price appears to be a little higher. The overall value of your ticket and travel experience is worth that extra few bucks. Beside, the 'lower prices' advertised by booking agencies like kiwi.com and vayama.com usually contain hidden costs/fees/charges that would bite you at some points during your trip, especially when it comes to issues involving refund.

Boston...
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48 posts
21 reviews
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20. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Booking companies like kiwi.com (a non US company operates out of Czech Republic) pay Kayak.com to redirect Kayak's users to their websites. For example, when you select a specific flight option with one single airline choice. Kayak would split your booking with two different entities. One with the airline itself and the other through a booking company that pays Kayak to redirect the customers to their sites. So you could have an outbound segment booking with a third party booking company like kiwi.com and inbound would be booking directly with the airline that you'd be flying with. And if you dig into it, you may find that you could have booked directly with the airline for both outbound and inbound segments for cheaper! So basically, Kayak makes money by redirecting you to another layer of middle man. In the end you'd pay more. Also when and if there's a problem and you need a refund, the booking company would make it miserable for you to get your money back, if at all.

So, yes, the word of wisdom here is NEVER buy anything from Kayak and Vayama or any similar services. Also never trust them! Go direct. Buy directly from the airline. Dump the middle man!

Edited: 04 May 2017, 07:34
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