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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?

93 replies to this topic
Tucson, Arizona
11 posts
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21. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

I experienced the same issue on 5/18/2017!!!!!!!!! I was traveling from Cairo Egypt to Porto Portagul with my wife and one year old. After booking, I also received a booking # and statement that my card would be charged. When checking in at the airport there was NO record of our booking. After contacting Vayama, I was told that there was a processing error and entire flight plan was cancelled! This resulted in spending almost 1000.00 USD more in booking flights that day at the airport. Upon our return, I contacted customer relations at Vayama and received no apology or compensation for our extremely stressful situation and financial burden. In fact, the Director of consumer was very rude and stated Vayama would not give an apology and that it was my fault. I will NEVER use this booking site again. Anyone considering using them I would give a big BEWARE!!!!! I imagine this happens a lot with this site and again when communicating with the director of customer relations you will only be scolded and given reason why its your fault there booking site is incompetent. DO NOT USE THIS BOOKING SITE!!!

Leeds, United...
Destination Expert
for Leeds, Bradford
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22,750 posts
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22. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

"When checking in at the airport there was NO record of our booking."

---

You made a booking and never once checked to see if it was confirmed until you arrived at the airport?

RICHMOND
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1 post
9 reviews
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23. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Not true that booking from the airline site usually the cheapest. On average, it's about the same or even more than Kayak etc. Just looked for a flight from Canada to Germany and the Air Canada site was about $300 more than one of the third-party sites (NOT Kayak). Apart from that, it's much more time-consuming to look through a bunch of different airlines, especially since they cannot search all possible connections. However, it is recommended to search multiple sites. For trans-atlantic flights I routinely look at 3 different site and NONE of them routinely gives me the best price.

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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67,830 posts
460 reviews
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24. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Many of the OTA fares advertised aren't live and aren't available when you try and book them. I'm not saying that it's always goign to be the case that fares are always going to be cheaper by going direct, but in my experience that is more often the case than not.

Houston, texas, USA
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3,750 posts
741 reviews
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25. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Find both sites useful but book flights directly with the airline I am using.

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26. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

I would like to reiterate that consumers should, at all costs, refrain from using Vayama. Their customer service is the worst in the industry by an order of magnitude. More frequently than not, their phone line is "down" and no one can be contacted. Even if you do not expect to need customer service help, you should never use Vayama. E.g. If the airline changes your flight schedule and you are unable to make your flight, you will be completely out of money. Book with airlines directly or, if you must, a different online travel agency (e.g. expedia).

Europe
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292 reviews
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27. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

"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!"

Completely disagree. My experience, over may flights, is that OTAs have always given me what airlines direct could not.

The monolithic groupthink on this board against OTAs is not based on facts (the posters who rail against OTAs insist they never user them...), most probably based on reading complaints by posters (which represent nothing but people who usually fail to understand what they are buying).

I have booked via Kayak many, many times. Zero problems.

I booked with Vayama twice - once with no issues, once I had a problem (airline owned the issue), Vayama were helpful in sorting it out.

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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28. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

Just my opinion, danno, but I think that booking through any third party, even the beter ones, adds to the risk of soemthing going wrong. It's always going to be a gamble of risk v reward, because of the complication of adding another layer to the transacation.

Now, I do accept that the risks wth all but the worst outfits will be relatively low, but they are still too high for my liking. You do have a point when it comes to trying to get routes that the airlines can't or don't offer. In those circumstances I would consider all of the safer options, including a proper bricks and mortar agent and the better OTA's that have live pricing.

Santa Fe
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25 reviews
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29. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

I can't get a hold of Vayama. Despite several message, they never call me and none of the phone numbers work. There is a problem with my reservation and I can not reserve seats for an overseas flight.

Silver Spring...
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3,736 posts
10 reviews
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30. Re: Beware of Kayak and Vayama

To #29 - why don't you simply call the airline? Just be advised on some airlines and some fares (and sometimes with a codeshare), you are unable to reserve seats, and may choose a seat only during online check in.

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