Travel Service - Tour Operator/Travel Provider
Mountain View, United States
Awful experience booking with Vayama.com
36 people found this review helpful
We booked our flight from Sacramento to LA to Istanbul, Turkey 5 months in advance. The day before our flight we tried to check-into our SAC to LA flight online. There was no record of our names. We called Vayama. They told us that 1 month earlier they had emailed us twice to notify us that our 2 pm flight from Sac to LA was cancelled. We were supposed to have responded to those emails so that they’d book us on a 9 am flight instead. Since we’d never responded, they hadn’t bought the tickets…they’d pocketed our $2,800.
We didn’t respond to the emails because WE NEVER GOT THE EMAILS! Either they went into Junk Mail or they weren’t actually sent. Who knows. (Vayama BAD SERVICE POINT #1) Vayama had our phone number & mailing address but NEVER bothered to contact us through those means. After spending $2,800 on two flights to Istanbul for a 3 week vaccation, I’d think that it was obvious that we had all intentions of going. Especially after our credit card company had already paid Vayama & we never asked for a refund after our cancelled flight.
We told Vayama the night before our flight that “yes, we want to be on the 9 am flight”. Vayama confirmed that we were on the 9 am flight and emailed the new itinerary. They called us back an hour later to say that the 9 am flight was sold out so we could go on the 6 am flight. It was 11:30 pm at this point & we live 2.5 hours away from the Sac airport. Vayama said we could take the 6 am flight or change our flight plans for another day. We told them that we wanted the 6 am flight & that we needed confirmation ASAP because we were going to head out for SAC airport ASAP.
(Vayama BAD SERVICE POINT #2) Vayama NEVER called us to confirm that we were on the 6 am flight. In fact, we tried repeatedly to call them between midnight & 11 am to get confirmation (we didn’t sleep as we finished packing & drove to the airport) and NEVER talked with anyone from Vayama. Calls would go to their automated system and then we were left on hold until the system hung up on us. There were a few times that Vayama seemingly answered the phone but then the phone went dead. We suspect that they had caller ID and weren’t interested in speaking with us.
We got to the airport at 4:30 am, and went to the US Airways terminal because Vayama wrote an email to us listing our 6 am flight as a US Airways flight and included a US Airways flight number. When we spoke to a US Airways representative, they informed us that we were actually booked on a United flight and would have to catch a shuttle to the other terminal. We missed our 6 am flight. Why did we miss our flight? A United baggage agent wouldn’t check us in because we were at her desk 28 minutes before the flight & the deadline to check baggage is 30 minutes before the flight.
United could have split my husband & I & sent us from Sac to LA on the last seats available on a United and an American Airways flight (one seat available per flight), however, Vayama’s travel code required that we travel on the same flight.
Our solution: Book a flight via Southwest from Sac to LA. We bought these $400 tickets in the hope that we’d make our LA to Istanbul flight later that day.
(Vayama BAD SERVICE POINT #3) While in Sac waiting for our Southwest flight, we FINALLY got Vayama on the phone again at 11 am. We told them that we’d missed our flight but we wanted them to confirm that they had BOUGHT our LA to Istanbul flight (via Turkish Airlines). They would not confirm this!! They said that since we had missed the United flight from Sac to LA that per the fine print of the contract with them that our flights were voided and Turkish Airways was free to re-sell our seats. Even if we made it to LA in time to make our flight to Istanbul, we might not have had tickets. Vayama didn’t care that (a) we only found out about the flight changes a few hours earlier because of their ineffective contact, (b) that we had found a way for us to be in LA on time for the Istanbul flight, & (c) that this was our honeymoon (which we told them just to increase the emotional factor for them)!
My husband immediately called Turkish Airlines (LA to Istanbul) & checked us into that flight, not knowing if our tickets would be honored when we got to LA. Or, if we did get to Istanbul, would our return tickets be honored.
We have since returned from Istanbul so Vayama had also bought the return tickets. We didn’t have to deal with Vayama on the return, for which we were very thankful.
My husband and I are seasoned travelers. We recognize that changes, difficulties, and problems happen & consider that as part of traveling. We had 3 delayed/cancelled flights & lost luggage not even described above going to & returning from Turkey.
We do have issue with Vayama’s: (a) attempt to pocket our $2,800 and not even trying to contact us through an alternative means to reschedule us or return the money and (b) unavailability to confirm our flight when they said that they would call us & be available. The fact that they wouldn’t help us fix the missed United flight problem was in their fine print but the airline was willing to help us out so why wouldn’t Vayama? Likely because they wanted to pocket our missed flight money.
36 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.