This week’s tip comes from two authors who told me they had no experience with being scammed while traveling. Neither had been the victim of a crime while traveling, but both travel extensively, including international flights. Interestingly enough, they both had similar experiences when it came to buying “discounted” tickets.
Libby Hellman is a bestselling author whose latest release, “Havana Lost,” is red hot. Libby travels internationally and described an incident in which she bought discounted tickets for a flight that was later cancelled. “We were going to Spain with other people and got tickets on CheapTickets.com. Did you know that CheapTickets is a subsidiary of Orbitz? When I called, I got an Orbitz customer service rep. Anyway, we paid our money and got a great price on the tickets. About two weeks before the flight, it was cancelled. The new tickets were $300 more and they wouldn’t refund the money for the first tickets until we paid for the new flight. We had to pay twice before they’d refund the tickets we’d initially paid for.”
Jenny Hilborne, who also writes thrillers, has dual U.S./U.K. citizenship. She makes at least one round trip between continents each year. Jenny used to shop for cheaper tickets, but no longer does so after finding herself stranded in Minneapolis for five hours. “I had a connecting flight that started in London,” she said. “We had to change planes because that was the cheapest airfare I could get. When we got off of our London flight, we were told that the flight back to California had been cancelled. While I was scrambling around trying to find another flight home, I overheard two employees talking. It turns out the airline knew before we left London that the connecting flight was cancelled. I was shocked they knew ahead of time, but never told us.”
Both Jenny and Libby have decided cheap tickets are not worth their price. Jenny said, “I never bother trying to compare airfare anymore. I went through various routes to find the cheapest flight and discovered that it wasn’t worth it. I no longer use connecting flights and go through Virgin Atlantic because I trust them.”
Have you had experience with discounted airfares? Was your experience good or bad? We’d love to hear from you!