Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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INSANELYCHEAPFLIGHTS.COM (TRAVELSPOT.US) IS TERRIBLE. AVOID.

January 25th, 2011 · 22 Comments · Technology

Travelspot Sucks

Travelspot Sucks

What would you call it if you were on hold for 64 minutes and 52 seconds while you waited for a customer service representative to even pick up the phone. Travelspot has the record with me now. So would I say it’s a Travelspot Scam? A TravelSpot Ripoff? Or just plain Travelspot sucks.

When I started this blog post (before I researched articles on line and before I added the graphic below) I had been on hold now for over 20 minutes to speak to a representative at www.travelspot.us. I figured I”d let this bs message play over and over until I’m done posting this blog.

“All of our agents are busy helping other travelers like you…. we’ll be with you momentarily.”

I’m not holding my breath. No one’s ever going to come on. I booked my flights to Florida for April and there was a change of plans. I ordered travel insurance from TravelSpot.us’s “partner” Seven Corners Insurance in Indiana along with the reservations for 70 or 80 bucks. When the policy was marketed, it didn’t mention anything about the necessity for a medical emergency in order to obtain a refund. Of course, the claim was denied.

It was the first time I ever ordered travel insurance, and I’ll never order it again. I would suggest to you that it is just like throwing your money away. Apparently the major airlines are starting to get hip to these websites. And now consumers too. I usually fly Jet Blue and generally don’t have a problem. But when I couldn’t find a fare around Easter that was reasonable I was fell for the website suggested by Google “InsanelyCheapFlights.com”. And like many others I’m finding out that online travel agencies which have always had a dubious reputation, are now getting worse.

I wish I had looked for the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index from the University of Michigan which found customer satisfaction has fallen to an all-time low with these sites. Meanwhile I have been holding for 38 minutes and 55 seconds for customer service at Travelspot.us as I do my research for this post. But to continue, the online travel industry’s aggregate scored slipped from 76 to 75 last year, a drop of 1.3 percent. It’s the lowest reading since the ACSI began tracking online travel agencies in 2002 according to one post on the subject.

Here’s how the major online agencies did for 2008 (and one can only assume that it’s gotten worse in 2010 as corporations go for the kill with squeezing ever last dollar out of the average person):

Expedia (75) – 3.8 percent
Orbitz (73) -2.7 percent
Travelocity (73) -1.4 percent

(Only Priceline is on the rise, posting an increase of one point, or 1.4 percent, to 73. That’s up 10.6 percent from 2002.) That keeps my faith in William Shatner in place but I still will never use Priceline or any of these sites again.

The Transportation Department’s annual complaint data is hard to read though I assume it’s based on a basis of 100 complaint points?

1. Orbitz (45)
2. Travelocity (35)
3. Expedia (30)
4. Cheaptickets (22)
5. Cheapoair/Priceline (tie) (16)

All I can say is that I’m stuck with tickets I most likely will have to use now because American Airlines, while honoring the tickets (at least they’re real) wants to stick me with a $150 change fee. At least Southwest Airlines has it right.

To that end here is a chart of the airlines’ change fees.

P.S. Travelspot.us never picked up my phone call. If you book with these guys, you’ll be sorry.

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22 Comments so far ↓

  • stressedout

    You are right. I was on hold for ages, listening to
    a recording with no response to help me with a
    very minor change within 2 hours of making the
    reservation that I am stuck with. The worst
    I’ve ever dealt with. And no recourse that I know
    of. Never, never, never, again.

  • mango

    I just googled reviews for Travelspot because I’ve been trying to get through to a customer service representative for the past hour and a half or so. I tried twice. I’d also tried yesterday, and earlier today. Unbelievable. I’m hanging up after I post this comment. I really wish I’d seen this post BEFORE I booked tickets through their website! Never again.

  • Tony

    Our experience was worse still. We had Angela tell us we could reset, no problem, if needed. We waited ocher 30 minutes to get to here, she said that was u unusual. Hmmm. Ok, at least she gave us a good answer.

    Then, when we called back last night, we were on hold for 3 hours and 4 minutes, listening to the same Insane recording you mentioned in your blog post. We took out our iPhone (dialed from our land line) to photograph the hold time and toll free ph number dialed. Never answered.

    Then we got up at about 4 AM this morning, and called again. Roughly 45 minutes later, finally got Dallin. Dallin said, sorry, Angela mis-Informed you, you will lose your money. We asked for a supervisor. We got Sheffy. Dallin was at least professional, Sheffy was rude. No, Angela was wrong, no credit, no refund. We escalated to her supervisor, who called back an hour ago. Very smooth, but still no joy from George.

    So I called the charge card company and disputed the charge.

    Stay away from the travelspot.us – stay far away!
    🙁

  • admin

    Absolutely, Travelspot is the WORST – I would NEVER again use any of these sites. Either Jet Blue, Southwest (American Airlines for International), or I’m not flying. Incidentally, American Airlines pulled all it’s flights from those online discounters. You get what you pay for.

  • Alli

    @Tony, when you called the card company did they deny the charge? I need to change my flight (or even cancel) and I need to speak with someone but as all you have experienced, NO one is picking up that phone! So annoyed! I’ve only booked this flight about 1 hour ago as well. Any answers or suggestions would be appreciated. It’s booked with AA and I’ve even tried calling them but they can’t do anything :/

  • admin

    You have to write a letter to the President of the Airline you booked on. You will get nowhere with Travelspot.us. People just have to get hip to the fact that you get what you pay for, and with Travelspot – that’s aggravation.

  • Micaelle

    Thank you so much. Thanks to Google and your review I am going to save myself a lot of pain. And thanks to God I thought of researching before I make the next step. Wow!!!

  • judy

    Yeah, avoid travel spot. they will never pick up your call. I had a problem because i needed to change my flight route because of transits law. Brian, it would be nice if you suggest another agent. So i guess we have to eat this up guys.

  • Travelspot

    Mr.McLane, we are very sorry for the long hold times you and others experienced while calling into our office. We are currently working on staffing accordingly, to meet our increased business. I did locate your reservation from this past April, and do show that our priority customer service team tried contating you on April 6, however, the phone number your provided was no longer available. An email was sent, but we never heard back from you. I do want to mention that many airlines do charge a penalty to make any type of changes to a reservation, and this has been around for many years. Although Southwest is about the only one who doesn’t charge. We are making every effort to improve our service level, and we appreciate it when our customers let us know we have some issues to work on.

    Regards,
    Travelspot
    Customer Support

  • admin

    I publish all comments and this one came in from Travelspot.

  • Elaine

    I am on hold- again- for the 6th time since I first reached someone there. Every time I ask a question regarding a flight time, I am put on hold for 15 to 30 min. I have been trying to re-schedule a flight for 2 1/2 hours now. No exaggeration. The 340.00 dollars I originally paid for a round trip ticket is gone with charges and penalties. I am now paying $300.00 more dollars for a ONE WAY ticket. I will never use this company again. What a nightmare. I am still holding even though I already gave them the CC info.

  • admin

    And it’s not just travelspot. Many of the Carriers are getting hip to the fact that these “deal” sites are actually costing them customers. Booked my summer vacation today directly through American Airlines and got the lowest (or close to) fare. Even if I paid 30 or 40 bucks more, I feel good that I don’t have to go through the aggravation of dealing with Travelspot.us, or Expedia, or Orbitz, or any of them. Vote with your pocketbook. In these times, consumer (re)action really is starting to matter.

  • Rebecca

    I ordered a round trip ticket for my son who is 14 to travel to Arizona to see his sister who is 20 years old. The round trip air fare was great, so I booked his flight. When we took him to the airport today they charged us a $200.oo accompanying adult fee!! This was not disclosed on the insanelycheapflights.com website. It made me put in his d.o.b at the time of my ticket order and stated that children are considered 2 thru 11. There was nothing disclosing this fee. I spoke with Irena from insanelycheaptickts.com who lied to me and stated that it was the airlines problem and not theirs, because they set the regulations on what they put on their website!! Well, guess what the airline told me? You guessed it!! They are not responsible for what insanelycheapflights.com puts on their website! All I want is my $200.00 back today!! I am now waiting on Irena’s supervisor to call me back. I told her I would give them only 45 min before I stalked their phone lines. This is rediculous!! If I had been informed about the $200.oo fee at the time of booking the flight, I would have booked a flight for myself and flown with my son instead of paying an airline babysitter $200.00. Right now it has been 15 min and no one has called me back. I WILL get my money back and it WILL be by the end of today or I will personally put my home phone number on this website and have everyone who wants to know any information about this insanelycheapflights website to call me for a reference for insanelycheapflights.com!! I will let you all know how this turns out and if they were willing to work with me on this!

  • Rosa Macklin

    Well, I can’t add anymore to the comments that I have read. Ditto, Ditto, Ditto. I will make sure that everyone knows about this scam. I was on hold forever. We were scheduled to fly out of today at 2:30 pm. Our flight was delayed and we were going to miss out connection in another city. We decided to cancel the trip. I have been trying to call these wing-nuts for hours. I also had sent a e-mail a couple of days ago and didn’t get a response. I will work with and others and on my own to take these people down. I need to be compensation for my tickets and time.

  • admin

    Hi Rosa,

    Thanks for reading.

    You already have added a lot to the conversation by doing what 99 out of 100 people WONT DO. Which is say something. Just remember for every one person like us, there are 500 more who feel the same way. Travelspot and companies like it will eventually fail when enough people read this thread and stay away. B

  • W.

    These people are either crooks or stupid when it comes to dealing fairly with customers. I never got a confirmation for booking a trip nor a confirmation number, but they had already contacted my credit card holder when I called to put a hold on the card.

  • admin

    They are just the worst. I never intended for this thread to start getting so much attention but I also get a lot of private emails from people who don’t want to do on the record. I was taught that for every one person that speaks out or writes a letter there are 500 more who feel the same way. Ultimately, you have to vote with your pocketbook and not give these businesses any more of your precious, hard earned money. Thanks for reading and you come back real soon y’hear? B 🙂

  • A

    I recently bought two airline tickets from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to Bangkok, Thailand. Right away, I thought it was odd that I had to send in an additional CC verification form along with copy of credit card/ID. Now, it has been three days since I “purchased” the ticket, and I have only received a booking number, no seats/confirmation number. I’ve tried dozens of times unsuccessfully to get a hold of them either through email or phone to no avail. It doesn’t look like they’ve ran my CC info yet, so I’m placing a hold on my CC also. What scumbags!

  • admin

    Terrible story but are we talking about Travelspot.us here?

  • A

    Yes, indeed.

  • admin

    Can’t say I’m surprised. The only thing that’s insane about insanelycheapflights.com is that people are insane enough to believe it.

  • Rebecca Parisi

    I had a bad experience with travelspotus and will be contacting my credit card company. Very poor ethics. They billed my credit card airline and to them and were not at all clear that they were charging a $100 for the transaction! Just acted it to the stated ticket price. It was by phone. I was adding a ticket for my juvenile grandson. It is a company from India and the American contact I got ahold of was not helpful.

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