'Fare-jumping' on Travel Sites: What Should Be Done?
Linda Burbank mentions WebWatch in this USA Today story posted Wednesday. If you've had a problem with "fare-jumping" on the major travel Web sites -- and I know many of you have, because you have been writing to us about it -- you should read some of the unique research we've done on the topic the last couple of years, then let's hear some ideas from you as to what WebWatch might be able to do about it. We have considered removing one of the major travel aggregators from our list of sites that have pledged to uphold our credibility guidelines, then calling attention to that in the press.
But it seems the problem is not limited to one site, nor to one type of site, i.e., travel aggregators like Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity, but also to direct-sell sites of airlines like Frontier. So let us know what you think, and if you have a horror story, post it here.
By the way, in trying to book tickets for my own vacation to Egypt, coming up in a couple of weeks, I had a good experience with the Best Travel Store site. The English is a little awkward, which is often a warning sign, but I was able to get a good deal on airline tickets, beating any offerings from the big three mentioned above. Actually, Orbitz did keep returning a really cheap fare over several days, on Turkish Airlines, but it was impossible to book. I kept getting told the fare was no longer available, or that the price had gone up. It's tempting to single out Orbitz here, as I have had similar problems many times before trying to book international flights -- but not fair, because I had the same problem on BTS with a really cheap fare on Ukrainian Airlines. Also BTS appears to be a "bucket shop" consolidator, so be prepared to go offline to complete the deal.