WHY I WILL NEVER USE A THIRD PARTY VENDOR TO PURCHASE FLIGHTS AGAIN
All I ever wanted in life was to be a travel inspiration to others. Though broad, yet simple, I honestly believe that's my purpose and the reason why I'm so passionate about it. Well after this day I can say I was tested beyond measure. The first day of my backpacking adventure is NOW a NIGHTMARE!
It all started when I arrived at the airport. All the great things that happened that day went out the window when I missed my flight.
All this build up and my ass missed my whole flight.
But check this.... it wasn't even my fault.
Wait... Wait! Stop judging because I can feel the judgment as I write this!
Can I tell my story!?
See what had happened was...
I purchased a ticket with British Airways via a third party vendor/company. I tried to check in online for the flight, but they wouldn't let me check in online because they needed to complete verification. With the online confirmation from the purchase in hand, I made it to the airport in enough time to check in. Ok Ok... I was there with an hour to spare before boarding, BUT according to British Airways, 60 minutes before boarding is the cutoff. Therefore I was in the clear.
Well... I showed up to a long line and one one representative working. Trying not to watch the clock and continued to play Candy Crush as I waited. Eventually, others began to assist, and it was finally my turn. After arguing with them that my bag will fit they finally took my passport to look up my ticket and said... "Ummm. What flight is this?" Trying not to panic, I told her I was in the 7:25 pm flight to London. She was like we don't have a 7:25 flight, but we have an 8:45 pm flight. Growing irritated I took out my phone to show the ticket. She began talking to her counterparts, and they started making calls.
15 minutes later she says the flight is with American Airlines, one of their partner lines. Oh... and it's in a different terminal on the other side of the airport.
Are you fucking kidding me?
And double Oh... they about to start boarding so I gotta hurry up.
Again. Are you fucking kidding me?
American Airlines was in an entirely different terminal that is only accessible by train. Running to catch what seemed like the longest train ride ever, I begin to pray that I make this flight because I wasn't feeling Lady Luck on my side at that moment. Once the train stopped, I rushed over to be forced in ANOTHER line just to get someone who'd listen. Luckily this line was shorter than the others, and I was able to get some help. I explained everything from British Airways to how everyone failed to relay a message to me of a different airline that's in an entirely different terminal!
The guy looked and said "ooh" a few seconds of typing and expressed in the fakest voice ever, "Sorry, you're not making that flight."
My heart sank, and before I knew it, the tears were flowing. I couldn't even hold my thug tears in anymore.
Feeling defeated, I tried one last go by expressing the urgency of the matter in hopes that he would place me on the next flight or something since after all... this wasn't my fault. He then proceeds to tell me the next flight for the day is full, and he can put me on the next flight the next day, but I'll have to pay a rescheduling fee.
Why should I have to pay!?? All of this happened because everyone failed to update the ticket or notify me of the airline change. Nothing I had said anything remotely close to a plane change to American Airlines. Now they won't do anything because they are just the "partner." Defeated, I left and went back to British Airways hoping they would put me on the 8:45 pm flight.
Back at British Airways, I provide the lady the FULL run down of what happened. She looked up the ticket and shifted her attitude to I don't give a fuck. Come to find out the ticket I purchased was a Bulk ticket that I acquired through a third party vendor. Because of that, their system doesn't recognize it, and I would have to reach out to the third party vendor to handle the situation at hand.
And from there... it all went down hill
THIRD PARTY VENDORS
Third Party vendors are considered all the sites outside of the official airline websites. Some call them travel agents, but they are not. Airlines sell bulk tickets to them at a discounted rate, and then they turn around and buff it up a bit and sell it to us. The pricing always appears better than the airline website, so you buy it without thinking twice.
I purchased my original ticket from KissandFly.com. After exhausting Britsh Airways and American Airlines, I called them hoping they could do something. Do you know these fuckers hung up on me twice before someone pretended to do their job? It was a waste of time because the imbecile acted like all she knew how to do was be an operator and read the same stupid ass script "I understand but unfortunately..." Like I could've listened to a recording at that point because that was how she was acting.
I continued to call throughout the night in hopes to talk to someone who could do something. After several calls, it seemed the only thing I could do was email the help desk. It appeared to be the only way to get some answers around there.
After multiple calls, emails, and chats, they have yet to take responsibility for anything. They want to blame the airline, but as the middle man between the airline and myself, it was their responsibility to relay any changes. To British Airways I wasn't a real customer. In fact, the airline said they can't discuss anything with me and will only speak to the third party vendor. Unfortunately, the third party vendor doesn't want to acknowledge fault and wants no parts in communicating to see what could be done.
I'm still fighting to get my money back.
In the interim, I tried to purchase a new ticket to Greece. I found another $600 one way leaving in a few hours... unfortunately on another third party company, JustAirTicket. At that point, I had no choice because all the airline flights started at $1300 for the same day trip.
After placing the flight, I received an email confirmation of my purchase. Thinking everything is getting better, I begin to repack as I wait for the ticket to come to my email. Well, instead of a ticket I received a phone call.
Do you know this company had the nerve to call me and try to haggle me out of more money!!??? The guy lied and said the airline wouldn't let him book because the ticket price went up and I had to pay more to get the ticket, or they would cancel my ticket. At this point, I was done. I unleashed the dragon on him because I had enough with these third party vendors trying to haggle me out of my coins.
After my meltdown slash serve, he pretended as if he went to ask a manager for a "one time discount" and honored the price. The only positive out of that whole moment is that he at least notified me that the flight said British Airways/ Iberia, but it's American Airlines that I would fly. At least he had the decency to tell me that.
Come to find out JustAirTickets has a known reputation to try to haggle people out of more money by holding their ticket and threatening to cancel their flight if they didn't pay the difference. They say if you say no and say you want to cancel then they will give you the ticket at the given price. The issue is who wants to go through all that?!!?
Lesson of the Year: Do not purchase tickets from a 3rd party vendor unless you trust them, purchase insurance, or know it's a straight forward ticket.
P.S. I purchased this ticket BEFORE I started my travel consulting business. Otherwise I wouldn't be in this predicament.
I just want my money back, XOXO