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Yesterday we booked a ticket from the U.S. to India during the holiday season. The price quoted by Vayama was very reasonable, $997, a real bargain for the season. 12 hours later we get the following email from Vayama:

We recently received your online booking request. Quality control has determined that your booking could not be processed at the fare that was originally quoted. Unfortunately, the airline was unable to accept the fare that was quoted earlier and as a result, the fare is increased now. Per our terms and conditions, airfares and reservations are not guaranteed until tickets are issued.

The total fare now is $1661.74 USD

please respond to the email or call us on 16502651856 at the earliest convenience if you agree to pay the new fare, so that we will go ahead and issue your ticket. If you have any questions please feel free to respond to this email and we will get back to you generally within 24 hours.

Please note: fares are not guaranteed until the final processing is complete

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Has anyone faced this issue, and dealt with their customer service and been able to negotiate anything at all?

This is a huge scam to attract customers and then not honor their advertised deals. We booked the rest of the family tickets separately (confirmed already). Back to square 1 and wasted a whole day!

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    I had this exact thing happen with byojet. Most annoying was that they still charged my credit card, and have said it will take 2-3 days to clear. Ridiculous situation, even though they gave me the option of canceling (which I did), they still hold the cash for 2-3 days, nice way of getting interest for nothing... – Mark Mayo Oct 16 '14 at 3:26
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    Please note: I am not connected in any way to the business or website discussed. I do feel that this question unfairly portrays Vayama as a scam and persuing unethical business practices. It's a business, it must make money, and they do appear to have covered themselves, as shown by pnuts. The fact that the OP allowed themselves to be in the position of depending on the tickets is not the fault of Vayama. IOW, just because you don't read the fine print doesn't make you right and them wrong. – CGCampbell Oct 16 '14 at 14:38
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One major drawback with using third party booking websites (especially for air) is that there is a time lag between when they queried the airline reservation system and when your booking request is submitted. During this time lag, the seat could be sold, the airline could load new fares, etc.

When you search for fares, the airline systems return what is available at the moment your search request was received. They do not hold any of those seats, simply say what is open right now.

If you are booking direct with the airline, the moment you click the book this flight button they put a hold on those seats allowing you time to fill in the form (but even here I have seen the notice that the fare is no longer available).

If you are booking on a third party website, they wait for you to complete the form and submit your payment details AND then they try to put a hold on the seats. And in some cases this can be hours later due to a need for human interaction at some online agencies.

Most every airline has the similar rules about fares not being guaranteed until ticketed ... from Delta's website "Delta/KLM fares are subject to change and are not guaranteed until tickets are issued". And as OTAs like Vayama are simply working as agents of the airlines, so the price quoted at final confirmation by the airline is the price to be paid.

The internet is littered with posts by people who feel cheated because the price they paid did not match the initial airfare shown by the search engine. But that is the nature of the beast.

The safest bet is to book direct with the airline (but as I mentioned above even that is not 100% fool proof).

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    I am also not a lawyer, but as Vayama is paid by the airlines (via commissions) and is collecting money of their behalf, I would think legally they would be agents of the airline not the customer. On the other hand if Vayama charged a booking fee to the customer and the airline billed your card directly, your statement would be correct. But then lawyers could probably tear both of our arguments apart ;-) – user13044 Oct 16 '14 at 12:28
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Vayama is part of a big group of interlinked international travel companies, mainly based in the Netherlands

In America they trade as vayama, but from the about us page of there website it is a brand name for Travix international, part of another bigger group. Bcd international

http://www.vayama.com/aboutus?s=307570705

However the usa part of the business (airtrade international)is accredited by the better business beaurau

http://www.bbb.org/losangelessiliconvalley/business-reviews/travel-agencies-and-bureaus/airtrade-international-in-san-jose-ca-232273

This is linked at the bottom of the vayama about us page.

My recommendation would be to contact vayama customer services, speak to a manager and attempt to get them to honour the original price, if you have no joy tell them you will make a complaint to the BBB, and then make that complaint. The have an A+ rating, and will want to protect that.

My other recommendation is to be polite but firm, you will get more traction that way.

I notice that vayama are (not quite) blaming the airline, you could contact the airlines customer service to ascertain if the fare that vayama quoted was available at the time (if vayama had been granted a block of seats at a special price it's possible they oversold - more evidence to take to the bbb)

Good luck

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I am happy to report that Emirates has provided us (Vayama) with authorization to honor ALL bookings that were impacted by this situation at the original fare quoted. We are currently in the process of contacting all impacted customers by phone or email to advise them.

If any of you on this OP were impacted, please give Vayama Customer Support a call at 1.650.265.1856 at your earliest convenience to confirm you would still like your booking.

I'm very happy that Emirates made this decision as it was the right thing to do!

Sincerely, David R Director Customer Relations Vayama

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When I understand correctly, what happened was the following: You ordered simultaneously via different agents multiple seats on the same aircraft. For sake of example, let's say you ordered 5. But there were only four seats of that fare class available. And vayama was the laziest of your agents, and now you blame vayama for not getting you a cheap seat. But if they had been faster, one of your other agents would have had to send you the "sorry, the fare has increased" email...

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