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Flexible ticket which is not so flexible - BudgetAir.co.uk


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HI, 

I searched via skyscanner and booked 4 flights via BudgetAir.co.uk (Turkish airlines) for my family in early October.

 

Given the uncertain circumstances I ensured that I book flexible tickets. Whilst booking budgetair.co.uk clearly does state;

Flexible Option

This airline is giving the possibility to change your travel dates and rebook without any change fee (fare difference may apply) due to COVID-19 emergency. Please check the airline’s Covid-19 policy as this might not be reflected in the flight conditions mentioned below.

 

We were due to fly late November but then the government announced lockdown with restricted international travel.

 

I telephoned Turkish Airlines who were helpful and say they are willing to cancel the flights and I can rebook at a later date without a charge but when they looked into the details, I was asked to contact the travel agency as the flights were booked through them.

 

I contacted the travel agency and was told that cancellation is not an option but they can change the flights for a charge of £55 each (£220 + fare difference). I said it was suppose to be flexible and was told that yes but i should have purchased an additional option through their website for free rebooking and seeing that i didn't i will be charged administrative fee. 

 

I feel that I have been mis-sold flights with flexible options which are not so flexible. (Also feel that it is similar to the banks PPI)

 

(I did purchase the flights with my AMEX platinum card though if it is of any help). 

 

I have been writing to budgetair and have been calling but they are simply not very helpful. Also, strangely enough the flights are operating as usual 😕

 

Anything I can do?

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey, so, your hope here is to bank for a cancellation from the airline, which is probable in these crazy times...

 

Don't get conned into paying quite yet!

 

Urgent things out of the way first:

* when is your departing flight due?

* Is it still operating as planned? Most importantly, were there any schedule changes and if yes by how much time difference.

 

 

Non-urgent things:

* you went through a budget OTA which apparently decides to charge fees to do things for you. I don't think it's illegal for them to do so, even though it's bad practice. Classic travel agents will charge you more for your ticket but will do these for free, or at least for less, because I must say £55 is absolutely outrageous (£10-25 admin fee would be fair enough - and I would expect that to cover the whole reservation, not per person, that's just taking the mickey). In the future buyer beware. Cheap OTAs are cheap for a reason.

* You did indeed buy a flexible ticket, but it's the airline that's being flexible and not your OTA. Your OTA is responsible for making changes on your behalf, but if you try and persevere, you might be able to convince Turkish to bypass your OTA and change your ticket directly with the airline. This will be easier if your flight is actually cancelled, so for now let's hope on that.

 

 

 

 

 

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Also, wonder if you took any screen grabs or got that text black on white?

What you pasted would sound misleading but if I go on budgetair now they have this (very sneaky and dishonest) phrasing which says "Without any fee from the airline".

 

Definitely worth shaming on Social Media in the least!

 

 

image.png.e119619051623b3719a0eb68a39cd421.png

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And on the next page, you get the warning as a footnote, that it's free* 

 

*but it's not free

 

Charging that much "Per ticket" is absolutely outrageous. Whilst you technically have different ticket numbers, it's one reservation under one PNR, and the agency only has to change it all at once, not 4 times. It's also a mere formality that takes 10-15mn tops so charging 220 for this little work is absolutely out of order, and you would possibly have grounds for calling the charge abusive, but we're entering the legal domain here which I know nothing about. 

 

I'm all up for paying people who do the work for us, but needs to stay reasonable... If that charge was considered reasonable I would quit my job right now and do this full time.

 

image.png.a1bc8e2e653c133fc4aaaba31f84cce1.png

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Whilst we're public shaming this company. Here's a nice con that is run by all OTAs, including the most reputable ones, seat selection fees!

 

Shall we select a nice middle seat for Mr. Richard Budget, who always wants the best seat in an aeroplane? It will only cost £15.40, so a nice little £61.60 for the whole journey!

 

If you reserve your seat directly with Air France instead (which you can do even if you bought your ticket with budget air), you will pay £6 less for either of the seat options (including the extra leg room).

OTAs will also charge you for seat selection, when your ticket entitles you to a seat selection for free.

 

 

image.png.2da64c75f0377134701e244e7efd807e.png

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Budget what?

 

I searched for the same ticket directly with the airline, I got quoted £6 cheaper for the very same random journey. This includes:

 

Cheaper baggage fees (£46 extra instead of £67)

Cheaper seat fees (£9 instead of £15)

Flexible tickets which are actually flexible for no extra fee

 

 

 image.png.31103e11cc8d3ad670449953b4b2a106.png

 

Sorry for polluting this thread with irrelevant stuff, I will stop here, but I hope this shows that even if you pay a little extra, it's often worth it to bypass the shady OTA and buy directly from the provider.

 

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