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Bait and Switch Pricing or Incompetent IT?

Bait and Switch Pricing or Incompetent IT?

Old Mar 16, 20, 2:50 pm
  #1  
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Bait and Switch Pricing or Incompetent IT?

Has anyone else experienced Aegean's bait and switch pricing? Their website fares never seem to match what's quoted on the phone.

Even when I originally booked my tickets, the website returned an error when trying to book a ticket at a low price (say 125). ITA showed the same 125 price. Some OTAs were 125, while others were a bit higher (say 150). On the phone, Aegean would quote ~175, presumably because of the fees. The cheaper OTAs also resulted in errors, so I booked with the 150 OTA to avoid the phone fees.

Cut to this week to try and rebook the same ticket. A3's website and ITA both showed a lower fare than the original, so no fare difference, theoretically. The phone agent quoted 250. Have to pay the 100 fare difference. HUH? Frustrated, I tried a dummy booking to see why there's a discrepancy. The website errored out again (15079 - 421) after entering passenger details.

In all the cases, the relevant lower fare buckets were/are all available, yet the phone agents insisted that they were gone. What is going on with Aegean IT? It makes planning and budgeting impossible when you can't rely on their damned website to provide accurate quotes... or to actually book flights...
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Old Mar 17, 20, 12:15 am
  #2  
 
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Many airlines have different prices depending on the sales channel. Phone is not the website.

Maybe A3 does that, too.
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Old Mar 17, 20, 1:31 am
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Originally Posted by sokolov View Post
Many airlines have different prices depending on the sales channel. Phone is not the website.

Maybe A3 does that, too.
Yes, but their websites don't error out when you try to book tickets... It's not just once or twice or with certain routes on certain dates. Other airlines/websites have warnings that say the fare's changed and let you book at the changed price, but A3 just sends you right back to the search screen without any option to proceed. And, the same fares remain on their website (and ITA) for hours/days and are still unbookable. If a fare can't be ticketed, Aegean should pull it from the website and the GDS instead of leaving the information up. Customers shouldn't have to call to get the "real" fare and then be forced to pay a fee just because their website doesn't work.
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Old Mar 17, 20, 2:17 am
  #4  
 
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well, "bait and switch" is not the same as a broken website.
use the mobile app, call the service desk, try the website again at another time, book third party etc.
If you must have a booking done today, for that specific fare, use a travel agent!
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Old Mar 17, 20, 3:44 am
  #5  
 
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Also, if you call them and tell them that a specific ticket can't be purchased online, the 20€ fee doesn't have to be paid.
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Old Mar 17, 20, 5:20 am
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Originally Posted by Tennen View Post
Yes, but their websites don't error out when you try to book tickets... It's not just once or twice or with certain routes on certain dates. Other airlines/websites have warnings that say the fare's changed and let you book at the changed price, but A3 just sends you right back to the search screen without any option to proceed. And, the same fares remain on their website (and ITA) for hours/days and are still unbookable. If a fare can't be ticketed, Aegean should pull it from the website and the GDS instead of leaving the information up.
Sounds exactly like Air Canada to me.
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Old Mar 17, 20, 6:01 am
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Yesterday I had to change the flight date for a flight this week due to Corona being not able to use it at this time. Was a cheap, non-flexible T fare. Did it online without any problem. No fees, just 1€ extra.

For me the website did not have an issue.
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Old Mar 17, 20, 10:48 am
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The issue mentioned by the OP is not that uncommon and it does happen with/to other airlines as well.
Basically, the cheapest fare that appears available isn't actually available, but it hasn't been completely wiped system-wide. This could even have to do with your browser, cookies/cache etc. Try incognito mode to see if it makes a difference.
Rule of thumb here is: If 2 .... 3... or 4 (I mean just a few) OTAs show the cheap price and then everyone else is up by 20 Euros or so that's a clear sign that the lowest fare isn't available and some OTAs (occasionally even the airline's own website) hasn't picked it up!
They're not doing this on purpose. The system gets "asked" to confirm the fare right after you enter the passenger details, which is why it changes or crashes there on Aegean's website.
On a couple of similar occasions I was able to book the cheap fare via OTA and the ticket did get issued!
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Old Mar 17, 20, 12:28 pm
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I must be lucky because this has happened on multiple computers, multiple browsers, on the app, with cookies/cache cleared, logged in, booking as a guest, in private browsing mode, etc. I must be doing something really wrong for A3 fares to be displayed incorrectly just for me.

Back when I originally booked the tickets, A3's app, A3's website, OTAs, and ITA were still showing the lower fares a week later! It looks like the same thing is happening for my rebooked itinerary now - the lower fares are still showing up days later. If they can't update their systems after a few days, that's a problem.

Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
Also, if you call them and tell them that a specific ticket can't be purchased online, the 20 fee doesn't have to be paid.
Good to know!

Originally Posted by drdrh View Post
Yesterday I had to change the flight date for a flight this week due to Corona being not able to use it at this time. Was a cheap, non-flexible T fare. Did it online without any problem. No fees, just 1 extra.

For me the website did not have an issue.
Unfortunately, it doesn't work if you booked through an OTA and used an upgrade coupon... You have to call A3 for any changes.
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Old Mar 17, 20, 1:01 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
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I've never had this happen with A3 via their website. The only discrepancies I see is where the "From..." price in the calendar shows a higher fare while a cheaper one is actually available when you click on that day. Maybe I've just been lucky. The only time I've had a booking "error-out" is when there has been a problem authorising the payment card. Rather than saying it's a card problem you get some vague message about the seat no longer being available. Could it be that? Have you tried different cards? I think you're problem at the moment might be related to them chopping and changing schedules though. They must be making LOADS of changes and 1000's of people are re-booking flights every day. They must be moving seats wholesale between fare buckets, making equipment changes and even merging flights, which could mean capacity decreases. I wouldn't be surprised if this has caused some data inconsistencies and fixing them probably isn't their priority right now, at least for a few days. A3 has a few problems - flaky IT being one of them, but I really don't think they "fare bait".
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Old Mar 17, 20, 2:54 pm
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Knobbgb, I'd be more understanding if this was a recent issue, but my experiences date back months (perhaps even in 2018 or earlier but I can't recall). And, when I encounter the error, I can't even get to the payment page - it crashes after entering the passenger information and contact details. I wonder why it's not more widespread when I encounter the same problems on multiple computers in different locations and on the app.
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Old Mar 17, 20, 3:04 pm
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I have noticed several times that when the search results show prices, sometimes the tabs for previous and following days show prices that are different to the prices displayed when you click on them.

The best glitch though was a few years ago when I noticed that all Light and Flexible prices were switched around. I should have booked a dozen Flexible fares!
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Last edited by headingwest; Mar 17, 20 at 3:19 pm Reason: typo
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