ATl-PHL $331 on airtran.com, $131 on Expedia

 
Old Mar 3, 14, 10:13 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Programs: Avis Preferred Plus
Posts: 619
ATl-PHL $331 on airtran.com, $131 on Expedia

So I checked AirTran.com in the afternoon and there were a bunch of flights available for 131 on March 17, with the 13th to 16th all having ridiculous prices. So , I thought I had a few hours to finalize my exact flight. Lo and behold at 11pm, I check, and all the flights are 331 and higher for the day.

So I go to expedia.com, US Air has flights for 131 on the same day. Then I look at other flights for that price and they have MULTIPLE flights on AirTran available for the same 131 price on that day. Unfortunately, my first attempt somehow booked the US Air flight. So I immediately canceled and carefully reselected the AirTran flight and got it again for 131.

SO I ended up booking on Expedia my AirTran flight. I hav experienced the opposite in the past where AirTran.com would show a lower price (with limited seats available at the price) but then that limited inventory at that price would not be reflected on expedia or my corporate site Concur. THis is a first for me where such a huge price advantage goes to the 3rd party site.

Last edited by saneman; Mar 4, 14 at 12:20 am
saneman is offline  
Old Mar 3, 14, 11:34 pm
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Programs: Avis Preferred Plus
Posts: 619
So an hour after I booked that flight , expedia sent me an email that AirTran cancelled my reservation. Funny thing is, I can still see the same $131 price quote on not only expedia, but Travelocity too for FL 602 from ATL-PHL.

On Expedia, it says 4 seats left. On Travelocity, such a warning is not even there.

I am on the phone . The reps said they do not understand why it was canceled and they rebooked it again( nearly 2 hours after my initial booking). You would think 2 hours later, either expedia or Travelocity still showing seats on these flights at that price means AirTran should honor the price quoted 2 hours ago on those sites. Maybe these travel sites are seriously out of synch with airline sites?

UPDATE(an hour after this):
Now I get an email from them apologizing for the original cancellation and here goes:
We are contacting you regarding your recent purchase on Expedia.com. Due to a technical error at the time of purchase, there has been a delay in confirmation and ticketing. This notice is to let you know that your purchase on AirTran Airways has been confirmed and successfully ticketed. Please disregard any previous e-mail received that may have stated otherwise.

Please also be advised that due to this issue, your on-line itinerary may not appear as it normally has in the past. For this reason, your itinerary is being sent via direct e-mail. Your current itinerary is as follows:

FL 602 Y 17MAR 1 ATLPHL HK1 N 1123A 128P

Your ticket number is: <REDACTED FOR MY PRIVACY>

As airlines sometimes find it necessary to alter their flight times, it is recommended that you confirm your reservation directly with AirTran at 1-800-AIR-TRAN (1-800-247-8726) or 678-254-7999, 24-48 hours prior to departure to ensure you have the most up to date information.

Please accept our apologies for any confusion this situation may have caused. We appreciate your understanding and patience.

Thank you for choosing Expedia.com.

Last edited by saneman; Mar 4, 14 at 1:33 am
saneman is offline  
Old Mar 4, 14, 1:26 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Programs: Avis Preferred Plus
Posts: 619
Comedy of errors continues. I get an email cancelling my duplicate reservation. THen another email from expedia 99% similar to the prior one reinstating another cancelled ticket, except this time, it's the duplicate reservation . So now I have two ticekts confirmed again. Expedia sent me emails cancellin both at different times and reinstated both half hour after each cancellation.
So while I talk to expedia reps to get the second reinstated one canceled, I go to AirTran.com to check my bookings. Both come through. One is priced at $487 and the other at $331. So the reinstatement emails giving me ticket numbers are correct. The expedia reps investigated that and told me not to worry about the AirTran.com account pricing since my expedia confirmation shows only $131. I know where the 331 came from. I have no idea where the 487 came from as even AirTran's highest price on that route comes in lower than 487.



Whew!!!

Last edited by saneman; Mar 4, 14 at 1:43 am
saneman is offline  
Old Mar 4, 14, 8:45 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,207
I had a similar experience last year. I was looking at flights and Airtran.com and Southwest.com both had a very high price. I checked Expedia and Travelocity and both showed seats available on Other Airlines at much lower prices and seats on Airtran for that same lower price. I never could get the Airtran ticket to go through and eventually made other arrangements. Next time I'll call Expedia.

Looks like Southwest's legendary IT team has taken over at Airtran.
rsteinmetz70112 is offline  
Old Mar 4, 14, 8:54 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Programs: My opinions are my own and not that of my employer(s)
Posts: 1,412
Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
I had a similar experience last year. I was looking at flights and Airtran.com and Southwest.com both had a very high price. I checked Expedia and Travelocity and both showed seats available on Other Airlines at much lower prices and seats on Airtran for that same lower price. I never could get the Airtran ticket to go through and eventually made other arrangements. Next time I'll call Expedia.

Looks like Southwest's legendary IT team has taken over at Airtran.
Nope, I've been seen with this many times. Over the last four years. During IROPs prior to the merger they were very frequent.

Online TA's normally don't refresh their data real time. A person books the fare. TA seemingly holds it, sells it and goes to pay for it and BOUNCE... Airline rejects payment it as a stale fare. Result.. no hold PNR canceled.

Some Customers actually show up at the Ticket Counter and there's absolutely no recourse.

Moral of the story... If it's too good to be true.

Airtran.com was always real time.
traveller001 is offline  
Old Mar 4, 14, 10:06 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Multiple locations
Programs: AAdvantage ExPlat LT Gold, BA Silver, Aegean Star Gold
Posts: 2,808
Originally Posted by traveller001 View Post
Nope, I've been seen with this many times. Over the last four years. During IROPs prior to the merger they were very frequent.

Online TA's normally don't refresh their data real time. A person books the fare. TA seemingly holds it, sells it and goes to pay for it and BOUNCE... Airline rejects payment it as a stale fare. Result.. no hold PNR canceled.

Some Customers actually show up at the Ticket Counter and there's absolutely no recourse.

Moral of the story... If it's too good to be true.

Airtran.com was always real time.
if the passenger got a ticket number, DOT 399.88 applies and the airline HAS to honor the fare, if the passenger only got a PNR, it's debatable, in the case of the Delta glitch, they even honored passengers with OTA PNRs!!
jfkeze is online now  
Old Mar 5, 14, 8:46 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Programs: Avis Preferred Plus
Posts: 619
Yeah, in my case, eventually I got a ticket number as you can see from the email I posted. And I checked AirTran/com where the booking is credited to my account with a confirmation number and I was able to get a seat. Thanks to the fare bucket they put me in, I was able to choose a BC seat.

So how frequent are these travel sites supposed to synch up with the AirTran and other airlines real time inventory? The $131 fare was on multiple travel sites for hours after AirTran hiked up the fare.
saneman is offline  
Old Mar 5, 14, 9:07 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Programs: My opinions are my own and not that of my employer(s)
Posts: 1,412
Originally Posted by saneman View Post
So how frequent are these travel sites supposed to synch up with the AirTran and other airlines real time inventory? The $131 fare was on multiple travel sites for hours after AirTran hiked up the fare.
If one was to enable all online TA's to update real-time there would be 1) a crush on the reservation system 2) a whole new slew of OLTA's exploiting that before the legacy OLTA's figure it's available.
traveller001 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread