Is Vayama worth the risk?

Old Apr 5, 18, 7:58 am
  #31  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4
Vayama risk assessment

Is it possible for a company to improve their operations? Maybe. However the majority of above noted reviewers wouldn't think so. My recent experience with Vayama has been good although this was unexpected. My business class reservation from Bos to Tlv was priced at no more than 1/2 the others I found after a thorough investigation in Jan. '18. It was Bos-Zrh on Swiss and Zrh-Tlv on ElAl tagged as a Swiss flight. The return was on Lufthansa Tlv-Muc and Muc-Bos, with the latter a brand new A350. I did have some trouble with ElAl obtaining a seating assignment before the flight, although Vayama and Swiss assured me this was taken care of and it was. Both boarding passes were presented at Bos so I could relax. Sometimes you may have to gamble to get the payoff apparently.

Last edited by klaxkord; Apr 5, 18 at 8:01 am Reason: english
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Old Jul 12, 18, 9:43 pm
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 1
Avoid vayama

They are absolutely NOT worth the risk!
Horrible customer service and shady practices make for a risky choice to rely on them.

If you're interested:
1. The first leg of a 2-leg flight was changed, needing me to change the second leg. Both legs originally gotten through Vayama.
2. It's a telling sign that it's very hard to find even their pubic phone number. Go try to find it. Anywhere.
But finding it is worthless. _Every time_ I was on hold so long (over 45 minutes) that the call was disconnected.
3. I was desperate since this change in times would make me miss my second leg, get me in late, and blow the whole reason for my trip.
4. Desperate, I finally found another number to call: 855-396-8777
If you're dumb enough to use Vayama, then use that number.
Oh, and their customer service email isn't useful either--surprise! Instead use: [email protected]
(You'll notice that that isn't a "good" email: It's not much of a real company, you see.)
5. Even using that "secret" phone number and email, it took so long to try to fix things through them that I would have literally missed my flight if I kept trying.
6. Luckily, the airline I got a ticket for (Cathay Pacific) themselves helped me book a flight on a different (non-affiliate) airline to help me out.

Let me restate this:
Vayama was a HUGE problem and of NO help. I had to finally beg the airline to act as my booking agent for another airline!

tl;dr
Sure, if you never have anything ever go wrong with your flights, maybe consider Vayama. But THEY WILL SCREW YOU if anything goes wrong at all.
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Old Jan 16, 20, 12:32 pm
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 1
This has been one of the most frustrating travel experiences I have ever had, and I travel internationally several times a year.
I booked flights from DC to Patagonia in May 2019 for early 2020. The flights changed during that time and instead of telling me, I had to find out from the American Airlines site when I saw I no longer had a reservation! These flights fill up VERY quickly, thus the super early booking.
When I called to get it fixed, I was originally told that there were flights that were only a few minutes difference (and was given the times and flight numbers), and that it constituted a "minor change". When I later got an email asking me to confirm the changes, I had the first leg and the third leg of my flight, but not the second (a "minor" 6700(!) mile mistake!) The customer service rep on the phone could not understand why I was upset I no longer had a flight from Miami to Santiago, Chile...but DID have a flight leaving Santiago. I asked him to cancel and refund the flights in that case (obviously, since he said there was no flight to get me to Santiago) and he said that because I hit "Confirm" in the email, nothing could be done. Now, there is NO OTHER OPTION in the email, other than to hit confirm, and I called them immediately to verify that they removed a rather important leg of my flight. I have been told multiple times now that I will have an email response within 24 hours, but the only time I get a response is when I call to complain I haven't gotten a response.

TL;DR
6700 mile middle-leg portion of my flight is removed, "no flights" available even though I can see them online, but can't get a refund.
I will NEVER again use Vayama.
kerr22 is offline  
Old Jan 17, 20, 9:30 am
  #34  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denmark
Programs: TK Elite, HH G
Posts: 6,341
Why did you book with Vayama in the first place? I bet that if you had booked directly with AA this would have been solved in minutes.

Why did you hit "confirm" when you knew that the new itinerary was wrong/impossible?
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Old Aug 12, 20, 10:26 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 1
United cancelled our trip which was supposed to happen on June 25 2020.
I requested refund as our flight is cancelled.
Vayama agreed
Two months later (8/12/2020) I get email from Vayama saying that United refunded to them the whole tickets amount ($3,306.01), but they will keep $300 as cancellation fee ($100 per passenger).

I clarify that my flight was cancelled so it is not my fault that we did not travel.
Vayama never mentioned anywhere in their terms or emails they sent me that there is a cancellation fee that they add on top of the airline's fees.
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Old Aug 14, 20, 7:02 am
  #36  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NYC/Northern NJ
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I have a flight in EU cancelled by airline Mar 27th.
This is the latest email from Vayama 48 hrs ago (after numerous emails they are processing refund but it may take time) - they don't answer the phone and believe EU policy would've had them return the funds a while ago.
We would like to give you an update about your booking VUS-xxxxxxxx. Please accept our sincerest apologies that you have not yet received any clarity about the refund of your flight ticket. We understand that this period can be long and therefore frustrating. In this email we aim to explain the process and why, unfortunately, it is taking so long.

At the moment we have not received clear information from most airlines about their repayment terms. As a result, we are unable to provide you with a definitive timeline at this point.

Governments and sector organizations are increasing the pressure on airlines to repay faster. We are also in daily conversation with the airlines to get clarity for our customers. Fortunately, due to this pressure, more and more airlines are starting to repay. We therefore expect to be able to provide you with better information in the coming period.

We understand that you are waiting for the refund of your ticket. Although an increasing number of airlines are paying out, it may still take some time before you have your money returned to your account. There are two reasons for this; first, many airlines closed the automated repayment process shortly after the outbreak of the corona crisis. The repayment process many airlines are currently using now requires a lot of manual work. Secondly, it takes several weeks for the money to reach our account once the refund is processed by the airline, due to the complex payment and settlement system that is used within the travel world.

Once we receive the refund on our account, we will do everything we can to get it to you, our customer, as soon as possible. That is our priority. But the many refunds from the airlines involve a lot of work. These are large numbers that all have to be processed manually in our systems. We have employed extra staff to process the payments as quickly as possible.

We once again apologise that we are unable to provide you with more concrete information on the status of your individual refund at this moment, but we are working hard to find a suitable solution for you and appreciate your patience.

With kind regards,
Customer service
RooseveltL is offline  
Old Aug 19, 20, 11:51 am
  #37  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 1
Vayama = Unethical

Vayama abandoned us in Greece in the middle of our trip this year. They never even told us our flights were cancelled. I had to find out for myself. I tried to call and email them since January when I found out that my flight had been cancelled by the airline. My emails were replied to with a standard response saying that I don't have to do anything and they will fix us up a month before my flight, which was supposed to be in May. I sent several emails, as their phone didnt work, and got the same standard response. They never contacted me until I finally got back home after buying another ticket from another airline in June. They contacted me in August after I disputed their charge with my credit card. They said since there was a dispute they couldn't do anything until I dropped the dispute. I told them since they only contacted me three months after my scheduled return when I disputed them that they should give me a refund then i'll drop the dispute. I doubt i'll ever hear from them again.
This is an unethical business that everyone should stay awaty from!!!
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Old Aug 19, 20, 12:05 pm
  #38  
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Booking through opaque third-party vendors such as this has always been a risky proposition. Now, during the pandemic when there are routine cancellations, reroutings, and fewer options as well as fewer valid routings due to immigration restrictions, the risk is astronomically greater.

The cheapest air ticket may not be the least expensive journey.

Don't mistake various government rules and small claims court for the simple fact that you may be stuck somewhere and need to lay out the cash to get back home and then start the process of recovering what is owed.
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Old Sep 9, 20, 1:02 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: New York, NY
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I booked a business-class non-stop ticket one-way from AKL-LAX (non-stop) on Air Canada (codeshare, actually Air New Zealand) for a ridiculously good rate for this December. I chose to do so because it was thousands of dollars cheaper than the alternative, and of the OTAs showing the approximate price, at least Vayama was owned by Trip.com (read: not going belly up).

Unfortunately, I now find myself holding my breath. I cancelled my miles flight there, but Air New Zealand isn't cancelling the AKL-LAX flights at all despite an entry ban, so I'm going to have to get an Air Canada voucher at some point, or pony up the $400 cancellation fee to Vayama + Air Canada. Not sure which will be less painful. (Or if either will be possible.) My best hope is that Air Canada will let me turn it into a voucher directly without going through Vayama.

I also noticed that Vayama has stopped showing international tickets. What does that portend?
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Old Sep 9, 20, 7:50 pm
  #40  
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Isn't the first question whether you can reasonably use an AC voucher before it expires? If yes, there's no reason to pay a $400 fee to get money back, unless you desperately need funds immediately.

It can be wise to wait until closer to the flight date to see whether it will cancel, in which case a full refund should be much easier.
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Old Sep 10, 20, 7:59 am
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Isn't the first question whether you can reasonably use an AC voucher before it expires? If yes, there's no reason to pay a $400 fee to get money back, unless you desperately need funds immediately.
Right now AC won't issue me a voucher directly, and it's unclear from AC's website if Vayama can. Apparently they don't expire so that's definitely better than the fee.
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
It can be wise to wait until closer to the flight date to see whether it will cancel, in which case a full refund should be much easier.
That's my current strategy, looking at FlightAware shows me that NZ has been running at least one non-stop a day to LA in recent months, and AC hasn't been refunding COVID cancellations.
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Old Sep 14, 20, 7:09 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by hkcj View Post
Right now AC won't issue me a voucher directly, and it's unclear from AC's website if Vayama can. Apparently they don't expire so that's definitely better than the fee.

That's my current strategy, looking at FlightAware shows me that NZ has been running at least one non-stop a day to LA in recent months, and AC hasn't been refunding COVID cancellations.
Are you sure you're not seeing daily cargo flights that aren't open to passengers? Given NZ's COVID-19 travel restrictions, I wouldn't expect to see any traffic other than cargo and restricted special repatriation flights.
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Old Sep 14, 20, 7:59 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Are you sure you're not seeing daily cargo flights that aren't open to passengers? Given NZ's COVID-19 travel restrictions, I wouldn't expect to see any traffic other than cargo and restricted special repatriation flights.
It's possible they aren't letting passengers board, but looking at tomorrow, it seems like they're still selling tickets for the flight, and it's scheduled "on time." I assume (almost) nobody is on board.

FlightAware for today's flight
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