Trip.com Bait and Switch Warning

Old Sep 30, 18, 9:50 am
  #1  
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Unhappy Trip.com Bait and Switch Warning

Hey there.

I would like to share my experience with Trip.com as a warning for other travelers. For an upcoming trip to China I made several domestic flight purchases and 2 (so far train ticket) purchases through Trip.com via Skyscanner. I have had 3 flights (so far) with an email stating that "The airline has informed us that there have been changes made to your flight" ie much later at night and very inconvenient.

I decided to look on skyscanner and the flights are still there for my flight and I can purchase them right now.

Trip.com's email states I can choose to cancel (fee) or accept the change. I can re purchase my original flight at (much higher price) again.

This is 3 flights in two days!. I have a feeling they will continue to change all my flights until I am flying redeye flights in the middle of the night with expensive taxi rides to the airports.

I also purchased prime bullet train tickets the day they were made available. I now have no doubt that they will soon put me on a less desirable train in the near future.

I responded to one of the requested changes they emailed me demanding that they keep me on the flights that I purchased and paid for in good faith at the advertised rate I paid at the time.

Stay away from making purchases through Trip.com.

I will update you all on what happens moving forward.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 10:14 am
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No sympathy from me. Use a third party site to book anything and you have to deal with a third party site if you have a problem. Learn a lesson, always book direct with the product supplier.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 10:38 am
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Alright dulciusexasperis How would you go about booking with Shanghai Airlines?
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Old Sep 30, 18, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by HomersfriendCarl View Post
Alright dulciusexasperis How would you go about booking with Shanghai Airlines?
They're owned by China Eastern and at least some Shanghai Airlines flights can be booked as codeshares through MU's own website.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 11:21 am
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Thanks txflyer77 Now I know who to go after and complain to.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by HomersfriendCarl View Post
Thanks txflyer77 Now I know who to go after and complain to.
Your argument is with trip.com as they are the ticketing agent. MU won't touch your ticket if you call them.

If trip.com won't give you what you want, file a chargeback.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 11:53 am
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At least I can let them know. (but they probably already know) of their dodgy business practices.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 5:10 pm
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This is also buying in China right folks.

Ever buy something off Ebay from China? It's quite often smaller than you thought, wrong color, shoddy work, fake, whatever. I like China just fine, been there twice, I just have no illusions that anything I do or buy in China will go EXACTLY as planned. Walk into a mall where they say everything is real, then immediately spot a "Bose Soundlike Mini". Makes the whole store's credibility zero. I've been tempted to buy on Ctrip but it's never been SO cheap that it was worth the inherit risk that comes with it.

This kinda stuff happens with expedia/orbitz etc too, just less often. My mom had 3 hotels "cancelled" on her from booking.com when booking a room months out, only to see the same listing still on the site hours later only at a 25% premium. Presumably the properties figured out an event she was trying to attend was in town and decided to up the rates. Booking.com offered virtually no protection. So it can happen on any site, as others have said, best policy is always book directly with the business, and if the OTA price is too good to pass up, just make sure you're prepared if something happens.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 7:31 pm
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This is very common on Expedia.

Their price matches your trip search, and there is ONE package available with the worst possible flight combination/s that no one in their right mind would possibly book.

All other available combinations which are your only options to search from, are for one less day than requested, but they are the same price, and with equivalent, or worse flights, at the same price.
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Old Sep 30, 18, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by dulciusexasperis View Post
No sympathy from me. Use a third party site to book anything and you have to deal with a third party site if you have a problem. Learn a lesson, always book direct with the product supplier.
I buy nearly 100% of my intra-China plane tickets through ctrip because they provide MUCH more protection than booking through airlines themselves. E.g. when things go south, they can often put you on a different airline within 5 minutes wheres when booking directly with MU, the only recourse is often to go back out to the departures lobby, and stand in several lines.

Train tickets are a different story; always try to buy in town so you have physical tickets when you head to the train station. Will call works okay for people with PRC (or MOR) IDs because they can use the machines, but those of us without have no choice but to go stand in line, which can be 2 minutes, but can also be 45 minutes.
@HomersfriendCarl: If you have a true confirmation of your original flights (as opposed to an email stated a request has been sent to the airline), you should absolutely stand your ground with ctrip.

Last edited by moondog; Sep 30, 18 at 7:50 pm
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Old Oct 1, 18, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by HomersfriendCarl View Post
Alright dulciusexasperis How would you go about booking with Shanghai Airlines?
Using the China Eastern Airlines site or by phone direct.
China Eastern Airline-Canada Official Site?Airline Tickets & Travel Deals

Contact Us | China Eastern Airlines
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Old Oct 1, 18, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by KDS777 View Post
This is very common on Expedia.

Their price matches your trip search, and there is ONE package available with the worst possible flight combination/s that no one in their right mind would possibly book.

All other available combinations which are your only options to search from, are for one less day than requested, but they are the same price, and with equivalent, or worse flights, at the same price.
Don''t forget the old 'only 3 rooms left' hotel scam. All that means is that the particular third party booking site you are looking at only has ACCESS to 3 rooms. It does NOT mean the hotel only has 3 rooms left.

Also, you may see a price for a specific hotel room but there is nothing to tell you that the hotel actually has lower priced rooms available, just not available on that third party site you are looking at. Recently, I wanted to book a hotel I have stayed at before, in Switzerland. On the third party sites only a suite was available. When I phoned the hotel they had THREE lower classes of rooms all available for my dates.

Third party sites are simply a 'parasite' (pun intended) that makes money on a transaction that could be done without a middle man being involved at all. When you add a third party, you add more room for problems and for being 'ping-ponged' between the third party and the product provider as to who is responsible for dealing with your problem. With only you and the provider involved, there is no room to do that. Common sense.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
I buy nearly 100% of my intra-China plane tickets through ctrip because they provide MUCH more protection than booking through airlines themselves. E.g. when things go south, they can often put you on a different airline within 5 minutes wheres when booking directly with MU, the only recourse is often to go back out to the departures lobby, and stand in several lines.

Train tickets are a different story; always try to buy in town so you have physical tickets when you head to the train station. Will call works okay for people with PRC (or MOR) IDs because they can use the machines, but those of us without have no choice but to go stand in line, which can be 2 minutes, but can also be 45 minutes.
@HomersfriendCarl: If you have a true confirmation of your original flights (as opposed to an email stated a request has been sent to the airline), you should absolutely stand your ground with ctrip.
I know trip.com is owned by ctrip but any experience with customer service from them? Same as ctrip?
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Old Oct 1, 18, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by txflyer77 View Post
I know trip.com is owned by ctrip but any experience with customer service from them? Same as ctrip?
It's the same company. I think they probably paid big money for new URL, and are intent upon rebranding around it.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by dulciusexasperis View Post

Third party sites are simply a 'parasite' (pun intended) that makes money on a transaction that could be done without a middle man being involved at all. When you add a third party, you add more room for problems and for being 'ping-ponged' between the third party and the product provider as to who is responsible for dealing with your problem. With only you and the provider involved, there is no room to do that. Common sense.
As I said uphread, I would MUCH rather outsource my issues to Ctrip than deal with airlines directly, and the same applies for most independent hotels. Travel businesses in China simply can't afford to piss off ctrip, while individual customers are expendable.
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