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fare change after selecting flight from search results page

fare change after selecting flight from search results page

Old Sep 1, 18, 12:55 am
  #1  
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fare change after selecting flight from search results page

I searched for a SWA flight and found one I liked for $224. So I selected the flight and clicked Continue.

Then I got a screen saying "Things move pretty fast in this biz, & fares have already changed. Don't give up though! If you'd like to move forward with the flights you selected at the new fares below, please click Accept & continue.", and the price suddenly increased by $55 to $279! (See screenshot below)

I started over and redid the search from scratch. Same thing. The search results showed $224, but when I clicked Continue, they jacked it up to $279. I felt this was a clear bait and switch.

I called the customer service. The rep said her system showed $224, and I was able to book it over the phone for the lower price. But I'm not happy about their online bait and switch. Many other people are probably getting screwed and paying extra $55 booking online.

Anyone else have an experience like this?

madbucky is offline  
Old Sep 1, 18, 3:05 am
  #2  
 
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Your experience is actually a common complaint. Southwest has never been known for particularly robust IT systems, and sometimes there is a disconnect between the fare database and what is displayed online. Also, fares do change frequently, and out-of-sync seat availability updates at a given fare level cause fares to be displayed that are actually no longer available. You were fortunate that the phone rep was able to see the lower fare and book it for you -- often when this happens that's not the case.

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Old Sep 1, 18, 10:22 am
  #3  
LBJ
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"Bait and Switch" implies intent. It's not clear there was any real intent here rather than buggy IT. Also, there was no "switch" involved. You are getting the exact same product at a higher price. The psychology of a bait and switch scam fails if you they don't offer the switch -- "Oh, sorry, we sold out of that sale item, but here's a better product that costs a little more". If they really wanted to charge you more, they could have just listed a higher price in the initial search. It's not like you came to WN's website as the result of a comparison price shopping on another site as WN doesn't distribute pricing to OTA's. All raising the price at checkout does is piss people off and cause them to go look at a competitor. Occam's razor.


Everyone understands how this is frustrating, but it's big leap to claim this is some sort of intentional "Bait and Switch" scam.

Last edited by LBJ; Sep 1, 18 at 10:31 am
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Old Sep 2, 18, 2:53 am
  #4  
 
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Sometimes it is possible to book the lower fare by calling in.
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Old Sep 2, 18, 4:29 am
  #5  
nsx
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
Sometimes it is possible to book the lower fare by calling in.
Correct. These discrepancies tend to happen around 10 PM Pacific Time. Sometimes it's even a fare decrease that hasn't worked its way through the system.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 2:50 pm
  #6  
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Same thing just happened to me, and it was around midnight Sunday. Tried logging out, different browsers, etc. but still got same error message. Fare rose from $101->$120 so of course I was pretty unhappy.

12 hours later the fare is now $125 so I'm even more stale. Guess I should have called but definitely not the way to win the sale.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 3:35 pm
  #7  
 
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Sometimes the problem is that someone else buys a ticket and the original fare bucket is now empty.
If you call in and the fare is not available that's what you'll be told.
Sometime the lower fare will still be available and the phone agent can book it, that's a glitch in their system.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 4:05 pm
  #8  
nsx
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
Guess I should have called but definitely not the way to win the sale.
Yes, you should always call. I have done this about 10 times over the years. If the phone agent can still see the glitch (which was always the case when I called) she will manually ticket the lower fare.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 4:18 pm
  #9  
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If it's an error, then it can be fixed. If it's simply that there were only a few of the lower fare bucket available and someone purchased while you were still looking, that is the nature of the business. Doesn't matter whether you miss the opportunity by 0.005 seconds or 5 days.

To put it in perspective, in 2018, WN carried 138.9 million passengers. At any time of day or night, there are a lot of people online.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 4:35 pm
  #10  
nsx
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It's some sort of dual database problem where the databases are not in sync.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
It's some sort of dual database problem where the databases are not in sync.
This.

With zero suggestion of any fix coming soon.
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