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This is a very common question.

People use a search engine, find an attractive price, book, looks great.

Then things happen -- from a pandemic to a broken plane -- and then they have the textbook surprised Pikachu face when they learn they are hosed.

Can we somehow make a good Q-A about this?

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  • A tricky thing here is that most people do not want to know "the pitfalls of booking with a third-party site"; they want to know how to fix their situation once they've fallen into it.
    – mlc
    Dec 21, 2021 at 2:31

3 Answers 3

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It will be good to have a canonical question about ticket resellers and the pitfalls. It has happened to me, (although it turned out nothing worse than a delay in telling me what was going on,) so I can feel sympathy with people who get caught.

On the other hand, I can not come up with a good question, so if someone else can do it I will support that.

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Then things happen -- from a pandemic to a broken plane -- and then they have the textbook surprised Pikachu face when they learn they are hosed.

Technically not hosed, it's just a frustrating process.

Eg I had a trip with say random online agency ROA. I've emailed them to rebook. They're happy to help, but they have to contact the airline. They do so. We wait. Weeks go by. I ping ROA and they're like 'hey, we've contacted the airline'. So I contact the airline with the booking reference. Airline takes over a week to reply, then says 'oh that reference is with ROA. Contact them'.

Pain in the nether-regions.

I'll try to ask a q, see how it goes. Here it is.

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Then things happen -- from a pandemic to a broken plane -- and then they have the textbook surprised Pikachu face when they learn they are hosed.

Since this meta question was posted as a result of my question What recourse do I have if travel agent (Gotogate) claims airline can cancel my ticket, but airline asks me to call my agent, which charge a fee?, I'd remark that in my case the travel agent was very useful, as the airline wouldn't respond to my calls in less than 3 hours: it was therefore unfortunately worth paying the travel agent fee. (and the fee was smaller than the difference between the flight ticket price if bought directly from the airline and the flight ticket price when bought from the travel agent). This wasn't the first time that trying to reach an airline's customer support took me over 2h.

As a result, a good answer should look at both the upsides and downsides of going through a travel agent. I would add that the only people who get hosed are the ones who are not willing or knowledgeable about their rights.

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