BAIT-AND-SWITCH

Are airlines pulling a bait-and-switch?


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Alina Novak’s complaint had a familiar ring to it. While she was searching for an inexpensive round-trip ticket from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on TripAdvisor.com, she stumbled upon a $177 airfare.
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Westgate promised, but did it deliver?


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Simmons/Shutterstock
Simmons/Shutterstock
Westgate promises Matt Solum “free” ski lessons, tickets and cruise vouchers as part of his timeshare purchase. But when it doesn’t deliver, should he get his money back?

Question: My wife, Gwen, and I bought a timeshare from Westgate last December. The location where we purchased was in Park City, Utah, but the week we ended up buying was in Arizona at another Westgate property. We had taken a free two-night stay with the agreement we would sit through a presentation at the end of the stay.

As you can imagine, it was a high pressure sales pitch and there were two people trying to get the sale. They offered us all sorts of incentives to get us to buy and they really seemed like quite a good deal.
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Is this a cruise club bait-and-switch?


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Azamara cruise. – Photo by Jonathan/Flickr Creative Commons
Even though having the words “cruise” and “club” in a single sentence are probably enough to make some of you scream “scam!” this one is may be different.
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No, this isn’t a Hotwire bait-and-switch (or is it?)


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Kim Gandy is an experienced traveler, and she’d like to think she wouldn’t fall for a scam. But when she tried to book a rental car through Hotwire recently, she thinks she may have been duped.
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The low airfare that vanishes in a click


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Now you see it. Now you don’t.

When you’re airfare shopping, attractive prices can vanish in a split second. Just ask Jim Doll, a systems engineer in Atlanta, who recently tried to buy a ticket to San Francisco on AirTran Airways’ Web site. He found a one-way fare for just $130, but by the time he’d toggled over to Orbitz.com to see if he could do better there and then clicked back, the price had changed.
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Hey Southwest, if this isn’t bait-and-switch then why does it feel that way?


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It just happened to me.

For years, I’ve patiently and dispassionately explained that when the price of your flight doubles while you’re making a reservation, it’s not bait-and-switch; it’s a function of the airline industry’s imponderable yield management software.

And yes, I’ve gotten the “I’m sorry, the fare is no longer available” message while I’ve tried to buy a flight online.

But never like this.
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Bait and switch insanity? Quoted $270 for a rental car, but charged $1,227


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cancun roadPhilip Getson thought he’d have to pay $270 for his Hertz rental in Cancun. He though wrong. His final bill came to a shocking $1,227.

What in the world could quadruple the cost of a car? Did Getson damage the vehicle? Did he order a Matchbox car and switch to an SUV?

Not exactly.
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