Justfly.com website question

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Dec 26, 2016
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Is Justfly.com a reputable website? I just booked 2 airline tickets and everything was correct and went smoothly but, I would like piece of mind that it is not a scam of some sort.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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3,507
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Best bet would be for you to google reviews for the company. We do not endorse businesses on the forum.

For the future, we do suggest customers book directly with the airline or hotel. The main reason being, if a problem arises, you are not at the mercy of the third party business to sort out the problem. You can work directly with the airline or hotel. Many people use online travel agencies as a research tool only.

If you end up having a problem with your booking please come back to the forum to see if we can assist you further.
 
Dec 26, 2016
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Well, I did look into it and I am seeing good and bad reviews, so I was hoping this sight according to Mr. Elliott would clarify things for me.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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I think alot of these indirect booking sites have bookings that go smoothly and bookings that go awry. If you dont see multiple reviews that indicate the traveler was left stranded and/or were issues fake tickets, then you are probably okay.
 

kenish

Sep 1, 2015
1,067
1,816
113
KSNA
In for a penny, in for a pound. It's always good to research major purchases prior to clicking "Buy"....we have no way of knowing whether your individual experience will be excellent or terrible. I personally assume my probability will be no different than the collective mass of past customers.

If you purchased a "published fare" ticket from Justifly, you have 24 hours to cancel. Justifly will probably deduct a service fee (find out the fee *before* you tell them to cancel). If the ticket is an unpublished bulk fare there is probably a very steep fee that may exceed the price of the ticket.

What was the fare you paid, and what is the fare listed on the airline(s) website for the identical flights and travel dates?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,746
10,538
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San Francisco
We just can't recommend using any OTA for booking at all. Research? Now that's a good use for them. OTAs stake their claim on 'cheap' which is fine, but when there are problems, the traveller gets ping-ponged between the airline and the OTA. OTAs run a volume game, they take your order and sell you a ticket ... anything else you have to do yourself.
 
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Dec 26, 2016
4
0
1
52
In for a penny, in for a pound. It's always good to research major purchases prior to clicking "Buy"....we have no way of knowing whether your individual experience will be excellent or terrible. I personally assume my probability will be no different than the collective mass of past customers.

If you purchased a "published fare" ticket from Justifly, you have 24 hours to cancel. Justifly will probably deduct a service fee (find out the fee *before* you tell them to cancel). If the ticket is an unpublished bulk fare there is probably a very steep fee that may exceed the price of the ticket.

What was the fare you paid, and what is the fare listed on the airline(s) website for the identical flights and travel dates?
I paid $318.20 per fare and the listed price on the airlines was $428 per fare.
 
Dec 26, 2016
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After I purchased my 2 tickets form Justfly.com I received a few emails with one of them stating that I could pick my seats on the out going and return flight. I decided to call American Airlines directly and the customer service rep helped me pick my seats and saw all of my correct ticket information in their data base.
 
Nov 3, 2015
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Good! Fingers crossed the rest of the trip goes so easily! (I'm also not fond of OTAs because when you need something changed or fixed, you get into the "airline says it's OTA's responsibility/OTA says it's the airline responsibility" game of customer ping-pong. Still, it's hard to pass up that $100 difference in fares knowing that most of the time things go fine.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Hi Neil -- I have copied and pasted the text of the article from the New York Times, column called the Haggler, By DAVID SEGAL MAY 21, 2016 -- The reason I think this article is important is how evasive the company is as to even where it is based.


The Haggler could fill every other column with an airline nightmare story, and thus he must be choosy. Perhaps, dear reader, you are saying to yourself, “Heck, I’ve got an airline nightmare story. But I don’t know if it’s that bad. Is there a line between merely awful and Haggler-worthy?”

There sure is. And this tale crosses it.

Q. Last year, I bought two round-trip tickets to Kenya from JustFly, an online service that finds inexpensive flights. A few days before my 5-year-old daughter and I were about to fly out in December, I learned that our return tickets had inexplicably been canceled. I spent the next two weeks in Nairobi frantically trying to rebook our tickets, spending hour upon hour on expensive international calls trying to get help from JustFly.

Agents there said I needed to contact United, the airline we were flying on. United agents said I needed to contact JustFly.

Round I went, day after day, racking up nearly $400 in phone bills. Instead of enjoying what was intended as a vacation to see family and attend my brother’s wedding, I was in a state of panic.

Finally, I was forced to buy two new tickets, for a total of $2,000, a week later than our originally scheduled return. I lost a week’s worth of pay — I’m a nurse — and my daughter missed a week’s worth of school, which drew a rebuke from her superintendent.

After many calls, United sent me a check for $750, the cost of our original homebound tickets, and JustFly sent me a check for $1,100. That doesn’t quite add up to $2,000, of course, and I don’t expect I’ll be made whole for this ordeal, which was emotional as well as financial. But at minimum, I’d like people to know what happened.

Carol Kamau Macungie, Pa.

A. Some background about JustFly. It states on its very professional-looking site, in its “About Us” section, that it is “second to none when it comes to issuing low-cost tickets efficiently in a user-friendly environment.”

Many customers offer a different, less flattering, description. The Better Business Bureau in Canada, where JustFly is based, posted an alert about the company, citing a pattern of complaints that include “failure to provide promised assistance or support for products or services.” Worse, the company failed to respond to the B.B.B. to address these issues. And to add a hint of mystery, a news report about the B.B.B. alert, published in a Canadian newspaper last year, said that efforts to contact the owners of JustFly had been unsuccessful. It was even unclear where the company was based.

The Haggler loves the elusive ones, he really does. He started by calling the company’s 800 number and speaking to a woman who claimed she was at the company’s headquarters in Prince Edward Island. Unfortunately, she was unable to connect the Haggler to anyone other than an unnamed supervisor, who could return a call in “two to three hours.”

This offered a brief and unpleasant glimpse into Ms. Kamau’s experience (seriously, two hours?). The Haggler declined the offer and enlisted the assistance of an ace researcher at The New York Times, Kitty Bennett, who quickly found United States business registrations for JustFly in various states, all of which listed the company’s address as Rocky Hill, Conn. According to the filing in Massachusetts, the president, treasurer and director of the company is Douglas Helal. According to Ms. Bennett, there is only one Douglas Helal in the United States.

Efforts to reach Mr. Helal, with messages left on a JustFly phone number with a Connecticut area code, and his email address at WFSB, a Rocky Hill television news station where he is listed as a digital sales manager, yielded nothing. Well, not quite nothing. (The station has no connection to JustFly.) Someone identified as Peter Ford, part of “JustFly Customer Care,” wrote to the Haggler and asked if he could help. (He had evidently received the Haggler’s email from Mr. Helal.) The Haggler forwarded Ms. Kamau’s letter. Mr. Ford then wrote to Ms. Kamau, asking for more details.

Then things got interesting. On Monday, a man named Nick Hart called the Haggler. He said that he was the chief financial officer of a company called Momentum Ventures, based in Montreal, which owns JustFly. It turns out that while Mr. Helal is, indeed, the president of JustFly, he is an employee, hired primarily to give Momentum an agent in the United States.

Under the “Our Strategy” section of Momentum’s self-congratulatory website it says, “We tackle every business decision with enthusiasm and we live the work that we do.” This enthusiasm does not seem to extend to customer service.

Mr. Hart put up a spirited, even defiant defense of JustFly. This included a request that the Haggler cease “harassing” Mr. Helal, which seems an unfair description of what was merely an effort to get a comment from someone who the Haggler assumed ran the company. On a more conciliatory note, Mr. Hart said that JustFly needed to hire more phone representatives because it was more popular than originally expected.

“We’re trying to ramp up the number of agents,” he said.

That is a fine start. As for how Ms. Kamau ended up with a canceled return flight from Kenya, Mr. Ford, the JustFly customer service agent, said in an email that was not JustFly’s fault. So whose fault was it? Swiss International Air Lines, he wrote, which handled a portion of that return flight.

The airline investigated the issue for a couple of days and on Thursday wrote to say “You’ve got to be kidding.” Actually, a public relations representative was more diplomatic. She just stated that the culprit was a travel agency, which, citing privacy issues, she would not name.

The Haggler could spend the next three months untangling precisely what went wrong with Ms. Kamau’s return ticket. But that would make him sad. Suffice it to say, JustFly asked Ms. Kamau to send receipts detailing her expenses during her extra week in Kenya, which she did. This included a $1,400 bill for housing and food, though not her lost wages or phone bills.

For days, Mr. Ford said JustFly was mulling over whether to reimburse Ms. Kamau. For days, he deflected the Haggler’s nudges for a decision. He also declined to answer this still unresolved question: “Where is JustFly based?”

As of press time, Ms. Kamau had heard nothing from the company. The Haggler is left to assume that JustFly and Momentum believe that they live in a post-consequences corporate world, a realm where so many people jump on low fares and become new customers that an unflattering performance in this space doesn’t really matter.

An update next time. For now, bargain-hunting fliers, consider yourself warned.
 

kenish

Sep 1, 2015
1,067
1,816
113
KSNA
I paid $318.20 per fare and the listed price on the airlines was $428 per fare.
The tickets you have are almost certainly unpublished fare tickets that Justfly purchased in bulk, long ago. Justfly owns the ticket inventory (and any profit or loss), and you're Justfly's customer not AA's. That distinction won't matter unless something goes wrong with your flights or you need to make changes. At least the fare rules don't seem to be as restrictive as some unpublished fares, since you were able to make a seat request.

Do you have the fare code? A typical example is WH7LNR (W is the fare class which is different than the complete fare code). There's travel agents on here who can look up all the fare rules.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,746
10,538
113
San Francisco
Hi Neil -- I have copied and pasted the text of the article from the New York Times, column called the Haggler, By DAVID SEGAL MAY 21, 2016 -- The reason I think this article is important is how evasive the company is as to even where it is based.


The Haggler could fill every other column with an airline nightmare story, and thus he must be choosy. Perhaps, dear reader, you are saying to yourself, “Heck, I’ve got an airline nightmare story. But I don’t know if it’s that bad. Is there a line between merely awful and Haggler-worthy?”

There sure is. And this tale crosses it.

Q. Last year, I bought two round-trip tickets to Kenya from JustFly, an online service that finds inexpensive flights. A few days before my 5-year-old daughter and I were about to fly out in December, I learned that our return tickets had inexplicably been canceled. I spent the next two weeks in Nairobi frantically trying to rebook our tickets, spending hour upon hour on expensive international calls trying to get help from JustFly.

Agents there said I needed to contact United, the airline we were flying on. United agents said I needed to contact JustFly.

Round I went, day after day, racking up nearly $400 in phone bills. Instead of enjoying what was intended as a vacation to see family and attend my brother’s wedding, I was in a state of panic.

Finally, I was forced to buy two new tickets, for a total of $2,000, a week later than our originally scheduled return. I lost a week’s worth of pay — I’m a nurse — and my daughter missed a week’s worth of school, which drew a rebuke from her superintendent.

After many calls, United sent me a check for $750, the cost of our original homebound tickets, and JustFly sent me a check for $1,100. That doesn’t quite add up to $2,000, of course, and I don’t expect I’ll be made whole for this ordeal, which was emotional as well as financial. But at minimum, I’d like people to know what happened.

Carol Kamau Macungie, Pa.

A. Some background about JustFly. It states on its very professional-looking site, in its “About Us” section, that it is “second to none when it comes to issuing low-cost tickets efficiently in a user-friendly environment.”

Many customers offer a different, less flattering, description. The Better Business Bureau in Canada, where JustFly is based, posted an alert about the company, citing a pattern of complaints that include “failure to provide promised assistance or support for products or services.” Worse, the company failed to respond to the B.B.B. to address these issues. And to add a hint of mystery, a news report about the B.B.B. alert, published in a Canadian newspaper last year, said that efforts to contact the owners of JustFly had been unsuccessful. It was even unclear where the company was based.

The Haggler loves the elusive ones, he really does. He started by calling the company’s 800 number and speaking to a woman who claimed she was at the company’s headquarters in Prince Edward Island. Unfortunately, she was unable to connect the Haggler to anyone other than an unnamed supervisor, who could return a call in “two to three hours.”

This offered a brief and unpleasant glimpse into Ms. Kamau’s experience (seriously, two hours?). The Haggler declined the offer and enlisted the assistance of an ace researcher at The New York Times, Kitty Bennett, who quickly found United States business registrations for JustFly in various states, all of which listed the company’s address as Rocky Hill, Conn. According to the filing in Massachusetts, the president, treasurer and director of the company is Douglas Helal. According to Ms. Bennett, there is only one Douglas Helal in the United States.

Efforts to reach Mr. Helal, with messages left on a JustFly phone number with a Connecticut area code, and his email address at WFSB, a Rocky Hill television news station where he is listed as a digital sales manager, yielded nothing. Well, not quite nothing. (The station has no connection to JustFly.) Someone identified as Peter Ford, part of “JustFly Customer Care,” wrote to the Haggler and asked if he could help. (He had evidently received the Haggler’s email from Mr. Helal.) The Haggler forwarded Ms. Kamau’s letter. Mr. Ford then wrote to Ms. Kamau, asking for more details.

Then things got interesting. On Monday, a man named Nick Hart called the Haggler. He said that he was the chief financial officer of a company called Momentum Ventures, based in Montreal, which owns JustFly. It turns out that while Mr. Helal is, indeed, the president of JustFly, he is an employee, hired primarily to give Momentum an agent in the United States.

Under the “Our Strategy” section of Momentum’s self-congratulatory website it says, “We tackle every business decision with enthusiasm and we live the work that we do.” This enthusiasm does not seem to extend to customer service.

Mr. Hart put up a spirited, even defiant defense of JustFly. This included a request that the Haggler cease “harassing” Mr. Helal, which seems an unfair description of what was merely an effort to get a comment from someone who the Haggler assumed ran the company. On a more conciliatory note, Mr. Hart said that JustFly needed to hire more phone representatives because it was more popular than originally expected.

“We’re trying to ramp up the number of agents,” he said.

That is a fine start. As for how Ms. Kamau ended up with a canceled return flight from Kenya, Mr. Ford, the JustFly customer service agent, said in an email that was not JustFly’s fault. So whose fault was it? Swiss International Air Lines, he wrote, which handled a portion of that return flight.

The airline investigated the issue for a couple of days and on Thursday wrote to say “You’ve got to be kidding.” Actually, a public relations representative was more diplomatic. She just stated that the culprit was a travel agency, which, citing privacy issues, she would not name.

The Haggler could spend the next three months untangling precisely what went wrong with Ms. Kamau’s return ticket. But that would make him sad. Suffice it to say, JustFly asked Ms. Kamau to send receipts detailing her expenses during her extra week in Kenya, which she did. This included a $1,400 bill for housing and food, though not her lost wages or phone bills.

For days, Mr. Ford said JustFly was mulling over whether to reimburse Ms. Kamau. For days, he deflected the Haggler’s nudges for a decision. He also declined to answer this still unresolved question: “Where is JustFly based?”

As of press time, Ms. Kamau had heard nothing from the company. The Haggler is left to assume that JustFly and Momentum believe that they live in a post-consequences corporate world, a realm where so many people jump on low fares and become new customers that an unflattering performance in this space doesn’t really matter.

An update next time. For now, bargain-hunting fliers, consider yourself warned.
Christina, thanks for posting this article. I really hesitate to click on links to unknown websites, and I'm sure others feel the same way (or they should!). Therefore, I appreciate being able to read the story without worry. In this case, I have registered with NYT long ago, but I'm still reluctant to click on a link.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,746
10,538
113
San Francisco
Good! Fingers crossed the rest of the trip goes so easily! (I'm also not fond of OTAs because when you need something changed or fixed, you get into the "airline says it's OTA's responsibility/OTA says it's the airline responsibility" game of customer ping-pong. Still, it's hard to pass up that $100 difference in fares knowing that most of the time things go fine.
Call me a simpleton, but I think it's easy to pass up a $100 difference vs spending an extra week in Kenya, unplanned and unbudgeted.
 
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Nov 3, 2015
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I agree, but what's done is done. Statistics are in her favor, but yes, the thought of a possible $2K expense to get home would stop me now. I'm not so sure that my younger, poorer, more optomistic self would stop when a $100 savings was dangled in front of me. :rolleyes: