Vayama Help

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Jan 2, 2017
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This is a developing issue, so I'm still very early in the stages of working with these guys. I almost always book direct with the airline I'm flying, but this is a complex itinerary not available via one airline.

Anyways, new year schedule changes happened, and they pushed one of my flights from April 13 to April 12, even though the flight (VS106) still exists on the 13th. I called and talked to two different agents at Vayama - the first said that the airline wasn't allowing him to rebook me on the 13th and the second just said he'd contact their schedule change department and then hung up. Both said I should hear back in "24-48 hours", which to me sounds like code for "we're not going to take responsibility for this".

I tried calling Virgin Atlantic, but because the trip was booked with Vayama, they were unable to assist. Serves me right for booking with a third party!

I have zero faith that these guys are ever going to get back to me. Has anyone else had a similar experience with Vayama? If so, where you able to resolve it?
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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You are experiencing the very real downside to online travel agents! I am glad to hear that you normally book directly with the airlines. Using OTAs for research is fine but always deal directly with the airline or use a brick and mortar travel agent with a good reputation.

I am curious........are all your flights on Virgin Atlantic? If so, I would call them again using your sweetest voice ever, to see if they will work with you on the change. If you let them know that you have reached out to Vayama but they are brushing you off and will not offer any assistance, you may find an agent who will override the "we only work with the person or agent who booked the flights" rule. Maybe ask for a supervisor? I have not flown VA personally but hear they have great customer service so its worth a shot.

If that doesn't work then write to Vayama's execs explaining the situation. Write to them one at a time, waiting one week for a reply before moving to the next name on the list. It shouldn't take more than one email before someone gets this resolved. It isn't like you are asking for a refund! Their email addresses can be found at the top of this forum in the Company Contacts link.

Check back here later today or tomorrow to see if any others have different suggestions to rectify the problem. We have a lot of savvy travelers that may a better option.
 
Jan 2, 2017
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Thanks Patina! I will definitely try Virgin Atlantic again if I get ignored by Vayama, but I do plan on giving them a chance to respond (I'm just not terribly hopeful). I checked the list of Exec contacts and will use them if necessary!

The flight is SEA -> LHR -> JNB -> MUB (Maun, Botswana). It's split between VA and South African, but the leg that's affected is only the SEA -> LHR on VA. The rest of the itinerary that changed is kind of "meh" but I'll deal with it. I just want to get to Botswana!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
I can vouch for Virgin's excellent customer service, but I'm glad you're trying to work with Vayama. Before writing to them, I would check your flight on 4/13, to see if it still has seats. I suspect that Vayama issued you some kind of cheap tix and probably doesn't know how to correct the error ... they may not even know what happened. You already know that we are not fans of OTAs in any instance, so I'm glad you usually book directly. Even as much as I travel, if I were making your trip, I would have used a real travel agent. There are just too many variables unless you've made this trip several times before.

Since VS is your first leg, I'd be careful about asking Virgin directly to change your date back, for fear of starting even more problems with your itinerary. If you haven't flown Virgin before, you're in for a treat, they're my favorite airline for sure, I just love their whole vibe and especially their people.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,052
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
You need to contact Vayama and advise them that the policy will the airlines is if a schedule change like this occurs the airline must refund you if the schedule doesn't work and you would like to speak to a supervisor. What might have happened is that the plane type might have changed and the new aircraft has less seats than the original.

What I suggest is they you attempt to see if you can still book seats on the flight they canceled you out if. If you can
you know that the plane still has seats for you and you can mention that when you contact Vayama. If there are no seats left, then they changed aircraft type.

If they still refuse to help, here are our contacts for Vayama. Write immediately to Customer Service and tell them what you want - to be pit back on the original flight.

http://elliott.org/company-contacts/vayama/
 
Jul 27, 2016
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Vayama can have some very good deals (once got a flight for $1500 that would have been over $3k booked directly through the airline), but I've fortunately never had to use their customer service, which is, by all accounts, atrocious.
 
Jan 2, 2017
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Happy ending here! I badgered them a little via email after the phone calls a few days ago and when I checked my booking today it's back to the correct date. I double checked it on Virgin and it's correct there and let me select seats, which is pretty good confirmation that everything is ok.

I think the issue might have been that the seat I booked and paid for on Virgin wasn't available on the 13th, so they kept the seat assignment and changed the date. That's a really weird speculation, but who knows.
 
Jan 2, 2017
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That's certainly possible, but it's also possible using a physical travel agent or booking with the airline directly. Either way, I have insurance on the trip that should cover me if something goes wrong (or not, knowing how good insurance companies are about weaseling out of their obligations)
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,052
23,012
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
That's certainly possible, but it's also possible using a physical travel agent or booking with the airline directly. Either way, I have insurance on the trip that should cover me if something goes wrong (or not, knowing how good insurance companies are about weaseling out of their obligations)
A real travel agent would be responsible for their mistakes and booking directly with the airline - they'd be responsible as well. But when you book with discount online agencies, they work on volume, not customer service. They hand hold as little as possible - that is the give back when using an OTA. This shouldn't have happened at all - Vayama should have fixed it right away for you when you first called.

Thats when a good insurance policy can help, but they don't pay in every situation.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,753
10,550
113
San Francisco
Happy ending here! I badgered them a little via email after the phone calls a few days ago and when I checked my booking today it's back to the correct date. I double checked it on Virgin and it's correct there and let me select seats, which is pretty good confirmation that everything is ok.

I think the issue might have been that the seat I booked and paid for on Virgin wasn't available on the 13th, so they kept the seat assignment and changed the date. That's a really weird speculation, but who knows.
"I think the issue might have been that the seat I booked and paid for on Virgin wasn't available on the 13th, so they kept the seat assignment and changed the date."

This statement shows such a creative mind, reiflame! You should hang out and be an advocate on this forum, we can always use another good mind. So glad that you got the flight fixed. We just had another post from a guy who hadn't checked his flights since booking them months ago and got left at the airport. Pro-active travellers are the ones who stay out of trouble. Please consider joining us.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,753
10,550
113
San Francisco
Great news ... thanks so much for updating us, we build our little knowledge bases from good people like you.