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  1. #1
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    Default Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    Has anyone out there used Vayama.com to book a flight? It's a site built specifically for international airfares, and they claim to offer more choices and lower fares on international flights than other booking sites. If you've used the site, does it live up to the claim?

    Check out Independent Traveler's review of the site (Traveler Tested: Vayama.com) and then share your own comments and experiences!
    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler
    www.independenttraveler.com


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    Hi,
    I haven't bought airfare on Vayama.com, but I've looked for air deals on this site plenty of times.

    I like their interactive map feature, although it doesn't help me find a bargain -- it's more for fun.

    I also like that their fares are typically listed in roundtrip prices, and that they will find you the lowest fare, even if it involves taking a different airport or transferring planes.

    I'll let you know what I really think when I actually buy a ticket from them someday!

    Has anyone out there bought a ticket on this site? How did it go?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    Do not use this service! This is not a proper internet ticketting website. It is nothing more than an old travel agency. If you are buying a ticket from them (e.g. through sidestep.com) presumably your entire reason for doing so is because you hate the way travel agents function. But this place is no different.

    I have been trying to change a flight all day. I have called three times separated by many hours because when we first spoke they said that their "booking agents" were busy and would email me a quote within an hour or two. I have discovered that, in fact, there is only one "booking agent" on staff -- at least once you hit the early evening. So essentially, all they have on staff are a number of people to answer the telephone all funnelling all ticketting information to the one certified travel agent they have on site.

    This is nothing more than a two-bit high street travel agency disguised as a modern travel business. Nothing could be further from the truth. Book with them and you get all the things you get with travel agents: delays, change fees, misinformation. As I say, do not use this service!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    When a review is done of a site, a fair evaluation should be given. I went to Vayama and did the same flight searches done in this article. When I did the search from Philadelphia to Barcelona, ONLY when I specified I wanted Continental flights, did the "Train" option appear. Even then it was identified as the carrier on that flight segment as you can see from this:
    CO9468DepartWed, Jun 11 03:58pPhiladelphia Rail Station, US (ZFV)ArriveWed, Jun 11 04:57pNewark Liberty International Apt, US (EWR)Flight Time00hr 59min | EconomyAircraft* Train *
    Leaving the carrier option empty, I was offered flights using British Airways, Delta, and Air France, all using air flight segments for the entire itinerary. So this Continental Airlines option could only be gotten using the carrier preference option.........which was clearly NOT stated in your review.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    Quote Originally Posted by MollyMae View Post
    When a review is done of a site, a fair evaluation should be given. I went to Vayama and did the same flight searches done in this article. When I did the search from Philadelphia to Barcelona, ONLY when I specified I wanted Continental flights, did the "Train" option appear. Even then it was identified as the carrier on that flight segment as you can see from this:
    CO9468DepartWed, Jun 11 03:58pPhiladelphia Rail Station, US (ZFV)ArriveWed, Jun 11 04:57pNewark Liberty International Apt, US (EWR)Flight Time00hr 59min | EconomyAircraft* Train *
    Leaving the carrier option empty, I was offered flights using British Airways, Delta, and Air France, all using air flight segments for the entire itinerary. So this Continental Airlines option could only be gotten using the carrier preference option.........which was clearly NOT stated in your review.
    Hi MollieMae,

    Thank you for your feedback. I did the research for our Vayama review back in January and February, and at no point during my flight searches did I specify a carrier. I got the Continental/Amtrak itinerary when I left the carrier option empty. It's certainly possible that itinerary offerings have changed, that you tried different dates than I did when I was testing for the story, or that Vayama has tweaked the way its search results are determined.

    Also, when I was doing my research, I did not get the following information that you mention: "EconomyAircraft* Train *" As I stated in our story, Vayama listed the aircraft as "Unknown aircraft," not "train." Again, this is something that Vayama may have changed in the month or two since our research was done.

    I will take another look at the Vayama site and add an editor's note to our story as appropriate, if it appears that the site has made changes in the way it displays its fare results. However, our initial evaluation was fair based on the research done at the time.

    Again, I appreciate your feedback.
    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler
    www.independenttraveler.com


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    Sarah,

    Don't take it personally. The online world is constantly changing.

    dh

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    I booked two separate international tickets with vayama recently, and overall was very happy. I kept "trolling" every website imaginable to find better fares for weeks, and vayama would consistently give me better prices and more options. When I finally booked, I saved almost $300 on a ticket with Iberia (Spanish airline) found only on vayama - not even the Iberia website itself had these tickets, or anything anywhere close to the price I got. Now, an additional boon was vayama's customer service. I had to call them twice to clarify something regarding my credit card, and the wait time was under one minute both times, and I also got e-mail clarification regarding the question I had. These days this kind of customer service goes a long way.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    I used Vayama.com to travel to Japan last year and got the best price from them on United. The service was good and I have no complaint.

    jachot

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    This was my first time using Vayama and so I was skeptical when I asked for a full refund. Technical problems with Vayama froze their system while processing my on-line payment. The next day I used the phone instead and booked another flight. Unbeknownst to me, or the agent on the other end, my payment the day before had gone through causing a double booking. It took me two weeks to notice the mistake after checking my emails more throughly. I wanted a full refund and made my case to an agent without much success until I talked with Beth, a Vayama supervisor. She listened to my views respectfully but also pointed out that a confirmation email (which I overlooked) was sent out immediately for the first booking. Despite this, she agreed with my premise that the agent, aware of the tech problems the day before, should of checked for a double booking. Still, Beth had to take my case to her supervisor which resulted in a happy ending. A check was written out for the total amount. While the entire process took two weeks, a bit longer than Beth said it would, I am happy that Vayama did the right thing. I will use them in the future not only because of their integrity but also for the fact they provided me with a fare price and schedule that others could not.

  10. #10
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    Wink Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    Hi Everyone

    I used Vayama.com to buy my ticket to Japan on United. I left from Birmingham AL.-Ohara-Tokyo-Okinawa. This was in Sept. of 07. My ticket round trip in Bulkhead coach was 1,200.00 round trip. When I checked several times to saa if the price had gone up or down it was up. You have to count in the fact that I bought my ticket 3 months in advance which would effect the cost. The price of the same ticket went up to 1,800.00 that was the highest I found.

    I really did not have a problem but then again I did not have any reason to contact them again before I left.

    jachot

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    DO NOT USE VAYAMA!

    If you want more details....below.
    I believe you should judge a company not by what happens when things go well but how they deal with problems.

    I recently booked a flight SFO-IST...their fares were competitive and I booked a fare $150 less than the other travel engines I had used before. My confirmation took 3 days to receive a little long but fine.

    On my travel day, my flight was cancelled and I was re-routed through an extra city.....probably would have been a little painful but I could have dealt with it......HAD I KNOWN! The airline had contacted Vayama since they had not provided adequate contact information for me but Vayama had not contacted me (Expedia/Orbitz have a very good notification system in place...at least over email).

    When I contacted the rep, she stated they were notified of the cancellation/change 18hrs before departure time and that my notification was in the line-up......they just had so many, it was taking time to get to mine. I asked her to clarify and she stated that I would be receiving my alert later that day (about 6 hours after my original departure time/10hrs after my new departure time!). She was not surprised in the least.

    I would recommend using a different carrier. Perhaps Vayama needs time to grow into their service...but I certainly won't be using them anytime soon.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    I used Vayama for my last plane ticket to Bangkok, and had no problems. Plus I saved over $100 vs the next lowest price I could find. I would not hesitate to use Vayama again.

    For people who have had problems changing tickets and such, I would recommend NOT using a discount broker. Clearly if you are looking for the lowest price you are not going to get red carpet treatment.

  13. #13
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    Angry Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    Quote Originally Posted by SarahS View Post
    Has anyone out there used Vayama.com to book a flight? It's a site built specifically for international airfares, and they claim to offer more choices and lower fares on international flights than other booking sites. If you've used the site, does it live up to the claim?

    Check out Independent Traveler's review of the site (Traveler Tested: Vayama.com) and then share your own comments and experiences!
    The REAL test of Vayama is when you have trouble with a reservation. The individual people were all universally polite but of NO HELP. I got STUCK with a reservation (good for a year to a place I'll never go to again) because of their inability or unwillingness to give an accounting of what airlines I'd purchased tickets through. The response (after waiting for HOURS on hold on several days each) was that they would check with someone else. No help. Inadequate responses. These people should be shut down! Don't risk doing business with them.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    DO NOT EVER USE VAYAMA. HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE, MISLEADING CLAIMS!!! I have NEVER in my life felt more defrauded. I purchased three tickets for a trip to a European country for my sister's wedding. Unfortunately 3 weeks before the trip, which I was really looking forward to, I was rushed to the E.R. for an emergency laparotomy. I was in the hospital for almost a week and then informed that for the next six weeks I was requried to be on bed rest. So, I now have HUGE hospital expenses, am losing income from being off of work, have lost an internal organ, am in pain and have a long six week recovery ahead of me and on top of allof that have to miss my sister's wedding. Could things possibly be made worse for me? At least, I reassured myself I had the foresight to purchase trip cancellation insurance through Vayama. What a relief. WRONG! Apparently, EVERYONE SHOULD BE TOLD THIS UPFRONT, trip cancellation insurance is an oxymoron. If your ticket is non-refundable, even though you purchased this insurance, you can not get your money back. I figured yeah, but most airlines charge you a $100 trip rescheduling fee, right? NOT VAYAMA.

    Here are the listing of fees that they quoted me per ticket:

    Additional Airfare/person = $516.00

    Airline Change Penalty/person = $175.00

    Vayama Service Fee/person = $100.00

    Also, I can't get the dates that I needed for the rescheduled trip. So, in essence I'm totally screwed and am out THOUSANDS of dollars. Hello bankruptcy, good bye vacation. THANK YOU VAYAMA for being the WORST online travel agency on the FACE OF THE EARTH.

    DO NOT BUY FROM THESE PEOPLE!!!! THEY DESERVE TO BE SUED for at a minimum misleading consumers and in my opinion total fraud!!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    Finding really cheap airline tickets online
    Looking for a really good deal on flights? Here are some of the best strategies used to find really cheap airline tickets online.
    1) Really Cheap Airline Tickets: Last minute flights
    Often you’ll find really cheap airline tickets posted at the last minute. Airline hate having open seats and they will often announce a really cheap airline ticket deal hours or somethings a few days before take-off.
    2) Really Cheap Airline Tickets: Be Flexible
    When you’re looking for really cheap airline tickets the best way to begin your search is but setting yourself a target price. Once you’ve found a really cheap airline ticket, you should work your travel dates around to accommodate the airline ticket special.

  16. #16
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    Default EXCELLENT EXPERIENCE with VAYAMA

    I beg to DISAGREE to ALL those who posted negative reviews about Vayama.com.
    I think , as long as you are sure about your travel plans and you will NOT change your reservations, you should be fine.

    I saved several hundreds of dollars booking through this website.

    My family and I purchased our roundtrip fare from US to Italy few months back for a November 2008 flight. We had NO hassles at all. All the airlines confirmed our bookings as early as the third day after we purchased the tickets. We even chose our own seats .

    Our travel went so smooth that we plan to book again through this website for our next family trip to France.

    We paid a very good price, that initially my son was telling me , it was too good to be true. But I have proven him wrong.

    Thank you so much Vayama .

  17. #17
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    Dec 2008
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    Quote Originally Posted by SarahS View Post
    Has anyone out there used Vayama.com to book a flight? It's a site built specifically for international airfares, and they claim to offer more choices and lower fares on international flights than other booking sites. If you've used the site, does it live up to the claim?

    Check out Independent Traveler's review of the site (Traveler Tested: Vayama.com) and then share your own comments and experiences!
    I had reservation on the 21st of December of 2008 through Vayama on British Airways which i had to cancel because of illness, i went to the emergency room on the 19 and saw my doctor every day that week waiting for test results, i called Vayama and asked to change the date of my trip which they gave me two dates to chose from and i did chose the 11th of January's also asked to send Doctors certificate to Vayama so they will not charge me penalty which i did two times by fax and email.
    i just got a phone call saying that my ticket is no longer effective or in other words i have to buy new ticket!!!!!!!!
    please don't buy from this company they are ripoff and i can not believe whats happening to me!! Don't Buy from Vayama.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    I have used Vayama several times but after my most recent experience will never use them again. The fares are ok but if you want to change a flight then you can only do that by email, and they don't respond to the email for 48 hours. After waiting 48 hours for a response, I phoned them, waited on hold for 40 minutes, then was told told by the Vayama rep that they could not handle my change request over the phone, the best they could do was to request expedited handing of my request. I asked to speak to a supervisor but was told the supervisor was 'out to lunch'. This is at 11 am central time, Vayama time.

    About an hour later I got an emailed offer of one flight - 4000 dollars more than my original flight because all the cheap seats were gone. I wonder if my request had been processed when I submitted it if I would have got a better rate?

    Anyway, the delay is unacceptable and I would only use Vayama if you are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that you won't need to make any changes in your reservation. And who can be that certain?

    I think the basic problem is that they don't have the capacity in their office to handle the volume of business they are getting online, and that becomes a problem for any traveller that needs to interact with them after the online booking is complete.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    We at vayama value our customers and their feedback. While we rarely discuss a specific customer issue in a public forum, we do appreciate the opportunity to comment on the general topic, when warranted.

    Today, we would like to comment on vayama’s change process as addressed in jimbo64’s posting of January 28, 2009.

    Jimbo64 is correct that change requests for bookings made on the vayama Web site do require the request be made via our “online change request form” (www.vayama.com/exchange). After your request is submitted you will receive an immediate confirmation response that we’ve received your request and a customer service representative will make every effort to respond via email with options and costs (new fare plus all fees) within 48 hours.

    The reality is that most change requests we receive are responded to within 24-36 hours. In nearly all cases, the length of time to respond to the customer is dependent on the complexity of the itinerary and associated rules and fees.

    As a travel Website specializing in international travel, we offer our customers an extensive selection of airlines, flights, and fares, many never previously available online. Along with these increased options often come more complex fares rules, especially when multiple airlines are included in a single itinerary.

    An international round-trip with all flights on the same carrier and one set of change rules and fees takes far less time to research than a multiple airline international itinerary with differing and sometimes complex rules. At times, it may be necessary for our staff to contact an airline directly. In some cases, usually with smaller international carriers, that requires us to wait until their offices are open or until their staff responds to us. So, while we don’t like it and we know the customer certainly does not like it, in order to provide the correct information for a change request, there are a few rare occurrences where it has taken more than the promised 48 hours.

    If your need is extremely time sensitive you may also try contacting the airline directly to attempt to change your ticket. Please note that not all airlines will offer to assist you and this option may not be available if you purchased one of our specially negotiated fares.

    Here are some important rules and cost saving tips to remember when you are requesting a change. While most tickets do allow changes, some do not. Name changes, changes of airline, and rerouting are not permitted. You must make any changes to your itinerary prior to the departure of the first flight; the day of the week you travel can affect your fare (weekday vs weekend) as can the booking class available for the flight you want (the class of service you originally booked must be available on the new flight you request); you should make your change as far in advance as possible; and airline and agency fees agreed to at the time of your original booking as well as any increase in airline fare will be applied.

    Once again, we appreciate this opportunity to offer our feedback. Forums such as this provide us the chance to provide our view on general and specific issues as well as to, at times, be made aware of areas where we may improve either our message or processes. We will continue to review comments on the Independent Traveler Forum and provide feedback when appropriate.

    Sincerely,
    The vayama team

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    yea i had an excellent time in vayama
    dont know what everyone is talking about

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    Please understand that Vayama is a CONSOLIDATOR, they get great deals by filling extra seats on international flights. There is one simple rule with consolidators, DON'T CHANGE YOUR PLANS, or you will pay big $$. Other than that simple rule, Vayama is a reputable place to buy tickets, I just traveled with them to Cambodia and got a seat on a great airline (Asiana) at an amazing last minute price ($700 something round trip). They answered the phone promptly when I had a question and the trip went well. I would use them again.

    Those who complain here don't understand the nature of Consolidator fares. Don't change your plans. Know what you are doing before booking one of these fares. The rules are the rules, if you don't want to play by Vayama's (or other agency) rules, don't book the flight. I use consolidators all the time and have never had a problem, always gotten very good airlines and been able to travel as few as 5 days before my trip.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    UGH I just had an absolutely wretched experience with Vayama DO NOT USE THEM!!!!! They did not secure the fare I thought I paid for and called me the next day to tell me my flight cost $300 more. I found the same flight on the airline's actual website and booked with them because they had an easier interface. BIG MISTAKE. While the airline had my reservation it seemed the website failed to deliver the promised fair. I spoke with customer service rep Sean and his manager and they said they could refund my flight and the $12 service fee (Big deal when you just found out your flight now cost $300 more than you thought). Absolutely WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND!!!!!

  23. #23
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    Angry Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    I too, in the past week have had a "run-in" with Vayama. Just a bit of advice, use someone else. It is impossible to change dates of travel without spending a million dollars. Then, when you do call and finally talk to someone, it is so hard to communicate because their reps are all in India. Although they do speak english, it is very broken and with a strong accent. Very difficult! I have traveled quite a bit and I can tell you that Vayama is not the answer for inexpensive, international travel. I got a much better rate from the actual airline website after I was finally able to cancel my flights from Vayama (had to pay big fees to do that). Also, while I was trying to negotiate new fares with Vayama, their website went down for 2 days. They said it was due to an upgrade to their system. I had to wait to to do anything until they finished with their upgrade. Really, in this age of technology, should an upgrade cause an entire travel websites system to shut down for 2 days. Thank God I had a couple of months until my departure. Just think if I had been traveling in the next couple of days. Shame Vayama!! Never again!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    I have four words for you. DO NOT USE VAYAMA! It looks like they got cheaper tickets than other sites.Don't fool by that.They found a way to screw you later.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Traveler Reviews: Vayama.com

    I think booking tickets with the third party is not a good choice . Instead you can directly book tickets from the official sites of the airlines if they are providing the services of online booking .

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