I would like advice as to how to check out whether a flight company is safe to book with. I received a quote from a company l found on the web that l believe was called “Tripsntours”.
They quoted me over £600 cheaper than Flight Centre, who we have used in the past. But the email is from flyport.co.uk, which is a different name altogether.
Before I hand over large sums of money, I need to be sure it is legitimate. Sarah
Choosing an online travel agent (OTA) randomly from the internet can be the first step to an extremely expensive and stressful experience.
Some OTAs deliver good value and decent service. But some do not, and have some interesting business practices.
For example, you or I can easily find out what fare an airline is charging at a particular moment.
But some online agents choose not to offer “real-time” quotes. Instead, they show prices but only later confirm whether or not it is available — often offering something more expensive, and saying that the fare has increased since you started looking.
I know nothing about “Tripsntours”, but I have found out quite a lot about flyport.co.uk from its website.
It says: “If the requested fare no longer be available (sic), we will offer you the cheapest alternative.”
The firm says a “Booking Fee From £15-£25” is levied in addition to quoted prices, which is not supposed to happen.
It also says: “There are 0.5 per cent surcharge (sic) on Debit card payments”, even though travel enterprises are not allowed to apply such surcharges.
Flyport claims to have a “Lowset (sic) price guarantee”, but personally I wouldn’t be inclined to test it.
On a one-way Gatwick-Edinburgh trip on British Airways for which the airline was charging £39, Flyport quoted £58.
If you have had a good experience in the past with a reputable agency such as Flight Centre, then I suggest you stick with what you know.