Several weeks ago, I purchased a round trip flight from London to Tel Aviv on Brussels Air via Ebookers.com. Somewhere between then and my trip, my plans changed and I no longer would be able to use my outbound flight, however I still needed the return flight.
When I called Ebookers to make this change, I was told that in order to cancel one leg of my journey, I would have to cancel the entire thing, and there was no guarantee I would be able to rebook my flight coming home, as there would be some time before my seat was rereleased. Something else to keep in mind, is that I was flying from London to NY the same day and this flight was really the only affordable one at this point that would get me to London at a decent time for my next flight. I figured, at this point, that I would just eat the outbound ticket.
About a week before the flight, it was brought to my attention that I should make sure that I would not run into any problems by not showing up for my first flight. The women I spoke to on the phone (who sounded TERRIFIED of me right from the moment she said “hello”) told me that if I did not show up for the first flight, my return flight would be cancelled. In order to make sure this didn’t happen, I would have to pay a 120 pound fee to change my flight. Yes, I basically paid to cancel a flight. But I didn’t see any other option and just wanted my travel plans to be settled.
Within a half hour, I received my new confirmation which indicated that my outbound flight had been cancelled, and my bank account was charged the fee.
Fast forward to a few days before my trip, when I received an email reminding me that my flight was only a few days away. The email restated my itinerary and up in the very top corner, in font smaller than everything else, that I had one cancelled ticket. I assumed this was referring to the ticket that I had cancelled since the rest of the email looked like a reminder of my trip.
I’m sure you can all guess what happened. I arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv three hours before my trip and went to check in only to find that I had no reservation. This was at the tail end of a trip where everything that could have gone wrong did, and I just broke down in the ticketing office. Brussels Air had no recording of me ever having even booked a flight with them, despite the confirmation I had printed out, and I ended up having to buy another ticket to go home. Also, I should note that I got the last ticket on that flight.
Now, Brussels Air did not give me bad service at all. Actually, I want to commend them, because once this was sorted out, I actually had a really good experience with them. Also, the woman at the ticketing office heavily discounted my ticket home, which I really appreciated, even though it was probably just because she wanted the girl having a nervous breakdown out of her office.
Ebookers on the other hand, I received nothing but bad service from. First of all, they cancelled my flight with, really, no notification (since I don’t think a vague, ambiguous email which restates my itinerary notice at all) after charging me pretty heavily for amending my trip. Second, they close, but don’t state their hours anywhere. When I called from the ticketing office, I waited on hold as the first caller in the queue for 10 minutes before accepting that no one was there.
On my flight, I kept thinking how badly this could have been—what if I couldn’t afford to purchase another ticket? Because that definitely was not in my travel budget. Or, what if the flight had been full? As I mentioned above, I got the very last seat on the plane. In either situation I would have been stranded definitely have missed my flight from London-NY and that would have been a disaster.
I have not yet called this company, mostly because I need to pick up a phone card since they don’t have an international number and I am not wasting any more money on them. When I do call, though, it is with the intent of being refunded every single penny I gave them, especially the fee they charged me. Any suggestions to make sure I am 100% successful?
And, finally, do not use this company. I just looked up reviews (yeah… way too late) and saw nothing positive. So save yourself the headache and just go to Kayak or something.