I feel like I got robbed by someone!

TomC

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I have my first safari booked in late June/July (five people, my wife, two sons and a good friend with Kuche Safari in SA, I book my air tickets with Travel Express, their name came up in several articles, and they came highly recommended. The tickets were bought in September the earliest time possible as recommended by Travel Express (Lori Spears) Last week I saw South African Airway dropped their prices, I went on the website and the tickets were reduced by $741.00 a ticket, $3700.00 for my group. I called Travel express today and they told me there is nothing they can do, the tickets are non-refundable, I also called the airline and was told the same thing. I feel I got 0 customer service on both ends.
It wouldn't be a big deal if it was a few hundred dollars, but $3700.00
I'm really feeling I got screwed by someone.
Just Sayin!
Tom Clancy
 
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gizmo

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As fuel prices fluctuate so does the price of airline tickets. I booked mine for June in like September. Since then airline tickets have gone down and I too spent about 2k more than if I booked them today. Sometimes you win sometimes you loose. If you wait to long you might not get a flight. Maybe next time it be the other way around. At the end of the day you really didn't loose anything. Had fuel prices stayed the same or increased you'd have paid the same or more. Just the way it goes.
 

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I have used lori twice and could not be more happy with the service. I think it is rare what has happened to you with the drop in cost. Tickets for years have always gone up the later you book. With gas prices down maybe that drove cost down but thinking lori did you wrong is not what I see. No body gives money back on airline tickets that I ever heard of. It does suck but not sure it is nothing but bad luck.
 

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Airline tickets are priced just like gas at the pumps. You don't pay the price of today, you pay the projected price of tomorrow.
 

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I know how you feel, but I don't really think anyone is to blame. Travel agents don't know that this is going to happen, any more than a computer store knows that the machine they are selling you today will be replaced by a new model two weeks from now. And the Airline will do what it has to do to fill the seats. Make no mistake - if bookings had been strong, the airline would have been increasing the prices, not the other way around.

And in that case, you'd have gotten a deal.
 

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With all due respect, this is like saying that you got robbed because you bought a stock and it went down. If it was a good enough price for you last fall then it should be good enough now.

Sometimes you get a better deal than another. In my two trips to Africa I paid significantly different prices for the tickets, but that is just the way things go.
 

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Last week I saw South African Airway dropped their prices, I went on the website and the tickets were reduced by $741.00 a ticket, $3700.00 for my group. I called Travel express today and they told me there is nothing they can do, the tickets are non-refundable, I also called the airline and was told the same thing. I feel I got 0 customer service on both ends.
It wouldn't be a big deal if it was a few hundred dollars, but $3700.00
I'm really feeling I got screwed by someone.
Just Sayin!
Tom Clancy

Tom, sorry you feel that way but what would you be saying if prices had gone up? Would you be happily shelling out another $3700 or would you be celebrating the great deal you got?

You made your deal now live with it, it is how business works.
 

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With all due respect, this is like saying that you got robbed because you bought a stock and it went down. If it was a good enough price for you last fall then it should be good enough now.

Sometimes you get a better deal than another. In my two trips to Africa I paid significantly different prices for the tickets, but that is just the way things go.

Welcome to the world of international travel. I have had it break both ways over the years.
 

Rob404

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I agree 3700.00 is a little bit of money, the plus side of booking in advance is seating, booking late may make it difficult to find seating together.also on long flights the last thing you want is a seat next to the toilette or the Middle seats
I booked with Lori when I went to SA and booked as early as I could, I was able to pick the seats I wanted, plus Lori's service is first class Before,During and after and I'll use her again next trip
 

TomC

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I have used lori twice and could not be more happy with the service. I think it is rare what has happened to you with the drop in cost. Tickets for years have always gone up the later you book. With gas prices down maybe that drove cost down but thinking lori did you wrong is not what I see. No body gives money back on airline tickets that I ever heard of. It does suck but not sure it is nothing but bad luck.
 

TomC

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I'm not blaming Travel Express/Lori, they have been very helpful through the process. I know how the gas game is played, and I know business, I have been in business for myself for over thirty years, I'm saying $3700.00 is a lot of money, I could see if they went up/down a few hundred dollars but a third of the original cost is a little over the top. I have been in the customer service business for a long time and when I called SA air, they couldn't be bothered and said that's the way it is. No customer service at all.
 

billc

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Saying you feel like you got zero customer service on both ends seems to be saying your not happy with both parties. I was only pointing out I have used them and have been happy. Plus I had the opposite happen to me and saved 350 a ticket by booking early.. If you have been in business then you know nothing is normally done when this happens. Again sorry it happened and hope you have a great trip.
 

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I'm not blaming Travel Express/Lori, they have been very helpful through the process. I know how the gas game is played, and I know business, I have been in business for myself for over thirty years, I'm saying $3700.00 is a lot of money, I could see if they went up/down a few hundred dollars but a third of the original cost is a little over the top. I have been in the customer service business for a long time and when I called SA air, they couldn't be bothered and said that's the way it is. No customer service at all.

Tom - that is the way advanced travel booking works. Having someone emote over the phone doesn't change anything. I suspect you wouldn't be demanding to pay 3700 more had prices gone up.
 

Brent in Az

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Airline tickets are like the Stock Market, they fluctuate daily.

Unfortunately for passengers, Non-refundable tickets were designed to protect the profits of the airline. If someone was a no-show for a flight, and then demanded a refund, the airline would have those empty seats that are not making them any money.
 

Brent in Az

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I certainly understand your situation. $3700 is a considerable amount.
 

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I surely sympathize with Tom. I've never seen that big of a change in price but I have learned a bit about pricing. The sweet spot is 6 months out as far as price goes. Rarely is the very early booking cheap nor is the late booking because most flights are full these days. There are no deals anymore. On an international flight and especially an expensive safari getting the seat you want on that long flight and having peace of mind that your ticketing is done early is worth a lot. Fuel prices do not play as big a role as we thing they do but carbon taxes do.(dirty little secret)
I do have to say that these discussions have come up before on how a travel agent handles some of these issues. Today most all tickets are nonrefundable. The travel agent can not help you. Its not their fault. Finally here is the bottom line: when buying an airline ticket of any kind just assume you are getting screwed and be happy if anything goes right!
Regards,
Philip
 

Savage Hunter

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For many years I ran a foreign missions ministry along with being a pharmacist.
I set the price for our trips as "whatever the mission costs are + airline price".
People sign on and I get enough money from each team member to cover the airline fee because it's non-refundable.
I give the deadline and order that day.
Once, and I mean only once, I let someone mess me around for 2-3 days deciding for sure about going.
the price per ticket went up over $500 each for a team of 8 or 9. I said "never again".
After that , I set the day I will order tickets and purchase them. The person who didn't get their money in
would just pay according to what their ticket price was.

Once I got lucky and waited a couple of days and the price dropped a couple hundred per person.

flight prices fluctuate every day. up and down numerous times. Do an internet search and you can find the "sweet spots" for
how many days prior to particular prices that usually get the best prices.... also different days of the week you order can change the price considerably.

Did you catch a bad break? sure. Is it anyone's fault? absolutely not. Is there anything anyone (especially Lori) can do about it? no way.

Just go and enjoy your trip.
 

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Yep this is like selling stock options. A few years ago I sold some and made a five figure payday. A year late I sang the blues a little because had I waited it would have been a six figure payday. A good friend advised "Never look back On the day you sell if your happy with what you get ......stay that way and just move on". It was great advice from my friend. Be happy that you got tickets and that YOU are going to Africa sir with people you love. Have the time of your life a shoot some great trophies!
 

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Airlines are a interesting animal. As for fuel prices some airlines will purchase 6 months of fuel all at once, then if fuel prices go up they don't have to raise their prices, and if they go down the eat it. If they purchase fuel by the month then the cost of your ticket will change overnight depending on what price the fuel is bringing.

I just checked on the SSA web site and for my round trip tickets leaving May 12 and returning June 2 this year are so close to what they were last January when I was looking at them that I don't think that there is any difference. In your case the airline may be dropping some fairs because the plane isn't full and the departure date is coming up, but who knows.

On a side note I also used Lori's service and am quite happy with what she has done for me on my first safari trip. They even caught a flight change on my return trip and notified me about it where I could make a informed decision on what I wanted to do.
 

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I'm not blaming Travel Express/Lori, they have been very helpful through the process. I know how the gas game is played, and I know business, I have been in business for myself for over thirty years, I'm saying $3700.00 is a lot of money, I could see if they went up/down a few hundred dollars but a third of the original cost is a little over the top. I have been in the customer service business for a long time and when I called SA air, they couldn't be bothered and said that's the way it is. No customer service at all.

You called SAA for customer service... i could have saved you the call... they are absolutely useless.
We fly SAA often as for a while it was the only flight direct to jhb for us, we fly probably 5times a year. We put in a claim for damaged luggage, after about 6 months of trying to get the issue solved, they insisted we send the luggage back to jhb head office for inspection... yeah, that was the last we saw of the luggage. and of course as there is no luggage to inspect, they cannot process the claim! crafty little f***ers!
 

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