I recently had an experience with Vayama (and antecedently Kayak) that, along with a search for Vayama, temporarily had me thinking they were scam artists. However, after I sent the following email of my experience to both Vayama and Kayak, David from Vayama completely resolved my issue.
The email that I sent to Vayama, which describes my experience, was:
I fly quite a bit and usually use Kayak to find a travel service through which to purchase my ticket. I recently purchased a ticket from Vayama via its partnership with Kayak (for which Kayak receives monetary compensation) on April 17th for $1488.65. In all previous cases, from services other than Vayama, when I purchased tickets online I quickly received an e-ticket. So when I received an email from Vayama stating the trip ID and flight numbers and times I thought I had booked my flights. Unfortunately that was not the case. Looking again at this email I see that it states, “…we will issue your ticket(s) and you will receive an “E-ticket Confirmation” email within one business day.” Furthermore I see that I received an email from Kayak stating, among other misleading statements, “Vayama will email your ticket number within one business day.”
This morning, April 21st – four days later – I received a call from a Vayama representative. He said that one of the airlines flying a leg of my itinerary, Swiss Air, raised the price of its leg, and that now the price of my trip is $1685.00. This has never happened to me before, so I am under the impression that Vayama negligently did not reserve my seat with the airline immediately after I submitted my information as other services do. Instead they attempted to purchase my ticket much later than is expected (or agreed upon) by the industry. Therefore the price that the airline had quoted them had expired.
Since prices for my flight itinerary in general have gone up over the past 4 days I cannot purchase an equivalent ticket for an equivalent fare. I feel blackmailed by Vayama. Due to Vayama’s negligence I am asking that you reimburse me for the difference of the flight prices, i.e. book my flight at the price you originally quoted me. Please let me know your response immediately so that I may take appropriate actions.
The next morning I received an email from Kayak and very soon thereafter from Vayama. The Vayama response was:
Dear Roel –
Your communication to KAYAK regarding your recent booking experience was forwarded to me by my contacts at KAYAK.
Let me first start with an apology for this less than satisfactory experience.
In reviewing your booking history I found that your booking request got stuck in our automation process which prevented our normal (and speedy) automated ticketing processes from completing the ticketing portion of your booking. It remained stuck for a number of days until someone noticed. By then the fare had been lost within the booked class of service.
Given that none of this was your fault, I have authorized the ticket to be issued to you at the original fare quoted ($1488.65) with Vayama absorbing the increased fare difference.
The ticket has now been issued and confirmation email sent to you.
If for any reason you no longer need this ticket, please respond to this email TODAY so I can void the transaction and have the fare charged to your account voided as well.
Again my apologies. This was an isolated and unfortunate issue.
I’d say that is a very legitimate response to my issue. I asked David whether he would have responded to my email if I hadn’t emailed Kayak. He stated that he had received my email and would have responded to it but that he responded to the Kayak email first since that was presumably the more urgent one.
This kind of thing may happen infrequently at Vayama but since it happened to me I am going to dock them one star out of five and rate them 4 stars at Trustpilot. At a minimum, Vayama appears to be a legitimate company that stands up to its word.
Here is a letter from Vayama that I received on April 26th.
First of all, please accept my most sincere apologies for this error having occured in your booking. I believe this issue has already been satisfactorily resolved with a full refund from Vayama, which was processed on April 22nd. The error that occured in your booking happens when availability is updated by the airline when you are actually in the booking process. We receive your payment, however the flights at the fare originally offered cannot be honoured by the airline, as there is no longer availability. We unfortunately have many bookings with this error, and need to manually process all of them as we aim to find flights for the same price. Our notification to you was not within a satisfactory time frame, this I do realise, once again please accept my most sincere apologies on behalf of my colleagues who deal with processing these errors.