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Do NOT use Vayama.com!

S G
Philadelphia...
4 posts
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Do NOT use Vayama.com!

I booked a roundtrip fare within India through Vayama. My flight was cancelled and no one had contacted to inform me and I was forced to buy a ticket onsite with another airline to make my trip. After several rounds of communication, Vayama conceded they erred and stated they would refund my money within 1-2 billing cycles.

Lo and behold, 2 cycles later I still have not received my refund. Every time I call customer service, I am no lower than 30 on their queue and when my turn does come up, no one answers and my call is disconnected. I emailed them three days ago and haven't heard a response (on their website they claim they will respond within 24 hrs).

This company is a sham. I am currently disputing the charge through my credit card company. If I am not refunded, I will expose them for their unfair and poor business practices.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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56,618 posts
15 reviews
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1. Re: Do NOT use Vayama.com!

'My flight was cancelled and no one had contacted to inform me .... Vayama conceded they erred ...'

Third pary booking agents do not cancel flights, airlines do. If your flight was cancelled then you should have been offered either a refund or an alternate booking *by the airline* rather than through a third party agent (who have no say in an airline's scheduling process).

Have you contacted the airline which cancelled the flight? if not, why not? Did you speak with anyone at that airline before you were 'forced to buy a ticket onsite with another airline'?

You may send a Personal Message to VayamaVoice, the customer service rep from the company who monitors this forum. He seems a sensible chap and may be able to help sort out the matter.

Once again, cancellations are a functionality of the airline. If you had received an email notification of the flight cancellation and did nothing about it until on or near the date of travel then the responsibility for dealing with the outcome lies squarely on your shoulders.

And no, I do not work for Vayama, have never booked with the company nor do I know anyone associated with it.

Garden Bay, Canada
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
9,837 posts
94 reviews
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2. Re: Do NOT use Vayama.com!

Have you searched on this forum and calmly contacted their customer service person directly?

I think not.

Search for Vayama and you will find their contact info.

Garden Bay, Canada
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
9,837 posts
94 reviews
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3. Re: Do NOT use Vayama.com!

TP has some good points. When your flight is cancelled, the airline is still obligated to get you to your destination. Vayama merely hooked you up with the ticket. Most airlines will automatically rebook you. That means that if you go off on your own and book another flight you are abandoning your original ticket. You will be a no-show for your rescheduled flight and your ticket won't be refunded.

Another little tip... if the flight was cancelled, it might have been cancelled minutes before you reached the airport. If the flight was discontinued, well, personal responsibility is still there for you to check your flight arrangements well before you travel and especially on the day of travel.

S G
Philadelphia...
4 posts
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4. Re: Do NOT use Vayama.com!

TP and GM,

The airline did rebook me on another flight, but several hours later in the evening. With that timing, I would have missed my grandmother's 90th birthday party (the sole reason I travelled to India in the first place). The airline said they informed someone at Vayama about the cancelled flight but that was never relayed to me.

Regardless of the details, Vayama customer service agreed to give me a full refund since I didn't end up flying on the rebooked flight, yet they have yet to process the refund. Just earlier today, I was on hold for 1hr 30min for customer service, only to get disconnected when my number finally came up. They also haven't responded to my emails. I did contact this person you have referred me to, now awaiting his/her reply

Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
6,077 posts
10 reviews
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5. Re: Do NOT use Vayama.com!

"Regardless of the details, Vayama customer service agreed to give me a full refund since I didn't end up flying on the rebooked flight, yet they have yet to process the refund."

It's not that easy. First of all, contrary to popular opinion, when you book through a 3rd party vendor, they do not hold on to the money. They simply act as a sales agent, collect the money and then funnel it to the airline.

In order to refund you, they must first get the money back from the airline. This is not to say, that a refund won't be forthcoming, but that all of this takes time. This is another reason to book directly with the airlines.

London, United...
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27,178 posts
29 reviews
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6. Re: Do NOT use Vayama.com!

I'm actually,surprised they agreed to give you a refund, I can only assume the airline is refunding them. Did you get it in writing from vayama they would give you a refund?

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
14,466 posts
16 reviews
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7. Re: Do NOT use Vayama.com!

Another example of why it's necessary for travelers to keep up on the status of their flights themselves.

S G
Philadelphia...
4 posts
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8. Re: Do NOT use Vayama.com!

Well regardless of what the usual process is or isn't, Vayama agreed to refund me my money and that's all I care about. And so far they haven't processed it as promised. I did reach out to the representative from Vayama you suggested and he responded promptly saying he would expedite the refund. So I shall await.

Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
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9. Re: Do NOT use Vayama.com!

My 1st and last booking with Vayama.com... Back in April of this year My wife and I booked a trip from the U.S. to South Africa via www.vayama.com. On 8/21/12 we received the 24 hour booking notice and found that sometime between our booked fare in April up until that point that we were given an extra "leg" on both sides of our trip. Initially we were only supposed to have 1 connection each way, but now we had 2 connections each way, which shortened our trip by almost a full day.

I called United and was told that flights were cancelled back in June and a notification was sent to our travel agent (Vayama), and that it was their responsibility to let us know so that we could make alternate plans if needed.

When I called Vayama (waited on hold over 30 minutes the first time), I was told there was nothing to be done, that United booked the change, and that was that. I told the rep that United said that it was there job to relay the change to us back in June, so that we could make adjustments if needed, and since they failed to do so that they needed to act now to fix what had happened. She turned the tables and told me that it was United's job to notify us of the change...not Vayama.

In turn I called United back and let them know what Vayama told me. The United rep said that if we had booked directly through their www.united.com website, that they would have called to notify us of the change back in June, and that they couldn't take "ownsership" of our tickets until we travelled the first leg of our journey.

I called Vayama once again with this info (only was on hold about 5 minutes this time), and the rep told me once again there was nothing she could do, but that she would call United for me to see if they could change to some different flights in order to get us into South Africa much closer to our original time.

I was surprised, but the Vayama rep did call me back, but told me United said nothing could be done. I requested to have the # that she called at united to make sure we were getting the same story. She said it was a "special" agent # and that she couldn't give it to me. I then asked if seh could do a 3 way call. She said Vayama.com doesn't have the capability to set up a 3 way call, and that if I couldn't do it from my residential landline telephone (the # she called me back at), that we wouldn't be able to do a 3 way call.

ALL IN ALL EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING AND DISAPPOINTING.

Bottom line, Vayama should have called back in June to let us know of the flight change/cancellation, so that we could have planned accordingly. However, they didn't, United locked in the "default" change, and we were stuck.

The only happy part of this ending is that once we got to the end of our 1st connection, we went right to the United desk at London Heathrow and worked out way to catch 2 earlier flights for the remaining legs of our trip, which ended up getting us into South Africa only 1 hour later than originally booked. downside, is that we missed time for a daytrip in London (as were were supposed to have a longer layover there), and the back side of our trip was cut short by about 5 hours.

MORAL of the story. If you have a chance to get a similar fare directly from an air carrier vs. using Vayama.com....ALWAYS book through the carrier.

Vayama is great at taking funds and booking a trip and getting their portion of a commission, but lacking in customer service to a degree that could severely throw off the trip of a lifetime. Caveat emptor!

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
10,857 posts
94 reviews
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10. Re: Do NOT use Vayama.com!

Travelswith3kids -You booked a trip last April for this August and you never looked at your itinerary on UA's webpage? Why not?

Even if you'd booked directly with the airlines, and are set up to receive itinerary changes, these often aren't received, and the airline isn't obligated to send them.

I really think the moral of this story is check your itineraries once in a while, and don't rely on anyone or any company to be responsible for your trip but you.

At least you made your trip, and thanks very much for using paragraphs.

Edited: 30 August 2012, 19:25