Flyer beware! Booking a flight can cost you a pretty penny, so most people want to pinch as much of them as possible. Travelers turn to sites claiming they have cheap tickets but it’s very important to do your research.
"It was more than frustrating. I was crying. I was very upset," said Jen Cleary from northeast Ohio. She just wanted to see her son and his family in Minnesota over the holidays. “I’m a paycheck-to-paycheck person,” she told us.
With that in mind and a recommendation from a co-worker, Cleary tried to book a cheap flight through JustFly.com. She said the original price was $272. "I put in my credit card and lo and behold it came up a hundred dollars more."
Cleary told us she called JustFly's customer service right away. "(The rep) said, 'Well, things change.'"
So, Cleary changed her mind and told the rep to cancel the flight. She said the rep told her that’ll be $75. She pointed out the 24-hour cancellation. "He said, 'No. It's $75."
JustFly.com is owned by Momentum Ventures. On its site, the company's values are stated as: "We are warriors. We are strategic. We get sh*t done.” Well, we found that’s not necessarily the case.
We uncovered a national Better Business Bureau warning issued in 2015 about JustFly.com. In that warning, the BBB said there were "differences in the quoted price," "being charged more for a cancellation fee," "mistakes being made by booking agents" and more.
Then in 2016, The BBB reissued that warning about JustFly.com. And we found other complaints from just last month.
JustFly's website states a 95% customer satisfaction rate and 4.5 stars. There are some sites on the internet that agree.
However, Cleary and those writing the negative reviews just want to make sure you are aware of what can happen. "I don't want this to happen to anyone else,” said Cleary. “These airline brokers need to be held accountable for this."
BBB offers the following advice when booking online travel:
- Buy flights directly from the airline or a local travel agency.
- Investigate carefully what payments you are responsible for, including taxes, hidden charges, etc. Make sure to read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions prior to booking travel.
- Be wary of suspiciously high savings claims that you aren't able to verify prior to making a purchase.
- Check the authenticity of flight booking websites before making any reservations for domestic and international travel.
- Ensure that any holiday or travel company unfamiliar to you is reputable by researching them online. Ensure that they are a member of a recognized travel authority that offers financial protection and a complaints service.
- Double check all details such as travel dates, itineraries, destinations and travelers before confirming payment, as you may be charged for amendments.
We reached out to JustFly's parent company. We heard nothing back. We tried to email the media contact person and our email came back to us as undeliverable.