Cheap OAir Sucks!

tldr; Bought airline tickets on Cheap O’Air.  Wanted to pay for an extra bag (originally only paid for one bag), but Cheap O’Air said I had to talk to Spirit Airlines directly.  Spoke with Spirit Airlines and they said I couldn’t buy an additional bag for the flights.  In addition, had to pay even more money because Cheap O’Air had only charged me for part of the flight (1/2 way to final destination and 1/2 way back).  Months of conversations ensued.

To continue,  after reading this I realized the title should be more like, “Cheap OAir Sucks!  Spirit Airlines sucks, too!”  Perhaps Cheap OAir and Spirit Airlines Suck would have conveyed the same meaning to humans, but it wouldn’t be the same to Google.  Anyway, on with the story:

My wife wanted to visit Peru for Christmas, so I purchased a round-trip ticket for her in September 2018. At that time I also paid for one bag (luggage) to accompany her from Bradley airport to Lima airport and back.

Oct 6 – To surprise my wife for her birthday I called Cheap OAir to arrange for an additional bag as she was having great difficulty fitting everything into one bag. I was advised at that time, that I had to speak directly with the airline, and that they could not do so at Cheap OAir.

When I called Spirit Airlines, they said I could not purchase an additional bag. While speaking with the representative, I was informed that my wife’s baggage, that I paid for via the Cheap OAir site, was only booked for the first part of each flight (as the entire flight was considered two flights by the airline, and not a connecting flight). So, I had to pay an additional $100.00 so my wife’s luggage would make it to Peru and return with her to Hartford.

I immediately contacted Cheap OAir and asked:

  • What kind of service do you offer?
  • What kind of bungling mismanagement is going on there?
  • Why would I book a flight through your company and only want my wife’s luggage to go part of the way to her final destination?
  • What is wrong with you?

I ended the e-mail with: I will not be recommending your company, or be using your service ever again.

Oct 7 – Cheap OAir responded and said that I needed to send them the invoice (in pdf format) for the additional luggage fee that the airline required, so they could investigate it further.

Oct 8 – I contacted Spirit airlines to inform them that I needed an invoice, preferably in pdf format, for the required additional purchase.

Oct 8 – Received an automated response from Spirit airlines. No human involved.

Oct 10 – Must have contacted customer support directly as I received an e-mail expressing the hope that that contact was satisfactory, that I received Spirit’s signature service.

Oct 11 – Received another response from Spirit. I had submitted another request for an invoice. Taken from said e-mail:

I still require an invoice due to the debacle with Cheap OAir. I have asked for an invoice once before via your website, and the e-mail response was inadequate. I responded to the e-mail and have not received a response. I responded to the notification of the upcoming evaluation of the customer service, and have not received a response. I am asking here, once again, please send me an invoice for the purchase of the baggage accompanying my wife’s flight all the way to Peru and back to Hartford.

As a sidenote, I believe I should not have to ask for an invoice to begin with.

Oct 11 – Received automated responses, two of them. Wouldn’t it be delightful if human beings manned the customer service department?

Oct 11 – Evidently I complained via facebook, and someone human finally contacted me. I won’t go into the details, but suffice it to say, it was like getting blood from a stone (turnip) to get an invoice for the additional charges for my wife’s baggage. I mentioned in our correspondences that it should not be so difficult, in this day and age, to get a receipt, electronic or otherwise, for the purchase of services. Of course, they were extremely sympathetic even when they were doing nothing.

I finally ended the lengthy conversation by advising them I would be back should Cheap OAir not accept what they sent me, and could not “say that I will have anything positive to say about this experience or about your company.”

Oct 12 – Cheap OAir responded to my invoice submission (per their request) by trying to suggest that I might have been at fault. I’m sure by now, if you have any empathy for me in this situation, you could understand why I was livid.

Later in the day I received another e-mail requesting I wait while they investigate this situation further.

Oct 13 – Received an e-mail about how they were going to contact the airline themselves, and something about the “seat assignment team.” Not sure what that was about, but seemed typical for Cheap OAir.

Oct 14 – Received an e-mail from Spirit asking how my experience regarding:

I need an invoice for my baggage purchase.

INVOICE

Third request via form/e-mail. Two requests via phone (where they inform me that I have to request an invoice here).

Oct 15 – Spirit was still responding to me:

Thank you for getting back to us with this information. Xxxxxx’s out of the office right now, and your concern has been assigned to me.

Sorry that it took a while to get back to you. I see that you were already assisted by one of our Social Media Support Team members in regards to your baggage invoice request.

If there’s anything else I can help you out with, please feel free to let me know.

Oct 15 – Cheap OAir sent an e-mail asking me to verify if I was the one that made the changes directly with the airline.

Oct 16 – Cheap OAir was very sorry to hear of the problems I was experiencing, and that I would lose a lot of money if I continued with my flight cancellation. I guess I had pretty much had it by that point and had asked for a refund. Refund statement as follows:

We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you. We would like to inform you that, we have spoken to the airline regarding the cancellation and your refund. As per the airline, refund is not permitted. However, you can cancel the booking for the Future Credit of USD 582.47 valid for 60 days from the date of Cancellation.

Your travel has to be complete before 06th September, 2019. However, you have to use the future credit amount within 60 days from the date of cancellation. If passenger does not use his credit amount within 60 days then the airline automatically forfeit the entire credit amount.

Five hundred eighty-two dollars was a bit light, to say the least. The wife said, let’s grin and bare it. We’ll just remember never to use Cheap OAir or Spirit Airlines ever again.

Oct 17 – Spirit Airlines sent me an e-mail telling me I could still change my unfavorable review of the services I received.

Oct 22 – Wrote to advise that they were working with Spirit Airlines to get clarification with some details. I was advised that my case had been escalated.

Oct 24 – Received an e-mail from Cheap OAir: We would like to inform you that we already sent a refund request to the Airline for USD 100.00 and we are still waiting for the Airline response, as due to some technical error we are facing some system glitch while processing the refund back to your card. Hence, we are still coordinating with our refund department.

I guess it wasn’t my fault after all. Go figure.

Nov 14 – Received an e-mail from Cheap OAir stating that they could not return my money as I had closed the account that had been used to make the purchase. In that event they wanted to deposit the money directly in my bank account. Please give them all of my bank account info (via e-mail).

Nov 19 – I advised them that I did not feel comfortable giving out the information via e-mail, and would prefer a check (via snail mail).

Nov 20 – I was advised to call/contact Cheap OAir’s billing department directly, because a paper check is not guaranteed. Not sure what that’s supposed to mean, but okay.

Nov 26 – Notified that there were internal communications at Cheap OAir about using a check. Allow 24 – 48 hours.

Dec 1 – Wife went on flight to Peru. No answer about check.

Dec 5 – Another e-mail advising me that they are still checking whether they can send a check or not.

Dec 30 – I e-mailed Cheap OAir asking for an update as I had not hear anything from them in approximately a month.

Jan 4 2019 – Received an e-mail saying that I need to verify the billing address to receive a check.

Jan 7 – Cheap OAir contacted me and thanked for the information.

Jan 9 – Informed by Cheap OAir:

Due to circumstances beyond our control we may not be able to process your refund within the original time frame you were given. We are continuing to work diligently with the (Airline/Hotel/Car Company) to complete the refund. We will continue to update you on the status of your refund every 2 weeks until the process is complete.

The check finally arrived and was dated January 9, 2019.

And to be sure, I have all the original e-mails between Cheap OAir, Spirit Airlines, and myself. Should anyone wish to verify that I have not embellished this tale, I would be more than happy to provide proof.

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