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British Airways and Vayama are crooks!

4 posts
British Airways and Vayama are crooks!

Here's the situation: I was caught up in the BA systems outage in May 2017 that left every BA passenger stranded that day. Because their system was completely down, they couldn't book me on another airline so I had to pay out of pocket US$1000 for a one way ticket from Germany back to the US. I was told I'd be reimbursed by BA. It's now coming up on 9 months and I haven't seen a dime!

The BA process for handling this is as follows: they issue a refund for the cancelled flight to the ticket vendor, then the vendor issues the passenger the refund, then BA refunds the out of pocket flight to the passenger. This is where Vayama comes in. They won't refund me! I've called customer service probably 10 times, maybe more. Each time, I am literally lied to. They try to make it seem like they're being helpful and promise to resolve the issue but, again, I've been calling for the last 9 months. I've been told that the refund is on its way and I'll see it in 45-60 days. 9 months = 270 days, Vayama! When I ask for an email confirmation stating that the refund has been issued, I'm told that they'll send it within 2 hours. Have I gotten a single email? Of course not or they would be liable to actually refund me. Sometimes I'll get a very "committed" person. They'll commiserate and say that they will personally resolve the issue and will contact me within 2 business days. Has anyone ever followed through? Nope. This company has no moral compass! I've never dealt with a company whose policy is to lie to their customers until they give up. Not happening with me, Vayama! Aside: I think Kayak uses the same customer service center so take that for whatever it's worth.

Here's the kicker. BA issued the refund to them October 23, 2017. As I type this, that's 119 days ago!

BA doesn't escape this without fault either. First, why the ridiculous refund process? The out of pocket should not be dependent on the cancelled flight refund. Makes no sense. Second, BA is intimately aware of the issues I'm having with Vayama but instead of doing something about it, they point the finger at Vayama. BA: your IT failure caused this whole mess in the first place! You can easily solve the out of pocket refund: just issue a check or direct deposit. Simple. A few clicks and I'll at least be whole. But, alas, that would actually be a sensible thing to do and apparently companies aren't very good at that.

So I'm obviously frustrated that I'm out $1000 on top of the original flight cost. This post was mostly to vent but anyone have ideas on how to get refunded?

Before anyone trolls me about using a third party aggregator, I've used many prior without any issues (first time with Vayama though). I also saved a decent amount of money with them. Of course, absolutely not worth it in hindsight. I'd advise anyone thinking of using an aggregator to highly consider direct from airline instead, especially if the price difference is negligible.

36 replies to this topic
Dublin, California
Level Contributor
24,746 posts
49 reviews
17 helpful votes
1. Re: British Airways and Vayama are crooks!

I'd advise anyone thinking of using an aggregator to highly consider direct from airline instead, especially if the price difference is negligible.

This same advice is given on this forum on a daily basis. Thanks for confirming this from your personal experience. Your ticket is purchased through a vendor. I don't think BA can bypass the vendor to deal directly with you.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
35,278 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
2. Re: British Airways and Vayama are crooks!

Your contract is with Vayama not BA

Liverpool, UK
Level Contributor
23,203 posts
36 reviews
24 helpful votes
3. Re: British Airways and Vayama are crooks!

BA in this instance have done nothing wrong - they have refunded the customer i.e. Vayama.

You've discovered one of the downsides to booking flights via a 3rd party.

Dubai, United Arab...
Level Contributor
11,514 posts
26 reviews
27 helpful votes
4. Re: British Airways and Vayama are crooks!

<< BA is intimately aware of the issues I'm having with Vayama but instead of doing something about it, they point the finger at Vayama.>>

BA cannot and will not send money to a person to whom they have no legal connection. In your case, you are the passenger but you have not entered a contract with BA> Vayama has in is therefore the client of BA. And you have appointed Vayama.

<<I also saved a decent amount of money with them. Of course, absolutely not worth it in hindsight.>> "You can't operate by hindsight." Max Baucus

W Yorkshire
Level Contributor
6,400 posts
184 reviews
137 helpful votes
5. Re: British Airways and Vayama are crooks!

It really gets on my nerves when people unfairly blame the airline.

You decided on Vayama to be your agent, so how is that BA’s fault ?

Look in the mirror,

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
34,896 posts
7 reviews
16 helpful votes
6. Re: British Airways and Vayama are crooks!

Vayama's customer support manager has a profile on TripAdvisor. I suggest you send him a private message.

Access his profile here - https:/…VayamaVoice

Click "Send Message" and you can type in your inquiry. As it's private message you can include your Vayama reservation number. Although you're understandably frustrated be polite in your message. You could post a link to this thread as your original post gives a lot of details.

BA has to refund the ticket to the agent; that's the way it works with third parties. Once that refund has been provided to you they will likely calculate the difference in fare between the original fare and the one you paid and refund that to you.

And, sorry to be pedantic, but - "I was caught up in the BA systems outage in May 2017 that left every BA passenger stranded that day." - Not quite true. One flight full of passengers did make it from TLV to LHR with only a 2.5 hour delay. How do I know? My brother, his wife and son were on the flight and we were messaging each other on status updates (I was in London that weekend).

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
27,343 posts
38 reviews
103 helpful votes
7. Re: British Airways and Vayama are crooks!

BA re are utterly blameless and can do absolutely nothing in this situation. Only Vayama can, and as you've now discovered, seems they won't.

BA are far from perfect but accusing them of being crooks is not just completely unfair and libelous, but inappropriate.

You chose to book through Vayama, and now you are having to face the consequences, sadly. You are not alone.

SWT

Silver Spring...
Level Contributor
3,858 posts
10 reviews
17 helpful votes
8. Re: British Airways and Vayama are crooks!

BA has nothing to do with your problem and they certainly aren't crooks. Really silly thread title.

If you'd booked directly with the airline, you'd have gotten your refund long ago.

Edinburgh
Level Contributor
13,264 posts
17 reviews
13 helpful votes
9. Re: British Airways and Vayama are crooks!

So you pick a shonky OTA to save some money and it’s BA’s fault? It’s what happens when you use a third party. Airline refunds them and not you.you could have booked direct,u with BA, they actually let you do that. Your choice not to. Live with the consequences of your decision.

London, United...
Level Contributor
3,075 posts
128 reviews
101 helpful votes
10. Re: British Airways and Vayama are crooks!

And this is why we say go direct with the airline for those that ask.

BA are not at fault here. They have refunded Vayama. To pay you directly could potentially put them at risk of some sort of court action around T&Cs. You need to escalate this in Vayama, to the CEO or similar. Threatening some sort of court action usually starts shifting gears too.

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