Websites for buying Airplane tickets

IdleRich

IdleRich
I don't fly very often, thank fuck. But, we gotta go back to UK for a bit - I can't avoid it forever sadly - see the parents, check up on the flat, get really really fucked up etc so we have to fly. The whole process of flying is an incredibly stressful one, but right now I just want to talk about all these websites like Opodo, Skysanner, one called Kayak I think we used today, they're fucking awful. Especially the way that they change the prices all the time, I really don't get how that is allowed. And it remembers you so if you look at Lisbon to London one time and you go back and log in it thinks oh they looked at Lisbon-London last time, quick, raise all those prices - how is that legal? If you went in Sainsburys and the staff were like "Oh it's that guy who loves baked beans, quick get the thing for sticking labels on and double all the prices" you'd be fucking pissed off.

Today we search on all the ones that fly Lisbon-London and back, but it's complicated cos Lizatron is boycotting Easy Jet since last time it just cancelled and left her stranded in Amsterdam and it's taken her months to get her money back. Eventually we find the cheapest one which is gonna be just under £400 and we click on it, and it says "Ha ha cunt that's one has just gone up to £472" so we go fuck that, back to the drawing board. Also it's impossible to do a really fair comparison cos some give you luggage included and some don't and you're going to have to pay for that which will be a lot of money and so the one you got isn't the cheapest after all. We select one and we're just checking out all the times and so on and these bubbles keep popping up saying "Hurry the price is about to rise" - is it really legal to try and twist people's arms like that?

And when we do select the one we want there are a million different options to click through. Do you want insurance, what kind? And there are loads and loads of different ones - this one will guarantee your money back if a goose flies through the window, this one if it's a duck, but best pay for both to make sure you're covered. At each stage the default button is the one that costs money and it's a big bright orange one that you see straight away, then there is normally a small, hidden white one for the option that doesn't cost extra. That seems to be a deliberate attempt to trick people into spending money by pushing the wrong button. Then they offer you the chance to pick your seat, that's ten quid extra per person, they ask if you want automatic check-in and that is £4 extra - except there are two of us and two flights so that's £16 really. You also have to pay if you want them to text/email you if it's delayed and so on and so forth. It's a fucking racket.

So some of that is an old man moaning. But genuinely

a) Are you legally allowed to change the price based on the person buying, is that not discriminatory?
b) Why do the prices go up all the time anyway? Is it really legal to change the price of an offer once you have clicked to accept it at a previous price?
c) Is it legal to try and push people into buying things by threatening to raise prices like that?
d) Is it legal to have a website misleadingly designed so that people are likely to spend money on things they didn't want or intend to because they have clicked on the wrong thing?

It really feels at every stage as though you are dealing with really shady criminals who are on the edge of the law, not supposedly respectable international companies.
 

you

Well-known member
all legal. massive amounts of technology go into this. even using many different IPs, you'd still raise the price as that flight will get more views. Flight booking is the humdrum life admin version of Perseus and Medusa, you mustn't look directly at it.
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
it's a small contribution compared to what you've written above, but 'dynamic pricing' is one of the peculiarities of living in the west at the moment. one of those small things that forms the texture of everyday life. how much does it cost to go somewhere? well....almost any amount. an additional complexity to deal with. the feeling of trying to book an airbnb or whatever is the same, endless confusing interfaces that require you to weigh up all kinds of variables. bits of text that put you under pressure.
 

martin

----
If you went in Sainsburys and the staff were like "Oh it's that guy who loves baked beans, quick get the thing for sticking labels on and double all the prices" you'd be fucking pissed off.
They do, though. I found a semi-deserted Sainsburys Metro during Lockdown 1.0 and developed a sudden taste for rum, so I started adding Havana Club to my 'essential' shops. Three bottles in, they added £3 to the price tag.

b) Why do the prices go up all the time anyway? Is it really legal to change the price of an offer once you have clicked to accept it at a previous price?
I'm not 100%, but fairly sure nothing's binding until you've clicked "confirm payment".
c) Is it legal to try and push people into buying things by threatening to raise prices like that?
Sure, look at the housing market.

It really feels at every stage as though you are dealing with really shady criminals who are on the edge of the law, not supposedly respectable international companies.
Interchangeable...anyway, I looked up Lisbon-London Sleazyjet returns for two, and you can get way cheaper flights than the £400+ you quoted. I'd personally just grind your teeth and book them directly. Though 2/3 of their pilots have monkeypox right now, so it's a gamble whether you'll leave the runway.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
They do, though. I found a semi-deserted Sainsburys Metro during Lockdown 1.0 and developed a sudden taste for rum, so I started adding Havana Club to my 'essential' shops. Three bottles in, they added £3 to the price tag.

Wow, really? I didn't know that cos I don't order from the supermarkets - it's actually a surprise to me. Many of the other things I said in that first post were kinda hyperbolic or whatever, but I was being totally sincere when I said supermarkets don't do that. It's a real eye-opener. I guess it's not something that they say they do, but it's just that you've noticed it happening? What can possibly be their justification for doing that?

all legal. massive amounts of technology go into this. even using many different IPs, you'd still raise the price as that flight will get more views. Flight booking is the humdrum life admin version of Perseus and Medusa, you mustn't look directly at it.

I guess I sort of do that by leaving it to Liza normally, she's much more organised and savvy when it comes to this sort of thing. And I guess it's cos I haven't done for a while that it seems so shocking to me. I guess it got gradually worse and worse with each disimprovement being added one at a time, but by taking a break and then going back to it they all jumped out at me at once.

it's a small contribution compared to what you've written above, but 'dynamic pricing' is one of the peculiarities of living in the west at the moment. one of those small things that forms the texture of everyday life. how much does it cost to go somewhere? well....almost any amount. an additional complexity to deal with. the feeling of trying to book an airbnb or whatever is the same, endless confusing interfaces that require you to weigh up all kinds of variables. bits of text that put you under pressure.

Dynamic pricing - I guess - is when the prices are constantly changing... is that right? And I assume that that is relatively new but the thing about the variables that you need to weigh up seems older. The idea of confusing pricing has been around for a long time. Mortgages are the classic one with that famous quote (I dunno how true it is) about how getting a mortgage is the biggest financial decision most people make in their lives yet ninety percent (or I dunno, some high number) take the first one they are offered. Mortgages are obviously confusing, it's very hard for you to know which is best for you - in fact you can't know cos one might be better if interest rates rise and another if they don't - but at least you can try and get the odds as much in your favour as possible, and many don't know how to do that.

In conclusion I think that confusion pricing is when it's very hard to work out which deal is better, and dynamic pricing is when the prices keep changing as things happen - and that on these plane websites (and probably many others) you got both of these things happening at once... dynamic confusion?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Interchangeable...anyway, I looked up Lisbon-London Sleazyjet returns for two, and you can get way cheaper flights than the £400+ you quoted. I'd personally just grind your teeth and book them directly. Though 2/3 of their pilots have monkeypox right now, so it's a gamble whether you'll leave the runway.
Don't tell me that mate, we just bought 'em.
But also, just because you can see flights for cheaper, it doesn't mean that they are gonna be available to us, that's the whole point of what I said isn't it?

And also, I thought I said but maybe not, Liza is boycotting EasyJet cos last time she flew with them back from Amsterdam she lost that gamble and it didn't leave the runway, cancelled with no warning or explanation a few hours before due in the arir. And that was a fucking nightmare - especially as they said that they would "probably" reimburse her for the replacement flight back, but only if it was a direct one. And the next one wasn't for two or three days, so that meant she to book a last minute airbnb to stay in NL for that time, and she had to pay for three days worth of food in cafes and so on while she was trapped there. So she had to immediately pay out - three or four hundred for a place to stay and similar for the flight and keep all her receipts for everything she spent and then try to claim it back. So in other words she had to stay in NL for longer and she ended up paying out a total of something like £1000 (what if you didn't have that sort of money, or if you were a family of five or whatever? Or what if you had to be home the next day and you couldn't wait for the next direct one?) and then had to try and claw it back from them. And they fought her tooth and nail over every bit.

She asked for them to pay for the new flight, they said "we don't do that" she said "but you said you would" and they said "maybe" and so on until finally they agreed that they would in theory and then they demanded all kinds of proofs that she had paid - I think in triplicate ie the invoice from the airline and the transaction showing on her bank, and also a receipt. And then they lost everything and asked her to start again. And then they said they would pay and simply didn't pay it. So she had to chase the every day until... eventually they paid - the wrong amount. And then they cancelled that and said they would pay the right amount, but they only paid the extra legroom charge on top of the flight cost, they did not pay the cost of the flight and then she queried that and they said they weren't going to pay it after all and then they said they would. And didn't. And then she had to phone them repeatedly to chase that.

And then the same thing happened with the airbnb except even worse cos they wanted to say it wasn't down to them. And then the food but that was even worse still. She has phoned them almost every day for the last three months or whatever. Some of the calls have been hours long. Now she is gonna ask them to pay her phone bill... I actually foresee an infinite loop where getting them to pay that will be so difficult that it generates its own bill that needs paying and so on.

So she refuses to fly with Easy Jet again.
 

droid

Well-known member
Just take them to small claims court or go to the local transport authority. I did that with Ryanair after a similar experience and they paid as soon as the hearing date was set.
 

suspended

Well-known member
flights.google.com

cannot, will not, change prices between visits

compiles from most of the major sites

easy ad-free popup-free clickthru-free interface

yw
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Just take them to small claims court or go to the local transport authority. I did that with Ryanair after a similar experience and they paid as soon as the hearing date was set.
I did suggest that, but ultimately she has got it all I think but it came piecemeal and took months plus an effort and attention to detail that I would never have mustered.
 

WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
Virgin Atlantic ok here’s a moan

used off/on for a decade, numerous overnights from east coast to Heathrow and not once on near empty sheds would the cunts grant an upgrade, quite upsetting for a loyal customer

first gen web porthole was a joke, email not received for echeck ins before you had reliable phone payments so even then you were saving time just phoning their booking line and talking to a human being (just)

equally off track, an ex’s father at this time blamed getting crabs on a sketchy flight back from a war somewhere, dropped it on his entire family like an f-bomb at dinner tanked on bourbon

 

wektor

Well-known member
I use google flights to book usually and it's not too bad, most of the time it redirects you to the website of the airlines and you book it directly.
 
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