I’m a loyal Skyscanner user. Ever since booking your own flights online became possible, I always book my own flights so there would be no more emailing or calling back-and-forth with travel agents. Sometimes, I book directly on airline websites if they got better deals, but usually, Skyscanner is my go-to. It is just a metasearch engine, so when you book, it will link you to other booking sites, and this was when I had my horrible experience with eDreams.
A stress-free booking experience … not.
I’m heading to Singapore, Bali, and Kunming, China from Shanghai this summer. Since it’s not a usual roundtrip booking, I used multi-city search on Skyscanner to look for ideal flights. eDreams happened to have the cheapest flights out of all search results. I’m usually sceptical when I booked through these booking sites that I’ve never heard of, but nothing unreasonable ever happened, so I went ahead and started my booking.
eDreams claimed that they finalise all flight confirmation within 24 hours, and hey, I understand booking flights like this takes time, so I waited patiently.
Help Centre? Not helpful at all.
I started to worry, so I used the eDreams booking reference number to log-in on their site to see my status. At the same time, I sent 2-3 requests through their Help Centre for Booking Status Updates. Hey, guess what? I heard nothing from them.
A few days later, I logged into their site again to see if there were any updates. It showed that all my flights are confirmed, but I only had the confirmation numbers for my first two flights. I didn’t have any confirmation number for my flight from Bali to Kunming. Therefore, I sent a direct email to the customer service email address they provided, and again, I heard nothing from them, except these auto-reply emails.
“Your request will be answered shortly” my a*s. I never heard anything from you through email except auto-replies!
So I called.
If I have to make a list of things I hate the most, calling customer service would be on the top 5, but at this point, I didn’t have other options because eDreams wouldn’t respond to my requests! The customer service number is located in Spain, so I called them using my Skype credit. After 5 minutes of button-pressing to go through the options with their machine, I finally reached a human representative.
And the most infuriating situation happened.
My flight from Bali to Kunming was cancelled, and they didn’t inform me until I called while they’ve already charged me on my credit card for all 3 flights.
Seriously, what the heck is this? I was furious. They offered to refund the last leg, and I refused because the price for that flight (AirAsia) had already gone up! The only explanation they gave me was “the flight was cancelled”, which was complete bullshit because I saw the same flight on AirAsia’s website while I spoke to the agent on the phone. Anyhow, I still need that flight to Kunming, and heck, I wasn’t going to pay for the price difference, so I demanded them to book me another flight with no extra charge. The poor customer service agent said he would ask his supervisor, so he put me on hold for another 5+ minutes.
They booked me a new flight with no extra charge, but that wasn’t the end of this craziness.
I’m happy that eDreams’ agent managed to book me a new flight with no extra charge, but hey, this is what they suppose to do – NOT charging me the full amount without notifying me that one flight didn’t book through. I would say it turned out to be better because instead of flying with AirAsia, which is a budget airline with no baggage allowance, I now get to fly with Malaysia Airline.
Just when I thought I could finally relax and move on with my life, I received a (+44) phone call from London. “Oh gosh, please don’t tell me something is wrong.” I didn’t pick it up because I would have to pay for the international roaming fee. Shortly after, I got another no-reply email from eDreams.
What now?! Worrying something could have gone wrong again, I called. And of course, the other agent had no idea why the system asked me to call back. After I explained to the other agent what happened, she transferred my call to their “change department.”
“I’m just transferring you to the change department, but there are no changes, and I assure you there won’t be any extra charge for this new booking. They just need to verify something. (Whatever it was.) Can I put you on hold for 2 minutes? Sorry for the inconvenience.”
So I waited, and this was what I got from the “change department”:
“Sorry madam, our system is down. Can you call back in 4-5 hours?”
“NO, I CANNOT!” Now I am really losing it. “I’M IN FUCKING CHINA AND IT WILL BE MIDNIGHT HERE. YOU EITHER SOLVE IT NOW, OR YOU CONTACT ME THROUGH EMAIL.”
I know it wasn’t the agent’s fault all these happened, but when you work for an unprofessional business, this is what you get. He promised me he will contact me through the e-mail, then we hung up.
And of course, I received nothing after I woke up.
Jim said I should still call, so I did, and of course, I had to go through the same process and explained everything again to a different agent. Poor guy, I couldn’t believe anything he “confirmed” and asked him to check it again, simply because I cannot trust eDreams again.
eDreams resolved the issue, but I will never book with them again.
This incident happened between June 13th, 2018 to June 20th, 2018. I promise you this is a real event. All calls were recorded. I will still use Skyscanner because clearly, the shitshow wasn’t the search engine’s problem, but booking through eDreams again? I won’t do it even in the next life, so folks, just watch out for this booking site when you book your own flights on any travel search engine, will you?
What’s your worst online booking experience? Comment and share!
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Also published on Medium.