Is worth the risk?
December 14, 2021 4:53 AM   Subscribe

Have you used to buy tickets? Are they as bad as the reviews seem to indicate?

I need to buy tickets form Chile to Mexico. The cheapest tickets by far are through They have terrible reviews on trustpilot (2.6/5 poor).
The difference in buying from them instead of anybody else is around U$500 in addition to a base $1400. Should I take the risk?
Is there some other place that's not showing up in kayak or skyscanner where I could find cheap tickets and is reliable?
posted by signal to Travel & Transportation around Mexico (9 answers total)
Do you mean that when you find a flight on vayama, trying to book that same flight directly on the airline's website is that much more expensive?

Have you tried using ITA's Matrix to find good flights? (It only shows you the flights and their codes; you then have to make the actual booking through the airlines or an agent. But it's good for showing the options that exist.)
posted by trig at 5:46 AM on December 14, 2021 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: trig: "Do you mean that when you find a flight on vayama, trying to book that same flight directly on the airline's website is that much more expensive?"

Yes, exactly.

trig: "Have you tried using ITA's Matrix to find good flights?"

Thanks, will try!
posted by signal at 5:47 AM on December 14, 2021

I have used vayama, and it worked out fine, though I've never used them for something that expensive. My impression is that they're fine *if everything works out* but if you have a problem (cancelled flight, etc.) it's easier if you've gone directly through the airline.

FWIW, most of the online travel agencies have bad trustpilot reviews. only has a 3/5. and are below 2. United and Aeromexico have 1.4.
posted by mskyle at 6:11 AM on December 14, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'm confused by your question! On Vayama's website it says:

Unfortunately, we are sad to inform you that, as of September 22, 2020, will stop offering flights, hotels, and car rentals.

?? I guess they're open for business in a different location and not USA.

In any case, personally I would trust the word on review sites, I'd rather not risk my travel plans. Lots of suspiciously cheap booking sites operate on a contingency basis: your reservation is not guaranteed, you'll only get to go if the airline doesn't manage to sell those seats to someone else at a higher rate.
posted by MiraK at 6:17 AM on December 14, 2021 [2 favorites]

If it's a direct flight and the person using the ticket can handle unexpected delays, then it might be a good way to go.

I used vayama once for an international family vacation. Everything went fine but I don't plan to use them again, maybe unless it's just husband and me and we're able to deal with surprises.

My main concern is that if your flight is canceled or disrupted, there is no way for you to reach a live agent to help you rebook. You have to notify them and they get back to you the following day. Since things go wrong with flights all the time, this feels like a big risk and it kind of hung over my head throughout the vacation. At least this was the case when I traveled in 2019, I can't imagine they have more staff or better customer service now.

Also when you book the ticket, they send you a sort of confirmation, but you don't actually get the e-ticket until a day later. I think that's because they have to verify they really can get the ticket at that price.

In short, it works great if you have no problems and can handle a little anxiety. But it's a gamble start to finish.

This will not help you this time, but nowadays I use Scott's Cheap Flights, which sends you deals that often you can buy direct from the airline, but they are not geared towards specific destinations and dates. They work by finding cheap flights all around the world and then notifying you, so if that destination and travel time works for you, you can get the tickets and then plan your trip.
posted by happy_cat at 6:24 AM on December 14, 2021

I once showed up at Stansted airport having missed my Ryanair flight to Dublin, which was a big problem as I was scheduled to travel from Dublin on Aer Lingus back to NYC. I took a train to Heathrow and on the way there used the free wifi to search on my phone for flights from there to the US. I found an amazing one way ticket deal on Virgin with Vayama. Flew to NYC from Heathrow that afternoon for like $400. Just saying that Vayama is good in a pinch.
posted by Morpeth at 7:54 AM on December 14, 2021 [2 favorites]

It's almost always best to book directly on the airline's website if you can, especially if the travel is complicated - lots of legs, open legs, etc - or if there's a possibility of changes, delays.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 9:37 AM on December 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

as a former hospitality worker, going through any third-party for booking hotels/flights/etc is okay 90% of the time, but that 10% is where things go very wrong and your hotel desk agent or airline agent cannot do anything without you going through that third party (who are generally disinterested in helping you.) those sites are dirt cheap for a reason.
posted by europeandaughter at 11:28 AM on December 14, 2021 [2 favorites]

It's almost certainly worth $500 not to have to worry about it.
posted by aspersioncast at 3:11 PM on December 14, 2021

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