Don’t Trust Travel Agencies

I need to change my flight back to China earlier.

I called ctrip, where I booked the flight (I should do a better job in getting around them). Their term:

Sorry. We cannot do it since it is international flight. You have to give up your back leg, and book a new ticket. If you just change the date, you need to pay 1500 RMB change fee. Let me check what a single trip ticket from San Francisco to Shanghai is. That can be very expensive

Well. I decided not to change, but later, I thought of American Airline, the carrier. I called them, and they said:

Everything has been changed as you wish. BTW, since there is a change in the price of your new route, we are giving $400 back to you

Hmm… For the same question, maybe we need to try different channels.

7 thoughts on “Don’t Trust Travel Agencies

  1. I guess it depends on the fare code of your ticket you purchased. Within each class of service, there are as many as 10 + different fares. Some of them will allow changes without fees, some will cost you a change fee plus the fare difference at the time you want to make the change. Yes, you could get a refund if the new fare at time of your change is lower than your original booking. Try to book with the carrier directly and ask questions on its restrictions. Each carrier has its own set of rules.

    I usually fly United. If I book the flight with a life agent, he/she always tell me if there would be a change fee, so I know exactly what will happen if I do need to make changes. If you read the small prints on your ticket, it will tell you what the resctrictions are.

  2. I concur I travel quite a bit and always book directly with the airlines. It used to be the agent could get some secret discount but that has changed you are often better booking directly although there is more work on your part. If its a business trip however then you may have no choice. There is always some kind of fee. Especially on International flights. It used to be much friendlier. No more. Sometimes the ticket is $800 and the change fee is $250! It does make it hard to have flexibility in your travel. One you book its set in stone.

  3. I’ve found Ctrip services quality dropped lately. Sad to know that Ctrip has turned into a cut throat travel agent. Lately, I’ve switch to They allowed me to cancel my ticket and refund with charging a minimal service admin fee which I think it is fair.

  4. Since I had problems registering on the eLong website, on my last trip to China I decided to try out, which is based in Hong Kong. Very efficient, had to deal with several flight modifications, they dealt with it in no time, and I got my money back on several flights also. I strongly recommend them.


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