Is trip.com legit?
So I’m browsing for hotels and found one I’ve been eyeing offered at trip.com for about 30% lower than Booking and Agoda. That doesn’t seem too good to be true, but I’ve also never used this site. Anyone with any experience with trip.com?
The short form is that Trip.com was bought by a mainland Chinese company, so buyer beware of all that implies, as they operate on different principles than a Western business. For instance, as soon as you click on the button, there is NO REFUND or CHANGE policy on any air ticket, even though there is no note or mention of that at any point on their site. Since it was a Tripadvisor flight search that brought me to this site, I expected it to be more legitimate, and would ask TripAdvisor if they have any influence, to try and conform to higher standards expected of other flight sites.
For those that want to read the long form the following is my experience with them.
I bought a couple of air tickets Calgary-Shanghai, through Trip.com. They showed up on the Tripadvisor flight search, and were twenty five percent lower than anyone else. I immediately bought one ticket, really wanting two tickets but it could have been my mistake. Then trying to buy a second ticket (for my wife), did the everything the same as before but at the very end was told it was sold out.
So I went online chat with them, and asked them, asking for a second ticket or a refund. The rep sent me a weblink, the same one I booked my first ticket with. I told him it was the same and said sold out at the end, but I tried to buy the second ticket as before on this link, and did get a second ticket for my wife. By this time the online rep had hung up the chat.
Upon closer inspection, however, the second air ticket for my wife was for a different departure time on the same day from Calgary, and meant she was on a different flight to Shanghai from San Francisco, arriving 12 hours later on a different day (the return flight was the same). So I immediately went back online chat, and asked the rep to change both to the same flight or cancel both tickets, and it was so soon that the flight booking didn’t even show up on her computer. When it eventually showed up, she said that I couldn’t cancel without paying 90% of the ticket price for some booking fee. She said sorry this was the airlines booking policy. I asked to just change the departure flight of either ticket to match the other, or else refund them both, that airlines normally had a 24 refund policy. She said no. I said could you please ask a supervisor. The following is the supervisor’s return e-mail.
Dear VICTOR (Account: D254041****),
I tried to call you but was transferred to voice mail. So I am writing to you about the questions you mentioned on chat regarding Flight Booking. 5374325469.
First of all, you mentioned Mark gave you the link which caused the second flight. I checked the link and the link he sent to you is the online search page on which many flight packages are listed. This link does not indicate only one specific flight. And after the link was sent to you , you answered,” Yes I did all the fill in the blanks up till the end when it said flight sold out.” When Mark wanted more details from you, there was no reply from you. So the window was closed. And When you book the ticket online, the flight details are listed on each page.
Secondly, when you started chat with Victoria, the ticket was not issued but was paid successfully. The booking status was in processing. When Victoria was confirming the booking details with you for booking security, the ticket was issued successfully. Please kindly noted that even if the ticket is not issued after we verify the booking detail with you, we apply the free cancellation but cannot guarantee. So now according to your booking policy, this ticket is non-refundable and unchangeable.
Now Booking 5374325469 and 5374077873 are still kept. If you have question, welcome to contact us.
I didn’t quite know what to make of that. So I contacted both Air Canada and United Airlines by phone, the airlines on the tickets, and BOTH SAID THEY HAVE A 24 HOUR FULL CANCELLATION POLICY, but that the foreign booking companies formed their own rules. Very lucky for me, the United Airlines phone representative (Connie, and a big thank you if you read this), changed the departure flight of my wife to match my own.
I am an overseas Chinese, but so glad to be living in North America. Thanks, again, to United Airlines.