While recently trying to book flights to Australia via an airline’s official website (thinking, as most people probably do, that this would be the most efficient and cost-effective means of doing it), I encountered a problem at the final stages of the payment process and was forced to ring their call centre instead. This is not something I relished having to do, envisaging long holds, lots of unneccessary questions being asked by somebody whose accent I could not understand, and me ultimately being told to go back to the website to try again. I didn’t want to be told that the problem was at my end (so to speak!), and that my only way of booking the flights would be to do it over the phone, however, I cannot tell you how glad I am that I was forced to make that call.
After speaking to a friendly lady, I was told that the problem didn’t appear to be theirs, but that if I liked, she would try and process the payment over the phone for me. But, I was to expect to pay considerably more for the flights than I would have paid had I have been doing it via the website. So as I braced myself for the huge dent in my credit card, the friendly lady checked the flight details for me, checked the flight details again with her superiors, then checked them for the third time with the superior of her superiors!
The long and short of it, is that the price she quoted me turned out to be almost half the price of the flights that I had found on their website, almost half!
Why I can’t tell you, and evidently nor could she, but what I can tell you is that the website price may not always be the cheapest one. You might not feel like picking up the phone and ringing the airline, especially when you think you’ve spotted a reasonably priced flight on their website and booking it that way seems like the easiest option, but if you don’t, how will you ever know what money you might have saved? Okay, so you might ring them and they quote you ridiculous prices that way exceed those advertised on the website, but what have you lost in calling them — a few pence? So the next time you need to book a long haul flight, make that call and see if you can’t make your face as astonished as mine!