How To Avoid A Travel Scam When Buying Airline Tickets Online
While it may be a good idea to use comparison websites to source cheap airfares, falling for an online travel scam is fairly common. Holiday goers are regularly tricked into thinking they’re getting an amazing deal when they book a flight or vacation online, only to find out too late that they were conned.
To avoid turning the delight of “what a great price!” into dismay, one of the simplest ways to protect yourself online is by always booking with a TICO registered travel agency website. All Ontario online travel retailers are required to display their TICO registration number on their websites. It’s the law. Don’t forfeit the consumer protection available – Look for the TICO logo and the company’s TICO Registration number. If in doubt, you can always use TICO’s Online Search feature to confirm the agency or website is registered – click here
Along with ensuring you are booking with a TICO registered travel agency website, these 5 tips will help you avoid travel scams when booking airline tickets online:
1. Make sure you are fully informed before pressing submit for an online flight booking
Before committing to any online flight booking, don’t forget to read the fine print and make sure you’re clear about what you’re actually getting. Do your research on travel companies beforehand by using review websites such as Trustpilot to read about a travel agency’s reputation and customer service.
2. Be aware of travel phishing scams
Scam sites lure you in by offering much lower prices for airline tickets than what’s posted on other sites. Once you click accept, they capture all of your important credit card details and send you a message that the credit card transaction was declined. They’ll suggest instead you pay for the tickets by wiring funds or sending a money order. Just like that, they’ve stolen your card info and your money.
3. Be sure the hotel or airline has a record of your travel booking
A third-party site claims to have booked your travel and takes your money in payment, but the hotel or airline has no record of your online booking. With that being said, be sure to check with the hotel or airline directly to confirm your travel plans.
4. Watch out for an airline ticket credit scam
Scam artists purchase airline tickets with stolen credit cards, and then cancel the tickets and get a flight credit and confirmation number. They then advertise the credit on sites like Craigslist or Kijiji, saying they can’t take the flights and offer to transfer the funds for a discounted price. To buy the ticket credit, they’ll ask you to wire them the money. Because the tickets were originally bought with a stolen credit card, the airlines won’t let you redeem the credit.
5. Be mindful of currency exchange rates when booking flights
Some travelers book travel services and then end up paying a higher price than expected. Before you book, always check and understand in what currency the prices are being displayed on the website. This can happen because of currency exchange rates or it could be a scam. Be sure to check the fine print to see if they can charge you more if the currency exchange rate changes or ask for a fixed price regardless of exchange rate differences.
To conclude, the internet is usually a great starting point to source good airline and travel deals, but a phone call to your travel agent is actually your best bet if you are looking for discounts and peace of mind throughout your travel experience.
Contact us at Gala Travels by phone at: 1-866-458-4252