Cheap online airfare offers cause turbulence for consumer wallets

Action 9 investigated how some cheap airfares are too good to be true.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Action 9 investigated how some cheap airfares are too good to be true.

A Clermont woman claims she paid a popular online travel site for a plane ticket she never got.

After losing $1,200 she turned to Todd Ulrich for answers and he investigated how to avoid getting burned before takeoff.

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“So, there's just nothing we can do,” Margaret Cole said. She claimed it had been a yearlong fight with an online travel agent that had promised great prices.

Cole and her daughters bought tickets from justfly.com to fly family members from Iowa to Cancun Mexico for Christmas in 2018.

But when she arrived at the airport, one of the e-tickets for a Delta flight was a dud.

“They had no record. No record of the ticket,” Cole said.

She contacted justfly.com customer service. According to Cole, they were told to buy the ticket from Delta and justfly.com would cover the ticket.

The cost for a last-minute ticket was $1,200, and a year later she is still waiting on a refund.

Cole said her family documented everything.

“Yet with all that information they are saying we never purchased the ticket,” Cole said.

Action 9 found justfly.com's complaint history shows lots of consumer turbulence.

There are more than 2300 complaints at the Better Business Bureau, many for pricing and booking mistakes.

Also, there are two government actions against justfly.com.

Experts urge consumers to use caution with online agents promising the cheapest prices.

If consumers checked multiple online consumer sites first, there would have been glaring red flags.

“What do their customer reviews look like, because these same experiences they had could be what you're heading for,” said Holly Salmons with the BBB.

Ulrich contacted justfly.com and asked the company to review Cole’s $1,200 complaint. The company has offices in California and Canada.

“The stress and anxiety. It's just not worth it,” Cole said.

Justfly.com told the BBB it’s working to improve customer service and improve its refund process.

If buying cheap tickets online, use a credit card, that way you have 60 days to dispute ticket problems.