Ripped off by Alpha Flight Guru

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by wysewuns, Nov 20, 2013.

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  1. wysewuns

    wysewuns Newbie

    Nov 20, 2013
    2
    0
    Alpha Flight Guru changed our flight details whilst we were already in transit (after having sent an email the day before to wish us a happy flight), 15 hours before take-off. Our android had already been cancelled because we were returning from 12 months abroad. When we were told at check-in our tickets were invalid, we tried to call AFG but couldn't get anyone so had no choice but to buy last minute (expensive) new Business Class tickets. Alpha Flight guru will not honour a refund, saying that they had already issued new tickets. Is it not possible for a travel agent to leave a message at a Check-in counter in such a situation?
     

  2. yohy?!

    yohy?! Established Member

    Nov 30, 2009
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    Assuming the change was made at check-in would they have not given you new boarding passes for the connecting flight at the time?

    When using a travel agent the onus I believe is on the agent to notify you - obviously if you disconnect your phone or don't check your email/they don't send you one then there is going to be issues!
     
  3. Aussie_flyer

    Aussie_flyer Established Member

    Apr 26, 2009
    4,499
    1,691
    Melbourne
    they are not a real travel agent but instead a dodgy online website selling frequent flyer award tickets for cash . Your tickets were probably invalid because the airline probably found out what was going on and voided them as it is against the terms and conditions to sell award tickets. A little bit of online research before booking and you would have realised it's dodgy.
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Travel Guru

    Travel Guru Established Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    2,002
    179
    Brisbane, Australia

    Aussie Flyer is right, they're not a travel agent and given how they obtain the heavily discounted tickets its hard to have any sympathy for you.

    Surely "up to 70% off" sounded some kind of alarm bells in your head before you used them?

    As for your question, no it's not possible for an agent to leave a message at check in for a passenger, yes they could put OSI remarks into the GDS which may be noticed by the checkin staff (though likely not) but given your ticket was a dodgy scam ticket, it wouldn't have been booked via a GDS.

    I've been approached a large number of these scam artists wanting to sell me tickets for my clients but it'll be a cold day in hell before I ever risk my reputation on them.

    Sounds like a good lesson in "if it sounds too good to be true...."

    TG
     
    • Like Like x 8
  5. eric2011

    eric2011 Established Member

    Feb 5, 2011
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    Oh no, I cant believe someone actually used this "agency" for the want of a better word.

    Welcome to AFF and hopefully you will now use the collective knowledge and experiance of this sites members.
     
  6. seritonin

    seritonin Member

    #7 seritonin, Nov 22, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
    With the deregulation of travel agents industry, more of these so called 'agents' would flood the market...
     
  7. Ansett

    Ansett Established Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    3,459
    1,910
    Melbourne
    A simple statement

    Buy Cheap Pay Dear

    Also

    Given that we as AFF members know that this company is dodgy and what they do may be considered a breach of contract in relation to onselling frequent flyer points in most programs then why or how are they able to advertise on AFF?

    ALPHA.JPG
     
  8. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    30,091
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    They advertise with google, who then work out which ads to show you based on your browsing history (AFAIK). Whilst the OP may be reporting a breach of contract, we don't have the other side of the story so any reports are purely hearsay of alleged activity until proven in a court of law, in any case US law will have jurisdiction rather than any local court given the location of the transaction.

    I wonder if they have paid their DOT fine for false advertising:
    http://www.dot.gov/sites/dot.dev/files/docs/eo_2013-9-19.pdf
     
  9. Ansett

    Ansett Established Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    3,459
    1,910
    Melbourne

    Thanks Markis for the clarification I always found it strange that AFF allowed such organisations to advertise in the forum.
     
  10. Admin

    Administrator Moderator

    Jun 18, 2002
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    Firstly, I am sorry to hear about wysewuns' experience.

    markis10 is quite correct. That ad came through via the Google network. AFF has no relationship with Alpha Flight Guru, and never has.

    Given
    wysewuns experience, and our own long-standing doubts about the operation, we have blocked those ads from appearing on AFF in future.
     
    • Like Like x 17
  11. Ansett

    Ansett Established Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    3,459
    1,910
    Melbourne
    #12 Ansett, Nov 22, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2013
    It is good to see your actions in blocking these ads.

    And I hope that the OP can get some compensation although one doubts it.
     
  12. ftm

    ftm Active Member

    Feb 19, 2011
    557
    78
    Sydney
    So that more people can enjoy the experience of the OP? Doesn't sound like a desirable outcome to me.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. MEL_Traveller

    MEL_Traveller Enthusiast

    Apr 27, 2005
    17,602
    5,313
    Melbourne, AU
    I think they just bought the 'wrong cheap'.

    There are plenty of legitimate and very cheap deals out there - USDM/AA/Avios/Lifemiles.
     
  14. quokka77

    quokka77 Active Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    652
    127
    Thanks admin for blocking these ads. Casual browsers of this forum might have interpreted their appearance in banners and side bars here as some kind of endorsement. I agree "buyer beware" but equally the right thing for this site to do is (if possible) exclude scam operators from advertising here.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. quokka77

    quokka77 Active Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    652
    127
    Slightly off topic, i initially had a hard time convincing my partner that my points purchases from central america (avianca / lifemiles) were "a good investment"!
     
  16. seritonin

    seritonin Member

    Post amended, I didn't realise there was 'Im' in my post.
     
  17. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    30,091
    5,548
    BNE & SYD
    They are registered as a seller of travel in California, which effectively makes them a licensed travel agent, which is of no help to non Californian customers when it comes to refunds:

    http://oag.ca.gov/travel

    Registration #: 2103338
    Business Name: Alpha Media Group, LLC
    Contact: Aisling McElligott
    Phone: 415-422-9878 & 415-520-5651
    Registration Expiration Date: 09/21/2014

    Locations (1)
    881 Sneath Lane, Suite 222, San Bruno, CA 94066


    I would use the complaint facility on the link regardless if I was the OP.
     
  18. wysewuns

    wysewuns Newbie

    Nov 20, 2013
    2
    0
    An addition to my posting: Alpha Flight Guru have come to the party and arranged a full refund for us.Our original healthy and happy opinion of them remains, as when I posted a review on plus.google which said:
    "We were skeptical at first because of the huge savings we were going to make compared to other quotes, but we know now it was genuine and have had exceptional service from our agent. Very happy couple. Will use again for sure."

    I think this was a situation of unfortunate events.....a change at last minute in flight whilst we were in transit with no communication device.....one can ask no more than a complete refund for the additional ticket and we are thus still in savings on fares of over $2,000. I jumped the gun with my complaint and apologize to Alpha Flight Guru.
     
  19. MEL_Traveller

    MEL_Traveller Enthusiast

    Apr 27, 2005
    17,602
    5,313
    Melbourne, AU
    thanks for the update! :)

    i couldn't help but thinking maybe it was because you posted on AFF the the company has come to the party?

    and if that is the case... how does an eventual settlement = fantastic service? they originally denied you any refund.

    with a few exceptions... generally if a travel agent can do something, then the passenger can also do it... but of course there are no extra fees or commissions for service when the passenger does it (sure it can take some time and know how but that's what AFF is here for).

    I've just done a quick bit of research on the Internet... so many single-time posters have sung the praises of AFG. a couple of them even took the 'elderly friend/relative' all the way to Europe and back. and they have all saved thousands of dollars.

    what surprises me is that I haven't - in my admittedly limited reading - found a single example of an actual airfare that anyone has paid.

    you come here to AFF, or go to FT or boarding area or any number of other blogs and what do you see? prices, prices, prices and routings... but with AFG nothing... people simply save 'thousands'. (some of the people complaining have disclosed the price they paid).

    it would be great if AFG is reading this if they could respond directly and tell us (well me... dunno if anyone else is interested :)) exactly how this all works, where the airfares are coming from, what terms and conditions apply etc etc.
     
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