Saturday, 28 December 2013
http://www.cheapoair.co.uk/ - Scam air fare operator?
Please be aware of a potential problematic air fare operator. They're called http://www.cheapoair.co.uk/. I was trying to book a flight yesterday through their system using 'Wow Air'. Here's what happened:
I found a cheap return flight using their system - went to the booking stage and it was declined. I found another one - it was declined. The reason given for both was that the ticket offer had now expired and there were no more seats left. This made me suspicious as it had never happened before in over 10 years of booking airfares online. The moment you click on to buy a fare - it's held for you - pending your payment details. If there's a problem - their system doesn't take you to the payment section.
In the mean time, someone from a phone number that only registered on my mobile as +81248 called tried to sell me a different fare that was a lot more expensive and that would get me there later than my appointment. This would have meant giving an operative my credit card details over the phone without knowing who or which company the person was from - as he didn't state his company - just the fact that he could see I was attempting to book an air fare. In the end I went directly to the 'Wow Air' website and booked the same ticket that I had originally seen for a higher price.
The worrying thing for me were the security implications of a web company now having my credit card details, contact details and my passport number.
I phoned up the credit card company and explained my suspicions to them and asked them to put out a warning about it on their website or through some other means but I didn't feel the need to cancel my credit card. Until this morning.
The credit card company asked me to contact them regarding the previous day's card activity. A member of their security team said that I'd tried to make three payments to 'Wow Air' and that they had been declined. So the two cheaper flights (£184 and £162) were lost. I found it strange that the credit card payments were ALL going to Wow Air and not to the company trying to make the sale.
I'd like to thank the security team operative of my credit card company that didn't seem to understand exactly what was going on. Well done. The only reason your company aren't being mentioned here is because that would compromise my security.
It's also easy to make a company appear at the top of a 'Google' search to make it look more credible - if your advertisement is in a yellow box - it means that you paid for it to get there.
In order to safeguard my security I felt it necessary to cancel the card and I now have to wait for another one with the added hassle of setting it back up with the various companies I make payments to.
So, if you're using Cheapoair.co.uk - please be careful.
Villayat 'Wolf' Sunkmanitu