Famous Last Words: Who Can You Trust on the Web?
The logical way to London's Heathrow from Philly is via British Airways, which we have taken a number of times. I went to the BA website and found Flight No. 68 one-way leaving at 10 p.m. from $570 per person. I had not firmed up the deal with Cunard, so I jumped off the BA website and finished booking the boat.
An hour later I went back to BA and the one-way price was suddenly $1,418 per person.
What the bloody hell?! The price had been jacked up $840!
Curiouser and Curiouser
I went to Kayak.com to see if we could get a cheaper flight. I entered the data, ticked the "non-stop" box and got a message back:
Major carrier: leaves PHL 10 p.m.
I gave Kayak my credit card and the deal was done. Up on the screen came the confirmation for British Airways Flight No. 68. In two minutes I had saved a total of $1,680.
Tarnishing the Brand
Nobody likes being jerked around the way I was by Amazon and British Airways. As a long-time customer of both, I felt sandbagged. Suddenly I felt dirty doing business with them. What might they have done? Been honest for starters. For example:
• If I were in charge at Amazon, I would have said, "Amazon shares warehouse space with Costco and the product was picked from the wrong bin. To say thank-you for your business, we are 1) honoring your request for a $150 refund and 2) will send you, as a FREE GIFT, 'Skyfall'—the new Bond thriller—just as soon as it is released on DVD."
• If I were in charge at British Airways, I would put an asterisk next to the $570 price and add a line that said: "This price is scheduled to rise to $1,418. To take advantage of this price, you must act within 47 minutes."