I learned on the morning of 31 Jan 2018 that my flight reservation returning to IAD from LHR had been cancelled when I went to the LHR airport 2 hrs before departure. This left me in a slight panic since I purchased the ticket from ExploreTrip.com in summer 2017. | I ran from terminal to terminal as the departure time was approaching to speak with British Airways (the carrier at LHR). There it was explained to me for the 1st time on 31 Jan18, that since I never took the initial leg of the flight (IAD-LHR) on 16 August 2017, the second leg (IAD-LHR) on 31 Jan 2018, was automatically canceled which I did not know, nor was I made was ever aware by Exploretrip that this would happen. | This is why I was so shocked, horrified, and panicked at Heathrow airport on 31 Jan 2018 when the flight ticket agent said there was not a reservation in the system for me. | I was a captive customer and had little choice since I live in Washington DC not London. As a result I was forced to buy a brand new one-way ticket at nearly double the price I paid for my initial round trip booking. Upon calling Exploretrip after buying the grossly overpriced ticket and returning from London they told me to send an email as all lines were busy and I couldn’t be connected to the escalation team. I obliged and after trading several unuseful emails I called Exploretrip again. After waiting nearly an hour I was finally able to reach “Tony”, an escalation manager; he was unapologetic, unempahtetic and condesending. He indicated that it is common knowledge and I should have known or read it on there website prior to original purchase. | I found this an unsatisfactory, unacceptable, and unreasonable response for 2 reasons. 1) I don’t consider it common knowledge (obviously) because had I known, I would have taken measures to prevent or minimize any loss 2) I actually called Exploretrip a few days prior to the scheduled 1st leg in Aug 2017 and indicated to the agent that I was sick and would be unlikely to make the flight. I inquired how much it would cost to change the departure date. He informed me that it would be a $400 penalty just to make a change, in addition to the difference in fare. I had paid slightly under $500 to purchase the original roundtrip ticket, so I told the agent that a change with them would be cost prohibitive and I will just miss the flight and buy a one-way ticket elsewhere for a later departure date. | At that point any rational person would have expected the agent to inform me that missing/skipping the flight would trigger a cancellation of my itinerary based on British Airways rules etc. But I never recieved such warning or advice. | Unsatisfied, I requested they remedy the issue and he said he would reach out to BA to see what could be done and get back to me in 24hrs. The first and only sensible response I received. | Five days after he said they would call back, I called yet again and couldn’t get through. I sent 2 emails and they responded to the second email to request another 24hrs to reach out to British Airways. They wrote back in an email the next day and simply said “…we cannot help you any further”. | Based on this poor customer service experience with Exploretrip that was extremely unpleasant, I would caution anyone doing business with them. There are many other Online Travel Agencies that do a much better job dealing with customers; The poor quality of service and customer experience is not worth any low price you pay.
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