I just happened to be looking for a flight today, and as usual used SkyScanner.com meta search to find prices. And if you have ever used SkyScanner or Momondo, you know how many flight deals you get. It is impossible to keep track of all trustworthy websites to book your flights, and today I got experience with Travelgenio, which I would recommend to avoid at all costs.
I personally trust SkyScanner, as I have been using it for several years by now, so I do not check reviews of websites they are offering in their search. First cheapest options were ignored, as they do not accept SAS EuroBonus Amex and I could benefit from few thousand points for my next first class trip in May.
I checked Travelgenio.com and hey, they do accept Amex. Bingo!
Next step, check if the price on SkyScanner is matching on Travelgenio, as it is quite common to get notification that the price has increased since last search. Bingo again, same price displayed when I visit Travelgenio flight results. As you could see, Travelgenio offers me a flight for 305.65 euros. Lets remember this number.
I selected the flight and got to the second page, where I was asked for my personal information, email, DOB and etc. Once again, for second time I see the same price for the flight, 305.65 euros.
Third page offers endless amount of insurance, coverage, protections and etc. I don’t need any, so let’s move further.
Fourth page, which is showing me price for 3rd time is looking like this:
Once again we see our magical 305.65 euros, which we have seen at the very least 3 times by now. Once on SkyScanner and twice during booking process. But now we also find a Special Discount, which is not explained why, when and how. We also see a selection of credit card logos, with some numbers next to it. It is quite common that American Express cards are processed with additional fees, but it is clearly 0.00 €.
So my reasoning is, you have a fare of 311.61 and got unexplained discount of 5.96, and if you pay with Maestro or Visa Debit/Credit there will be additional 2,98 € discount, meanwhile any other card will have 0 impact on your total price.
I have my personal details on auto-fill in Google Chrome, same as my Amex credit card details, two clicks to fill it in, quickly select 0,00 € American Express option and click Submit.
And only while submitting progress, I realized my total price was changed by double the amount of Special Discount. The payment went through and it was too late to cancel it.
So I wanted to figure out, what is going on?
Apparently, the total price that has been shown twice during booking process is only valid if you pay Maestro or Visa Debit/Credit. To start with, who on earth still has Maestro card?
Secondly, there is some unexplainable logic behind Special Discount being double the amount of what seems as surcharge near credit card logo.
So at the end of the day, if you are not paying with Maestro or Visa, as in my case, because I could have paid with Visa/Maestro at websites not accepting Amex and saved almost 30 €, you will end up in a higher price than advertised by Travelgenio during entire booking process.
In example here, it was only 6 € more, during my booking I ended up paying 15 € more.
It is definitely not the end of the world for my budget, but it is really annoying and frustrating to constantly check all those flight booking websites at which point they try to scam you. And I do believe, those credit card logos with 0.00 € signs are completely misleading and actually used to trick and, pretty much, scam customers of Travelgenio.com
And if you read negative reviews from TrustPilot you will see its not the only one case. They have endless issues with rebooking, hiden charges and not providing full information regarding fees.