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It was on 13th August, 2015 that my husband booked flight tickets for the four of us from Bangalore to Venice and back. While researching online, he came across BudgetAir.in’s offer of flight tickets that was cheaper than all other websites. He lapped it up and paid through his bank account. The amount was over $3000. Thus began our misfortune.

That very evening we received a mail from info@BudgetAir.in with the itinerary and flight tickets. We noticed that there was a typo in my younger son’s name. We immediately wrote back asking for a name correction. While that seemed like a big issue then, the real disaster was just unfolding. We soon realized that BudgetAir.in was like a ghost website. The Contact number helpfully splashed all over the page is NEVER picked up. Trust me, I have even waited for more than an hour and yet no reply. Though the website URL is .in which implies based in India, they have no contact name or address that is India based. Even the contact number operates only during the working hours in The Netherlands, not that anyone ever answers the phone. 

Despite numerous mails to the email address, we heard no response. This worried us. It was a name change in the ticket after all. Then on the morning of 14th August, 2015, we got another mail from them informing of a schedule change in the itinerary. It had no mention of our previous emails. This terrible change increased our return plan by more than 8-12 hours as it included an overnight stay in Abu Dhabi. The airline was Etihad Airways. The email mentioned that we had a right to reject the schedule change. We immediately responded to this by mentioning that we were not okay with this and wanted our tickets canceled and money refunded. But, no response from them again. Both my husband and I kept trying their Contact number all through 14th August but no reply. On doing a quick search on the net, I discovered that there were many reviews that mentioned this unprofessionalism. My blood ran cold. Had we landed ourselves into a huge mess?

Out of desperation we called the airline. They confirmed that we had the right to cancel the tickets without any charges. But they were unable to cancel our tickets, which they said they will do with full refund, since the tickets had been booked through BudgetAir. Now we were truly in a soup. BudgetAir.in was incommunicado.

Since then we have been constantly writing to them and calling them up but to no avail. We even reached out to their BudgetAir.nl office and spoke to the Customer Service Representative there who has repeatedly replied that they will respond. She even wrote them an email sending a cc to my husband. My husband has also reached out to Travix which is the owner company of the BudgetAir and left feedback on Travix’s website but no response from them as well. We have reached out on twitter to BudgetAir.nl who have asked for the details but not responded otherwise. The tickets are still not canceled.

Not only are we suffering unbearable trauma both mentally and financially at the unprofessionalism of BudgetAir but we had to cancel our vacation plans as well. We couldn’t possibly dream of traveling on these tickets for our European vacation.

I am writing this blog post to let everyone on the net know that BudgetAir must never be trusted to make flight bookings for you. I am still hopeful that someone will wake up and address this matter  and it will get resolved from their end.

If not, I am considering my legal options by suing them for my money. That will be the final resort, but I will not stop till they compensate my family for this. This is one BudgetAir review you would not wish to miss for your own safety.

Beware of this site for making any flight bookings. I request my friends to please share this post so that more and more people can be told about the scam of BudgetAir.

Comments

comments

100 Thoughts on “BudgetAir – A scam in online flight booking

  1. Oh my! This is so infuriating and emotionally taxing at the same time… I hope something can be done for this… It’s so frustrating when people do this…Just Sunday, someone fraudulently used my credit card from Lucknow..The card is with me but still..While the ordeal is not as bad as this , it really affects our mood and mental peace not to mention the financial hit…
    Nabanita recently posted…To Leave Or Not To Leave….#MondayMusingsMy Profile

    • Oh totally! The experience has been such a mental trauma for the entire family. One moment we were planning a fantastic vacation and another all that we were doing was frantically chasing these scamsters while no one was responding. This is such a huge lesson for all of us to avoid such sites like plague. One thing is certain — I will chase them till the end of the world. Thanks for your support.
      Rachna recently posted…BudgetAir – A scam in online flight bookingMy Profile

      • Ashok Babu on June 10, 2016 at 5:35 pm said:

        Hi Rachna I booked a ticket for my daughter from Chennai to Narita (Japan) for December of this year. I havent got the ticket yet. As you rightly pointed out, there is no contact for India at all. The .in made me think that they do have an indian office but now I am left with no way to deal with them. Can you kindly provide me their contact numbers in Netherlands please.

        • Sorry to hear that. The contact number is there for their main site not BudgetAir.in. Just Google their main site, there is a contact number there.

  2. This is really sad Rachna. I think you should write to the concerned department in the government and tweet to them also. Hopefully they will be able to resolve your issue quickly and painlessly.

    I think what also helps (though you must have done it) is to run an online opinion-check about a lesser known website. Gives insights into whether the site is genuine or fraudulent.

    Hope your issue gets resolved quickly.

    • I am reaching out to all the concerned parties and engaging with other parties who were embroiled in this scam on twitter too. I am hopeful that the sane parties would do something to resolve this issue. It is a huge lesson — this experience. I do hope that no one else gets conned with this website. Thanks a lot for the support.
      Rachna recently posted…BudgetAir – A scam in online flight bookingMy Profile

  3. This is really sad and frustrating.
    Loss of money as well as loss of good time.
    Don’t worry they will have to pay for this wrong doing. We are with you guys.
    Best Wishes.
    SWATIBASSI recently posted…Priceless GiftMy Profile

  4. Oh no. .This is not good.. very bad on part of the people doing this. .

    I also wish that such people are brought to the law and punished..

    Take care and keep at it .. just make sure you carry on contacting.

    Also you paid via bank so your bank should be able to reverse the transaction.. and hopefully indian banks insure you against such things..
    Have you talked to your bank to get that done..
    Bikram recently posted…Wordless Wednesday (54) :- JUGAADMy Profile

  5. OMG!! This is so terrible and so very unprofessional! Hope you get your refund real soon. Thanks for sharing, Rachna!
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…What to do When there are Too Many Things to Get DoneMy Profile

  6. Such a sad plight of affairs. Hope you and G get it sorted soon and get a refund plus compensation for the total mess up.
    Hope you get that trip to Venice soon 🙂
    Sid recently posted…A death, a funeral and some ramblingMy Profile

  7. That’s really scary. I hope you get your refund. I’m always wary about booking for sites that aren’t really well known, even if they are cheaper… Hope you are able to sort this our. Take legal action, if needed. Best of luck. <3
    Ash recently posted…You Must Empower Your DaughtersMy Profile

  8. What a nightmare… do they have any social media where they can be put pressure on ?
    Prasad Np recently posted…What To Shop In SingaporeMy Profile

  9. Ok this is what I did when an airline won’t refund for my cancelled ticket: After giving them plenty of decent opportunities I tweetd to them using the trending hashtag of the day. I actually got an immediate response with email from important people from the department. For me it was just Rs. 1800.. but what is not right is not right. Maybe you can try this as well.
    Nisha recently posted…Trip Report – Aiya Napa, CyprusMy Profile

  10. And you need to put the airline in the loop as well; this website may not care for its reputation but the airline just might put pressure on them. Seriously, Twitter is your friend in such matters. Has worked for us on several occasions.
    Nisha recently posted…Trip Report – Aiya Napa, CyprusMy Profile

  11. Sorry to learn of your experience.
    Holiday wasted & so much torture.
    Hope you get your refund soon.
    Anita recently posted…WIN With Infinite RealityMy Profile

  12. Oh gosh! Sorry this happened! Keep trying to reach out via FB, twitter and do not hesitate to take the legal route. Teach them a lesson and we will tweet as well.
    Parul recently posted…The ‘App’ of All ThingsMy Profile

  13. Very frustrating, but am sure you will finally be able to see things set right!

  14. Oh! That is just so horrible! I hope you guys get your refund soon and can go on your vacation in peace.
    Kaddu recently posted…Windows Downgrade: Old Really Is Gold!My Profile

  15. oh god!! that’s terrible!! so much stress such unproffesionalism causes … I really hope that it gets sorted out soon.
    Thanks for letting us know it and keep us posted on what happens.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…This too shall pass !!My Profile

  16. what crap….I can imagine the night mare you are going through right now. I really wish and hope you get the refund pretty soon. Let me know if there is something I can do…trying calling them their time or anything.
    My blood boiled while reading it….

  17. That’s horrible. I hope you get your money back. Such small websites have bad customer service. We had a similar experience while booking our tickets to India. Endless communication and stress. We vowed to stay away from such websites and pay extra for our peace of mind.

    I just want that you get your money back.
    Saru (@BaawriBasanti) recently posted…A Tailor-made Portfolio by #FundsIndiaMy Profile

  18. So sorry to read this. Do explore all your options to recover the money.
    Mridula recently posted…Coral Flyer Zipline in Kota KinabaluMy Profile

  19. I hope you get your money and peace of mind back soon Rachna.
    Jaibala Rao recently posted…Undoubtedly BlestMy Profile

  20. What an ordeal you must have gone through! This kind of unprofessional attitude sucks. Hope you are able to recover all the money.
    Somali K Chakrbarti recently posted…How well do you know these chocolate brands?My Profile

  21. This is terrible, Rachna 🙁 I do hope this gets resolved in your favour and really soon too! What a mess they seem to have made of this whole thing. How unprofessional of them to not be available for any comment or resolution either. Ridiculous! Let’s all tweet and make them sit up.
    Shailaja recently posted…A thing of beauty- #MicroblogMondaysMy Profile

  22. What harassment! They don’t realize their unprofessional behavior leads to their customer holiday dream to nightmare. Hope you get your money back soon! Shared this!
    Priya recently posted…Apple and Suji(Semolina) Kheer/ Rawa porridge for babiesMy Profile

    • Thank you so much, Priya. I wonder who runs these scam outfits. Considering that BudgetAir is in so many countries and is based out of The Netherlands, I would have expected better. But, I will keep chasing them. Hopefully, this post will prevent others from falling into the same trap.

  23. Very unfortunate. I usually refer to these middlemen websites for best flight timing and fare and then do actual booking on respective airline’s website, even if it is few hundred rupees more.

    Changes and corrections are really pain when there’re too many parties involved- different airlines, booking sites, countries, currencies, policies etc.
    Shrinidhi Hande recently posted…Queen’s flower garden at Sofiero Castle, Helsingborg, SwedenMy Profile

  24. Glad you wrote about it and tweeted too. It’s important to create awareness so that others do not suffer. Hope and wish your problem is resolved soon. Unnecessary mental harassment, waste of time and money.

  25. This is really horrible! Not only the money but you people are disturbed mentally. I’m thinking about the kids…how disappointed they might be with the mess 🙁
    I think you should keep in touch with the Airline continuously, apart from shooting emails to Budgetair.

    Thanks, Rachna, for letting us know about this…
    Maniparna Sengupta Majumder recently posted…‪#‎DelMonteItalianEscapades‬: Italian Pasta, Indian TwistMy Profile

  26. I have tweeted this through my twitter accounts. Hope you get your compensation 😮
    Roohi Bhatnagar recently posted…Asus Zenfone to pamper the Selfie loversMy Profile

  27. I am going through same situation, I have booked a ticket under BudgetAirway now i want to cancel my tickets to UK through Eithiad Airway. But this call center is horrible and no one is picking the call nor the email. Now i do not know what is alternative to reach them.
    I contacted Eithiad Airway but they are not able to cancel it since it is booked under BudgetAirway.

    Give my any suggestion if your case has been resolved

  28. Hi Rachna,
    I have got a call from Budget air office india, and they said they would cancel my ticket but i would get money back in 1 or 2 months of time. At least i am fine that they finally heard me and cancelled the ticket.
    What i have got from them is BudgetAir have a office in Bangalore Koramangla location. If you can find them, it would be good for you to get track of them.

  29. Oh mY God! Really sorry that you had to go through all of this. This is just Pathetic. Dont worry, hard-earned money will never go away that way. I’m sure you’ll get your money refunded without undergoing any more mental agony. My prayers that this gets sorted soon.

    Take care.
    Ashwini CN recently posted…Quotes Challenge #3 : Staying wary of the Comfort Zone!My Profile

  30. Oh gosh! I hope this gets resolved soon, and you get your money back, Rachna.
    I’ll share this story, too.
    dNambiar recently posted…One night in AspenMy Profile

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  34. This is so scary Rachna. Good luck. I do hope you get your refund.
    Beat About the Book recently posted…The Time TravelerMy Profile

  35. Udayashankar on September 10, 2015 at 3:41 pm said:

    Dear Rachna,

    Such incidents in life just happen even before we realise that we are in a mess..

    Hope you get your refund very soon..So Budget Air is a Big No for me and my friends now onwards..

  36. Pingback: Atrocious Customer Service by Etihad Airways - Rachna Says

  37. Pingback: #BudgetAir refund received after #EtihadAirways smartened their act - Rachna Says

  38. S kulkarni on October 10, 2015 at 5:18 pm said:

    Hi Rachna.. Could u please update on what is the status of your refund now?? I feel so sorry to read this.. I just got in this mess today n struggling to trace these guys.. Can u share any contact details which helped u get in touch with these people.. Or the parent company Travix contact details..

    • Hi S, Yes, I got my refund. Do see my latest post. It will give you all the information you need. Good luck.

      • Hi Rachna

        So sorry to hear about this. I also booked through budgetair.in 2 days back unfortunately and it showed payment error and payment actually went through and they haven’t issued ticket. please can you share with me point of contact as its been really very difficult to get through someone at budgetair.in
        and no replies from their email.
        Appreciate if you can share contact details of them who can be helpful

        • So sorry to hear that, Karan. They have no other contact. If they want they call you from some unknown number over skype. Wish I could help you there.

  39. Hi Rachna

    So sorry to hear about this. I also booked through budgetair.in 2 days back unfortunately and it showed payment error and payment actually went through and they haven’t issued ticket. please can you share with me point of contact as its been really very difficult to get through someone at budgetair.in
    and no replies from their email.
    Appreciate if you can share contact details of them who can be helpful

    karanpravin@gmail.com

  40. Juzer Hakimuddin on November 9, 2015 at 1:59 pm said:

    Hey Rachna,
    I too have been scammed by this site. The amount has been deducted but haven’t received any confirmation mail from their end. Did u get the money back?
    I called the airlines too, they said they don’t have any booking under the name.
    What do u suggest I do?

  41. I want to make a point here. It is difficult to deal with Budget Air when things are going wrong. But i have found thier office in kormangala Bangalore(Near Jyothi Nivas collage) so any such issues people go directly to the office and talk to them.
    Hopefully this will help you guys…..

  42. Murali Sathya on March 27, 2016 at 9:26 pm said:

    Hi Rachna, Thanks for your detailed post.. We were planning a holiday and budgetair.com was the lowest price.. However, after checking multiple feedbacks including yours, we decided against booking on budgetair.com..Best Regards, Murali Sathya

  43. Pritam on June 11, 2016 at 11:27 pm said:

    Today i made Mumbai to Dubai return air tickets for 7 passengers through BudgetAir. in’s offer of flight tickets that was cheaper than all other websites so we paid 1.34 Lacs through his bank account. Thus began our misfortune.

    3 hours back we received a mail from info@BudgetAir.in that payment confirmation mail. But after reading all details we feel we lost money.

    Please guide me how to refund my money.

    • karan on June 13, 2016 at 1:42 am said:

      You can also email jmangelaars@travix.com , he is the ceo , or use below details for marjon. They helped me out for refund.

      Marjon Paanen
      global manager excellence center


      Travix Nederland B.V.
      Piet Heinkade 55
      1019 GM Amsterdam
      The Netherlands

      T. +31 (0)23 5176330
      M. +31 (0)6 12509756
      E: mpaanen@travix.com

  44. karan on June 13, 2016 at 1:44 am said:

    You can also email sprasad@travix.com

  45. Pritam on June 13, 2016 at 3:16 pm said:

    Thank you karan.
    I received the tickets and same are conform by airline

  46. Hi rachna

    Sadly I too have fallen trap to this scam by budget air. My money has been deducted and I haven’t received my tickets. I can’t seem to contact them. I really don’t know what to do.

    • @Sandy:

      I too was in the same boat as I had booked my tickets to Singapore on 2nd Nov, but today after going through Rachna’s post which is really helpful, I sent an email to jmangelaars@travix.com & mpaanen@travix.com. I have now received booking confirmation and e-tickets, which I validated on the airline site.

      Many thanks Rachna for this useful blog, hope people stay away from this web-site for now.

      BR,
      Rajiv

  47. @Sandy:

    I too was in the same boat as I had booked my tickets to Singapore on 2nd Nov, but today after going through Rachna’s post which is really helpful, I sent an email to jmangelaars@travix.com & mpaanen@travix.com. I have now received booking confirmation and e-tickets, which I validated on the airline site.

    Many thanks Rachna for this useful blog, hope people stay away from this web-site for now.

    BR,
    Rajiv

  48. Andy Jones on June 23, 2017 at 7:42 pm said:

    While it may sound harsh and I am sorry for your loss, here’s my 2 cents (considering that I am a travel agent and have booked thousands of tickets for my customers):

    1. Budgetair/Edreams/Opodo offers cheap prices but when things go south, you have a hard time.

    2. Airline cannot do anything in this case, since when an OTA books a ticket, OTA has to service the tickets not the airline. This is true for any OTA, whether it’s makemytrip, expedia or edreams. Often these OTA will levya heavy fee on top of the airline fee for any servicing. This is how they earn money, and the very reason why they offer deeply discounted ticket at the first place.

    3. You can beat around the bush as much as you want, complaining to social media won’t help. Millions have successfully booked tickets with budgetair and tens of thousands face error. But people still get honeytrapped due to low price.
    A quick search on Google on budgetair would show 1000 stories similar to yours.

    4. Your best bet would be to complain to your credit card/bank and they should be able to compensate you. Most banks and credit card companies will happily oblige in a fraud case.

    5. Last action is legal action, but that will take painfully long time if budgetair is not registered in India.

    Btw, you haven’t really mentioned anywhere.whose fault was it for the name typo? Was it yours or budgetair’s?

    I hope that you would have got the refund or name change done by now, in the best case scenario.

    Good luck.

  49. Vaibhav on July 22, 2017 at 11:02 pm said:

    Thanks for posting this Rachna. I was about to book via Budgetair due to low prices, but have decided against it after reading this.

  50. Vinayak on August 17, 2017 at 5:13 pm said:

    It’s a total scam.Even i got duped.Indian booking agencies are much better.I am just trying to get some refund after hefty charges of cancellation,inspite of the fact my booking was under prime package and i was told there will be no charge for change/cancellation.Whatever little refund i get,will again take 3 months.

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