This time when I was flying to India, my coworkers suggested that I check out citiair.com. Someone else suggested me to check out alanita.com. And I personally use expedia.com.
So, why citiair is bad? The customer service was at Indian standard, there is a personal touch, but no professionalism, credit card did not go through and I had to be with them on call for 4 hours just to make a date change.
But there is a good reason why I chose citiair in the first place. Expedia is the most expensive option, and I do not remember seeing Air India is an option there. Air India is usually the cheapest option among all.
When you take that one out, other options do not look that cost-effective. Citiair was offering cheapest air at least $20 cheaper than what I found on Alanita.
Why Citiair is better than Alanita?
I am not sure if I am in the best position to judge Alanita. I did not buy anything from them. But, when I was shopping around, I found the ticket price was lower than Expedia but a tiny bit more than Citiair.
My coworker has been a customer, and he did not have anything bad to say, he said the ticket price was lower than elsewhere.
So how was my experience with them?
The guy who was working with me ( and I am sorry I could not say, who was helping, because the service was terrible) took 3 – 4 hours just to find a ticket and get details like payment information.
At 12 am I got a call, just to tell me the payment did not go through and there was another way they could accept payment. That is giving them a scanned copy of the credit card.
When I woke up next day morning, that is after 6 hours, the ticket or the confirmation was not there. So I had to follow up and then I got the confirmation and email.
How did they handle my change request?
I had to work with the same person when I had to prepone my ticket. The person did not even know the process. And he thought I wanted to make a new booking. First, he gave me a quote that I had to pay only $50 extra. But, then he found out from a senior that he had to cancel the previous booking.
That cost me $550. I do not blame them for that, Air India charged me that ridiculous amount. But, I have a problem with the ridiculous time they wasted.
It was another 4 hours on the phone with that guy to get a new booking done.
How was the after-sales service?
After I reached Mumbai, my next flight was after 12 hours. This is not Citiairs fault. Anyway, I did not wait for the Air India flight and booked a Vistara and reached Kolkata.
When I went to Mumbai Air India counter to cancel the ticket from Mumbai to Kolkata. They simply refused to help. And yet some people want to see them in operation.
I called Cisitair and asked for help to cancel the ticket, they also said they cannot help. That ticket was wasted, not only wasted I will tell you next blog post, how that created a mess.
Why Will I go back to Expedia?
Expedia has way better customer experience. I never had to waste so much time on the phone. They are pricey. But I got to buy insurance that covers my unexpected flight miss and luggage loss costs.
There is a protection for flight price drop too. I will go back to them, next time I need tickets.