Monday, September 7, 2009

CheapoAir Exposed: Why you need to avoid this dishonest company at all costs


If you aren't familiar with CheapoAir, consider yourself lucky. This post is intended to forewarn anyone wanting to do business with this company, which consistently employs dishonest marketing tactics in order to draw in customers.

CheapoAir is notorious for advertising coupon codes that can be used on ANY flight! Wow! $15 off my flight?! Cool! Not quite....

Let's compare a straightforward Los Angeles - San Francisco roundtrip ticket on both Expedia.com (an honest site) and CheapoAir.com:

Let's choose United 118 outbound on Sept. 16, returning on United 119 on Sept. 23, for example:

Expedia's cost:
1 Ticket / Roundtrip
LAX Los Angeles to
SFO San Francisco
Leave: Wed 16-Sep
Return: Wed 23-Sep
1 adult $98.00
Taxes & Fees $21.20
Total $119.20

Note the taxes and fees - these are the actual TSA and other governmental taxes levied on domestic airfare.

Now, let's look at the same itinerary on CheapoAir:

Price Details
1 Adult
Base Price: 98.00
Taxes & Fees: 55.20
Total per person:
# of Travelers: 1
Sub Total: USD
Trip Protection Insurance: 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Promo Code
I have a Promotional Code: Apply
Old Price: $153.20
Instant Discount Promotion: $-10.00
Handling Fees:
Total Charge: $143.20
Please note: All fares quoted are in US Dollars.

Note that they dropped $10 off the airfare! Wow! You're "saving" $10. But why is the total cost exactly $24.00 more than the actual price on Expedia? Where is that money going?

Let's apply their "NY15" discount code now:

Price Details
1 Adult
Base Price: 98.00
Taxes & Fees: 55.20
Total per person:
# of Travelers: 1
Sub Total: USD
Trip Protection Insurance: 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
I have a Promotional Code: Apply
Your promo code has been accepted. NY15
Old Price: $153.20
Instant Discount Promotion: $-25.00
Handling Fees:
Total Charge: $128.20
Please note: All fares quoted are in US Dollars.

So, even with two coupons in the reservation you are still overpaying by $9.00. That money is sheer profit to the company.

I once tried to stack a few coupons that amounted to around $50, onto a similar airfare. Once the price reached the price on Expedia, I recieved the notification that "the coupon could not be applied due to certain restrictions". What restrictions? Offering coupons that seem to save customers money, but invalidating those coupons once they are actually saving money.

CheapoAir is one of the most dishonest companies I've seen in a long time. These extra fees should be listed under "Handling Fees", but they are not. They are included in the airfare's taxes and fees, which is illegal and misleading at best.

On a side note, CheapoAir just arranged an advertising partnership with our blog. We've ended that partnership before it could begin. I wouldn't send my worst enemy over to their company.

Buyer beware!

1 comment:

literallySPunkransom said...

Thank you for the heads up! I HAVE heard of them, and am happy you guys decided not to partner with them! Kudos.