CheapAir debuts Price Drop Payback but not all paybacks created equally
Travelers are always wondering if they really landed the best airfare deal so CheapAir.com has introduced a refund program to give its customers some compensation and stress-relief if airline ticket prices fall.
The California-based online travel agency’s new Price Drop Payback provides customers with up to $100 per ticket in vouchers toward future travel if the price of their nonrefundable airline ticket drops before they depart. See the precise terms and conditions.
But, there is some heavy lifting involved to get the CheapAir payback.
The vouchers aren’t sent automatically — the customer must check back periodically by accessing the website’s My Trips section and then select the Price Drop Payback button to reprice the itinerary to see if the airfare has dropped.
It’s better than having no sort of airfare price drop guarantee, but CheapAir’s Price Drop Payback doesn’t nearly measure up to the Orbitz Price Assurance guarantee, for example.
Under Price Assurance, Orbitz automatically tracks airfare and hotel rate price drops and sends refund checks — not vouchers — to qualifying customers.
Orbitz offers refunds of up to $250 on airline tickets and a maximum of $500 for each hotel booking.
Through last summer, Orbitz has sent more than $10 million in refunds to customers in the three years since launching Price Assurance.
Orbitz, of course, is a much larger company than CheapAir and presumably in a better position to hand out the refund payola.
Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.