Nowadays, when you want to book a flight, there are many websites to turn to that can compare the various options and propose the best prices – but while many of them are well-established and highly reputable, others can’t be trusted.
One site that claims to be able to offer some of the cheapest prices available is Travelcation, but is this a site you can trust? In this post, we have all the info you need as we bring you our Travelcation review.
How to tell if Travelcation is legit
Before we talk about Travelcation, let’s think about the different ways we can try to establish whether an online business is for real or if it’s a scam.
The first step is to search online for reviews of the company – there are several sites where customers can leave comments about their experiences of dealing with online business, and these can tell us a great deal.
However, it’s also important to be aware that all businesses will always receive a certain number of negative comments, however good the service they provide is – and also that it’s possible to upload fake reviews.
This means we should also look at websites dedicated to reporting scams to see how a particular business fares.
Finally, we can also look out for certain red flags that tell us that we need to be careful when dealing with a site – and by combining all of these factors, we can gain a better idea of whether we can trust a site with our money.
So what about Travelcation? Let’s have a look now.
What is Travelcation?
Travelcation is an online booking service that specializes in helping customers reserve cheap flights. They claim to use AI to scan flight prices, allowing them to offer the best deals.
Their website claims they provide an “easy, fast and reliable booking platform”, they boast the “largest airline inventory”, they offer the “best deals on flight bookings” and they have 100% price transparency”. They also offer 24/7 customer service.
But is this site everything it claims to be or is it a scam? Let’s dig a little deeper.
Online Travelcation reviews
If you look at the reviews and comments about this company on Quora, it paints a very sorry picture.
Multiple reviews mention things like bad customer service, rude staff, flight ticket scams, unexpected cancellations and rescheduling flights without warning.
One review states that the company is probably not based in the US as it claims while others say it is a scam website and advise in the strongest terms not to use them.
Similarly, the reviews of Travelcation found on Yelp are just as bad.
One commenter mentions they didn’t honor the quoted prices while another talks about being pressured to write a good review and also being threatened that a refund would be withheld if she wrote a negative review.
In the latter case, the experience with Travelcation supposedly ruined a honeymoon trip, and the person involved also claimed that Travelcation encouraged them to file a fraudulent insurance claim on medical grounds since Travelcation couldn’t or wouldn’t help.
Most reviews advise against using this site – and all but two of the 15 reviews give a one-star rating.
This is in stark contrast with the reviews on Trustpilot, a usually trustworthy review site.
Trustpilot lists Travelcation as a Verified Company and currently features nearly 2,000 reviews, with 76% of them giving five stars.
One thing that stands out is that a large number of the positive reviews mention the agent they spoke to by name – the agent involved is mentioned in almost every review, and somehow this feels unnatural.
Many of the positive comments are extremely vague, simply mentioning a name and general satisfaction with the service received from that person. Again, this doesn’t feel 100% natural.
There are also some negative reviews mentioning similar problems to those found on Quora.
Scam reporting websites for Travelcation
On Scam Detector, Travelcation received a score of 58.7% on the site’s Trust Index.
Scam Detector has an algorithm that uses over 50 factors to generate this score, and 58.7% is not a favorable result.
Travelcation was not detected by any blacklist engines, has a valid HTTPS connection and received a low score of 24/100 in the “proximity to suspicious websites” metric (with a low score considered positive). Scam Detector rates it as a “medium-risk” site.
BBB similarly gives the site a poor rating of only 1.73/5, clearly indicating that this is a business that has some issues, to say the least.
As well as lots of negative reviews, many of which advise against using Travelcation for booking flights, BBB also features the details of several serious complaints against Travelcation – many of which have not yet been satisfactorily resolved or even answered.
Travelcation Red flags
Here are some of the red flags that can give away a site as belonging to a disreputable business or being an outright scam along with how Travelcation stands up to scrutiny.
Overall quality of site and ease of use
Poor-quality websites are often a clear sign that a company is not trustworthy since scammers usually don’t have the time, funds, inclination or expertise to build a slick and professional site.
However, at first glance, the Travelcation website appears to be relatively well-made – although it’s still not quite top quality. The logo looks professional, and the interface is user-friendly – it’s easy to enter information and search for the deals you need.
In sum, this is not the kind of DIY website that tends to set the alarm bells ringing.
An important aspect when it comes to travel websites is the cancellation policy, and on the Travelcation website it is easy to find, well explained and clearly defined. So again, this is not something that immediately gives us cause for concern.
“About Us” section
Businesses use the About Us section to talk about themselves, giving their mission statement and company history to build trust with customers.
At first glance, the About Us section here looks good – but once you start to read it, you quickly notice that it hasn’t been well written and includes some strange use of English along with quite a few grammar mistakes or typos.
Much of what is written seems to say a lot without saying anything at all, and many sections can be described using an expression that has become popular of late: “word salad”.
This could just be a badly written company introduction, but it does seem that the business doesn’t have very much of substance to say about itself and is hiding behind some bizarre use of flowery language.
Testimonials are an important aspect of trusting a business, and Travelcation proudly displays its high scores on both Trustpilot (4.2) and Google (4.6).
However, as we’ve seen with the online reviews, when you dig into them, there may be some issues here, so we don’t know how far these reviews can be trusted.
The site provides a phone number, email address and even a physical address in Chicago, Illinois – which is the kind of thing you would expect from a genuine company.
Can you trust Travelcation?
So the big question is, can you trust Travelcation?
This is a bit of a tough one. We uncovered extensive evidence of many customers who had bad experiences with this company – and some of them reported losing thousands of dollars.
On almost all of the review sites, we found countless people claiming they’d been scammed by Travelcation and advising others not to go near this booking agency.
On the other hand, we found their website to be well made, in keeping with what you’d expect from a reputable company – scammers don’t usually go to the lengths of putting together such a high-quality site.
We also found lots of positive reviews on Trustpilot, and the Travelcation website displays an extremely good score on Google too.
What we can say is that if this site is a scam, it seems to be a more sophisticated and elaborate one than some others we’ve seen.
We don’t believe this site is a complete scam in that they do appear to book tickets for their customers, but many customers seem to be left unsatisfied, and the company does appear to be guilty of certain underhand practices.
On balance, we probably wouldn’t advise trusting this site since there are plenty of other much better-known sites also offering cheap flights – and remember, if the prices are too good to be true, they’re probably not real.
However, if you do decide to use this site, make sure you follow up with the airline to make sure your flights have been booked and to make sure that you don’t end up receiving any unpleasant surprises.
Think twice before handing over your credit card details
In the end, it’s up to you whether you want to trust Travelcation to book your flights, but we’ve found no shortage of evidence of unsatisfied customers online.
Sometimes it can be hard to decide which sites to trust, but we hope that with the information we’ve provided, you’re now better informed to make up your mind.