A Plainville man said next time he is going to book directly with the airline after finding out a reservation he made with a third-party website was canceled.
Bill Quealy enlisted his daughter to help book flights to Tucson for a surprise Christmas gift to his wife and son.
His daughter found what she thought was a good deal for airfare on a discount travel website called JustFly and purchased two roundtrip tickets for $797.
She received an email confirming the reservation that included a JustFly booking number and an American Airlines confirmation number.
A month before the trip, Quealy’s wife called the airline with a question about the reservation.
"They had told her that there was actually no tickets reserved," Quealy said.
American Airlines’ records showed the trip was canceled.
Quealy said he spent several hours on the phone with JustFly's customer service and an agent told him that he should have received an email alerting him that his reservation required immediate attention.
His daughter used her email account to book the reservation and said she never saw a follow-up email from JustFly about a cancellation or anything else.
Quealy booked new tickets directly from an airline website and asked JustFly to pay the difference in the fares but said the company told him that wasn’t possible.
NBC Connecticut Responds checked Quealy’s reservation on JustFly's website and discovered the family’s trip was still listed as confirmed. Momentum Travel, the parent company of Justfly, acknowledged the error to NBC Connecticut and offered Quealy two $75 vouchers to use toward future travel.
Momentum Travel provided copies of two emails notifying Quealy there was a problem with the reservation and instructing him to call customer service right away, but his daughter said she never received those emails. A spokesperson also said Quealy’s account was never charged for the original booking.
The company said its system is automated to send out an email to the address provided if something goes wrong with booking payment. A spokesperson said the company has no way of knowing if the system is not functioning.
Since Quealy was hesitant to accept the travel vouchers after his experience with Justfly, the company agreed to send him a $150 check instead.
In the future, the Plainville man said he’ll book travel directly through the airline.