I’ve waited over a month to write this article. Because I wanted to be sure that I’m giving trip.com every opportunity to fix their mistake.
Yet alas, I’ve found trip.com to be exactly what I thought they were. Useless and rather shady when it comes to customer service and refunds.
Here is why I would suggest you avoid trip.com and the alternatives I would strongly suggest you use instead.
Why you should avoid using the website Trip.com
Incorrect Flight Information Listed On Trip.com
I booked both my flight to Havana Cuba and my return flight from Havana with trip.com. I booked them as single leg flights as I did not know how long I would be in Cuba.
In order to get to Havana I flew from Uruguay without incident. But when I booked the flight out of Havana I learnt that the information provided on the trip.com website was incomplete and ultimately inaccurate.
Flying out of Cuba all the flights on the trip.com website transit the USA. And the website states that you ‘may need a visa’ to transit. Okay, I’m Australian so no problem.
Yet as it turned out this is actually a big problem. As the USA doesn’t process transit visas in Cuba. You need an interview to get a transit visa for the USA and can’t do the interview in Cuba.
So here’s the crux of the problem with the flights that trip.com sells to people looking to fly out of Cuba. They sell you flights out of Cuba knowing you’ll need a visa and that you won’t be able to do the interview or get the visa in Cuba.
trip.com are knowingly selling airline tickets that aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. Because you won’t be allowed to board the flight.
Dishonest Refund Policies on trip.com
Normally when a booking engine makes a mistake they take ownership of the problem and offer a refund or website credit. But not trip.com.
I’m an Expedia ‘gold member’ and have high status on most airlines. I fly long haul a lot as you can probably tell from this website. And never have I encountered the sort of terrible customer service and dishonest policies that I found with trip.com.
The flight I booked on trip.com was with American Airlines.
The American Airlines refund policy clearly states that if you book more than 2 days in advance and you request a refund within 24hours of buying the ticket you get a full refund within 7 days. And the American Airlines refund policy applies to all ticket types.
Now, trip.com will tell you that refundable flights are non-refundable. And they will do their utmost to avoid legitimate refund requests.
In my case the refundable American Airlines flight that I was bought from trip.com based on the incomplete and inaccurate information on their website still hasn’t been refunded.
Blaming The Airlines When They’re Clearly At Fault
Talking to trip.com they blame the airline and say I need the airline to refund the ticket. But talking to American Airlines they tell me I need to have trip.com refund the ticket. Both just point at each other.
Now, I’m more inclined to believe American Airlines customer service than trip.com. Because on contacting American Airlines they clearly stated on the phone that the ticket is refundable. And that I qualified for the refund.
Heck even trip.com in their emails and on the phone have now agreed to the refund. And in their last email they stated that due to the pandemic the processing of refunds would be slow. And this is in February 2023.
It’s now been over a month and guess what? They still haven’t processed the refund. By this point I’m sure they’re just hiding from the problem.
I’ve now given up chasing trip.com for the refund that both the American Airlines and trip.com agreed too. Because their ridiculous ‘customer service’ just isn’t worth my time.
Book All Flight To And From Cuba Direct With Airlines
If Expedia, Booking.com or OMIO sold flight to and from Cuba I would highly recommend them. But alas none of the big three booking engines sell flights with Cuba as a destination.
So instead of using a booking engine I would strongly suggest booking direct with the airline you’re intending to fly with. And if you book direct with the airline you will save a lot of money on your flights.
Trip.com Is A Scam website
While I was looking for a flight to replace the flight I had booked with trip.com I stumbled across the Colombian airline Wingo. Wingo has three classes of tickets for direct flights starting at less than $100USD from Havana to Bogotá Colombia.
Wingo sells ‘basic’ without checked baggage and ‘plus’ or ‘premium’ classes that include checked baggage. I also checked the Wingo flights on trip.com.
Trip.com only sold the lowest class of Wingo flight without checked baggage. But they sold the same Wingo ‘basic’ ticket at a price almost 50% higher than Wingo sold its own ‘premium’ option.
Trip.com is both a rip off and a scam.
Where Can I Get More Information About Cuba?
I’ve made my Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba available on this website. And I recommend you read it before traveling to Cuba. It will help you navigate Cuba and Cuban society.
My Complete Guide To Cuba will save you a lot of time and a significant amount of money on your trip to Cuba. Cuba is not the sort of destination in which you can just arrive unprepared.
Read the most Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba here.