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Farebuzz?

Has anyone ever used the website FareBuzz.com to purchase business class tickets? I am traveling to Nairobi in August, and I really want to fly business class because I'm getting too old to fold myself up in a coach seat for 20 hours!

I have read mixed reviews, so I thought I would check with my friends here.

Thanks for any thoughts or experiences.
Beth

Posted by
3144 posts

I never, ever use a third-party to purchase airline tickets.

They can be helpful in terms of finding discounted fares but I would never buy from them. If you buy from a third-party, when there is a problem like if a flight is canceled, diverted, so late that you missed the connection, etc. you have to contact that third-party (not the airline) and hope they have a 24 hour customer service center that you can contact whether at home or overseas that will rebook you ASAP.

Posted by
120 posts

I have used third party sites before. After I purchase, I check with the airline to make sure my tickets are registered there. As long as I pay attention to flight status, I have always been ok.

Posted by
3144 posts

What were you able to do while overseas when a flight had been canceled or you missed a connection or separate layover flight that you booked via third-party? Or has that never happened to you?

Posted by
120 posts

I have been fortunate in my flying experiences (except for with lost luggage!). It is such a significant cost savings, I am hoping to be fortunate again. The reviews are mixed that I have seen so far. I think it boils down to whether or not you encounter a scheduling problem.

Posted by
5010 posts

Don't know anything about this particular place, but without a single exception to date, every place I've ever seen that purports to be selling "discounted" business class tickets is either an outright scam, or is (at best) a very, very shady operation dealing in fraudulent tickets that may or may not leave you stranded with no valid flight and no recourse.

Airlines do NOT sell discounted business class tickets to resellers, ever. Period.

Those who claim they are selling "discount" business class tickets are ALWAYS fraudulently selling black market tickets that are redeemed with someone else's frequent flyer miles that were bought and sold. Buying or selling frequent flyer miles is a clear and explicit violation of the airline's programs. The airlines do not look kindly on this activity (/understatement), and are actively on the lookout trying to catch anyone participating in it. If you buy a "ticket" that was purchased with someone else's FF miles, and they find out (it's super-easy for any airline to check that: how come your name doesn't match the name of the FF account used to book that ticket?), you are regarded as a participant in fraudulent activity, and if the airline catches you, they cancel your ticket on the spot and tell you to go pound sand, and you have no recourse.

No way would I ever deal with any outfit that claims they have some magical way of obtaining discount business class tickets and selling them to you at a discount. There is no such thing. Caveat emptor extremis.

Posted by
7762 posts

I always like to look on the Trip Advisor Air Travel forum when someone here pops in with a question about 3rd party airline tickets. Not much comes up on a search for this company but I found this fairly hilarious post from several years ago. There are lots of deleted posts which were apparently one time posters with glowing reviews of FareBuzz. The regulars were having some fun with it.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i10702-k6582974-Fare_buzz-Air_Travel.html

Here's another older thread with a response from FareBuzz. The quality of the English in that answer is alarming as is the glowing review in #10.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i10702-k3854796-Fare_Buzz_discount_business_class_tickets-Air_Travel.html

You can certainly search for more threads on the ATF to see if anyone who is a regular poster has anything positive to say.

Posted by
6454 posts

Never heard of it.

Looked at their website and see it claims to be a "BBB Accredited Business"

Oddly when searching for it on the BBB site, I get "no matches found"

Me, I would RUN, not walk, in the other direction.

Re-read David's post. I think he nailed it

Posted by
6441 posts

I have booked with 3rd party Expedia a flight that was cancelled on the way back from Europe and the airline rebooked me and paid for a night in a hotel and food vouchers. I also filed a claim EU 261 and got 1300 euros from the airline So you see it is sometimes exaggerated on this forum that 3rd parties are doom and gloom to be avoided. However Farebuzz.com nope nope nope, I wouldn't do that.

Posted by
5010 posts

Jazz+Travels - was that a business class ticket?

Airlines regard their business class seats as the company's "family jewels", and are extremely protective of them. They value them highly (and price them carefully). Unsold business class tickets are usually either, 1) held until check-in time, in hopes that someone will come along and pay a stunningly high premium to buy that seat at the very last minute (they will let the plane go out with that seat unused because they can make so much money by selling it at the last minute and that does happen); or 2) are used to upgrade their top elite passengers on paid tickets; or 3) a few airlines put those seats up for "bid" at T-24 and let coach passengers buy-up.

I've never heard of any airline dumping unsold business class seats at a discount in advance to some third party reseller. Never.

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I am guessing right about this particular "reseller."

Posted by
4012 posts

David is right. The process of selling business class tickets purchased via another person's frequent flyer miles is fraudulent and will result in cancellation without refund if the airline find out your ticket has been purchased in such a manner.

There is only one way to purchase business class tickets and that is via the airline direct (or through a genuine, approved seller). The cheapest tickets will be from the airline direct with the best savings achieved by buying during the sales. The airlines don't need to offload discounted business class tickets, they manage to fill the seats quite easily. Savings can be found and I've regularly found first class tickets cheaper than business class by playing around with the dates but in all cases with long haul the prices are still going to be in the thousands rather than hundreds.

Posted by
6441 posts

Better. Try to make friends with someone working with the airline. I have flown business and first class international on buddy passes with and as a lowly airline employee.

Posted by
5010 posts

I'm not saying there aren't ways to get into Business or First class without paying big money. There are. (And yes, knowing someone at the airline can be one way.)

But buying "discount business class tickets" from some sketchy website is not one of them.

Posted by
120 posts

Thanks everyone for your responses. Are Orbitz and Expedia more dependable? It seems they cobble together flights from different airlines to get the best price. Am I better off using those?

I appreciate your feedback.
Beth

Posted by
732 posts

I suggest setting up price alerts on Google Flights, for a number of dates and flights, for Business Class. You will be notified of price fluctuations, and get a feel for the price ranges. When you find a good price, then book directly with the airline itself.
Expedia and Orbitz are third party sites, also. Do a search here of the topic, and then form your opinion.
Safe travels!

Posted by
17099 posts

I book directly with the airlines, but as far as I know Expedia and Orbitz are legitimate ticket sellers. However, the caution about possibly having more difficulty working through them in the event of a cancelation or a major delay is something to think about. I'd certainly want substantial savings to justify using a third-party seller.

Posted by
120 posts

Just an update. A business class ticket from Charlotte to Nairobi was $6000! I diligently searched on Expedia and got it down to $4000. I checked the airline sites and I'm confirmed and have seats. I'm going to hope for the best. Thanks for all your thoughts. I'm going to stay away from the more obscure sites.

Posted by
120 posts

Agnes, you are right! Asheville is especially bad, which is where I live. I always drive to Charlotte, and still it's not ideal.

Posted by
2567 posts

Expedia is a third party seller but I have never had any problems when I have used them to purchase a ticket. In fact, I have flew on United using a business class ticket purchased on Expedia for $2,000 less than United was selling the ticket for. The return flight was canceled and I was rebooked by United with zero problems. But FareBuzz is something completely different. That would be a no.

Have you checked into flying to JFK or IAD and spending the night there and flying out the next day and same for the return? I know two people who fly to Africa on business several times per year and neither spends more than $3,500 per ticket

Posted by
120 posts

I did check into the JFK to Nairobi option, but by the time I spend the night and add the extra stress, it was about the same price. I am willing to spend a little more for less stress, but I still like a good deal if I can find it!