Subject: Re: Need advice about Skyauction

I have twice purchased airline tickets on Skyauction. This was several years ago and I managed to beat the lowest available fare for the routes I desired by about 25%. In recent years I've noticed that additional fees and surcharges (such as higher costs for particular departure cities) make finding a deal much more difficult. This is especially true in an auction situation where often these flights are going for more than discounted fares found elsewhere on the Internet.

The one time I needed assistance from Skyauction I was bidding on three tickets from San Diego to Amsterdam and managed to only win two in the auction despite having the highest bid for three out of four tickets. I had no problem acquiring another ticket from them at the same price. My understanding is that Skyauction is a consolidator of travel items (airplane tickets, rooms, packages, etc.). The return of an airline ticket with this type of company is going to be problematic.

Here are the terms lifted right from their website: "WHEN YOU BID AND WIN AN AUCTION, YOU ENTER INTO A LEGAL CONTRACT WITH SKYAUCTION TO PURCHASE THE TRAVEL SUBJECT TO SUCH AUCTION. This contract is subject to the terms and conditions in these Terms of Use.

All items are offered subject to availability in specific, contracted classes of service. Once reservations are confirmed they are NON-REFUNDABLE AND NON-CHANGEABLE. Reservations cannot be changed or endorsed in any way after issuance"

I suspect that your friend's only hope is that Skyauction will let the auction go to the next highest bidder. But they are under no obligation to do so. Bidding on travel auctions is a difficult method of buying travel services. One really has to know specifically what they want, their time frame, and the cost they are willing to spend. And then match that with the appropriate auction being sure to understand all of the specifics regarding the sale. It is a tricky business. I wish her the best of luck.

John in San Diego