Wow! Just wow! This is the best example we’ve seen of how Secret Flying, Fly Free and other blogs waste your time in order to harvest cash from your clicks — with a totally bogus offer.
On Aug 9th, 2016 Secret Flying and Fly Free both posted the same breathless offer: US CITIES TO MOZAMBIQUE FROM $3xx. Thousands of people click through to the links they supply and looked at these supposed bargains.
But any travel professional would see a huge red flag. Why? Let’s take a look: First, the deal is on Lufthansa (LH) from the USA to Munich (MUC). Then South African Airways (SA) would fly you from MUC to Johannesburg (JNB). So far, so good. But, the next carrier is LAM Mozambique (TM).
Here’s the problem: TM is not only BANNED from flying into Europe as a result of serioussafety concerns but cannot even issue electronic tickets for many other airlines, including LH in this case! Fact is, TM has just seven planes and is, to be kind, a less than reliable carrier. Think about it: if they cannot issue electronic tickets, how would you receive a good old paper ticket nowadays? By mail? Well, they are based in Mozambique so perhaps they could mail you a ticket. (by the way, when did you last see a paper ticket?) But there’s another problem: The flight originates in the US, and there’s a strict electronic-ticket only rule. So even if you would get your ticket, you wouldn’t be able to use it to check in or board.
Bottom line: Any travel agent — even one fresh from TA school could tell you that you’ll never get a ticket for this deal. It is literally impossible to ticket So how come people were able to book the flight? Simple: The blogs link to equally sleazy online travel agencies. These OTAs will take your credit card info, confirm receipt and even send you what looks like an itinerary — but you are never actually ticketed. After a day or two, they cancel on you when they realize they cannot ticket the deal. Meanwhile, you’ve given them your credit card information, wasted an hour of time and played into the hands of click traps like Secret Flying or Fly Free.
Look at the picture below and ask yourself: why do all of the larger OTAs quote a price well above this deal?
Shame on you, Secret Flying and Fly Free! You wasted our time on a deal you knew was worthless. And, even if you didn’t know it was bogus you should be ashamed of yourselves — any travel professional would know it wouldn’t work the minute they saw it. We think an apology is in order.
Update: We found the following comment on SecretFlying’s own website, posted by a user over a month ago about the previous version of that deal. So SF is well aware that it is unbookable and yet didn’t hesitate to post it again with a lower price.
No apology at all — and here’s what they said when people complained: “Interesting”...