Vayama primarily focuses on the international travel sector. To represent this, its tagline is “international travel solved.” With this focus, the site claims to offer the best deals on international flights.
Vayama claims to provide “a massive selection of airlines, flights, and fares, many never previously available online, so you can find the lowest prices and best schedule options.”
The site’s main feature is its international flight booking feature. Alongside this, it also provides guides to various destinations and information on any problems that might arise in regards to passports, visas, and so on.
In a market filled with competitors such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Sidestep, it is pretty hard to make a name. Vayama sets itself apart thanks to the deals and offers that it provides alongside a prior map feature. The map feature would let you “see” your flight options before you even book a flight.
Why Is Vayama So Cheap?
The online travel industry is saturated with so many competitors, it seems like a daunting task for another site to step to the plate. The creators of Vayama.com have risen to that challenge though. They are trying to carve out a piece of the industry for themselves.
Debuting in 2007, the site has established itself as an alternative to the numerous other sites that are available. Unlike most other travel sites, Vayama caters mainly for travellers looking to leave the country. If you are a frequent international traveller, you have most likely come across the site and the flight prices are really cheap.
Does this international only focus give it an edge over its competition or is the site struggling just as much as they are? The answers to this are mixed. Vayama offers spectacular deals for certain situations, but it seems to be lacking somewhat in others.
Here’s everything you need to know about Vayama and my personal take on the site.
Vayama Flight Booking
Vayama’s site comes in a neat layout that is ultimately user-friendly. It features a world map that you can click on as the main attraction. The map could be used for selecting cities you are travelling from and to or by using the search fields on the site.
The map came in handy especially if you were looking for the airports present in the city you are travelling to.
Clicking on the map would let you see all the airports present in a country you picked too. This feature was largely useless when booking flights though. It did not help you in any way except look fancy. This must be why it is no longer the main feature of the site.
If you are looking to book flights using the search fields would make things much easier. It provides all necessary information such as prices, schedules, flight time, and so on. All these would be displayed under the map in the initial site design.
The neat and simple design aside, the site lacks some key features. These features such as flexible dates, how price may vary according to days, and so on are usually on competitor sites. The ability to select a preferred airline sort of makes up for this.
All these aside, the booking process is simple and easy to follow. You don’t have to sign up for a Vayama account before you book a flight and you can pick your seats on a 3-D representation of the plane.
Asides this flight booking capability, the site also provides you with information on a large selection of destinations. This is presented in forms of sightseeing highlights, travel blog, and assistance with navigating any city that you might be visiting.
If you are a frequent flyer with Vayama, you can apply for the role of a city expert in a city you visit often. This role will allow you to provide information to future flyers in exchange for credit that goes towards any future flight that you might have with Vayama.
You should take special care to look through your flight details. It is easy to miss omissions such as possible transfers and gaps in your itinerary. You should keep an eye out for things like this when booking on the site.
Is Vayama Good?
Vayama will assist you in locating and booking the following things
You can pay for all these through various means. Vayama accepts payments for flights and hotels using various credit cards such as Visa cards, American Express, Mastercard, and so on. Payments for flights can be made via Paypal, but it does not work when paying for hotels.
If you are paying for a car rental, your location and provider will determine the means of payment. It is best that you check this out before making a booking. Airport transfers can be paid for using the following; American Express, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, Mastercard, UnionPay, and Visa.
How Does Vayama Measure Up Compared To Its Competitors?
Vayama’s website, when compared to any other online travel agency, does not really stand out. Beyond its easy to navigate design, nothing really screams the best when it comes to Vayama.
The site might provide the occasional better option for long-distance flights, but for more common routes such as New York to London, there is not much difference. In fact, some of these flight comparisons, ended with Vayama being slightly more expensive, a difference of about $5-$10.
Despite offering you the option to pick a preferred airport, Vayama does not come with the ability to search nearby airports for customer use. This flaw makes some of the deals Vayama brings on the flight to lose their appeal.
You might find that a cheaper flight includes a train ride in between destinations, just to get you to a more suitable airport for Vayama. This airport may end up being a large inconvenience for you while on your trip. This misrepresentation of data is another major flaw when it comes to Vayama’s operations.
If you are booking a multi-city flight, you might run into another hose of problems. The flights may have deviations from the normal routes that you’d normally take.
Take a New York- Tokyo-Bangkok-New York flight for example. You might have to find your way through Bangkok to reach a connecting flight in Auckland, just to reach your destination in New York. In my books, this is a very unacceptable feature and makes flights more stressful than they already are.
Pros Of Using Vayama
Here are a couple of Pros of using Vayama:
1. The site provides an excellent filter for searching for hotels.
Vayama is in partnership with Booking.com. This allows you to easily connect with hotels. This connection is taken a step further in that you can filter hotels based on several criteria including accessibility, beach access, downtown distance, and so on.
2. Vayama serves a large number of airlines
Vayama compares prices across various airlines that are offering flights to you. this can help out especially if you are trying to travel on a budget.
Cons Of Using Vayama
Here are a couple of Cons of using Vayama:
If you are looking to change or cancel a flight, Vayama asks you to pay a $100 fee. This is not inclusive of fees that airlines may charge you.
2. There are service fees on all flights
Regardless of whether the flight is an international one or a domestic flight, Vayama asks you to pay an additional service fee. This fee is $25 for domestic flights and goes up to $50 for international ones.
3. There’s a history of poor customer service
The company has already built up a reputation for being terrible at handling customer issues. There are several complaints about the company. The general opinion is that Vayama does not help out its customers when complaints are made.
This can be very terrible for business especially for an online travel agency.
Vayama might be able to provide you with deals for your international flights. The company does deliver on its promise of doing that. This much makes it worth checking out.
The site offers you flight options for exotic destinations as well as options for airport conveniences. This alone makes it a good online site for booking flights.
The site does not deliver on its better options promise though. Its offers and deals are not necessarily the best or cheapest in the industry. There are other services that either match or provide much better options than Vayama.
The numerous negative online reviews do give cause for pause too. They might leave you with a poor taste in your mouth even without using their services. Personally, I don’t think this is a risk worth taking unless of course, you have had a prior encounter with the site.
I would recommend that you check out other sites asides Vayama and decide if you would like to cast your vote with Vayama or not. This is the best way to make the best choice.
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- Excellent Flight Options
- Easy To Navigate and Book your flights
- No sign up required
- Its offers and deals are not necessarily the best or cheapest in the industry
- The numerous negative online reviews do give cause for pause too
- Additional service and cancellation fees