I tried booking a flight today, and was greeted with this excellent bait-and-switch routine. First, the search engine shows candidate flights sorted by price:Then, when you click on "Select" to pick this flight, it shows you the same booking, on a form that asks for you to choose the number of passengers:But after choosing the number of passengers, you are greeted with a subtly updated booking detail:
Note: the price has changed. In fact it's gone up almost $100. WTF?
I called Flight Centre to ask what happened. I was told that "all websites do this" and "the price is updated when you try to book, but the search results are not updated." Furthermore they pointed me to the minuscule text at the bottom of the search results page that says "These prices are for comparison only."
Comparison to what? When you are searching for items based on lowest price, the only thing that matters IS the price. If the price is incorrect, which in this case it was off by 20%, how can you make a meaningful comparison? The weaselly text at the bottom of the page may absolve them from criminal liability for deceptive advertising, but this still stinks to me.