Online travel retailer Travelstart says it exceeded Black Friday sales targets despite the practices of unscrupulous travel agents who bought their travel deals, marked up the prices and onsold them to unsuspecting consumers. Travelstart’s founder Stephan Ekbergh said, “it happens often when we run campaigns. The sad thing is that unwitting consumers end up paying a lot more for travel than they should."
The company became aware of grinches in their system early on Black Friday, “We were alerted via our customer service channels early in the day, as well as by several bookings that were made in the same email address of South African travel agents known to us.
It’s not in the pre-holiday spirit of Black Friday and we have adapted our terms & conditions so that we reserve the right to recharge travel agents who sell our tickets with their own mark-up,” said Ekbergh.
Travelstart, who in 2015 adopted the American retail trend using ‘Black Flyday’, blocked payments from disingenuous shoppers and continued to offer deals to consumers with no impact.
Travelstart says 26% of their Black Friday bookings were made on a mobile device; 18% higher than 2016. The top domestic and international routes booked on mobile were Johannesburg to Cape Town and Johannesburg to Mauritius.