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Serg

LocationAustralia Travel Days Per Year10 Days OccupationIT Consulting

Anyone ever used guys like Alpha Flight Guru or Fly Luxury For Less?

Posted on 11/6/13 Filed under: Booking

Anyone ever used guys like Alpha Flight Guru or Fly Luxury For Less? They heavily advertise everywhere and saying up to 70% discounts for business and first, but their methods somewhat funny (you cannot see any offers, but have to fill your flight details and they will contact you) and in general I have that itchy "too good to be true" feelings with them. It been said that they merely resell someone's frequent flyer points and it also been said that while it is illegal for some carriers, it is perfectly fine with others.

Any comments?

 

30 Answers

1 on 11/6/13 by tronixstuff

If it's too good to be true it usually is. Yes - they most likely buy miles and use those to buy you a ticket. Anecdotal evidence has shown doing so can be a breach of some airlines T&Cs, leaving passengers at the check-in counter without a flight and SOL. If you try it, let us know how it works out. 

1 on 11/6/13 by Serg

"If you try it, let us know how it works out"

LOL! Whole idea of my post is to see if anyone already tried them! I did make enquiry to both of them, but was unconvinced and finished with "normal" way. No regrets so far, just thinking that I may be extra paranoid.

Thanks for replay anyway.

2 on 31/7/13 by Raelene

Yes, I used Alpha Flight Guru last month.  I took my 80 year old Mother to the US, Alaska and Canada business class all the way out of Perth.   We flew  Virgin  Australia to LA then Air Canada... Absolutely fantastic...no problems whatsoever.  Boris from AFG was very helpful.  I had a lot of people telling me the fares were too good to be true, but Boris gave me some contacts of happy customers. I contacted them and had good responses, so took the leap of faith. I am happy to recommend them and will definitely use them again.   Raelene

2 on 16/6/13 by Oz

3 on 23/8/13 by Mark

I used Alfa Flight Guru this month (Aug 2013). As a special treat for my wife, we travelled First Class from Sydney to Rome via Bangkok with Thai Airways. Check-In at the airports, flights, lounges all went perfectly. A fabulous experience. Our consultant at Alfa Flight Guru was Fevos Karachalios and he was brilliant. We had an issue with the Thai IT system when we went to check in. A phone call and a couple of emails and all was sorted out. Then as a check before we returned a month later, I emailed a request to our consultant to confirm the seating and received a reply straight back. This is the type of support that you need and Fevos certainly delivered. Like previous comments, I was very sceptical that the pricing quoted was possible and whether the whole thing was a 'con'. I can now say first hand that our experience was great and will definitely use them again.  Mark

1 on 23/8/13 by Serg

It is freaking interesting!

Mark signed up today JUST to give positive comments about AFG. Mind you – not for asking question, but give positive comments in discussion that been buried down for month or more. If  Mark so happy, why he will SEARCH on AUSBT if anyone used AFG? It is impossible to get to this discussion without search. So he so happy with AFG that he joined AUSBT for sole reason to give positive comment?

But there is even more interesting fact. Raelene (few comments above) signed up 31 Jul and left positive comment about AFG at the same date and never posted since. Funny enough both comments constructed in very similar way up to signature and giving me name of consultant (as I would care).

I definitely smell big stinky rat here. Thanks AFG marketing department – I definitely will not use you.

1 on 23/8/13 by Serg

Looking deeper I have discovered that user Oz join 16 Jun just to left only one positive comment about AFG that day and never posted since! Rat became even smellier!

2 on 27/8/13 by Raelene

Yes, I have to reply!  The only reason I came back to look at the messages after posting my comments was that I received an email telling me that there was a post in my name...I guess to alert you in case someone is illegally posting in your name....probably the same for Mark, the other satisfied customer.   There is nothing stinky about AFG...I guess you can never convince everyone...my experience was great and I will use them again.   Oh, and Yes I did join up just to give a positive comment... I told Boris that if it was a good experience I would tell everyone...conversely I threatened the same if it was bad! 

1 on 27/8/13 by Serg

And you so angry on me that you found time to replay 8:00am? Or you will tell me that right now you on business trip or holiday in Sydney? And besides you WILL not receive any email unless there is replay under your comment - and it was not.

Thanks a lot for participation, I personally formed my opinion about AFG.

Cheers

4 on 26/8/13 by Dave

Serg. I also signed up to comment on this thread. I read the site but haven't had a reason to contribute. I happen to have used AFG (twice), and I had a great experience. Consider the possibility that someone simply took the time to help. Not everything is a conspiracy. Happy travels.

1 on 26/8/13 by Serg

Maybe, maybe. One coincidence would be OK, but 3 (now 4) are way too many. And besides style of Raelene’s and Mark’s message strikingly similar. YMMV.

5 on 26/8/13 by Mark

Serg, just for the record, I have no connection with Alfa Flight Guru whatsoever - just a traveller from 'down under'. I did my 'due dilligence' before I committed with Alfa Flight Guru and was appreciative of the comments made by other users on various threads. Having had a great experience, I wanted to post my comments so fellow travellers would have a balanced view when they also did their due dilligence. Like Dave's comments above, not everything is a conspiracy and there are professional businesses out there that have good business models and provide great service. Alpha Flight Guru is one them. Regards Mark

6 on 27/8/13 by Serg

Now we have to wai for Raelene defensive comment :-))))))

7 on 6/9/13 by Paul

I have used Alpha flight Guru, my agent is Tanya and she is great. My wife and I have made over 7 bookings with them and never had a problem, I will use them again and again because they offer great prices and great service. In the last 2 years we have spent atonal of 32 weeks traveling and forvthevtrips we booked withnAlpha Flight Guru we got great service and price. Regards Paul

1 on 9/9/13 by Serg

Paul, I appreciate your comment, but again you join AUSBT just for leaving this comment. And besides history repeat itself - I do not give a damn what is your agent name. All this looks to me like shameless PR from AFG. I will not even think to change my opinion unless someone with sound history on this site will post positive comment. Heck! All people traveling here and no-one use AFG! Is it strange? For me it is indeed VERY suspicious.

Cheers

8 on 9/9/13 by Paul

Serg, I find it amazing that you think simply because someone shares their experience they are not legit. I sincerely hope your rudeness costs you dearly when you miss out on a good deal. By the way I have travelled on business for over 35 years and owned my own company for 30, I have met plenty of your type and usually heard about their failures. Good luck mate and try to control your arrogance v

1 on 10/9/13 by Serg

Paul, once again I appreciate your comments, but ALL who left positive comments here about AFG (mind you there is NONE FLFL!!!) register here to specifically left positive comments about AFG and some never post since. I fail to see any rudeness in my comments. Arrogance? May be. But some may call it caution.

Cheers

9 on 1/10/13 by dks

Hi all,

For what its worth as im sure i will be accused of not being legit, as this is my first post, i flew in january with my wife on an AFG flight to japan return on a singapore airlines flight. my flight was 50% cheaper and i didnt have a problem at all. in fact im currently booking another trip at the moment. i myself thought this was to good to be true. however it was, i wont pay full fares again. after trawlling info on alpha i have come to the conclusion people such as serg are indeed agents themselves that simply cannot match the likes of AFG they trawl threads and try to drum up buisiness to fill there own pockets. AFG is worth a crack. also if it is nonsense im yet to find a thread anywhere where someone has had a poor experence......no place for tall poppy syndrome in here isnt this designed to share info and help others??

1 on 4/10/13 by Serg

Agent of whom? BA? I wish - then perhaps I could buy BA business for half price and therefore would not bother to search AFG at first place. And in fact I did found few negative responces about AFG elsewhere. And yes, first post is not legit.

Cheers

10 on 4/10/13 by donna

This is my first post and it is not a good review.

I came online and found this post as I am about to initiate legal proceedings against Alpha Flight Guru and am gathering information.

In short:

* Purchased 3000 euro ticket last month (one way Paris to Syd for my baby and I)

* Denied check in at Charles de Gaulle because "United have not issued your tickets". Screaming 3 month old and unhappy husband whose Amex I used.

* Called the consultant David Garbarskiy about 40 times from the airport to rectify the situation - it was 2am in America but I was assured I could contact him 24/7.

* Ended up buying direct through another airline

* Advised by David in writing I will be refunded - but it will be United Airlines who will be refunding me and the process will day "a few days" which turned into "a week" which turned into " a few weeks". It is now past a few weeks. Also advised if United Airlines do not refund me that Alpha Flight Guru will. To date the money has not been refunded.

I am not making any defamatory comments - everything I have posted is fact which I can verify via emails and the 40 missed calls which was an added expense to try and sort out this nightmare.

 

1 on 5/10/13 by Serg

Finally first positive post (sorry for sarcasm).

 

I mean that I DO believe that AFG MAY deliver great experience and I even can accept that some posters above indeed had a good one. But - and this is THE but - if someone step into sh!t with AFG he became completely screwed and left on his own, situation that will never happens with any reputable carrier. And no-one will refund astronomical price for “discounted airport ticket”. So some may be happy to play Russian roulette – I am OK with that.

 

Cheers

11 on 4/10/13 by donna

Oh and I am not from a rival travel agency. You can look up my name (Donna Heryawan) after February 2014 (as I am not yet admitted) on the NSW law society website and have verification of what my profession is.

12 on 28/11/13 by wysewuns

We used Alpha Flight Guru recently for a trip to Europe.  We saved around $2,000 on our tickets which we were thrileld about....naturally a little skeptical but it all went smoothly....great service throughout and we will definitely not hesitate to use them again.

13 on 4/12/13 by shaken

I had a similar experience to Donna. My sympathies! We used alphaflightguru in August/September. All was perfect  en route to Milan, but at check in for our return we found our reservation had been cancelled - by whom, we asked? By American Airlines! We couldn't call San Bruno California, and anyway it was 2am their time.....On return, we reported the disaster - "why didn't you call?" we were asked. "I'll ask my boss if we can refund"... then after a promise to refund, "oh, we are suing American Airlines",  "we are waiting for them to refund", "I am checking with accounting" etc etc... it went on for weeks. Always a promise to get back to me, but no point holding my breath! Finally, I left a message that I would wait no longer and would contact the Sydney Morning Herald and BBB (Better Business Bureau" in the USA. Like MAGIC, I received a call that I shjould expect a refund by the end of the week... it did arrive a little later than that, but I noted that the transaction had been initiated on the very date that I threatened to call BBB and SMH. I guess you can be lucky,if you use them, but be prepared with phone numbers and a generous credit card if things go wrong!

1 on 26/4/14 by Bikegirl

I have had a really bad experience too. I joined today especially to leave a comment here. I booked 2 tickets from Brisbane to Europe with a company called Premier Sky Flights. Our seats were supposedly confirmed and two weeks later United Airlines cancelled our tickets with no explanation and no refund. That was 8 th March this year. It's now 26 th April and still no refund that was supposed to take only 3 days!  Amex has taken up the dispute on our behalf, but I'm still waiting to hear anything. My advice is to stay away from these cheap flight businesses. They also have an Australian contact based in  Cairns. Very dodgy!  Beware!  I will take your advice about contacting SMH and BBB. Thanks for that.

14 on 16/12/13 by Stephen

I've used them quite a few times, discounts are closer to 10-30%, still valuable. I had one stuff up when the bookings were cancelled but they rectified that without charge (including swapping me to SQ first class rather than TG!).

15 on 20/12/13 by Ian

I tried them today with mixed feelings after reading a variety of reviews. Booking Syd to LAX on Virgin for two peoplw business class for $5000 each in Aug 2014. When I asked for a secure method of payments "Walid" my consultant kept saying he had sent the link by "seperate email" that never arrived, although all his emails telling me that he had sent it did arrive. I guess my demand for a secure payment online rather than give credit card details for him to fill in wasn't how they operated. He then claimed to have called me "30 minutes ago" although there are no missed calls on my phone. This has shonky written all over it and I am glad now it did not proceed. Here are the questions I asked that caused the issue, I believe:

1. How are tickets provided and will the airline honour them if purchased frequent flyer points are used by you to reduce the cost? 2. How much is your booking fee? 3. How are payments made, is it a secure system? 4. What are the Terms and conditions associated with the ticket purchase in particular if date changes or cancellation occurs? Unlikely but I would like to know? 5. What customer service is available if required?   His responses were: 1.       Once we secure all seats for your flights, I will email you your booking reference number, e-tickets, and seat assignments. They are 100% honoured as we utilize our own corporate account to transfer points, if we were to book that way. Everything is booked in each passengers name so you will be fine at the ticket counter during check-in; 2.       The price I quote includes all taxes and fees; 3.       If you are ready to book, I will then send you an authorization form to confirm details and submit payment via a SSL secured encrypted payment link. I will need each passengers name as it appears on the passport and date of birth; either you can give me credit card information and I can populate it in the secured authorization form, or you can input it yourself when I send you the form. 4.       We are very flexible with changes/cancellations. There is a $250 per passenger fee to change/cancel the flights if you are to make these requests up to 72 hours prior to departure. If you cancel the flights, you will receive full credit of the purchase price toward any international business class or first class flights you want within 12 months from the cancellation date, not booking date. Further, the credit is fully transferable to anyone you like, i.e. friend, family, coworker, etc. Our flexibility is far better than airlines and most other travel agencies. 5.       I am your personal concierge available 24/7. I am always a phone call/email away. No hold times, no transferring. I will always be your first point of contact for any changes or questions regardless of how big or small. This is part of our white glove service. No airline or local agency provides service like this! Be careful with them

16 on 20/12/13 by Ian

Update from Walid, which makes me worry even more about their professionalism and the protection of my personal data

Hi Ian,

 I have realized the mistake. I sent everything to another client I spoke with today with the same name as you, Ian!    I'm terribly sorry for this mistake. If you are willing, please allow me to correct this and I will email the authorization form right away. I'm terribly sorry! What are the odds that I have two Ian's as clients on the same day!   Warm regards,   Walid

17 on 3/1/14 by donna

Update on my Alpha Flight Guru nightmare -

*2100 euros was refunded by Alpha Flight Guru

* Email was sent by David Garbarskiy saying they will not refund the remaining 900 euros but will give me a $500US voucher to use for United Airlines in lieu of the remaining amount. Despite my desire to tell him where to go, I advised I will be seeking legal action

* Amex has refunded the remaining 900 euros therefore it is no longer worth my time and effort to seek legal action.

Extremely terrible experience with this company. If anyone wants to see the string of correspondence to verify what I have written, do let me know, I would be happy to convince you not to use them for your travel bookings.

18 on 20/1/14 by Kathcart

I used Alpha Flight Gurus to travel with a friend to India a year ago. In the beginning my experience with them was wonderful. I became very apprehensive, though, when I was told if any changes needed to be made with the tickets to PLEASE not call the airline - to let them handle it. The trip to India went smoothly enough, although two different carriers were utilized and there was a problem making certain my luggage was going to be diverted correctly. On the trip home, though, my traveling companion had his tickets rejected by the airline. We were not able to reach anyone to help and had to pay out of pocket for his return ticket. It was quite a scramble to secure enough money and then we were unable to travel back together as his seat on our flight had already been sold. 

19 on 30/1/14 by Serg

TRB - there are plenty of such companies. I am surprised that you have missed my very long thread about this: http://www.ausbt.com.au/qa/anyone-ever-used-guys-like-alpha-flight-guru-or-fly-luxury-for-less . And while savings do exists they nowhere close to claim 70% - you often can buy the same ticket on sale for 10-15% more. They (as everyone else) comparing with elusive RRP - I always wonder who is buying at RRP price? I personally decided to steer away from them. YMMV.

20 on 30/1/14 by Serg

Bloody Hell! My above post in wrong place :-( Just ignore it

21 on 18/3/14 by Lavinia

I'm 72 and retired, no connection with any business, just prefer comfort for the long trip to Heathrow. Have used AFG twice now with great success. Last April Tanya Lim organised my trip at a great price and in January this year Fevos Karachlios (?) did the same as Tanya had left AFG. Fevos could not have been more helpful. While we were in the UK he emailed that Thai had overbooked and he offered two alternatives for the first leg of the trip home, with the result that the one we chose was an unbeatable flight with EVA Air. We had flown with them on the outward leg from Bangkok and found them to be the best ever tried. Both Tanya and Fevos have been great and I have no qualms in recommending AFG. Oh dear Serg, you do get excited when reading that some people have been happy with them; I wonder what is behind this.

1 on 19/3/14 by Serg

History repeat itself – user signed in just to give positive comment in thread that been buried down for months. It is impossible “accidentally” struck this thread – some need to search and specifically search for it. Why person who overwhelmingly happy with service from AFG will search more then half year old thread to give positive comment? It is suspicious by itself.

And besides (again!) comment for AFG (not FLFL) and (again!) give me names of agents as I would care even smallest bit. It does not sounds “personal” for me but it rather sounds suspicious. AFG marketing department – you have to rethink your strategy.

Yes, I can accept that some may be lucky enough to use your service without any hick-ups. I even can accept that majority of your clients are lucky to travel without any issues.

Problems that I have - I do not know even one of your customer personally (or credible enough on-line user) and there are multiply stories that if something going wrong it is going wrong really badly. In my opinion risk does not worth it.

22 on 19/3/14 by Lavinia

Hi there Serg! Had a good laugh at your speedy response; how paranoid can one person be? The reason I looked at this site in the first place, being unaware of its existence to start with, was that in conversation to a friend about my happy experiences with AFG, he asked me if I had seen the reviews on them. Curious to see, when he said that some were frightening, I looked and found all the above,instigated apparently by you. You may have set out to defame AFG but you have attracted some positive comments such as mine, which must be very irritating for you. AFG has nothing whatsoever to do with me, apart from my being one of their satisfied, and elderly, clients. I emphasise satisfied, for the information of people reading this who are unsure whether or not to trust them. In naming the agents I have provided prospective clients with assurances that they will be looked after.

1 on 19/3/14 by Serg

Speedy response (as well as this one) because I start this thread and marked it, so I know about any post immediately – nothings about paranoia.

I start this thread because was toying myself to use them and I even contact them. But their methods really put me off – you cannot see offers, but have to fill form and someone contact you. Plus savings nowhere close to claimed 70% especially if you ask for certain airlines (I am not flying China airlines for example, call it paranoia if you wish), though they do exist.

I just conclude that I do not like dealing with them – and you also may call it paranoia if you wish. I conclude that it would be safer to use points and money to achieve my goals instead of semi-dodgy methods that may or may not work.

Your opinion may be opposite and your experience (real or imaginary) does not irritate me at all - I am happy that you have positive experience. If it works for you than use it. But please do not tell me your agent names anymore – I do not give a damn.

23 on 31/3/14 by Harry1

Interesting reading....hard to discern if comments are legit or not, but there are way too many red flags here to stay away from buying a ticket from AFG. To have piece of mind, I think I'll buy my tickets from a local travel agent. I am based in Australia and AFG have an Australian phone number, but there is no business here, it is all done out of the US, or that's what they told me. I haven't come across anyone I know who has actually used them, which is worrying. 

24 on 8/5/14 by Marlon

I'm traveling in one week on a trip arranged through AFG. Am I a little worried? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't.  But for the benefit of future afg users,  I'll be posting the outcomes of our trip on our return in June.  One week or from our departure,  all flights are still booked and confirmed. 

1 on 8/5/14 by Serg

I hope that everything turn out fine for you, but please keep posting. And if you do not mind what is itinerary and price paid.

25 on 13/5/14 by DEAN

I have used AFG on two occasions for flights to London return and had no issue and will be booking again within the next month. Saved approximately $7000 for both trips.

26 on 21/5/14 by edy4eva

Here's my 2 cents. 

I gave two of the companies a test scenario. Australia - UAE return in First class. The 'agent' first sent me an itinerary with Thai in First to BKK, then business to UAE. It was the exact same option offered through United Mileage Plus redemptions. I contested saying I asked for First not mixed classes. The agent also had no clue how much this itinerary was going to cost and kept on referring to the price as shown on their website which was in AUD.

In one of the emais the itinerary was simple copy/paste from UA/MP final page!

Anyhow, he sent me another itinerary with Thai and Swiss via BKK and ZRH in First. Once again I refused claiming this is too far out. This option was the exact one on UA MP. A few days later he came back with F on SQ, same availability as per KrisFlyer. 

The other company I tried out gave the most absurd of routing (via ICN and BKK), but again exactly what's shown on UA MP. 

I investigated further. Both companies are registered for entities that incidently own/operate websites like: 'sellmyrewards' and 'sellmilesnow'.

Coincidently offers made to these websites to sell a large stash of  miles were never returned (they may be already overloaded perhaps?).

The simplest of advice is to avoid. If you truly tried them before and got lucky, it's just that, luck. Most of these 'cheap' ways to book F/J flights are tricks that with little research can be learnt and applied. Some of these tricks are even published on Ausbt and will work out less than what any company can offer. Applying the tricks yourself will also guarantee you a seat and complete adherence to the terms and conditions of the carriers you're travelling with as well as the FF program you used to book it.

Regards

27 on 21/5/14 by edy4eva

I forgot to add, a paid SQ fare in F to DXB booked direct with the airline was anyway just 400AUD dearer. You are actually being fooled twice. Once for thinking what these websites have to offer is a steal of a deal, and the second time for paying for award seats very close to the actual paid fare that will earn miles/status.

28 on 11/6/14 by Marlon

Okay....I just returned from my trip booked via AFG.

In summary, everything was perfectly fine....I even checked in online before the departure date (just to "double check" that everything was above-board).   I noticed that we were booked in "I" class (which is business class - or Executive First on Air Canada - but the "mileage redemption" class fare for the equivalent "J" business class.  We were treated no different that any business class passenger.

We flew Thai Airways from Brisbane to Bangkok to Beijing, then Air Canada from Beijing to Vancouver.   Tickets were return.    

It was more stops that ideal (ideally we would've prefered direct from SYD to YVR), but it saved us pretty much 70% off the published fares for the same seats on Air Canada and Thai Airways -- and we were very happy with our seats (which AFG recommended based on seats on the aircraft and they knew the layout).  The 70% savings we made was well and truly worth more than any frequent flyer points we would've accumulated on the journey.

All in all, we were very happy with the service and quality of the flights.   Our rep from AFG also double checked all confirmations were still in place 2 days before each flight, and emailed us to let us know that.  (I still checked myself).    We will definitely be looking into this option on a future Business class flight but will still due our due diligence to ensure that it's good value.

29 on 3/8/14 by Terry

We have used Alpha Flight Guru twice. First time - Business Class, May 2012. Great flights at great prices, adelaide to London. In late 2013 we booked again for May 2014 - Adelaide to London. In April I checked our booking on line with US Air. They had been cancelled! I contacted AFG, and our agent Robert Carbone told me that US Air had informed him that my wife had rung US Air direct and cancelled the flights and that US Air were investgating the event. I replied that my wife had certainly not cancelled the flights, and that we were still wanting to fly. AFG organised substitute flights at about half price. But I had to pay for these flights. So I am still waiting for the refund from the original flights. I got one email only from US Air to the effect that they had refunded the taxes to AFG but this has not been passed on to me. Still waiting. NO refund from AFG so I am out of pocket for two Business class flights. Does anyone have any ideas?

30 on 3/8/14 by faygele

I tried to book with AlphaFlight Guru but found the agent to be so aggressive that he actually scared me off. He phoned incessantly, even though I asked him to email. Once I told hime that I did not want to use his services he bagged all other similar services implying that they were shysters (he seemed like one himself) and then even gave me a serve for even considering any other site. I will never approach them again - and according to him I have been balcklisted for having the temerity to seek a better deal elsewhere. By the looks of many of these posts many of my frears about this group are founded. This does not mean to say that other sites are equally as shonky - indeed I have used others several times and had no issues.

 

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