Here is the message that I submited to Delta's Customer Service. I wanted to share my experience with the public:
"I am appaled by the "bait and switch" tactics of this online service. I spent over an hour booking a flight yesterday because the system gave me a price for the flight, allowed me to enter my credit card information and purchase flight insurance. Then, right before it processes the payment, I receive a message stating "The fare quoted earlier of $139.30 (USD) has changed. The new fare for this itenerary is $237.30. To continue your purchase click Continue. Otherwise start over to return to the Reservations input screen and select different dates and times."
I "started over" several times, clearing cookies, using different browsers. I even took a screen shot to show the price change to customer service. No matter what, the initial price and the price right before the charge would change. [continued below]....
..... When I spoke with customer service about this the following day, they stated that the system was down and that they would NOT honor the price that I had been quoted since the "price is subject to change until the ticket is issued."
In business, this is called a "bait and switch" and it is one of the worst and most frustrating price gimmicks. I find it interesting that businesses are allowed to make "mistakes" and customers are the only ones contractually obligated to pay for "mistakes." As a reputable business, the company should take some responsibility for the "price glitch" and honor the fares that are listed.
I will be certain to notify the public about my experience and to warn them of this unethical practice. Yes, your company is protected and may not legally obligated to honor the price until a ticket is issued, but customer service and reputation should be worth the $100 difference in pricing. For this reason, I will not do business with your company and I will warn others against showing your company patronage, as well."
Thank you for taking the time to review this complaint.