France-based startup Darjeelin, a self-styled "crowd-sourced online travel agency", has closed just 18 months after being bought by the Voyages Prive Group.
Or, at least, this is what many would have thought after hearing that the company had "ceased operations" via an email from fellow flight search and deals service FlyStein.
The company, which launched almost four years ago, allowed users to access "flight hackers" including frequent flyers, travel agents and other experienced travellers to help find the best-priced flights.
Darjeelin was said to be closing down due to "rising overhead costs" and FlyStein would get the redirected traffic.
There was even a quote from FlyStein's co-founder, Vladisalv Protasov, with him promising Darjeelin users that they would be "equally as satisfied with our product and services".
Given the recent history, with the Voyages Prive Group buying the company in September 2014, we wanted to know a little bit more.
And then things got a little strange.
In an email, Darjeelin co-founder and CEO, Charles Guilhamon (who is now also head of international expansion at Voyages Prive), says the FlyStein materials and comments are "press hacking", with the Darjeelin site "temporarily unavailable".
FlyStein then notifies us that the entire saga is a "misunderstanding".
But the homepage of Darjeelin still said:
When asked why the site was telling users it was closed and was redirecting to FlyStein, rather than a website elsewhere in the Voyages Prive group (the deals site of the same name and sister brand l’Officiel des Vacances), Guilhamon didn't respond.
The site now: