On-line Travel Agencies Informative - Never Use An Online Agency Until You Know What The Airline's Prices Are

Review by BobJohn on 2008-11-13
I was thinking of a vacation around Thanksgiving or December. Milan, Italy came up so I checked Orbitz - the cheapest rt fare I could find from Philadelphia to Milan was $758. That is a little rich for me, so I went to the USAir site - round trip fare from PHL-Milan was $475 (incl all fees and taxes)for the same dates. So I can use a discount online agency and pay $285 more per ticket than buying it directly from the airline. Hmm, doesn't sound like a good deal to me.

My point here is, do not rely on the online agency for the cheapest fare, check the various airline sites and sites like kayak.com and sidestep.com before you make your decision. Happy trails.
Comments:6 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-11-14
Posted by Principissa on 2008-11-13:
I've always preached to go to the airlines site first. A lot of these discounts, really aren't discounts, like you saw for yourself.

Not to mention that when problems come up, you deal with the airline directly, not the airline who won't help you because you went through a third party or the discount site saying that it's the airlines fault and they can't help you.
Posted by RJ on 2008-11-13:
Princi and I agree on this ;)

3rd party sites are only good for checking scheduled and availability. The real deals come from the airline or hotel directly. I save $150.00 per night at a hotel in cape cod this summer by calling the hotel directly.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-13:
Excellent BobJohn! The 3rd party resellers are NOT always the best fare.
Posted by Ben There on 2008-11-14:
I got a room at at the Radisson Marlborough London on a third party sight for $205 USD (including a full English breakfast), and the hotel wanted $215 GBP... After the conversion, I saved about $150 a night at the time. It pays to shop around with travel just like everything else.
Posted by BobJohn on 2008-11-14:
I didn't want to start a new post so I will put my comments here. I checked Travelocity to go from here to Albuquerque. They had a fare that I clicked on and suddenly it said that fare is no longer available and raised the price $60. Huh, in the speed of a click? Then they have hotels listed I could book with the ticket, now this kills me: on the first page of hotels 1 hotel is in the same city as the airport, 6 hotels are over an hour's drive, and 2 hotels are over 2 1/2 hours drive!! That is like flying to Boston but putting in New York City hotels. Are they really trying to 'trick' people? It boils down - do your research and read every last word on each webpage.
Posted by Ben There on 2008-11-14:
They are not trying to trick people - they can only show the seats that are available from the airlines reservation system. It is only when you go to purchase the seats that the airline tells Travelocity that they are gone. This happens with my company's corporate travel agent... She sees 1 seat left on a plane, but when she goes to book it for me it is gone.

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