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Old 08-28-2010, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Norcross GA
983 posts, read 4,099,187 times
Reputation: 461

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Giesela let me give you valuable tips. All these travel websites have nothing to offer that the airlines don't offer themselves. So yes, the fares are basically going to be the same. Now the great thing about Kayak is they will show you most major airlines published fares, and then it will take you to the airline's website to book.
Priceline is basically good for bidding to get a lower deal. I have bidded successfully on airfare, hotels and car rentals.
The best days to get the lowest airfare is usually Tues, Weds and Thurs. And usually the best fares require booking 21 days or 14 days in advance. I love Southwest because they will let you change your dates/times without any additional penalties. And they fly your baggage for FREE! I have booked on SW, and then the fare went down so I rebooked and ended up with a credit for the difference. Not sure how other airlines handle this.
Recently I missed booking a great airfare by one day on Airtran and the fare went way up the next day. I kept searching and searching and Airtran posted a sale ten days before my trip so I got the great fare after all!
The key is to keep searching and checking. Sign up for email alerts as well.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Houston
287 posts, read 330,792 times
Reputation: 300
This article is the bible when it comes to searching for airfare. I re-read it whenever I'm going to book a trip:

Finding Cheap Airfares

They have an article on hotels too.

-Buz
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Chciago
721 posts, read 2,667,239 times
Reputation: 497
If possible I try to book directly with airlines, I've had problems with expedia in the past.

I love booking through apple vacations. Even if you dont plan on using them for a package or your hotel their airline usa3000 is dirt cheap.

Cheap caribbean and iriephotos.blogspot.com both have specials quite often.

TripAdvisor normally has banners wtih pretty good specials a well.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:33 PM
 
12,365 posts, read 18,459,289 times
Reputation: 19313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
or are the fares usually pretty close between them? How far out do you book? and do you buy trip insurance?
As has been posted many times before - All fares at these "discount travel" sites are the same as you can get at the airline website - i.e. published rates. In fact the airline website usually has a cheaper rate as you don't have to pay a service charge (an exception might apply for consolidator sites, but for those you need some careful planning).
The key is to find the best search engine that will give you each and every published rates, then book at the airlines website.

A warning also with some of these "discount tavel sites" - they usually offer a rate that mysteriously dissapears and get higher once you get to the screen where you book and give your credit card info ("those seats are sold out, but we have these seats at this rate" - yeah right).
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,802 posts, read 7,309,743 times
Reputation: 1920
I usually book directly with the airlines, too, but I have to say that the whole process is nerve-wracking. I usually fly Southwest - they offer good rates and don't charge for baggage. But the fares change so often I'm always stressed out about when to book.

We're going to Florida next month and last week I booked a trip for 4 people and got a great rate ($64 per ticket) for a flight from Baltimore to Ft. Lauderdale. Now I'm trying to book a flight from Ft. Myers back home, and found a fare for $103. I was watching for the fare to drop and it did - to $90, and then to $84. I would have thought $84 was great if not for finding the $64 rate for the flight down, so I waited. Instead of dropping, the rate jumped to $128. Ouch!

Today I checked and it's back down to $90. Do I book it, or do I wait and hope it drops again to $84? The fares change almost every day, and sometimes even more often than that. I hate this!!
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Old 09-05-2010, 02:41 PM
 
177 posts, read 470,653 times
Reputation: 175
Default also try

1 800 fly europe

I like fare compare

HATE Delta

HATE orbitz - orbitz gives you the worst schedule at the highest price
then charges a fortune to change. One low price is listed on their website but you can't get that price. You have to call them and then the price is doubled. NEVER USE ORBITZ
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:10 PM
 
14,276 posts, read 24,042,546 times
Reputation: 20117
Quote:
Originally Posted by janetvj View Post
We're going to Florida next month and last week I booked a trip for 4 people and got a great rate ($64 per ticket) for a flight from Baltimore to Ft. Lauderdale. Now I'm trying to book a flight from Ft. Myers back home, and found a fare for $103. I was watching for the fare to drop and it did - to $90, and then to $84. I would have thought $84 was great if not for finding the $64 rate for the flight down, so I waited. Instead of dropping, the rate jumped to $128. Ouch!
And even if you find the great fare, you have to watch out for all the extra fees.

I saw an Allegiant fare that was excellent ... just to find out that there was a
on-line booking fee, seating fees, luggage fees ...

Any savings over Southwest was quickly offset.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,282,342 times
Reputation: 16497
Most deals I find are well in advance and through the airline themselves. I just recently had to buy a ticket to india 2 weeks before my flight and I used priceline negotiator and got a round trip for under 1000, can't complain.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:19 PM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,897 posts, read 20,198,359 times
Reputation: 35922
Quote:
Originally Posted by megonow View Post
1 800 fly europe

I like fare compare

HATE Delta

HATE orbitz - orbitz gives you the worst schedule at the highest price
then charges a fortune to change. One low price is listed on their website but you can't get that price. You have to call them and then the price is doubled. NEVER USE ORBITZ
I only used Orbitz once and that was after an exhaustive price comparison in which Orbitz gave me a rate that extremely cheap compared with other sites and airline sites. This was for LAX to DFW and got a low rate of 150 within two weeks of the New Years trip. For other trips, I have noticed schedules that did not work for my needs or higher rates so I usually just get my tickets directly from the airlines.
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:26 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,953,225 times
Reputation: 13245
Quote:
Originally Posted by megonow View Post
1 800 fly europe

I like fare compare

HATE Delta

HATE orbitz - orbitz gives you the worst schedule at the highest price
then charges a fortune to change. One low price is listed on their website but you can't get that price. You have to call them and then the price is doubled. NEVER USE ORBITZ
It depends when/where you are flying.
Orbitz originally was a consolidation of several airlines (Delta was one of them)--the answer to Travelocity and Expedia. I have not used it in three years, but we did get a cheap flight to Europe for our kid.
Orbitz can work for the right customer.
So can 1 800 Fly Europe, which can also turn up some unexpected fees of its own.
Bottom line is to study Farecompare, ITA, Kayak etc but try to book with the airline.
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