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Old 02-02-2016, 10:19 PM
 
2,215 posts, read 3,083,160 times
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I'm planning a trip from VA to California next summer. Previously I've used Southwest Vacations and overall I'd stay I'm happy.

The problem is the departing times aren't that appealing. Most are around 5:30 am and last year when we left that early we had fog delay us out of the airport. Which caused us to miss our connecting flight in Chicago. So instead of arriving in LA @ 11:45 pacific time we arrived 7:45 pacific time.

So that's the one reason I'm iffy on going through South West again.

I look at sites like travelocity & expedia and they just seem confusing to me as well as being a little unsure how reliable they are.

My goal is to have a flight + rental car (won't need hotel).

Any great experiences with some sites?

Thanks
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Old 02-03-2016, 06:54 AM
 
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If all you want is a flight and a rental car, that shouldn't be so hard. Any of the major travel sites should work. Or, just book the items separately. Maybe try Kayak for the flight to pick the time you want. I guess they also search for car rentals, but you could also just contact the rental companies directly.
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,059 posts, read 18,985,577 times
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Use kayak to find your flights, but book on the airlines own website. Do not use expedia, teavelocity, etc to book your plane tickets! Use one airline (or code share) for all connecting flights.

Rental car - if you're a Costco Member, they usually have the cheapest rates on their website.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:19 AM
 
12,258 posts, read 18,393,933 times
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Skip booking with those travel sites.
Use a travel search engine (MATRIX is really good) to find the right combination of times, date, and price. And book with the airlines website.
Same with rental car.

I almost guarantee you will not only get a cheaper rate, but also a better travel experience (i.e. easier to take care of problems that arise).
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
4,240 posts, read 8,074,474 times
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^ +3...as Jkgourmet & Dd714 said.
For that simple of a trip, plane/rental car, the airline sites themselves really are where to book.

Rental car deals may be found on the plethora of sites, but sometimes with fine print that the rental company native sites don't have.
GL, mD
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:28 AM
 
2,215 posts, read 3,083,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
Use kayak to find your flights, but book on the airlines own website. Do not use expedia, teavelocity, etc to book your plane tickets! Use one airline (or code share) for all connecting flights.

Rental car - if you're a Costco Member, they usually have the cheapest rates on their website.
I am a Costco member.

Why do you say not book airlines on those listed? Just wondering. thanks
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:29 AM
 
2,215 posts, read 3,083,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Skip booking with those travel sites.
Use a travel search engine (MATRIX is really good) to find the right combination of times, date, and price. And book with the airlines website.
Same with rental car.

I almost guarantee you will not only get a cheaper rate, but also a better travel experience (i.e. easier to take care of problems that arise).

That's what I was thinking. Even if the $ is a little bit more I'd rather have an easy way of correcting problems if they should arise. Seems like you're dealing with 3rd party and I'd rather deal directly with the airlines.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,059 posts, read 18,985,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Statz2k10 View Post
I am a Costco member.

Why do you say not book airlines on those listed? Just wondering. thanks
Because if a flight gets cancelled or delayed, you're gonna have to deal with Expedia, Travelocity, etc. That's inefficient, tedious, and often unsuccessful. You want to deal directly with the airline. To do that, you need to book with the airline. And I have yet to see a fare on a reputable travel site that is cheaper than booking directly with the airline. (Though I have found a cheaper fare by booking on the airline site of a code share airlines - Got flights to Malaysia on Cathay Pacific much cheaper by booking on Air India's site. Unusual, but true.)

Costco has great prices for rental cars, but remember it may be cheaper to pick up the car off airport. Get an uber or taxi to take you to the off site rental location IF it's worth the hassle. (and it often is.)
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:54 PM
 
1,186 posts, read 1,076,443 times
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What part about booking a flight is "confusing" to you?
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Old 02-05-2016, 06:41 PM
 
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Pending on where in VA.. OP should have plenty of choices.

If they're in NoVA, Dulles and Reagan airports, and even BWI are options. Even as far south as Richmond, it might make sense to drive up to DC for the choices and savings.

If they're in southern VA.. Pending on what part, might make sense to drive down to Greensboro, which seems to have great rates.

I've used Southwest vacations before, I like them. Just remember, if you book with another airline.. Pending on bags, sometimes their better rate really isn't. By the time you shell out $60 for a single checked bag and $50 for a carry on.. (Round trip costs, of course).. Saving that $50 didn't really save you anything.
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