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Old 01-20-2017, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,680 posts, read 16,095,286 times
Reputation: 7700

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Most of the time, they're the same, but you do occasionally find some deals with the online travel agencies- foreign carriers where you can get a slightly better exchange rate at time or purchase or they somehow shave 'fuel surcharges' off the ticket or they've got access to consolidator fare buckets and are willing to sell that to you.

You just have to be careful about sticking to the more reputable OTAs that can actually help you make changes to the ticket if your plans have to change and aren't going to give you 'best fare' by cobbling together flights in two different alliance groups that involves a connection that's shorter than the second airline's minimum legal connection time.

I always book direct with the hotel or its brand. Few of the hotel brands give loyalty points or status benefits when booking through third party sites, and I'm a point collector with a couple of programs.

I do like Expedia for renal car overviews- easy to check a bunch of different companies at once and get a cost baseline for the trip.
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Old 01-20-2017, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Long Neck , DE
4,903 posts, read 3,031,560 times
Reputation: 8025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Presumably you're aware that Expedia owns many of the "competitor" companies, no?

Expedia, Inc. Our Brands - Expedia, Inc.
Most of the brands were no surprise. But Trivago did surprise me.
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Old 01-20-2017, 06:59 PM
 
1,265 posts, read 1,566,006 times
Reputation: 2135
Funny. This evening I was checking roud trip prices to Amsterdam. From Toronto, a good airport for cheap flights it was 680 in april. From Newark 576 dollar, and go via Detroit. So, I checked Detroit to Adam. 1200 bucks... Now why is this?????
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Old 01-20-2017, 08:40 PM
 
2,288 posts, read 3,932,930 times
Reputation: 2055
Quote:
Originally Posted by corydon View Post
Funny. This evening I was checking roud trip prices to Amsterdam. From Toronto, a good airport for cheap flights it was 680 in april. From Newark 576 dollar, and go via Detroit. So, I checked Detroit to Adam. 1200 bucks... Now why is this?????
Because fares are set by origin-destination pair, with very little to do with which cities you connect in.
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Old 01-20-2017, 08:46 PM
 
2,786 posts, read 3,963,138 times
Reputation: 3001
I have used Kayak and then go to airlines site. I have found that it is the best rate . For hotels when traveling by car, I have used Hotwire and take a chance on the unnamed hotel. Usually come out pretty well. Also, rent cars have used Hotwire. I got so I disliked Expedia as well.
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Old 01-20-2017, 09:01 PM
 
3,294 posts, read 1,559,725 times
Reputation: 3602
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
Most of the time, they're the same, but you do occasionally find some deals with the online travel agencies- foreign carriers where you can get a slightly better exchange rate at time or purchase or they somehow shave 'fuel surcharges' off the ticket or they've got access to consolidator fare buckets and are willing to sell that to you.

You just have to be careful about sticking to the more reputable OTAs that can actually help you make changes to the ticket if your plans have to change and aren't going to give you 'best fare' by cobbling together flights in two different alliance groups that involves a connection that's shorter than the second airline's minimum legal connection time.

I always book direct with the hotel or its brand. Few of the hotel brands give loyalty points or status benefits when booking through third party sites, and I'm a point collector with a couple of programs.

I do like Expedia for renal car overviews- easy to check a bunch of different companies at once and get a cost baseline for the trip.
agree with this post, very real way to get the best deal. research is key to finding deals, and combining rewards/points programs gets you even better savings. But even more, purchase points in large blocks when there is a rewards/points sale, 50 0/0 off!

Ita flight matrix for the flight, it gives you a 2 month window to plan the flight. Then compare the 3rd party deals , hotel only, to the hotel chain of choice. Most hotels nowadays will price match any deal you can find, something to consider when booking. Another benefit of booking direct is that if there are any issues, they can't shake off responsibility to help.

So third party travel sites are basically the same, some might offer better customer service than others, but if there are any issues while on vacation, your phone call will be re routed to India anyway.
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:49 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,255,922 times
Reputation: 7578
expedia for flights and bookings.com for hotel.

of course google flight first for any flight.
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Old 01-21-2017, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
14,659 posts, read 9,705,752 times
Reputation: 12210
Never heard of ITA so I tried it. It came within one dollar of Expedia. Hotels are a little different and you see price variations. Been using Booking.com lately. As to Trivago (which sounds like Zhivago for some reason), when the season is hot, they have no inside track. Trivago is not going to find a room that goes for $400 night listed for $200 elsewhere.
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Old 01-21-2017, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,680 posts, read 16,095,286 times
Reputation: 7700
ITA's got something of a cult status because, if you don't mind looking under the engine a bit, their Advanced Routing Codes let you search and find some very specific routings or you can have specific airlines you wish to include or exclude. It's kind of the hacker option for planning air travel (example- enter ~AA,UA,DL in the advanced routing codes box and it means Direct flight, not on AA, UA, or DL), and then you go to either airline web site or OTA to complete the booking.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Saint Paul, MN
1,365 posts, read 1,443,815 times
Reputation: 2962
For flights, I mostly use Orbitz because you earn credits for booking with them. I assume other sites have similar programs, but it's advantageous to keep rewards in one place for obvious reasons. Then I redeem my "orbucks" for free stays at small, foreign hotels that might be difficult to book direct. For larger properties and/or domestic hotels I typically book with the hotel itself. I work in that industry, and there are definitely advantages to making your reservation with the hotel rather than a third party.
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