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Old 02-15-2019, 10:50 AM
 
10,833 posts, read 14,840,020 times
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We got round trip tickets on Qatar for under $900. Purchase site was Cheapo Air.
Four tickets under $3600 was pretty low and we did not consult a travel agent to price compare.
The negative part is we have a 9 hour layover in NYC when the fact is multiple airlines could get us to NYC alot later and shorten that stopover time greatly. Cheapo never offered us a short NYC layover except on an itinerary that we passed up about 3 weeks ago.
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:07 AM
 
9,423 posts, read 7,071,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rational1 View Post
1. There are still travel agents??
They still have a place. Inexperience travelers or any traveler with a complex itinerary.. I'd recommend the services of a travel agent.

It's amazing how many stories you hear about someone arriving to the airport flying to.. South America or something like that with a passport that expires in 3 months.. Then are shocked and mad when they are denied boarding and denied a refund. Or, same thing can happen with cruises that visit or end in different countries.

For the person booking a ticket from Orlando to Chicago.. yeah.. Not really needed there.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:24 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,922 posts, read 2,885,080 times
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All the folks saying you can get the same price by booking directly on the airlines' website, that's a myth. Sometimes it's true, sometimes it's not and we've flown plenty of flights where the best price by far was by a third party booking site not the actual airline.

Here's a quick example, say I want to fly non-stop from NYC to Tel Aviv on April 2nd. First pic is what I get from 3rd party, second is when I try on El Al's website. Maybe it's something with my location or cookies that is hiding that cheaper flight out of Newark, curious if anyone else sees anything less than $2k on that date for El Al?

3rd party:


El Al:
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Old 02-16-2019, 09:34 AM
 
12,263 posts, read 18,393,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
All the folks saying you can get the same price by booking directly on the airlines' website, that's a myth. Sometimes it's true, sometimes it's not and we've flown plenty of flights where the best price by far was by a third party booking site not the actual airline.

Here's a quick example, say I want to fly non-stop from NYC to Tel Aviv on April 2nd. First pic is what I get from 3rd party, second is when I try on El Al's website. Maybe it's something with my location or cookies that is hiding that cheaper flight out of Newark, curious if anyone else sees anything less than $2k on that date for El Al?

3rd party:


El Al:
But you are only looking at El Al. You have to find a good airfare search engine that looks at all (or most) of the options. MATRIX search engine is the one usually recommended. You can't book with Matrix, you just see the airfare rates provided by the airlines.

Using that, for EWR to TLV on April 2nd I see $426 on TAP and $702 on LOT. Both have long layovers but that TAP rate I would jump on. Note that I entered "one way" and only from EWR. Making it round trip and giving the choice of other NY airports you might even find cheaper.

Also note, what you see in the discount sites is not always what gets booked when you click forward on that select button and get ready to pay. These are teaser rates. You go forward and I bet you will get the "seats sold out" message and the published El Al rates.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:06 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,366 posts, read 1,660,383 times
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You really have to find a way to locate budget airlines. Using Matrix and Google, the cheapest listing I can find for Cebu-Brunei is $690 RT, via Singapore or Hong Kong. But Cebu Pacific flies there via Manila for $180 RT.

rome2rio.com lists the low fares, then for CEB-BWN, it links you to trip.com, the fare they show is $225. Bookmark them both.

Probably not useful for major destinations lie EWR-TLV, where any third party would be competitive. I like Cheap-o, good service, and they told they would price-match any fare I got elsewhere.

Last edited by cebuan; 02-17-2019 at 05:58 AM..
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:20 AM
 
Location: On the road
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
But you are only looking at El Al.
Right, because people specifically said you can find the lowest price on 3rd party sites then go to the actual airline site to get same/lower price. I contend that isn't true. I don't doubt there are cheaper options, just casting a dubious eye on the notion that 3rd party site prices can always be matched directly with the same carrier.

Regarding that fare not being real, I can click all the way through to entering passenger info and my credit card number, it isn't some fake teaser that says no seats.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:26 AM
 
Location: North State (California)
39,332 posts, read 2,970,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
Right, because people specifically said you can find the lowest price on 3rd party sites then go to the actual airline site to get same/lower price. I contend that isn't true.

I don't doubt there are cheaper options, just casting a dubious eye on the notion that 3rd party site prices can always be matched directly with the same carrier.
This has been my experience also, I check the fares using a discount site, but if I go directly to the airline webpage, the flights cost more.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:08 AM
 
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One observation on long layovers: this may not be practical if you're on a tight budget or traveling with a large family, but I LOVE airline lounges and you can buy a day pass for $50 or $60. Choose your lounge carefully (research the airline web sites or those of private lounge operators) but some have open bars, buffets that provide enough for meals, showers and even nap rooms. (The "shower" is really a private room the size of a hotel bathroom, immaculately clean, with all towels, soap, etc. furnished.) Kids under a certain age get in free. When you've just come in from a redeye it's an oasis of peace and quiet.

I prefer long layovers; I'm one of those chronic worriers and a long layover means i'm less likely to miss a mission-critical connection.
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:21 AM
 
12,263 posts, read 18,393,933 times
Reputation: 19082
Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
Right, because people specifically said you can find the lowest price on 3rd party sites then go to the actual airline site to get same/lower price. I contend that isn't true. I don't doubt there are cheaper options, just casting a dubious eye on the notion that 3rd party site prices can always be matched directly with the same carrier.

Regarding that fare not being real, I can click all the way through to entering passenger info and my credit card number, it isn't some fake teaser that says no seats.
OK then I amend my statement: For some of these fares, these discount airline sites buy it from wholesalers, the wholesalers purchase it from the airlines but they do this back months ago when seats were cheap and discounted (as airlines increase rates as demand increases), or they anticipate rates will drop using complex computer programs and essentially haven't even bought the tickets yet. From this they add not only wholesaler mark-up, but also the mark-up they charge to you.
So yes, you may sometimes buy a ticket at a cheaper rate than the CURRENT airfare published on the airlines website, but at a greater rate than you yourself could have purchased earlier or later.
From that of course, you also have to anticipate and calculate in the risk that occurs of losing money or hassles that occur when problems happen on the flights and the airline is unwilling to help (cancellations, delays, etc.).
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:39 PM
 
2,591 posts, read 5,284,814 times
Reputation: 5188
Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
Right, because people specifically said you can find the lowest price on 3rd party sites then go to the actual airline site to get same/lower price. I contend that isn't true. I don't doubt there are cheaper options, just casting a dubious eye on the notion that 3rd party site prices can always be matched directly with the same carrier.

Regarding that fare not being real, I can click all the way through to entering passenger info and my credit card number, it isn't some fake teaser that says no seats.
I agree that there is no magic bullet that will always get you the best price. Or the best price consistent with reasonable constraints (like no 12 hour layovers).



Best is to check multiple options, including both the consolidator websites and the airline websites.



I have sometimes scored outstanding deals from consolidators not available directly from the airline. I have sometimes booked directly with airlines. It helps if you know what a plausible price is at a given time, for routings that normal humans would take.
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