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Old 02-24-2010, 11:54 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,941,952 times
Reputation: 13245

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
Not true, I just did this search right now and Expedia is cheaper than the airline.
Dd714 did recognize the fact that sometimes consolidators can be cheaper.
They used to be cheaper more often than they are now--it has become much more intricate than before.
Anyway, the flight you show is an international one.
I do think it is good to check out all the possibilities.
But what works for someone in Manchester, England might not work for someone in the southeast United States.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Yeah, well, OK there are consolidators and wholesalers, yeah. You can also ask your cousin's freind's in-laws cousin who is a flight attendant to get you a non-rev ticket, or try to win the lottery, and have better success. Sure consolidators exists, they might not always be cheaper, they tack on a middle man charge, and some of the consolidator web tactics seem to be bait-and-switch like (same as published fares once you sign in and register). I think most are international or at least between major hubs as well.....but it is a viable option for those who want to work at it.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,927 posts, read 13,689,809 times
Reputation: 11615
It was just an example
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:39 PM
 
302 posts, read 1,509,047 times
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I'm the OP & offering an update here. Thanks to all who offered helpful info & suggestions for websites. Hope I can offer some equally helpful advice to the persons who posted that they're also "novices" at finding bargain travel prices.

My trip is in two weeks (March 10th - 15th) and yesterday I booked my flight & hotel stay, got a good deal for both on Expedia. But first I used websites such as Kayak, Airfarewatchdog, Bingtravel and TripAdvisor which compare prices from multiple travel websites. I tracked airline prices for almost 2 weeks before I booked my flight/hotel stay. I saw firsthand that price patterns were very consistent & learned what days the prices offered were the lowest. I found that the days when prices dropped were consistently mid-week days: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Then the rest of the week (Friday, Sat, Sunday & Monday) the flight prices jumped back up, sometimes doubling.

For example, last week I was tracking round-trip non-stop flights between my two destinations & on Tues/Wed/Thurs there were many listed with the lowest price being $238. But I delayed booking my flight because was hoping for even lower prices. Then I checked on Friday morning & EVERY nonstop roundtrip had more than DOUBLED in price! Got a little worred when those higher prices lasted thru the entire weekend & Monday. Luckily, I didn't panic & purchase at that high price or settle for flights w/ layovers that take twice as long to get to my destination (and I hate having to switch planes at the Atlantic airport!) I sayed patient & checked prices again Tuesday morning hoping to see the big price drops I was expecting. Well, at first, early in the morning (8 - 10am) the high prices had stayed the same, hadn't dropped! (thought I was scr*ewed, was muttering "WTF?!) However, just a little while later (after 11am?), I checked again & all these nonstop roundtrips had dropped down by more than half-- from about $478 down to $238!! So I proceeded to compare different individual travel websites (Orbitz, Travelocity, etc.) & used Expedia to book my flights/hotel when I discovered they gave me the best discount price when adding the exact hotel I wanted to my flight.

I'm glad I was patient yesterday & got a good low-priced deal, but actually I should have been even more patient. Later in the same day, out of curiosity I looked again & found that I could have saved even more since United Airlines was offering the exact SAME nonstop roundtrips as US Airways for $10 less! (WTF?!) Plus I would have gotten an even lower nightly rate at the same hotel using Expedia again combined with these United flights. Guess I jumped a little TOO quick, got afraid to wait a little longer, turned out I could have saved about $35 for the same flights/hotel stay if I had waited & checked online later in the day on Tuesday. (Hey, I could have added one more night at the hotel-- from 5 nights to 6 nights-- for only $11 more!) Well, I'm not gonna keep regretting that I missed out on an even better deal, certainly not gonna drive myself nuts by continuing to monitor the online prices for this package, better to live and learn. Hope that describing my experiences with all this will be helpful to another travel novice or newbie here (and you can learn from my one big mistake!)
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,927 posts, read 13,689,809 times
Reputation: 11615
It wasn't a mistake - there is no way of knowing whether the prices will go up or down in the days following your purchase. Sometimes, when you wait, hoping the prices will go down, they actually go up and then you wish you'd purchased earlier. The screen shot of those flights I posted were down to 508 at one point but I held off because I hoped they would go down below 500... they didn't. Within a week, they'd gone back up again and have shown no signs of wavering. There's nothing to learn from it because without a crystal ball, you have no way of knowing which way prices will turn when. You just have to buy when it's at a price you can afford and not torture yourself by checking prices afterwards.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:42 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,941,952 times
Reputation: 13245
Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
You just have to buy when it's at a price you can afford and not torture yourself by checking prices afterwards.
I agree.
It's important to do the research, and find a reasonably good deal.
After tickets are in hand, I try to just let the thrill of the chase go.
Peace of mind is worth something, too.

I am glad you came back to tell us how you did, Newb.
Traveling in the middle of the week can indeed often be cheaper, although the Air Tran tickets we bought for a trip this coming May were the same price for Saturday travel.

I don't see quite the same patterns that I used to with airfare.
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