Is there one place that you typically find lower fares?
Is there one place that you typically find lower fares?
You need to compare nowadays. There is no one single site that will give you the lowest fares. When searching for hotels, I typically first look at expedia to show me generally what every hotel in the city/area im looking is going for. Then I will pick 5 hotels that I like, and search their individual sites. Then, I visit a site called biddingfortravel.com, to see if Priceline.com is offering anything lower. You can do a similar three part search for airlines. For rental cars, its usually advisible to look at travelocity.com for a general price, then book it directly through the rental car agency's website. For cruises, check travelocity and expedia, then check an agent, then call the cruise line directly.
Never heard of Kayak.com until today.............and I don't have any regard for any of the BIG, overly advertised travel booking websites.
For strictly buying low cost airline tickets, I have always had luck with http://www.cheaptickets.com. They've been around for years and they can shop ALL the airlines to help you find a low cost flight even during peak season travel. AND, when there were times I had to come home or cancel a trip for medical reasons, I never, ever had a problem getting a refund so long as I had a medical letter. So the term "non-refundable" while generally true, is somewhat forgiving in situations when real circumstances occur. Anyway, most of the time I've used my tickets and everything has gone fine. I have never used "the BIG guys" and I don't believe I ever will; I am what I say I am - a truly Independent Traveler!
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This is an interesting thread. I usually compare travelocity, cheap tickets and some of the other ones.
Last edited by Host Bonjour; 08-02-2006 at 12:30 AM.
And don't forget to check the sites for the airline itself after you have come up with a low fare. Often they will give you the same fare and miles to your frequent flyer program--which the discount sites often do not offer.
there is a site used by the travel agents called itasoftware.com - all published fares
but it's worth to check directly with airlines their special offers, which are not on itasoftware
I find lately I've gotten the best deals by going right to the source, particularly when it comes to hotels. I've even resorted to picking up that old invention -- the phone -- and calling properties. Expedia, Travelocity and even Starwood listed a particular Sheraton as sold out. I called, got a room and a discount (when I asked). Just gotta be persistent
For flights, I'm a Kayak.com girl. I like the layout/design, they search more flights/sites than the traditional booking engines (Travelocity, etc.), and the fare history is a nice feature too.
So I start at Kayak, but as someone noted above, I always go to the airline web sites too, particularly Southwest and AirTran if I'm flying in the U.S. -- these two airlines fly out of my favorite airports, and they always have "system-wide" sales going on.
For hotels...hmm. I usually book with the property directly, though I do occasionally check Kayak or Travelocity. A lot of times I prefer B&B's or smaller places that aren't on the big sites.
I usually check with expedia and ebookers and see which is their cheapest quote and then book direct with whichever airline is the cheapest. Usually on the airlines website you get the same rate and on the flag carriers can pick your own seat. Also I have a theory that airlines and hotel treat you better if you book direct with them rather than through a third party. I might be wrong but I always seem to get upgrades and better seats/rooms when I book direct. It makes sense as if you book through Expedia surely your their customer not the Airlines? So if it all goes wrong then Expedia has to deal with the compliant not the Airline? Even if it is the airlines fault?
In purchasing airfare, you really do need to check multiple sources including the consolidators and the airline websites. I also receive a newsletter delivered regularly from airfarewatchdog.com with airfares from my local airport. This gives me a general idea of what I might expect when I begin looking for specific dates or routes. If you have the luxury of time, it also pays to be persistent and check every day for a period of time before you make that final decision.
For hotels, it also pays to check several sources. Just this weekend, I found a new source which saved me approximately $250 for a 5-night stay in D. C. I had checked prices for the same hotel with the hotel itself as well as several on-line booking agencies. Their prices were all about the same so I was pleasantly surprised when I found the bargain rate. I am glad to share this new source: all-hotels.com. I had to pay for the hotel stay in advance but with this amount of savings, I didn't mind that.
Sometimes you just have to dig around and do your research. I was just looking at the Lufthansa site and was surprised at all the awesome deals they have going on now. They're having their Atlantic Adventure sale, and some of the deals are really amazing. For instance, you can do Washington DC to London for $229 one way, that is nice!
I visited www.lufthansa.com to see the offers. Of course, the offer you mention is for students with IDs, one way and does not include taxes etc.
The search option on this site is for exact dates or a flexible search a couple of days either way. I just don't find this kind of search feature to be acceptable.
I would suggest that you go to www.farecompare.com and do a search for flexible dates / lowest price.
Tell me what you think of my reply.
Last edited by Host Bonjour; 03-22-2009 at 08:57 PM.
I also have use kyack travel. It lets you use the flexible travel option, say 3 days before or after and gets the price the lowest. Then you can go to the airline website and plug in the same dates and see if it is a bit lower.
If you really wanted to work it, take the same dates that you got the lowest price, then go to priceline.com, drop the price even lower and see if it goes through. You can always fall back on the kyack travel or the airlines website for your backup.
And believe it or not, I have found airline tickets are cheaper on Saturday morning. Don't ask me why, but I got a roundtrip ticket to San Diego from Charlotte, NC for $212 and the price just dropped on Saturday morning. I had been watching it for quite a while.
One more thing, on Yahoo Travel, when you go to flights, there is a area called "Dream Maps." It gives you a block of months and you can plug in the days when the cheap tickets are available. It only works in North America and Caribbean, but it is a great tool
For the UK and Europe, there is a budget flight comparison website called www.skyscanner.net, great if you are flexible on dates as you can view full month prices in a graph, then book the cheapest deal.
I search the travel sites and get on their e mail lists. If I see a new one mentioned in the newspaper, I check it out. Travelocity is good because they have a service which e mails you whenever fares on your preferred routes drop by a certain amount, and they also will show you the lowest available fares without your having to specify dates, and then provide a calendar showing on which dates the various fares are available. I search the airline sites as well, and get on their e mail lists. Not all airlines show up on travel search engines, SouthWest being the prime example.
When an exceptionally good deal pops up, be prepared to act quickly. Those seats evaporate like shallow puddles in a tropical sun.
The lowest domestic fares I have seen to date have been on SkyBus and Spirit. Discount airlines are sprouting all over, the best known being RyanAir and EasyJet in Europe.
Hotwire can sometimes help in a last minute situation. I used them once for a last minute MIA-ATL round trip. You get certain dates, but other specifics only after you buy the ticket. I had to fly via CLT, but it was well worth it.
There was no space for responding about contacting your airline. However, I have a few tips for airlines that try to hide their home addresses. (1) Call your local library and ask for the reference desk. They can often find it. (2) Go to an address search engine such as switchboard.com. (3) For the real hard to crack cases, go to the state government website of any state the airline serves and look for the place where you can find corporate information. This is public record everywhere. You'll find your airline's home address, and the names and addresses (probably the same as the airline) of board members (who can then be checked out individually in switchboard.com) And, if you want to sue them in small claims court, you'll have the name and address of the registered agent!
I usually use a comparison site such as Expedia to find the flights and then another site like hotels.com to find hotels and once i find the cheapest deals i then book the hotels and flights direct (ie if expedia shows an AA flight as being best i visit AA.com and book from them).
Comparison sites usually always add a comission charge so you are usually always better to book hotels and flights direct from the supplier!
The usual commission charge I've encountered is $5. My philosophy is, if it's a really terrific bargain and I can get my frequent flier miles, then let the site have their $5 commission. We need these sites!
It's not a matter of WHERE... it is a matter of WHEN. Sure cheap tickets are guaranteed during off season of your destination. Of course, you have to find out when the peak time for tourists.
I will second Massagelondon's recommendation. ITA is a terrific site because of some of the things it does.
I will allow you to search a particular date, a month of weekends, or a month (everyday). It then highlights the cheapest fare for the weekend or month so you might save hundreds by simply moving the dates of your travel. You can also restrict the number of stops, you can see a particular airline and it will show you it's cheapest price and you can see how it compares to the lowest price available.
At the same time you do want to check the airlines on the date you think will be best because they may have a special not on ITA.
I've found 90% of the time Travelocity has the lowest fares
I usually start with Travelocity, but then will often check a few others as well. Usually, they turn out the same. I don't mind giving a good search engine the $5 commission, although I often wonder if Travelocity really needs it, what with all the money they spent on TV commercials. Well, maybe that's why they need it!
I also strongly recommend signing up for the e mail listings of every airline you think you might ever need or want to use. Remember, many if not most of the discount airlines (including Southwest) don't show up on the multi-airline search engines.
I use Cheap Flights Search Engine - http://www.cfares.com for finding the lowest airfares available online plus exclusive deals. They're a consolidator site too similar to Kayak but they're great for both domestic as well as international flights. You can use their free search or sign up as a member to get even further rebates.