Affordable Flights

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zzm9980
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Post by zzm9980 » Fri, 23 Aug 2013 9:54 am

Strong Eagle wrote:Just be very careful if you book flights through Kayak, Expedia, or the Singapore one whose name escapes me. Unlike booking through the airline, where, for a fee, you can change your ticket, almost all tickets purchased through travel sites are non changeable and non refundable.
yeah, this -^

You may also not be able to pick your own seats, and even have issues checking in online on the airline site. I just use these sites to scan for the lowest price, then go directly to the airline. Anytime I've found a huge discrepancy where the non-Airline site was way cheaper, the booking always failed when I went through the whole purchase process on the third party site.

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Post by nakatago » Fri, 23 Aug 2013 10:00 am

zzm9980 wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:Just be very careful if you book flights through Kayak, Expedia, or the Singapore one whose name escapes me. Unlike booking through the airline, where, for a fee, you can change your ticket, almost all tickets purchased through travel sites are non changeable and non refundable.
yeah, this -^

You may also not be able to pick your own seats, and even have issues checking in online on the airline site. I just use these sites to scan for the lowest price, then go directly to the airline. Anytime I've found a huge discrepancy where the non-Airline site was way cheaper, the booking always failed when I went through the whole purchase process on the third party site.
I pretty much do the same thing. When I first did this, I found huge discrepancies between the travel site and the airline site--price, the flights themselves and even seat availability.

And even if not for price, just plain reliability so I just go to the source.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Post by ComingSoon » Fri, 23 Aug 2013 2:43 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:Just be very careful if you book flights through Kayak, Expedia, or the Singapore one whose name escapes me. Unlike booking through the airline, where, for a fee, you can change your ticket, almost all tickets purchased through travel sites are non changeable and non refundable.
I tried Kayak the other day. I was quoted one price and when it came time to purchase the ticket (4 minutes later), I was given a completely different price. I'm not sure, but I think I was redirected to the airline's server and their prices were more up-to-date.

So far using the aggregators to shop and then buying direct seems like the best policy.

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Post by ecureilx » Fri, 23 Aug 2013 3:14 pm

nakatago wrote: I pretty much do the same thing. When I first did this, I found huge discrepancies between the travel site and the airline site--price, the flights themselves and even seat availability.

And even if not for price, just plain reliability so I just go to the source.
Sitting in a GDS, my 2 cents ..

Online TAs do a guaranteed sale, and block out seats. Internally, they re-arrange to get the best price for the OTA themselves.

And the tickets that OTAs sell are all discounted fares, hence restrictions apply.

For seat, again, with their arrangement with GDS' they get an assured number, and do some other manipulation to never over pay.

After all, they are in the business of making money, with very thin margins ..

For Asia, seriously, compare LCC fares before looking up any other online deals.

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Post by Hidy Ho » Fri, 23 Aug 2013 4:07 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:Just be very careful if you book flights through Kayak, Expedia, or the Singapore one whose name escapes me. Unlike booking through the airline, where, for a fee, you can change your ticket, almost all tickets purchased through travel sites are non changeable and non refundable.
Similarly, if you have solid schedule and want to hop around SE Asia, you can use AirAsia, Tigerair and etc. But, if you ever want to change schedule, carry an extra bag , book at last minute and etc, they become comparable to bigger airlines. I've lost two bookings on AirAsia as I got sick or needed to finish up work.

I gave up on cheaper airlines and fly SQ as I often book my ticket on Tuesday for Thur/Fri flight. SQ also seem to get the gates that are very close to the immigration line whereas AirAsia often lands without a gate and need to wait another 1/2 to catch the bus to the terminal. I make sure I use my Star Alliance gold status to get my free meal at the lounges and board early :)

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Post by Mi Amigo » Fri, 23 Aug 2013 4:25 pm

ecureilx wrote:Sitting in a GDS, my 2 cents ..

Online TAs do a guaranteed sale, and block out seats. Internally, they re-arrange to get the best price for the OTA themselves.

And the tickets that OTAs sell are all discounted fares, hence restrictions apply.

For seat, again, with their arrangement with GDS' they get an assured number, and do some other manipulation to never over pay.

After all, they are in the business of making money, with very thin margins ..

For Asia, seriously, compare LCC fares before looking up any other online deals.
Waay too many TLAs there dude - please keep in mind that we're not all au fait with the industry lingo. :???:
Be careful what you wish for

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nakatago
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Post by nakatago » Fri, 23 Aug 2013 4:28 pm

Mi Amigo wrote:
ecureilx wrote:Sitting in a GDS, my 2 cents ..

Online TAs do a guaranteed sale, and block out seats. Internally, they re-arrange to get the best price for the OTA themselves.

And the tickets that OTAs sell are all discounted fares, hence restrictions apply.

For seat, again, with their arrangement with GDS' they get an assured number, and do some other manipulation to never over pay.

After all, they are in the business of making money, with very thin margins ..

For Asia, seriously, compare LCC fares before looking up any other online deals.
Waay too many TLAs there dude - please keep in mind that we're not all au fait with the industry lingo. :???:

Just like the rest of Singapore. Too many acronyms.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Post by ScoobyDoes » Fri, 23 Aug 2013 4:31 pm

I book with the airlines directly.

Their websites usually have just as good a fare as online agents. Online agents such as AsiaTravel, Zuji, Expedia etc. are quite good at putting packages together of flights and hotel for simplicity but even then we've found that if we book separately we can get an overall better deal.

Finally, and it has happened a few times before when flights have got a bit screwed up, it is better to have tickets direct from the airline because where ever you are, the airline counter has to help. If you book from an agent 9-times from 10 an airline will tell you to contact whomever you bought the tickets from for assistance or changes. Trying to call Singapore from wherever is costly, takes time and may need several more calls than necessary and especially in comparison to just calling a local number or walking into an airlines office.

For a few extra dollars here and there, often the hassle is not worth it.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'

SIR Stirling Moss OBE

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Post by ecureilx » Fri, 23 Aug 2013 5:23 pm

Mi Amigo wrote:
ecureilx wrote:Sitting in a GDS, my 2 cents ..

Online TAs do a guaranteed sale, and block out seats. Internally, they re-arrange to get the best price for the OTA themselves.

And the tickets that OTAs sell are all discounted fares, hence restrictions apply.

For seat, again, with their arrangement with GDS' they get an assured number, and do some other manipulation to never over pay.

After all, they are in the business of making money, with very thin margins ..

For Asia, seriously, compare LCC fares before looking up any other online deals.
Waay too many TLAs there dude - please keep in mind that we're not all au fait with the industry lingo. :???:
Oops .. my bad :)

TA: Travel Agents
GDS: Global Distribution Systems, those people who interface with airlines and their inventories, to the Travel agents and online Travel Agents (exception being Airlines who host their own reservation .. )
OTA: Online travel Agents. (Zuji, Travelocity, Expedia etc. etc.)
LCC: Low Cost Carrier (or Budget Airlines)

ScoobyDoes Unless you are flying long haul, buying online makes sense .. For long haul, better pay the 30$ or so Service fees levied by Travel agents .. (new pricing policy - starting from SQ - SQ's online price and Travel agent prices are identical, so you pay a service fee to Travel agent .. )

Of course, if you have all the time in the world to change your plans, change this or that, go direct ..

PS: though originally few airlines were hosting their own inventory, to let other GDS retrieve and sell, now most airlines are hosted by GDS, fully, so going with a GDS (and the Travel Agent appointed by the GDS) may get you better fares than direct sale from airline ..

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Post by ScoobyDoes » Sat, 24 Aug 2013 11:31 am

I still say, even long haul and maybe more on long haul, buy from the airline. The last thing you want to so is try to phone your agent in Singapore from Europe or the US. Not just the cost of calls but quite major time differences impact on when you can talk to someone, unlike an airline's local office.

Short haul for a few day trip here or there, buy from anywhere and maybe cheaper the better......this usually means an OTA.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'

SIR Stirling Moss OBE

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