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Old 03-27-2013, 11:29 AM   #1
DisneyBliss7
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Where do you buy airline tix?

Where is a cheap place to buy airline tickets? I've looked at cheaptickets.com and expedia but was wondering if you anyone had other places they go to?
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:36 AM   #2
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Where is a cheap place to buy airline tickets? I've looked at cheaptickets.com and expedia but was wondering if you anyone had other places they go to?
Direct from the airline. Use the other sites to find the best price, then purchase from the airline. Two reasons...

1) As I understand it, prices need to match between sites. So a price you see on cheaptickets or expedia needs to match what the airline is offering.
2) If you book through a "third party", you could run into issues if there are any problems with your flight.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:25 PM   #3
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Agree with booking directly through the airline. No advantage to using any of the other sites.

I often use www.kayak.com to set up an alert for a particular route I'm planning on flying. When I see something good I go to the airline's site to book it.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:45 PM   #4
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I agree with Sam, and would like to expand on his second point.

When we buy from an online agency (cheaptickets, Travelocity, Expedia, etc), through Disney Travel Company, credit card portals, etc they are our acting travel agent for this transaction, just like if you went to your neighborhood travel agency in the strip mall next to the pizza place.

While there are many advantages to using a travel agent, the main disadvantage is you basically relinquish your rights to interact with the airline, and grant those rights to your agent. If there are problems (weather, mechanical issues, canceled flights, need to end the vacation early, etc), then you have abdicated your ability to deal with the airline yourself. Thus, you would need the get the agent to make the changes for you.

While is is great for the local professional in the aforementioned strip mall and likely ok for Disney or a credit card's agency, problems arise using the discounted websites. Expedia, cheaptickets, etc are not really concerned about follow-up service. Their money is made with the initial transaction, and the volume they generate makes the threat of leaving them for future transaction mute. In essence, they don't car and won't work to help you in a difficult situation. In addition, they form relationships with the airlines and hotels (some good and some bad), so I would say they value those relationships over one single customer/transaction.

That said if you want to have control over your reservation, then book with the airline, hotel, and car rental agency yourself. You not only have recourse as a direct customer, but you also can apply frequent flier programs. If you would rather not worry about the transaction, use a reputable agent in your neighborhood, who will need to look you in the eye when you get back. Also, major travel agencies with good reputations (like American Express or Dreams Unlimited) are also a good bet, since they are experienced and the travel section is a core business with them.

Long winded, but important for others on the board with the same concerns.

Personally, I use ITAMatrix and Bing Travel's predictor tool to find flights and get an idea if now is a good time to buy. Then I book straight with the airline (the Matrix tool provides all the info you'd need should a call to the airline's agent be required). I also book directly with hotels and car companies.

Good luck!
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:34 PM   #5
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I always buy directly from the airline site, online. There is no way I am using a third party for airline tickets. They may 'look' cheaper, but you would be surprised how many times that fare disappears when you try to book it. I used to price a flight out, and then when I got to the payment page?? The fare was 'no longer available'!!! But, a more expensive one was!!! Imagine that!!
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:38 PM   #6
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Another vote for "direct from airline." Just too many issues can occur when purchasing from a third party.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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When do you find is usually the best time to buy tickets (i.e. how far in advance?)
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:16 PM   #8
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When do you find is usually the best time to buy tickets (i.e. how far in advance?)
I personally like booking ~320 days out (tickets are available 330 days out on legacy airlines). The last couple times I've done this, the price has never gotten lower.

Others will say 6 weeks, some 6 months, some 4 weeks. So it really varies.

The BEST suggestion (IMO) is to buy when you're comfortable with the price. If you're flying an airline that doesn't do credit if the price drops and you'll be upset if the price drops, don't look after you book.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sam_gordon View Post
Direct from the airline. Use the other sites to find the best price, then purchase from the airline. Two reasons...

1) As I understand it, prices need to match between sites. So a price you see on cheaptickets or expedia needs to match what the airline is offering.
2) If you book through a "third party", you could run into issues if there are any problems with your flight.
This is exactly what I do. I NEVER, EVER book through a travel site for reason #2.
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