Another way to find a cheaper ticket

I’m pretty good at finding cheaper or better airfare online but when friends or family ask me to help, I just groan because it takes a LOT of time.

I thought I’d share this tidbit. I was recently looking for airfare for a pretty expensive short notice trip to Europe. Orbitz told me the cheapest fare was $1806. FareCompare told me the cheapest ticket was $1650. When I clicked on the "purchase this airfare" on FareCompare, it opened a window to Orbitz! So I bought a ticket on Orbitz for cheaper than Orbitz had listed. One of two things is at work:

  • Either FareCompare has a deal with Orbitz where they get something off the ticket and they pass some of that on to me.
  • Or Orbitz’s search engine isn’t working well enough to find me the cheapest fare.

So knowing where to look can save you money – the cheapest fare one travel site shows isn’t always the cheapest fare.

6 Replies to “Another way to find a cheaper ticket”

  1. Another great site, which really epitomizes the web 2.0 concept of mashups is Kayak. It’s one click for searching a huge number of travel sites and the filtering tools make it really top notch (I’d like to leave sometime between 7am and 9am, land sometime between noon and 2pm, and only have 1 layover on star alliance carriers). They also provide helpful indicators when a flight is nearly full or has a really long layover to help in the booking process. Sadly, they don’t yet take into account checked baggage fees to give a complete cost of travel.
    Their hotel search tool is great too — everything is plotted on a familiar and friendly google map. There’s even an option to have it give distances from a particular location or landmark. For the computer nerd, Kayak’s a seriously powerful travel booking tool.
    The only issue I’ve really had is the pervasive problem with airline systems offering a ticket and then saying it wasn’t available. Seems to happen pretty often on transatlantic flights booked through orbitz – click for the ticket and get a pleasant message telling you that it will be $200 more.

  2. There’s a good possibility that the price that Orbitz quoted was the full fare price plus fees like the 9/11 security fee, airport fees, etc. A lot of sites don’t include that information until it’s time to actually buy your ticket to make it seem like they have cheaper fares. In the end, was the amount your CC was charged actually $1650 or $1806?

  3. I actually paid $1650.
    I also forgot to mention that I tried to buy the ticket direct from both United and Turkish Airlines and neither one of them could book the combined ticket that Orbitz sold me.

  4. Another site much like Kayak is; it works quite nicely for me…
    I’m happy because this last trip to Istanbul bumped me up to Premier Executive/Star Alliance Gold. I’m starting to pick up the really good perks now!
    Great to meet you, Stormy, and I’m looking forward to working with you.

  5. Great to meet you too, Lefty.
    Premier Executive is the best level to be at – lots of perks. The only additional perk that 100K offered that I liked was 6 system wide (i.e. world-wide) upgrades. But it’s not worth flying another 50,000 miles for!

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