Lower Price on Expedia than AC.com

Old Sep 17, 19, 11:15 am
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Lower Price on Expedia than AC.com

I just booked Air Canada flights on Expedia YYZ-PHL-YYZ because it was ~$50 cheaper per person for the same flights than on aircanada.com.

When the booking was completed, I noticed that Expedia had split my reservation into two separate AC bookings - one for the YYZ-PHL and a separate one for PHL-YYZ. Somehow that priced out cheaper than the return flight. Some of that likely represents Expedia (and me) avoiding the HST on the return flight since it is technically a separate booking and I guess AC was offering a lower price one-way PHL-YYZ than as part of a return trip, which seems a bit odd.

How often do people see this happening?
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Old Sep 17, 19, 12:15 pm
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I always check booking round trip vs. two one way in North America. However if starting from AB, often the round trip is better. But es, it's a tax issue. Seems Expedia is good at figuring this out... Still, in the end I would rather buy at aircanada.com, same way.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 12:31 pm
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That happens all the time. There are a ton of transborder fares that are filed at the same numerical value in CAD if you depart Canada and in USD if you depart the US.

So for a US resident, one-ways are way cheaper than round-trips.

Taxes and fees are also charged differently depending on POS, which is what you're likely seeing.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 12:41 pm
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If I am Canadian resident but have a US house/bank/etc, can I book on the US side if it's cheaper? Or it needs to match the passport used or something?
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Old Sep 17, 19, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by theBeachBoy View Post
If I am Canadian resident but have a US house/bank/etc, can I book on the US side if it's cheaper? Or it needs to match the passport used or something?
OTOH nothing stands in the way of buying flights departing from the US in CAD on the Canadian web site. I suspect the only difference is exchange. BTW I believe exchange rates are what is called IATA rates and they are updated weekly.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 1:19 pm
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I have seen this all the time and Google Flights is also able to pick this up, suggesting two separate OW tickets are cheaper than one RT.
Odder still, I've once discovered a US-CAN-US RT ticket quoted to be US$600 on AC website, was quoted US$500 on Google. I even went ahead to book it thru the link provided by Google, it went thru on AC website, and was successfully ticketed! (I cancelled it within 24 hrs.)
This was quite amusing, because I was expecting that it would tell me something in the line of "this fare has expired" (as I saw very often on AA website), but I actually got the ticket!
Before anyone asks, I am certain both quotes were in US dollars.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:03 pm
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Happens with other carriers too. I'd also be interested if they are the same fare basis. I had Expedia once sell me an AA ticket with "N" one way and "T" the other, which saved me money versus AA.com
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Old Sep 18, 19, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by theBeachBoy View Post
If I am Canadian resident but have a US house/bank/etc, can I book on the US side if it's cheaper? Or it needs to match the passport used or something?
I don't see any reason why you cannot book on the US site.

I can book on the Asiana Korean site and pay in KRW and it was ticketed and flown ... I don't see why there would be any issue here. I think all they care about is that it is paid for
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Old Sep 18, 19, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by theBeachBoy View Post
If I am Canadian resident but have a US house/bank/etc, can I book on the US side if it's cheaper? Or it needs to match the passport used or something?
You can buy your ticket anywhere.
European OTAs have pointtopoint AC fares lower than AC.com all the time, depending on cc used.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 1:38 pm
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Only issue I have is that if it all goes horribly wrong, you are forced to deal with Expedia. At least that was my issue albeit not with AC.

And while AC is of course, terrible to deal with. Expedia is worse. Much worse.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 3:11 pm
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Originally Posted by jc94 View Post
Only issue I have is that if it all goes horribly wrong, you are forced to deal with Expedia. At least that was my issue albeit not with AC.

And while AC is of course, terrible to deal with. Expedia is worse. Much worse.
My perspective on it the Expedia involvement ends as soon as you check in for the flight. The staff at the airport don't care how the flight was booked.

I remember once doing an Expedia ticket that involved a connection in MSP where a few weeks out there a flight cancellation and the system auto-rebooked with a 15 m connection. The Expedia agent explained have it was legal or would not have auto booked . Eventually convinced them to call Delta and he was shocked that it was not legal to do Canada->International with just 15 min.

Real travel agents know better.

Last edited by Fiordland; Sep 18, 19 at 10:32 pm
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Old Sep 18, 19, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by jc94 View Post
Only issue I have is that if it all goes horribly wrong, you are forced to deal with Expedia. At least that was my issue albeit not with AC.
And while AC is of course, terrible to deal with. Expedia is worse. Much worse.
The only issue is before departure. And I can argue that its actually better to deal with Expedia. I've had AC schedule change, and whereas AC would have probably only rebooked on AC, or at best a partner - Expedia was happy to rebook on AA.

When it inevitably goes wrong due to AC's stellar OTP on the day of, AC already has control of the ticket, and booking channel makes zero difference.


I'll give you another recent example. I had a ticket booked thru AC on DXB-YYZ for travel in January. Wife had exact itinerary booked thru flighthub. AC reduced it to 4x (or 5x, whatever, flight gone from Saturday night), and simply moved us over by a day. Zero notification on my ticket. Only found out about the 24hr change because of flighthub. AC utterly useless at rebooking for the correct day, insisted it had to be AC metal or refund (after a 1:30hr hold of course). Meanwhile flighthub of all people offered a LX-AC option via ZRH. Another multiple hours waiting for AC to pick up the phone, and only then they begrudgingly agreed to the LX option.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 4:35 pm
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At the airport it doesn’t make a difference, before it does. I had Expedia try and route me back from the US to UK via France including changing airport in 2 hours, at my own cost. This was after an hour. Then they suggested flying out of somewhere 6 hours drive away. The airline I was flying with refused to deal with me.

As to short connections AA has auto rebooked me into a 20 min domestic ORD connection, so many airlines have flaws here
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Old Sep 18, 19, 7:29 pm
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As others have mentioned I have seen this type of booking recommended by Google Flights. I've booked on the AC US website and paid in USD with no issues. The only thing you need to factor in is the forex fee your credit card may charge and weigh if the savings are enough.
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Old Sep 21, 19, 3:49 pm
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As an aside, there seems to be an issue with TPACs for the past month or so for flights in November/ December. There are now only two major ticketing entities, Expedia(e.g. travelocity, orbitz.) Group and Booking Holdings (momondo, Kayak) and the sites who rely on either one of these two. All of the sites and AC offer the same routing. Unfortunately AC only offers the option of Y from many connecting points, so it requires calling in to try and get the business class which is offered by the two booking engine families.
I recently booked a relatively straightforward TPAC using two different connection points. Because one flight was SIN-TYO with a flight not showing at AC.com, I had to call in anyway. Despite trying 3X over 2 weeks and going through the fare desk, AC was unable to provide the same fare as Google Flights/ITA Matrix. I tried through Book with matrix and with Power tools with Expedia and PriceLine. Price Line doesn't charge a fee like Expedia so I booked with Priceline. The fare was $4800. AC wanted almost $5900 (Both CAD). AC agent was very nice and helpful, but AC access to fares was screwed up.
My ticket is issued by AC on 014 stock, and I have already reserved my AC seats at AC.com and will hit the other carriers shortly. Had I not been able to do this this week, I would have just gone with EVA, and paid $1000 more and accepted the 125% altitude miles vs 150% if on AC metal.

One of the issues for me is that I will no longer transfer through PVG or PEK. The 4hour+ layover, combined with the Chinese airport experience and unpleasant experiences on Air China etc., have convinced me that no matter how cheap, the saving isn't worth it. (Nor are the ridiculously low Air China fares at $3,000 for the same destination worth it either.)

Last edited by Transpacificflyer; Sep 21, 19 at 3:58 pm Reason: added major to avoid nitpicker criticism
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