3rd Party Booking Travel Sites

Old Oct 5, 18, 12:00 pm
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3rd Party Booking Travel Sites

I use to book flights with sites like orbitz a while back. Then after i read that you should always book flights directly with airlines, i started doing that instead. If that is the case, what is the purpose of using a site like orbitz to book a flight with say jetblue then over doing it directly with jetblue?
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Old Oct 5, 18, 12:44 pm
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Originally Posted by donpauly View Post
I use to book flights with sites like orbitz a while back. Then after i read that you should always book flights directly with airlines, i started doing that instead. If that is the case, what is the purpose of using a site like orbitz to book a flight with say jetblue then over doing it directly with jetblue?
Several reasons... won't name all of them but off the top of my head...

1. OTA is still a TA so in general if you need to make changes you need to go through them and not directly with the airline (especially for simple things that you could have done online on the respective carrier's website, which it may not let you do if you went through an O/TA)
2. Depending on the product you're purchasing, sometimes the O/TA will charge more for things like change fees, or the such, more than what the airline might charge if you had booked directly through them
3. Some OTAs re known for horrible customer support compared to the airline (but this is arguable... just anecdotal history here on FT)
4. and the list goes on... (?)
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Old Oct 5, 18, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
Several reasons... won't name all of them but off the top of my head...

1. OTA is still a TA so in general if you need to make changes you need to go through them and not directly with the airline (especially for simple things that you could have done online on the respective carrier's website, which it may not let you do if you went through an O/TA)
2. Depending on the product you're purchasing, sometimes the O/TA will charge more for things like change fees, or the such, more than what the airline might charge if you had booked directly through them
3. Some OTAs re known for horrible customer support compared to the airline (but this is arguable... just anecdotal history here on FT)
4. and the list goes on... (?)
Beyond charging more for "some things", as a TA they will add a booking fee - the airline won't.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 1:17 pm
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Okay so i notice something that is interesting. I will be booking a flight and i noticed on orbitz, the flight ticket is very cheap. I went to Delta airlines website and price is a bit higher. On orbitz, it mentions delta basic economy and restrictions apply


Checked bag fees applies
personal item iincluded
carry on bag included
seat choice not allowed
cancellations or changes not allowed


you may be able to upgrade your fare before checkout.



So this flight on orbitz cost like a bit under 40 dollars less than directly on delta's website. Is there a reason for this? So that mean they dont have that 24 hour courtesy cancellation for this if you book it? On orbitz, you get 24 hours to cancel as long as flight is at least x days before etc. Because when i would book with jetblue, the price on orbitz and jetblue is the same. Has anyone booked a flight like this on orbitz because of the much cheaper rate and could explain why its this low?
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Old Oct 5, 18, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by donpauly View Post
Okay so i notice something that is interesting. I will be booking a flight and i noticed on orbitz, the flight ticket is very cheap. I went to Delta airlines website and price is a bit higher. On orbitz, it mentions delta basic economy and restrictions apply


Checked bag fees applies
personal item iincluded
carry on bag included
seat choice not allowed
cancellations or changes not allowed


you may be able to upgrade your fare before checkout.



So this flight on orbitz cost like a bit under 40 dollars less than directly on delta's website. Is there a reason for this? So that mean they dont have that 24 hour courtesy cancellation for this if you book it? On orbitz, you get 24 hours to cancel as long as flight is at least x days before etc. Because when i would book with jetblue, the price on orbitz and jetblue is the same. Has anyone booked a flight like this on orbitz because of the much cheaper rate and could explain why its this low?
Are you 100% sure you're looking at the exact same DL fare basis on Orbitz as you are on the DL website? Yes, this happens often where the price may be somewhat cheaper on OTAs.

Also, most people book OTAs because of this very reason as all they care about is the price no. matter. what.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by donpauly View Post
I use to book flights with sites like orbitz a while back. Then after i read that you should always book flights directly with airlines, i started doing that instead. If that is the case, what is the purpose of using a site like orbitz to book a flight with say jetblue then over doing it directly with jetblue?
I get $1.50 cash back for every flight I book It adds up. Earned six pumpkin spice lattes this year.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
Are you 100% sure you're looking at the exact same DL fare basis on Orbitz as you are on the DL website? Yes, this happens often where the price may be somewhat cheaper on OTAs.

Also, most people book OTAs because of this very reason as all they care about is the price no. matter. what.

What do you mean DL fare? If you mean looking at the price on orbitz vs the price on delta.com on the same date and time, its like a bit under 40 dollars cheaper on orbitz. But why is the question. Does it mean you don't have that 24 hour cancellation?

Well i use to use orbitz because it was very easy to book and cancel and rebook etc.

But would you say if i know what flight im booking, might as well book it through orbitz for the cheaper price if available? The reason why i stopped using orbitz is because i was told that its not a guarantee you have a seat if you book a flight with them as oppose to directly with the airline which is why i book directly with jetblue or american airlines etc.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by samwise6222 View Post
I get $1.50 cash back for every flight I book It adds up. Earned six pumpkin spice lattes this year.
This was the other reason why i used orbitz because of the small cashback as well. Easy to cancel and rebook and cashback.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by donpauly View Post
What do you mean DL fare? If you mean looking at the price on orbitz vs the price on delta.com on the same date and time, its like a bit under 40 dollars cheaper on orbitz. But why is the question. Does it mean you don't have that 24 hour cancellation?

Well i use to use orbitz because it was very easy to book and cancel and rebook etc.

But would you say if i know what flight im booking, might as well book it through orbitz for the cheaper price if available? The reason why i stopped using orbitz is because i was told that its not a guarantee you have a seat if you book a flight with them as oppose to directly with the airline which is why i book directly with jetblue or american airlines etc.
When you purchase an airline ticket with an OTA, you're still paying an airline fare with a specific set of fare rules/bases associated with it. As for the $40 difference, AFAIK it has nothing to do with any 24-hour cancellation policy (is there something you are reading in the fine print regarding this?)... no different than if I look for something on orbitz with Air Canada and happen to find something $15 cheaper than the Air Canada website...

I don't know about the orbitz seat guarantee issue. But if booking on OTAs works for you (for whatever reason, including it being cheaper), then I don't see any problem with it.

I don't know how much you fly, but going through a OTA for many, many bookings at one time can get cumbersome and in the end going directly with the airline you frequent often is easier for some of us here.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 6:01 pm
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Too many generalizations in this thread. "An OTA" means many things. Some are at least and others are fly-by-night. The bottom line is that if you can save money and nothing goes wrong with your trip, it really doesn't matter so long as the OTA issues your e-ticket in the first place.

Before you use an OTA, do your research to make sure that it is not fly-by-night. The shoddy ones will have plenty of negative reviews.
Before you use an OTA, understand its T&C's which are in addition to whatever the air carrier sets.
Before you use an OTA, make certain that you understand the fare rules of the ticket(s) you are purchasing. In all too many situations, the savings are achieved because you are being sold a consolidator fare or multiple tickets rather than a connection. Nothing wrong with either of those, but you need to know that in the first instance, it may be wholly inflexible and in the latter, you may have no protection if you are late in arriving on your first flight.

One loused up trick can cost a lot of PSL's and the least expensive ticket is not always the least expensive trip. You might ask yourself why a reputable bricks and mortar TA charges you a fee and why, if you are busy or inexperienced, it may be well worth that fee.

But, if you need to make a change or there are IRROPS, that is where the differences arise.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 8:51 pm
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Hi there. Well this is through orbitz, which is probably the most legit 3rd party booking site... would you agree?


When i booked flights with orbitz, i don't recall having an issue at all.


But when you book a ticket through orbitz and it goes through, it is a guarantee that you have a seat right? Like you don't show up and then they said well there is no seat etc? When i use to book with orbitz, i recalled they would send me seats the night before. Is that normal? Yes it would be a bit cheaper booking through orbitz as opposed to directly but it did mention some criteria like you cannot cancel the ticket. Thus that would mean it doesn't have the 24 hour cancellation policy with orbitz? That is what has me confused here
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Old Oct 5, 18, 8:59 pm
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Okay so this is what it says on orbitz


Special Fare Best Value


Fare rules and restrictions


Airlines assigns your seats... groups and families may not sit together
bring a carry on bag



Important flight info


The airline you are traveling with has the following restrictions regarding your flight


Tickets are nonrefundable 24 hours after booking and non transferrable. Name changes are not allowed


Fare Rules and Restrictions

Airline assigns your seats... group and families may not sit together

bring a carry on bag

cancellations are nonrefundable 24 hours after booking

bring a personal item

not eligble for upgrades

board in last group



So basically this is the special rate because you can't pick your seat and board in last group? The other criteria seems to be normal? has anyone booked a flight like this before either through orbitz or even through directly with airline? I assume not with directly with airline right? Its delta if that matters. It cost 40 dollars less. Also the interesting thing here is you don't even have the option to pay the same amount as you would booking directly with delta.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 9:20 pm
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@donpauly

I've never heard Orbitz override airline rules like that. These look like the standard disclaimer wording.

If Delta's fare class (and associated rules) that Orbitz allowed you to purchase through them allows for advanced seat selection, then you can select your seat in advance.

Also, if you purchased a restrictive fare, almost every airline I can think of has a basic "you can't cancel and refund your ticket 24 hours after booking it" as part of its restrictive fare rules. So this wording by Orbitz (is it really Orbitz's wording or is it wording they extracted from the airline?) seems standard to me.

And yes, Orbitz is legitimate. I wouldn't worry about that part.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 9:31 pm
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Okay so basically this means if you buy this ticket, you do not get the 24 hour cancellation then? Thus anytime you book through orbitz, if your flight is enough days away, you could cancel it free of charge etc.


I checked other sites like kayak and cheapoair. Price for that ticket is exactly same as delta airlines. So only orbitz does this. So have you or anyone else seen or heard of this?


I have used orbitz a long time ago and used it a lot. But i stopped due to just booking directly with flights instead But would you say its fine to book something like this or not? Could there be an error?
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Old Oct 5, 18, 9:38 pm
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As the focus of this thread appears to be online airline booking issues , I am moving this thread to the FT Online Booking Forum for further discussion. Please follow there
Thanks...
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