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Booking direct with United or through OTA? What are the benefits?

Booking direct with United or through OTA? What are the benefits?

Old Dec 15, 18, 1:45 pm
  #1  
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Question Booking direct with United or through OTA? What are the benefits?

I'm a MileagePlus Explorer Chase card-holder and travel a few times per year on StarAlliance flights, booking the cheapest fares. A lot of times, I end up going through Orbitz either buying packages (flight + hotel) or separate flight and hotel, depending on what's cheapest, since I can find better fares, apply discount codes, and get their cash back rewards for future hotel stays.

In the past, whenever I would book a package or flight on Orbitz and used my United Chase card, the flight would always appear as a *separate* charge on my credit card statement directly by the airline (e.g. "United"). This was ideal, because I would get to double dip: get the lower price and rewards of booking thru Orbitz AND get the 2x extra miles per dollar spent, etc, on my MileagePlus account.

After the Expedia acquisition, this seems to have changed at least for packages... Now there's a single charge by "Orbitz" or "Expedia"

Can anyone else confirm this? And does anyone know if this also happens for only flights purchased through Orbitz (i.e. not a package)? Does the charge show up from the airline or the OTA?
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Old Dec 15, 18, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by ralphch View Post
Can anyone else confirm this? And does anyone know if this also happens for only flights purchased through Orbitz (i.e. not a package)? Does the charge show up from the airline or the OTA?
package deals may come through as OTA billed. Flight only purchases come through as airline charges, possibly some exceptions for unpublished consolidator fares but even those usually come through as 'airline'
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Old Dec 15, 18, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
package deals may come through as OTA billed. Flight only purchases come through as airline charges, possibly some exceptions for unpublished consolidator fares but even those usually come through as 'airline'
Thanks cfisher. For package deals, since after the Expedia acquisition, I've seen all of them come through as OTA -- around 4 purchases. Do you know if there are situations where they might not? And is there a way to tell how the flight will come thru before purchasing?

I guess it seems like it's a gamble nowadays
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Old Dec 15, 18, 2:18 pm
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Originally Posted by ralphch View Post
Thanks cfisher. For package deals, since after the Expedia acquisition, I've seen all of them come through as OTA -- around 4 purchases. Do you know if there are situations where they might not? And is there a way to tell how the flight will come thru before purchasing?

I guess it seems like it's a gamble nowadays
a regular flight that is the same price as on united.com will come through as United. Anything listed as a special fare may not. I buy flights from Priceline regularly (because of the $5 cashback per one-way ticket) and in 100% of cases it comes through as 'United'.
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Old Dec 15, 18, 5:47 pm
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As this seems to be a query on Oribtz / Expedia billing process, will move this to the Online Travel Booking and Bidding Agencies forum where those OTAs are discussed.

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