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-   -   Booking via Google Flights (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/virgin-atlantic-airways-flying-club/1977740-booking-via-google-flights.html)

SgtRyan Jul 11, 19 4:23 pm

Booking via Google Flights
 
Afternoon all,

I am looking at flights to London and notice that you can now book VS flights directly when searching via Google flights. If I do this, would it be considered a third party booking? Or would it still be a direct booking as Google Flights is not a TA?

Cheers ^

UKtravelbear Jul 11, 19 6:10 pm

unless something has changed recently whenever I've searched on google flights and then chosen the 'book with specific Airline' option then I am sent to that airlines website.

If you have any concerns why not just book direct with VS?

craigthemif Jul 12, 19 12:02 am

It seems to me that you are booking directly with VS via a Google skin of some kind.

Can't think of any advantage to doing so, especially if you can grab some cashback from an OTA or direct from an airline.

Theirin Jul 12, 19 2:17 am

I think this is just part of Google's push to become more of an OTA. I read something about it a while back, and I think there was a suggestion that it wouldn't be counted as third party, but I can't find the article now.

I suppose there are some advantages in that it should be marginally quicker and if Google is handling payment, more secure, but I'd still probably book direct. Then again, sometimes Google brings up some great prices which disappear once you click through to the airline's website, so maybe there will be some opportunities there!

craigthemif Jul 12, 19 5:22 am


Originally Posted by Theirin (Post 31295451)
I think this is just part of Google's push to become more of an OTA.

At some point we'll have to decide whether we want Google, Amazon and Facebook to dominate the entire economy. Or whether we want to do our bit to avoid them wherever possible. That said, I don't really care if Google devours Expedia / Priceline, since the OTAs have their own sharp practices...

IME booking direct is the only way to guarantee full functionality - upgrade, seat selection, flight changes, etc. - so as long as I'm not paying more, I'm booking direct with the airline...

Theirin Jul 12, 19 5:26 am

I book direct 99% of the time, but I did get a great business class fare through Expedia last year for about 25% of the price listed on the airline's website. All ticketed etc.

SgtRyan Jul 13, 19 10:24 am


Originally Posted by UKtravelbear (Post 31294494)
unless something has changed recently whenever I've searched on google flights and then chosen the 'book with specific Airline' option then I am sent to that airlines website.

If you have any concerns why not just book direct with VS?

Convenience and speed.


Originally Posted by craigthemif (Post 31295204)
It seems to me that you are booking directly with VS via a Google skin of some kind.

Can't think of any advantage to doing so, especially if you can grab some cashback from an OTA or direct from an airline.

Convenience and speed.


Originally Posted by craigthemif (Post 31295775)
At some point we'll have to decide whether we want Google, Amazon and Facebook to dominate the entire economy. Or whether we want to do our bit to avoid them wherever possible. That said, I don't really care if Google devours Expedia / Priceline, since the OTAs have their own sharp practices...

IME booking direct is the only way to guarantee full functionality - upgrade, seat selection, flight changes, etc. - so as long as I'm not paying more, I'm booking direct with the airline...

Really good point and that can bring a deeper conversation to the table. My problem is Im too far in with Google to be able to stop and switch....and even if you do switch, with an Android they are still waiting....you can't win!!

UKtravelbear Jul 13, 19 6:33 pm

how can you be 'too far in' with a search engine??

In the time you have spent posting your reply you could have booked your flights direct with VS!

SgtRyan Jul 15, 19 9:40 pm


Originally Posted by UKtravelbear (Post 31300730)
how can you be 'too far in' with a search engine??

In the time you have spent posting your reply you could have booked your flights direct with VS!

You think Google is just a search engine? Let us break this down...

I use Gmail for email. I could use ProtonMail etc, but too lazy to move everything over.
I have a Pixel phone, made by Google. I could get an Apple phone but I don't want to spend $700 plus on an iPhone when I can get a Pixel 3A for around $340 (with a trade in).
I use Youtube TV because I share it with a family member and that only costs me $25 a month compared to other TV services that charge well over $80 a month.
I use Google Docs/Sheets as that is free. There is probably another version but again, have never really explored this.

I use Google flights to search for flights in general. Like you, I almost always book direct. However, as more and more airlines are bookable via Google flights, and I can get a flight confirmed in 2 or 3 clicks, why go direct?....if it's still considered a direct booking?

In today's world its convenience that sells. Right or wrong, Google seems to have got this right.

UKtravelbear Jul 16, 19 7:23 am

But that 'convenience sometimes just doesn't give you what you want!

I have an Iphone and an iPad. I have a laptop and use MS office and fire fox. I too use google flights as a search engine as it's quicker than OTA and Airline websites and gives me options I may not get looking direct at the airline. on my laptop I usually then click through direct to the airline and book direct with the airline as they have my details in my airline account (easier to deal with them direct if there is a flight change than via a travel agent if I'm not happy with the change). I then use the apps on my ipad to manage my flights.


BTW I just did a dummy booking on google and clicked the 'book with google' option and it said this


You're booking with Virgin Atlantic. Google will securely pass your traveller and payment details to Virgin Atlantic. Once your booking has been confirmed, Virgin Atlantic will handle customer support
Personally I would just book direct with VS as they already have my details via my FC account. YMMV

SgtRyan Jul 16, 19 9:05 am


Originally Posted by UKtravelbear (Post 31308961)
But that 'convenience sometimes just doesn't give you what you want!

I have an Iphone and an iPad. I have a laptop and use MS office and fire fox. I too use google flights as a search engine as it's quicker than OTA and Airline websites and gives me options I may not get looking direct at the airline. on my laptop I usually then click through direct to the airline and book direct with the airline as they have my details in my airline account (easier to deal with them direct if there is a flight change than via a travel agent if I'm not happy with the change). I then use the apps on my ipad to manage my flights.


BTW I just did a dummy booking on google and clicked the 'book with google' option and it said this



Personally I would just book direct with VS as they already have my details via my FC account. YMMV

Last night I texted VS customer service to ask the question. The person replied stating that yes, it would be considered a third party booking. Good to know.

craigthemif Jul 16, 19 9:32 am


Originally Posted by UKtravelbear (Post 31308961)
But that 'convenience sometimes just doesn't give you what you want!

And if convenience becomes the be all and end all, then Flyertalk ceases to exist.

There's no question that earning miles and points and elite status and whatever is more time-consuming than just using some App on your phone. So I'll take my upgrades, lounge, etc. over the "convenience" guy on his phone sat in the back row desperately trying to get a wifi signal.

In2ishn Jul 16, 19 5:29 pm

I’ve booked through the Google skin a few times. My experiences were choosing a different airline (DL and UA), but when I clicked on the booking choice I was brought to the airline website and the flight details and fare populated into the page. I merely signed in and booked “directly” with the airline.


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