Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 12:28 am

Hello all,

I'm a frequent traveler and my company usually takes care of tickets. When I've bought tickets myself, I check the airlines and then stop by an office, or it's mailed to me. One time I used a Travel agency where I got a great package ticket/hotel/car etc., it worked out pretty well for me. I was wondering though... can anyone share your thoughts, experiences buying a ticket online, using let's say Yahoo, Travelocity, etc. or through the airline's website. Ever had any problems, good/bad experiences?
Your input would be appreciated!

Posts: 4173
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2000 10:36 am

RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 12:39 am

It really depends on what type of trip you're booking for. If its a simple roundtrip from say, SeaTac to Kansas City, then I'd definately encourage you to try out something like Orbitz, Travelocity or Expedia. The last few times I've booked, I've found Orbitz to be very easy to use, and consistently showing the lowest fares.

If you have a complicated itinerary, with several stops, then travel agencies are still you're best bet. A good (and I emphasize good) travel agent will be able to work your routing and ticketing to give you the best deal. (and before anyone yells at me, I'm not talking about about back-to-back or hidden city ticketing!)

Hope this helps. Good luck
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 10:14 pm

RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 1:07 am

I've only ever used travelocity, I find it to be user friendly and the fares always seem to be very competitive. Plus you can also book car and hotels through the same site.
I have not booked through Orbitz yet; BUT I am definately going to look at it the next time I fly, especially as it is getting pretty decent reviews.
I agree with the previous post; in that simple roundtrips work best through these sites. As with all on line booking; comparison shop first !!!
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RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 1:38 am

Depending on your travel schedule, the two airlines I fly, AA and UAL have some great last minute deals. However, most of the time they require a Sat. night stay and sometimes a Tues. return.

For example, on a BMI to ORD to DEN route. I booked on, got to select my own seats. Left on a Thurs. night returned on a Sun. Total cost was $178. I tried through my corporate travel and it was $500. That one was a 14 day advanced purchase.

I have also flown first class last minute ORD-DEN booking on for $383. Had to travel that weekend and return on the following Tues.

I have not booked on Orbitz, but am hearing good things. I do not think you can select your seats on Expedia or Travelocity, please correct me if I am wrong.

There are definitely some deals to be made by using online services!

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Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2000 6:00 am

RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 3:40 am

Having used Expedia and Travelocity many times in the past 2 years, I can honestly say that Expedia is a little bit more user friendly.
Many are hesistant to give out their credit card number over the net and that seems to be the single biggest (and the only) reason why they don't purchase online. If you're comfortable with that, booking online (especially on your airline's site) can come with many benefits.
But it's not all perfect. I once booked a YYZ-LAX on Expedia for less than $200 US (yes, it was dirt cheap). But apparently, my order got lost in the cyberspace and it didn't go through until a few days later. By then, the fare had gone upto more than $2000 US. After much bitching to the Expedia agents, they agreed to swallow the difference. They sent the ticket in an overnight mail, but that got lost by Loomis in their system. And in turn, Expedia filed a lost ticket report and arranged for an e-ticket at the Delta counter. Of course, they took the lost ticket fee. My ticket arrived in mail a few days later btw.
Yes, it was more hassle than going to a travel agent, but my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive in general.
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 3:17 am

RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 4:04 am

When going on a multiple destination trip, the online agent may not be able to advise free stopovers, if available.
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 5:31 pm

RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 4:11 am

I have booked a ticket twice at the Easyjet website. You can choose your own flights, prices are shown all the time and links to the rules and regulations are also shown. It is very easy and at the end you immediately get your confirmation code (as Easyjet doesn't issue tickets you need a confirmation code to check-in). It wasn't very difficult and I did not have any problems with it.
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 9:38 am

RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 8:59 am

I usually use Travelocity or Orbitz to check fares then or to actually book what I found. That way I get the extra miles and, at times, website-only discounts.

Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 10:07 am

If you travel frequently, you no doubt collect FF miles, so it is best to book on the airline's website. On Delta for example, you get 1000 bonus miles for booking on the website, and if you use the Delta AmEx card you get double the dollar cost of the ticket in miles. (Plus you get actual mileage for the flight, plus elite bonus if you are silver, gold or platinum)

However, if the price appears too high, I visit to find me a cheaper DL flight, just to satisfy my employer. (DL is usually not the lowest cost, but is generally within $25, unless the flight is fairly well booked up.) Then I go back to the DL website and book the flight that expedia found.

For rental cars, I use the Hertz website and get cars even when my corporate travel agent says they are all booked (I have a Hertz gold card). For hotels, I belong to the Starwood, Marriott and Holiday Inn clubs, so I book one of those on their websites. Sounds like an ordeal, but I do all that at home in my spare time in less than 30 minutes. Since I have a son in college, we can use all the miles I can earn.
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RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 3:41 pm

I've booked lots of tickets on the airlines website, such as Delta, United, and Southwest. I think it's real safe to use those sites. However, the only problem I am worried about getting, is when you go from page to page in the booking process... sometimes it will say "This Page Cannot Be Displayed." And I sit there wondering if my info went through or not. That happened once to me during purchase! I had no idea whether it was booked and the credit card went through or not. So that's the only problem I can forsee.

Personally, I have found the other travel sites like Travelocity, Cheap Tickets, etc... to be outrageoulsy expensive. I have no idea why, but that's my personal experience. Obviously, others have had better luck than me.

So those are my thoughts!
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
Posts: 1979
Joined: Sat May 13, 2000 7:42 am

RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 5:06 pm

I find Travelocity to be expensive too. I usually look at Expedia and Orbitz. The Southwest system blows too.
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2001 1:40 am

RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 5:14 pm

i use or - always the cheapest airfares this side of the equator  Smile

I booked a trip to hawaii via auckland online, when air nz changed my MEL-AKL flight to be 6 hours earlier, meaning i was in NZ over night - phoned me and organised for air NZ to pay for the hotel room for the night and looked after all the changes.

Depending on the trip - what I used do, is find the trip price online, and make the travel agent irl match it  Smile
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Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2000 10:24 pm

RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 7:06 pm

Did a booking on BA's website from LBA to DUB for £75 return. Travel agent's best price was £120 on the same flights! I've also booked go!, Easyjet and Ryanair on-line - no probs at all. Not having a ticket is a bit strange you just get an e-mail confirmation of the booking instead. BA still issue tickets though. They offer a £3 discount for booking on-line. If you book a Concorde flight, price £5,500 return, you get £5 off - generous or what?!
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RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 7:28 pm

In the past few months I've booked BA Club World returns to MBJ through British Airways, returns to BCN on Expedia, and returns to BAH through - all very good and never had a problem.

Its worth shopping around though. Expedia and Travelocity often have the same flights at different prices, and varying degrees of availability (flights available on Expedia weren't available on Travelocity and vice versa).

There are a few discounts to be had from booking on line but nothing major. Like LBA just said, I recently booked for 4 and myself - 5 club world tickets to MIA from LHR - total cost £15,100. Discount of £25 if you book online... !!?! Now thats what I call an incentive!
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RE: Buying Tickets Online.

Wed Aug 08, 2001 7:39 pm

I've never bought tickets online mainly because of two huge reasons. We always go to the travel agents to get our tickest and I dont really like to put my credit card number just like that on the internet. They also look sort of complicated, maybe some day I'll buy tickets online.
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