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Booking Online

Wed Feb 06, 2002 2:28 pm

Hi All, so I usually book with expedia online, and find that they come up with the cheapest fare. Orbitz usually does a good job displaying them as well. Anyway. I just booked a flight for early march from JFK-LAS, and both Expedia and Orbitz showed higher fares for America West and National, in the $325 range, I visited both their web sites. National had roundtrips for $285 and I finally booked with America West for $260.

I just thought it was strange that they both had cheaper flights only on their web sites, on several different flights no less.

I'm wondering what other experiences people have had lately trying to book.

Do you think carriers are starting to offer the lowest fares on their sites exclusively more often now than in the early days of online booking?


RE: Booking Online

Wed Feb 06, 2002 2:34 pm

Thanks for flying America West.
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Wed Feb 06, 2002 2:41 pm

Your Welcome.
America West and National are the only carriers competing non stop on this route now and I'm much rather fly HP.
I took my first HP flight in August BDL-LAS, and enjoyed it very much, sadly the route has been discontinued. but this time I don't have to take a red eye.

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RE: Booking Online

Wed Feb 06, 2002 2:43 pm

Distribution cost airlines millions of dollars every year.

Airlines must pay segment fee's to the GDS that the inventory was booked with. Expedia uses the Worldspan GDS, thus the airline must pay a per segment fee on top of any fee's paid to the channel i.e. Expedia, Travelocity (Sabre) or Orbitz (Worldspan, though the site is owned by several airlines.)

An airline can lower their distribution cost by increasing the percentage of inventory that is booked through their own "host" (GDS or inhouse CRS) system. In most cases the airline website booking engine connects to the internal host system. (There are a few exceptions.)

Thus you may find the lowest fare by going directly to the airline site. The cost of distribution are lower through the home site. Some airlines have negotiated "sales" for distressed inventory with external travel portals.

So shop the online travel sites for the best deals, and always compare to your selected carriers own airline home website.

Safe travels. Bf
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Wed Feb 06, 2002 2:50 pm

Look for that BDL-LAS flight to come back on LAS as a seasonal at least, or else SW will scoop it up.


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RE: Booking Online

Wed Feb 06, 2002 3:07 pm

I usually fly US Airways and almost always find a cheaper fare from their website than compared to any other website.

Orbitz seems particularly expensive and, at least to me, not all it was cracked up to be.