Often, booking straight through the airline’s website will result in the best pricing, or will be comparable to the OTAs.
Certain airlines, such as Southwest, may not appear on booking platforms such as Expedia or Orbitz, necessitating direct booking. Additionally, it may be the simplest method of booking. If an issue occurs, you are not required to engage with a third party to remedy it.
Another reason to book directly with an airline is to redeem frequent flyer miles — hallelujah for award flights!
Of course, in order to book directly through the airline’s website, you must first choose which airline offers the best value. There are numerous travel search engines and online travel agencies (OTAs) that can assist you in locating the greatest rates and choose which airline’s website to visit. Certain OTAs even provide bonuses that may make reserving elsewhere other than the airline’s website worthwhile.
Momondo is a metasearch engine for travel, comparable to Kayak. The front page features a straightforward search box into which you can enter your travel details.
One of the features we enjoy most about this site is the graphic representation of flight pricing patterns. At first sight, it’s obvious whether you may save money by rearranging your travel dates somewhat. On the left-hand side of the screen, it also has a price tracker and a slew of filtering options.
You may instantly compare the costs for your travel dates to those for similar dates. Often, with a little bit of flexibility, you can save some money.
Additionally, it offers Hacker Fares, which are basically two one-way tickets from multiple suppliers combined for the greatest price. However, unlike other services, you must visit two distinct websites to purchase these types of tickets.
Momondo’s Pro and Cons
Excellent tools for tracking prices
Fares that combine and match require two separate bookings; this is typically handled “behind the scenes” on other websites.
Kayak is not an online travel agency; rather, it is a travel search engine. And, as a search engine, it’s an excellent place to begin.
The site aggregates pricing from numerous websites in one place, allowing you to quickly identify the most affordable solutions. Typically, you’ll be sent to a different website to finalise your booking.
Kayak Hacker Fares are an excellent method to reduce the cost of your travel. These are itineraries that are made by combining two one-way tickets (often on different airlines) rather than a round-trip on a single carrier. These can be quite good offers, and are not necessarily visible in the search results of other websites.
Kayak’s Pro and Cons
Keep an eye on flight prices with Kayak Hacker Fares Price Alerts.
Kayak is most advantageous when your trip plans are quite flexible; many of its most useful capabilities assist you in searching for savings, making this site less enticing if you have a specific flight in mind.
Expedia is another well-known OTA that has been around since the 1990s. Expedia was the go-to source for searching for and booking flights back then. However, how does it fare now?
In terms of price, booking through Expedia does not always mean receiving a better deal, but you are not paying any more than you would on the airline’s website.
Expedia’s rewards programme is a fantastic incentive. Regrettably, earning potential from flights is smaller than earning potential from hotels, auto rentals, cruises, activities, and holiday packages.
While you can earn miles while booking a flight through Expedia, you will rarely earn miles toward status. Additionally, you may be ineligible for seat upgrades.
Expedia’s Pro and Cons
Expedia Reward Program (although the earning potential is better on hotels, cars, packages, activities, and cruises than it is on flights)
Booking through Expedia may result in a reduction in the number of miles earned toward elite status.
When booking through Expedia 4, your eligibility for upgrades may be limited.
Priceline is a well-known online travel agency that pioneered the Name Your Own Price tool and opaque bookings. These bookings may include savings, but many of the details are not disclosed until after the booking is made. Priceline’s Name Your Own Price function for flights was discontinued in 2016, and the company now works similarly to the majority of other OTAs.
One of the pleasant features of searching for flights on Priceline is that the calendar is color-coded, making it easy to determine which days provide the best deals. At a glance, you can check which days provide the best deals on flights.
Priceline’s search results are straightforward and easy to explore. If your vacation dates are somewhat flexible, check out the cheaper possibilities directly above your search results. Then you may easily navigate to find the cheapest nonstop options, as well as features like no-change-fee flights and early bird tickets.
Priceline search results are color-coded to make it simple to locate what you’re looking for.
Additionally, you can save money by perusing Priceline’s Express Deals. These “opaque bookings” conceal certain data about the flight, such as the departure and arrival times, as well as the airline, until the booking is complete.
Priceline’s Pro and Cons
- Express Deal flights can provide significant savings if you have some flexibility; many of the flight’s details, including the airline and arrival and departure timings, are concealed until the transaction is complete.
- Calendar that is color-coded and search results that are easy to understand
- Guaranteed Price Matching
- Within 24 hours of booking, you may cancel for free online (except for Express Deal flights)
- There is no incentive scheme.
- While Express Deal flights can be advantageous, they can occasionally be more expensive than conventional bookings
Orbitz is another reputable online travel agency that has been in business since 2001. One feature that sets this site apart is its own rewards programme, Orbitz Rewards. When you book hotels, flights, and holiday packages with Orbitz, you can earn Orbucks. However, Orbucks can only be redeemed for hotel stays.
When you book a flight with Orbitz, you’ll earn 1% of the total purchase price in Orbucks (or 2 percent if you use the Orbitz mobile app). If you purchase a $500 flight, you will receive 5 Orbucks, which are worth $5 toward a hotel reservation. It is completely free to join the Orbitz Rewards programme.
Orbucks may be earned on every flight booked with Orbitz. Orbitz is the source of this image.
Regrettably, Orbitz occasionally imposes a 1% booking fee. Keep an eye out for these on your trip summary page before completing your purchase and add them into your calculations to determine whether or not you’re getting a decent deal. While earning Orbucks is an excellent bonus, paying a booking fee may negate all of the benefits.
Keep an eye out for booking costs when purchasing a flight with Orbitz.
Orbitz’s Pro and Cons
- Orbitz Rewards enables you to earn Orbucks toward hotel stays.
- Cancellation policy of 24 hours
- Guaranteed Lowest Ticket: If you discover a lower flight price on another website within 24 hours, Orbitz will refund the difference.
- Fees associated with flight bookings
Agoda is an online travel agency (OTA) that is owned by Priceline. When it comes to searching for flights, this website offers little more than a basic search with restricted filter options. Agoda is worth checking out if you’re seeking for unique lodgings such as an apartment or private villa, but it doesn’t provide much in terms of flight search.
A unique feature of Agoda is its bilingual nature. By clicking on the flag in the top menu bar, you can change your language.
On Agoda, you can easily switch between languages by clicking on the flag icon in the top navigation bar.
Agoda’s Pro and Cons
- Functionality of simple search
- Option for multilingualism
- Flights have a limited number of filtering possibilities.