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Can only get airfare/flights through Orbitz - should I??

France
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Can only get airfare/flights through Orbitz - should I??

I always use Kayak, etc, to search for flights, then buy direct from the airline. This time, it's not working out that way...

I'm trying to get from upstate NY (Ithaca, Syracuse) to Managua, Nicagragua. I'm getting a great deal ($250 less than airlines) through Orbitz and Priceline. The deal is with Copa Airlines. Although the US flights are code-share with United, Copa won't even let me choose an upstate NY airport, so no luck booking direct from them. United.com, for the same flights, is much more expensive. Although I can get flights on American, it's the cost that's luring me to the Orbitz price. As long as I don't have to make any changes to my itinerary once it's booked, I can't see why I shouldn't go for it...but going 3rd party always make me a tad nervous. Thoughts/advice?

Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Can only get airfare/flights through Orbitz - should I??

You could try calling United and see if they'll book it by phone. Quote them what you're seeing with Orbitz, including the fare codes if you can see them on the Orbitz site.

They should be able to do that. If they charge you a phone booking fee you could politely point out that you would have booked online but they weren't offering the flights, and otherwise you'd go with American. I don't know if that would work but it's worth a try. And even with a booking fee (it won't be $250) you'd still be ahead.

Aside from that, I don't recommend booking with online bookers/agents, but if you have a good deal and the airline(s) can't come anywhere near it, then I'd say go for it, as Orbitz is one of the reputable ones.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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2. Re: Can only get airfare/flights through Orbitz - should I??

I can't see any problem using a third party site. I use Priceline, Orbitz, Vayama and Expedia with no problems. Just be sure you confirm directly with the airline prior to travel. Most of the problems you read about are from very inexperienced travelers who were somewhat careless when they booked (double check your entries before you purchase).

San Diego
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3. Re: Can only get airfare/flights through Orbitz - should I??

Make sure the you have enough connection time between flights!

Don't assume that if they sell the ticket that means there's enough time!!

Boston
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4. Re: Can only get airfare/flights through Orbitz - should I??

I often book multi city itineraries on Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity when I cannot book directly through the airlines. I have never had a problem with any of these 3 booking sites. There have been flight changes, delays and cancellations due to mechanical problems, scheduling changes and weather. Each time I dealt directly with the airline. Once I have booked with these sites I have always been able to manage my reservations online with the various airlines which has included checking in and selecting my seats. Once I book with them, all further dealings have been directly with the airlines.

"As long as I don't have to make any changes to my itinerary once it's booked, I can't see why I shouldn't go for it."

Exactly, once you start trying to make changes, that's when the problems can start and as outlined in many many posts on here.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Can only get airfare/flights through Orbitz - should I??

I wouldn't have problems booking with Expedia/Travelocity/Orbitz if I knew my plans were set in stone, otherwise I'll book with the airline directly.

I wouldn't book with Vayama, Cheapoair or any of the consolidators ever, even if there was a few hundred/thousands (!) dollars difference in price.

6. Re: Can only get airfare/flights through Orbitz - should I??

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