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Is there any third party website I can book a ticket with?

Wellington, New...
8 posts
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Is there any third party website I can book a ticket with?

Has anyone actually had a good experience? It seems the majority of you have had a bad experience.

I have done searches on websites such as Opodo, Travelstart, eDreams, CheapoAir, Faregeek etc. and I know what the complaints are. There are a few exceptions who had a good experience but am I only hearing the nasty side to these websites? It does seem you're more likely to voice your complaints on the internet instead of singing their praises.

I'm trying to fly out of Helsinki mid-April to Hong Kong for 5 days then New Zealand. I'm really apprehensive about booking from these websites now. I have tried going direct to the airlines but I can't find the same deal. The prices are double to quadruple what's quoted on these websites. I'd have to miss the Hong Kong stop in that case and pay a hefty price to get home. I'll be traveling between Finland and New Zealand in future so I can't afford to pay direct to the airlines each time.

Would you strongly advise me against using these sites? Any feedback would be very much appreciated, thanks!

Liverpool, UK
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20,535 posts
36 reviews
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1. Re: Is there any third party website I can book a ticket with?

"Would you strongly advise me against using these sites?" - In a word yes, the only 3rd party site I would even consider is Expedia but I'd probably still book direct with the airline unless the saving was substantial.

Don't be fooled by the headline prices on 3rd party sites, these are often preceded by "from" and the price on specific dates can also be significantly higher.

Even if you get what you think is a good price and book don't be surprised to be told a few hours or days later that the fare is no longer available but they can get it for an extra $$ which turns out to be the same, or even higher, than the airline direct price. Decide you don't want to proceed you'll get a refund eventually.

I simply refuse to believe those sites that offer fares at half or quarter those available from the airline as suggested in your OP - classic tactic to sucker you into the "bait and switch" game.

UK
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49,560 posts
92 reviews
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2. Re: Is there any third party website I can book a ticket with?

Would you strongly advise me against using these sites?

======

All the ones you mentioned, yes. Thats a nearly complete collection of the worst.

You are grasping at straws, hoping that the prices these folk >>>>>advertise<<< are real and you have miraculously found a bargain.

You might get a few dollars off at Expedia, they are the only worldwide third party I'd trust (there is one or two in the UK I'd also trust but thats no use to you)

All you are thinking about is the possibility of saving money and to do that you are discounting the experience of literally hundreds of posters here who lost all the money they paid due to one mishap or another. I liken it to playing russian roulette for $1000 a spin. Do you know what, some people will indeed walk away alive. Is that a chance you are likely to take? If it is then please go ahead but note you are barred for posting any follow messages here using any of the following phrases - "wish I'd listened to..", "how can these companies get away with it..", "hard worker"..., "poor student...".."life savings.."

So you can either benefit from all their experiences, or you can decide that the chance of saving some money means you are happy to risk losing it all. This is how these companies stay in business, they feed on naivety (people who never checked at all) and desperation/hope (you).

If you say what fares you are seeing, and hoping for, on what routes, on what dates, people will likely comment.

Edinburgh, United...
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14,291 posts
16 reviews
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3. Re: Is there any third party website I can book a ticket with?

"The prices are double to quadruple what's quoted on these websites."

That in itself should tell you something about the likely validity of the prices listed on the 3rd party sites. I use 3rd party sites from time to time although I would never buty from any of the sites you mention. What is your exact itinerary? Perhaps someone in here can help guide you to the best deal.

Salisbury, United...
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8,765 posts
141 reviews
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4. Re: Is there any third party website I can book a ticket with?

A situation like this is where a good high street travel agent is worth while using. Or if you are travelling around the world look at Star Alliance RTW fares.

We are doing the opposite trip next year when we go to NZ and we are using our local high street agent. He has been able to get us better fares than I could find on the web. Our trip could not be booked on either the Star Alliance or Air NZ web sites. The only down side with a travel agent is that if changes have to be made you have to go through them. I always will book direct with the airline but this complicated trip defeated me, our travel agent will save us about £2k.

I think most of the comments that are written on forums about your listed websites are justified and I would steer clear. Good for you to ask before booking. The more complicated a trip the more you will need help. It's much easier to speak to someone rather than do it on the internet.

Good luck with your planning and enjoy your trip.

London, United...
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27,178 posts
29 reviews
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5. Re: Is there any third party website I can book a ticket with?

you have to think logically. If the website is offering tickets at half price or less, you know, deep down, that its not available. The pricing is not live.

odds are if you take a punt, they will tell you the increased price after the event, you will be waiting for the hold on your credit card to be released and in the meantime, the real prices will be steadily increasing.

don't be fooled, book direct. When it comes to airfare, nearly every single time, the price is the price is the price.

Exeter, United...
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1,189 posts
57 reviews
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6. Re: Is there any third party website I can book a ticket with?

As has been said the prices quoted are not real, they are prices that have been charged in the past.

As such ignore them.

The best way I find is to use ita flight matrix to get a feel for the going rate for a flight then alter my dates accordingly and then book through the airline directly.

Wellington, New...
8 posts
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7. Re: Is there any third party website I can book a ticket with?

I have used ITA flight matrix and it gives me very similar prices to third party booking websites. If I go to the airline directly I can't find the same flight or the same price.

London
Destination Expert
for London
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22,287 posts
77 reviews
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8. Re: Is there any third party website I can book a ticket with?

Well you obviously know best. Just don't come back on here and whine when the inevitable happens and it all goes pear-shaped would be my advice.

(and that's not just the cost but the possibility of changed/cancelled/delayed flights, all of which these kinds of sites have absolutely no back up to help you with should they happen).

Edited: 20 March 2014, 12:02
Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
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25,903 posts
65 reviews
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9. Re: Is there any third party website I can book a ticket with?

It doesn't matter where you see it, if it's not available, that fare you saw elsewhere no longer exists.

Can't say anything further than what's already been said, except to echo parklandwalk's sentiments. I do hope your next thread isn't one that will be full of 'I told you do' replies.

Edited: 20 March 2014, 12:09
UK
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49,560 posts
92 reviews
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10. Re: Is there any third party website I can book a ticket with?

I have used ITA flight matrix and it gives me very similar prices to third party booking websites. If I go to the airline directly I can't find the same flight or the same price.

=======

Are your trip dates a secret? As said, if you post them here, there are some knowledgeable folks here who may be able to help.