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best experience with booking airline tockets?

Falls Church...
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best experience with booking airline tockets?

Hi has anyone had any experience booking tickets with seatguru or cheap fare guru? Where else would you suggest booking? The airline sites seem to have higher prices & it seems better if we use a combination of airlines. Any advice anyone? We need a fare from DC- Tel Aviv

Carmel, Indiana
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1. Re: best experience with booking airline tockets?

Use kayak.com to research flights. Then try to book the chosen flight on the airline's own webpage using the kayak link. It is rare that a flight with multiple airlines that are NOT codeshare flights will be the best choice although it does happen and these flights are displayed on Kayak with a link to the site where they can be booked. Remember, if you book the ticket at a site other than the airline home site then you often cannot choose seats or change the ticket at the airline home site. Often you have to call the airline to select seats.

I hope this helps. I personally avoid Expedia, Travelocity and other similar sites because they often have ticket booking fees for booking airline tickets.

NYC/Israel
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for Israel
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2. Re: best experience with booking airline tockets?

The advice given above is excellent and on track. In addition, when you have two non-connected tickets ( or a ticket that appears to be connected but really isn't), if your first flight arrives late causing you to miss your second--you may end up having your second ticket cancelled ( round trip) and you then have to buy at walk up prices! For further clarification go to the air travel forum here on TA.

Go to "all" by browse forums and click air travel!

Israel
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3. Re: best experience with booking airline tockets?

Great advice - if you do a bit of online investigation you will find that while many people book tickets through third party sites and all goes well, there are just too many horror stories out there.

Your best bet is to book directly with the airline. If your reservation will include more than one airline (and it is not a codeshare) then it may be worth the peace of mind to use a travel agent.

From DC your best bet would to fly through Europe, changing planes there to continue to Israel. You can check all the major European carriers - British, Swiss, KLM, etc. check into Turkish Airlines - they often offer the best prices for this type of flight and they do fly out of DC.

Paragon
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4. Re: best experience with booking airline tockets?

On my last few trips I have found every time that it was no more expensive (varying by no more than a few dollars) to book with an airline directly through their site.

Kathy

Paragon, Indiana

Cincinnati, Ohio
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for Israel
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5. Re: best experience with booking airline tockets?

From DC, it's also a very viable option to fly to either New York or Newark and take nonstops from there -- from New York, El Al or Delta; from Newark, El Al or United (the former Continental route). US Airways also offers a nonstop out of Philadelphia, but I generally avoid that airline like the plague. (I have no idea how their Israel service is, but their domestic service is abysmal in my experience).

Douglas Duckett

Haifa, Israel
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for Jerusalem
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6. Re: best experience with booking airline tockets?

Matrix is also an excellent tool for finding flights: http://matrix.itasoftware.com

Falls Church...
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7. Re: best experience with booking airline tockets?

thanks everyone for your valuable comments.

In all the traveling I have done, I have never booked through a third party site so it made me nervous.

However, I did note that going directly to the airline site the prices were higher than on the third party sites. Anyone know why?

I also used the TA flight site & liked that better than kayak.

US Airway was a lot more expensive & flights from DC- Phil were not at a good time to catch the flight. We could drive to Philly but drive time without traffic is 2.5 hours-which would probably be a lot longer with the time we need to be there..

NYC/Israel
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8. Re: best experience with booking airline tockets?

One of the dangers of third party sites is when you actually go to book, the cheaper fare that hooked you--is not available. I suggest you to to the air travel forum and read what people there have to say about them. AND search for the specific site and there are many horror stories. Granted there are also many successes but if you are one of the horrors....

Exeter, United...
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9. Re: best experience with booking airline tockets?

Use matrix as recommended in post 6. Then book directly through the airline. If you are in any doubt just look at the 'Air Travel' forum here on TA. You may understand then that it is better to book direct.

Maryland
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10. Re: best experience with booking airline tockets?

Diane:

The reason that the 3rd party tickets cost less than those booked directly with the airline is that those tickets are NOT the same. Often these 3rd party tickets come with higher change fees. More importantly, if you're able to check the fare rules, which you usually cannot do with these 3rd party sites, you will likely find that these types of tickets come with additional restrictions not carried on tickets purchased directly from the airline. The restrictions that might be relevant to you include "non-reroutable" and "non-endorsable." If all your flights go as scheduled, you would never know the difference between the two types of tickets. If, however, your flights run into irregular operations (IROPS), such as mechanical or weather delays, these restrictions might well come into play. For example, if you schedule a flight from DCA to TLV with a connection in ATL, and a weather delay in ATL would cause you to miss your connection, a ticket that is "re-reroutable" would allow the airline to reschedule you on a flight from DCA to TLV with a connection in JFK. Another example is if your flight from DCA to ATL is canceled due to a mechanical problem, a ticket that is "endorsable" would allow the airline to "endorse," i.e. switch, your ticket to another airline to make your connection in ATL. Lastly, even if your tickets are endorsable and reroutable, the fare class often puts the purchaser at the bottom of the pecking order for accommodations during IROPS. For example, in case of a weather delay in my example above, even if the airline could switch you to the connection via JFK, all other passengers who had purchased tickets directly from the airline would be given seats before you. At least if you purchase the tickets directly from the airline, you can view all of these restrictions before you buy. With 3rd party tickets, it's very, very rare that you would know what you're purchasing before you actually spend the money.