I’m looking at booking international flights (first time in many years) and the cheapest options are coming up on trip advisor & booking dot com.
are these websites really ok too book with online ? Or would it be more safe too pay a couple of hundred more by booking true a travel agents ???
it’s only for flights as we have accommodations sorted out all ready.
any advise would be great.
I have used the likes of Skyscanner and Kayak and they've been fine. You could just book directly on the airline's website as well.
Nigel it’s a multi stop flight (2stops via Germany and either Bangkok or Singapore )with different airlines but the same booking.
Try calling trailfinders they often can do good deals
In the post Covid uncertainty I would advise to always book directly through the airlines
Against better advice I decided to book flights to Bangkok through Opodo back in November, had to cancel in mid-December due to Omicron and it took 15+ hours of phone calls and 4 months to eventually get my 70% refund
Opodo were saying that Emirates were slow in approving the refund and a myriad of other excuses and lies which always changed amidst promises to contact me within 24 hours, Emirates were saying that Opodo had never applied for the refund. Emirates were unable to help in any way as the ticket had been booked through a "travel agent".
In addition, you will find that extras bought through these online travel agents (baggage, seat choices etc) cost a lot more than booking direct, changes usually incur a fee (most airlines do this FOC due to Covid) and some of the airlines flexible ticketing policies only apply when bought direct
One thing you want to look out for is the cost for bringing checkin baggage, it's often not included on the various booking platforms to give you the cheapest possible price, might not be an issue for some but could add a fair bit if it needed to be added later. Sometimes booking direct with a major airline that have links to other partner airlines can be cheaper.
Why put an extra layer in case of irrops? Most online booking portals do not have live pricing so effectively by 'booking' with them, you are actually making a 'request' to book and invariably, they will come back to you and say the flight is not available at the price advertised.
Booking.com are fine for accommodation but I would never books flights with anyone except the airline.
This isn't the 1980s
I'm well aware of that.
Let say you find a great 'deal' on some random website.
Take the itinerary and go to the airline with the longest segment try their website, say DUB to SYD, DUB-LHR-SIN-SYD, BA would be longest so try the multi city option and price it. Falling that call the airline sales number.
For example there is a 'free' stop over fare on Aer Lingus between Europe and US, allowing up to 14 day layover in Ireland in either direction, must be booked on the phone. Iberia do something similar for Madrid
Its so much easier to manage later, you will find the OTA's effectively surviving on cash flow they take your money and hold it till the last minute to pay the airline
Do the research with skyscanner etc but book direct with the airline.
If anything goes wrong thats who your contract is with, not some web outfit.
I strongly advise you to be aware of the high number of rip off websites you will encounter when searching for cheap flights.
I was badly burned by an outfit called esky which I found via skyscanner.
As other posters have advised, only make a booking directly with the airline, using the airline's official website.
I think it's best to book directly with the airline