Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Where to Book Your Flight

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Some simple rules to follow to ensure you get good deals:

(1) Find a bargain: Online travel agencies like Orbitz, Expedia, etc. They serve as a good placeholder for all flights and hotels, so you should do your comparison shopping here. If you have a flexible travel date, tell the website so it can quote you the lowest price during the 3-day window (the date you requested, the day before, and the day after).

(2) Get the bargain: When you find your best deal (e.g. United Airlines has a flight with a good price and your preferred departing schedule), go to the website of the airline company to save about $5 more. In this case, you will go to united.com and book your ticket from there. After all the taxes and charges, you still end up paying less than you would pay on the online travel agency. Why? There's no middle-man commission here if the third-party website is not involved.

In my next post, I'll talk about additional beneifts of booking flights directly from the airlines' websites, as well as some caveats of booking the ticket too cheap. You can check my earlier posts here for advice on negotiating with the hotel.

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