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View Full Version : Can anyone please advise me on finding a cheap airline ticket?


Moe
06-05-2001, 03:55 PM
I'm very new at this and I've been searching all day but it is a little confusing. I need to find a very cheap roundtrip ticket to Colorado from NY for the 2nd weekend.

I've briefly checked such sites as http://www.hotwire.com , http://www.orbitz.com , and http://www.priceline.com

I intend to spend all day searching and reading and stuff but I just wanted to get this question on the board ASAP so that I may be as informed as possible. Does anyone have any advice (sites they've had good experience with, other resources, general info, etc.) that I might benefit from.

Thanks in advance.

Beadalin
06-05-2001, 04:48 PM
I always get my tickets through Travelocity (http://www.travelocity.com). The prices are hard to beat, and they've never failed to give me excellent (and cheap and painless) service. I highly recommend them.

My sister and mom have used Priceline-- the only thing there is that the level of commitment is much higher, and you may spend the entire day travelling due to goofy routing. But if the price is your absolute main concern, go with them.

dolphinboy
06-05-2001, 04:56 PM
I travel a lot and have found that getting good prices on airline tickets is not an easy task. You didn't mention where is Colorado you were going. If it's Denver then I would try the United website since they sometimes have specials and discounted fares to their major hubs (which Denver happens to be). If you are going to someplace like Colorado Spings then that's a different story.

To get cheap seats you have to either find a consolidator (someone who buys blocks of seats and sells them with little mark up) or work directly with the airline. Travel agents and most of the websites I have tried rarely have access to the best deals. Priceline may be a consolidator... I'm not sure. I hate Priceline because you can't specify a time you want to leave or return.

If you have at least 14 days until you need to go AND will be staying over a Saturday night you should be able to find something reasonable. It will be a non-refundable ticket so don't expect to be able to cancel or change it easily.

Another, somewhat riskier option is to wait until the last minute and just show up for a flight. Sometimes they will give you their best price if they just want to fill a seat that would otherwise go unused. But that can be a problem if the flights are almost full...

Pstarr
06-05-2001, 05:02 PM
Moe,

I fly alot, mostly between the Bay Area and Chicago or L.A.
And sorry to say, that most of the time the cheap tickets are not to be found on any ticket web search. I use Travelocity sometimes, but it is rarely the cheapest out there. I have had good luck once with http://www.cheaptickets.com. But other than that I stick to the airlines main web pages.

That said, I have had good luck getting back east with the XXXXwest airlines (although layovers are a problem). Also a new airline (Jetblue) just goes to NY, and I believe they fly into Denver.

Hope this helps.
Tony

handy
06-05-2001, 07:20 PM
In my opinion, almost all or all of the airlines use a central computer, youll find it at http://www.itn.com Try your reservations/ticket request there, no need to check every web site on the planet when the info is there.

priceline.com lets you set your own price but you get 0 choice of flight.

sailor
06-05-2001, 07:58 PM
>> In my opinion, almost all or all of the airlines use a central computer,

Handy!, facts are not a matter of opinion. Either they do or they don't. At any rate, that is just American Express, that ain't no "central computer".

While Sabre etc have the reservartions systems there is no one system that has all the fares etc. You can go to a travel agent and get a fare which is nowhere to be found except his desk.

Mr Mxyzptlk
06-05-2001, 09:11 PM
I work as a reservations agent for a major airline and to tell you the truth you probably can find a good airfare on line on Travelocity or Cheaptickets or Hotwire. But you have to look at the restrictions very closely. Most major airlines offer specials on their web sites. Some offer specials that you can only get on the web sites and are not available if you call the reservations number. Your best bet is to have at least 14 day advance purchase and stay over a Saturday night. Some markets require a 21 day advance purchase with the Sat night stay to get the lowest fare. You could try showing up day of departure without a reservation but I wouldn't try it on most major airlines. Showing without a ticket and buying at the last minute is the most expensive way to fly. And most major airlines will charge you that full fare when you show up. I could go on all day and night about reservations and advance purchase requirements etc, but I have to do this 8 hours a day so forgive me if I beg off at this time.

Shayna
06-05-2001, 09:33 PM
To get cheap seats you have to either find a consolidatorI've been watching the fares to Germany for the past 2 months for a trip I'm planning in August. I've checked every site mentioned here, plus several others including http://www.expedia.com and various airlines' sites directly. The cheapest fare on every site was $1,395.00. This was also the best price my travel agent could get me.

Then I stumbled upon http://www.thetravelsite.com . They must be a consolidator because they had flights listed that no other site even showed in their searches and the lowest fare through them was $1,181.00 (actually, it was $1,068.00, but the seats at that price were all sold out).

I called my travel agent to see if she could get me that rate and her system showed the exact same itinerary selling for $1,800+. She even called the airline and they said the fare was over $1,800.00 - nothing cheaper. So I phoned the 800 number on their website just to be sure of availability, etc., and sure enough, they had seats and I got the $1,181.00 fare. Pretty darn good considering the airline itself was almost $700 higher than that.



________________
Jeg elsker dig, Thomas

Moe
06-06-2001, 03:04 AM
Thank you all. I did get my tickets and for a much lower price than even the same airline was offering at their website. Shayna I had the same experience (about $500 cheaper than direct from the airline).

In my research http://www.orbitz.com was actually the cheapest.
Travilocity was 30$ more, though I have actually heard good things in general from a few people about them.

Hotwire is a pain in the ass because you can't know what time your flight is until after you buy it, but in their defense, they were the cheapest by 36 bucks.

handy
06-06-2001, 12:25 PM
Yes, Orbitz just opened, its like the four or five major airlines together trying to beat off the other websites with low cost tickets. I hope it works for them.

sailor, read the bottom of the page at itn.com, it says clearly, "American Express and ITN remain separate and independent companies."

Shera
06-06-2001, 02:30 PM
When I was a nanny and occasionally flying back and forth from New York to California,I found that the cheapest Tickets I could get were Jet Blue. I think that it cost me about $400 dollars for a round trip at Christmas time. They don't serve meals, but they have satelite TVs on the back of every seat and they give yous ome really yummy blue potatoe chips. I am not sure if they go through Clorado though. There website is http://www.jetblue.com. You can reserve your tickets online and even pick your seats. It was a very nice thing when I was traveling on a nannies budget.