Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

what's the best online travel site?

I'm trying to book a flight for early September, after Labor Day.  I tried Travelocity and Orbitz.  Expedia pissed me off for some reason so I gave up on them.

Both sites posted decent airfares, but when you actually selected the flight to book it, the price suddenly went up.  In some cases it as much as doubled.

Why can't the initial listing show the updated price?

Then I finally found something reasonable on Orbitz, clicked through several screens adding my information, including credit card, then clicked the final commit button ... and got a message saying my initial search results had expired.  After only half an hour to 45 minutes (I had been reading some of the terms and conditions and so on before I gave away several hundred dollars of my hard-earned money).  It was really late at night so I gave up and went to bed, so now it has to be done all over again today, and the prices have probably gone up again.

Any recommendations for a better way to find and book a flight?  This is pissing me off.
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 24th, 2007 7:35am
Also, since I had clicked the final button, I was worried that even with the error message, it might have taken my credit card.  Called Orbitz and got a human who said they have no record of any transaction, so hopefully nothing went through.
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 24th, 2007 7:38am
Don't use orbitz:

http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=orbitz_blows
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 24th, 2007 7:54am
I don't think there is a best travel website. I generally google around until I find the lowest price (generally after about 10 minutes I stop special offers that go any lower). I then book flights directly on the airline's website.

The "travel websites" always markup their prices (sometimes not by much, sometimes by a lot). Their existence and profits are predicated upon you doing this. Every dollar that they spend on their offices, management bonuses and shareholder profits comes directly from people who paid more for their flights than by rights they should have done.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 24th, 2007 7:58am
Colm, what's your strategy for using Google?  What are you searching on?
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 24th, 2007 8:34am
My wife's the travel booking guru around here, but she's sleeping so I can't ask her.  I think she's been using Kayak.com recently.  The last time we flew (we try to avoid it, too much hassle if it's someplace we can drive to), she booked the flight directly w/ the airline after comparing prices.  If you have the time and if it goes to wherever you're going, Amtrak is usually a lot cheaper than flying.
Permalink Send private email Ward 
July 24th, 2007 8:45am
I can't take Amtrak.  It's clear across the country, would take days.
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 24th, 2007 8:46am
> What are you searching on?

I can't speak for Colm, but I use a computer.
Permalink man on the stair 
July 24th, 2007 9:02am
Oh, a computer.  And there I was going through the wastepaper basket.

I meant what search terms.  If you search on "air fares" you're right back to Orbitz and those sites.

I'm just going to the individual airline sites, the ones I know fly to the city I'm going to (it's a bit off the beaten track.  Delta and Northwest seem like the best bet).
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 24th, 2007 9:08am
someone rec'd this to me

http://www.kayak.com/

tell me if it;s any better. haven't really put it to the test yet.
Permalink $-- 
July 24th, 2007 9:19am
>Colm, what's your strategy for using Google?  What are you
>searching on?

Mostly "cheap flights" or "special offer" followed by "london" and my destination. These usually give the airline with the particular price and location I'm looking for, and I book via that website.

This does bring up travelocity, etc. in the search results, but it's the other less well known sites that tend to have better fares. In general, brand awareness (expedia, travelocity) = more expensive, no brand awareness = cut-thoat competition on prices.

Actually come to think of it, brand awareness for pretty much anything tends to equal more expensive most of the time.
Permalink Send private email Colm 
July 24th, 2007 9:23am
I ended up just going directly to one of the airlines that flies there, and booking it.  It did turn out to be slightly cheaper than Orbitz's rates.
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 24th, 2007 9:39am
I tried Travelocity and Expedia, and ended up using travel agent. Turns out cheeper than anything I can find myself.
Permalink O^O 
July 24th, 2007 10:33am
> I meant what search terms.

I was just going for a cheap laugh :-(
Permalink man on the stair 
July 24th, 2007 10:37am
I did laugh.  :-)
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 24th, 2007 10:38am
Cool! Wanna shag?
Permalink man on the stair 
July 24th, 2007 11:00am
I am from Denmark and the best travel search engine over here is http://flyrejsen.dk. I have been using it for the past one year and have only good things to say about it
Permalink martin olsen 
July 24th, 2007 11:47am
i have had good luck with www.hotline.com.

i'd like to use priceline.com, but i find it a bit tricky.
Permalink Kenny 
July 24th, 2007 12:03pm
These guys are on the local travel talk show occasionally:

http://www.bestfares.com

I don't know if they are any good or not.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 24th, 2007 12:21pm
Priceline is good for hotels, but can be dangerous for flights - you can't be sure what airline or airlines you'll get or how many legs they'll book you on.
Permalink Send private email Ward 
July 24th, 2007 12:27pm
++direct with airline for US airlines. It's much easier to fix/change anything.
Permalink anoneemouse 
July 24th, 2007 1:29pm

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