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Answers (7)

3rd Party Booking Question

3rd Party Booking Question

  1. Steve from LA

    I am looking at traveling to Ireland at the end of next summer, world conditions permitting. I have found non-stop flights there and back on aer lingus in business class that I like. Here is the catch, the aer lingus website wants about $500 more for the tickets than if I were to purchase them from Oribtz or many other third party websites. All things being equally, I generally avoid third party websites and buy directly from the airline. It cuts out the middleman and cuts out an airline’s ability to point the finger at someone else. But $500 is a nice chunk of change.

    What are the risks and downsides, if any, of going through Orbitz on this purchase? If it is of any consequence, I plan to credit the mileage from the flight to my Alaska Miles account.

    As always, thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  2. MidSouthSkier

    I think the issues will be in the case of IRROPS or if you want to cancel the ticket. If you cancel, will you be able to get your money back or will you end up with an Aer Lingus voucher or Orbitz credit and how long are those vouchers/credits good for? But if you’re flying non-stop IRROPS is probably less of a worry since you don’t have to be concerned about connecting flights.

  3. Steve from LA

    [QUOTE=”MidSouth Skier, post: 71168, member: 184″]I think the issues will be in the case of IRROPS or if you want to cancel the ticket. If you cancel, will you be able to get your money back or will you end up with an Aer Lingus voucher or Orbitz credit and how long are those vouchers/credits good for? But if you’re flying non-stop IRROPS is probably less of a worry since you don’t have to be concerned about connecting flights.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks MidSouth Skier. I guess it would do me no good to call up Aer Lingus and see why the big price difference. You would think they would not be undersold. Just one of those mysteries like why it costs a few hundred dollars less to fly from LAX to BCN with a short lay over in MAD than to simply take the LAX to MAD part of the journey on the same exact plane……

  4. Clem

    I also would recommend that you go all the way to the payment step on Orbitz, if you haven’t yet. Sometimes, those OTAs display a certain price when you search and it magically adjusts in the last steps of the booking process to a much closer price than what the airline is charging. $500 sounds like a lot indeed.

  5. RTBones

    I agree with Clem here – follow the price all the way to the point you would have to pay for it. One of the things I have noticed is that even someplace like Google Flights – you can see one price until you select who you are going to book through because once you get there, the selected fare may no longer be available, OR, the price is actually *less* for some reason. As Clem says – $500 sounds like a lot.

  6. Steve from LA

    I actually ran the search on google flights to begin with. Expedia put the price at $2,313.72. Orbitz at $2,313.76. And Priceline was $2,353.92. Stopped short of putting in credit card info for Mr. “asdf” in all of their check out pages. Google flights listed another 10 sites with similar prices. It listed United’s price at $13,139, crazy! As for Aer Lingus, who actually operates the flights, it simply said “call airline for price.”

    I didn’t call, but running it through the Aer Lingus website the price was listed as $2,813.76. Do you think Aer Lingus would offer a better price if I called than their website does?

    I am actually looking to travel mid-June, not the end of next summer. Covid-19 apparently has me thinking June is late summer. Naturally, I am a little wary about how international travel will be at that point. In order to hedge my bets, I went ahead and purchased business class tickets on aer lingus there and back using Alaska miles, 60K each way. I figure I can cancel the tickets without penalty that way. If prices look good and I need miles to make status later down the line, I will buy new tickets and get my miles back…..

  7. Clem

    I was able to replicate the situation in June and looks like you are right. If anything, you can try booking all the way on Expedia to see if it will go through when you put your payment info. Worst case scenario, since your point of sales is in the US you still have the regulatory 24 hours to cancel for a full refund.

    Personally for that price difference, I would probably go through Expedia. If things go wrong, at best you’ll get a refund and at worst you’ll probably get a Expedia voucher.

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