Using a booking site to reserve your airfare may seem like a great idea. Sites like Expedia, CheapAir, CheapTickets and others are ubiquitous on the web and constantly being told that your airfare is cheap makes it seem like you are getting a great deal. For the most part, these sites are great deals-depending on your airfare needs. Read on for a better view of how you can really save the most money on your airfare.
Booking Directly With an Airline
It may surprise you to learn that almost always; it is cheapest to book your airfare directly through the airline's site. This allows you to get the best deal and know exactly what to expect from your flight in terms of your baggage allowance, etc. Booking directly through an airline travel site gets you a good deal and very little research is required. Booking directly through the airline is also easiest if you have airline mileage with a specific airline.
On the other hand, by booking directly through the airline, you have to know exactly which airline you are taking. Otherwise you end up having to search through each airline's site individually, which is time consuming and tedious and something that the major airfare booking sites conveniently take care of for you.
Added Benefits of Booking Sites
A benefit of using a major airfare booking site, especially if you travel frequently to different places, is if you are flying someplace that the airline doesn't have a straight route available. By booking your travel through an airfare site, you don't have to plan your own route because the site takes care of that for you. If you are traveling to multiple places, overseas, or want to veer off the path in any way, shape or form, then you will find it much easier, more convenient and even cheaper to book through an airfare site that specializes in making travel arrangements for you.
Airfare sites can also be easier to cancel arrangements through and have clear guidelines if you need to cancel or change your travel dates for any reason. Using an airfare booking site means that you don't have to call each airline for their policies; instead you only have to look at the policies of the booking site to find out what your options are. In addition, it may pay to use multiple booking sites because one site may not have available seats for a particular flight, while another does.
Smaller Airlines May Not Be Available
Although you can look at many different airlines at a time, not all airlines use airfare booking sites in order to keep their prices low. This tends to be mostly true of smaller and regional airlines-another reason why it can pay to use an airline's site.
Both airline websites and airfare sites offer special deals that encourage passengers to book in advance. Without doing a great deal of research, it can be hard to determine which deals are better, although knowing the best days to book a flight can help to save even more.
Basically, although the prices aren't always as competitive as those found directly on airline's sites, you aren't paying much more and get the convenience of one stop shopping.