I used to be a big fan of buying tickets on travel websites such as Expedia.com, Travelocity.com, Orbitz.com but lately, I found that it is often cheaper to buy them directly through the airlines’s websites. Have we come a full circle?
I picked a random date–a long weekend Sept.13-17 from New York to San Francisco–to see what rates would come back.
A sample of a few direct flights:
United: $303 on Expedia, $298 on United.com
Continental: $357 on Expedia, $352 on Continental.com
Delta: $303 on Expedia, $358 on Delta.com
Alaska: $343 on Expedia, $498 on Alaskaair.com (hello!)
OK, so it’s a mixed bag. I have to say though that I have yet to find a flight that is cheaper on Expedia or Travelocity than it is on Continental.com. Their website is really good, I think. It is comforting to know that airlines are starting to understand how to use the Internet to their–and our–advantage.
I now use kayak.com to see the best rates and then book directly on the airlines’ sites. Plus, I get extra miles for booking online. Expedia, be worried!