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Advice for obtaining the best airfare deals

Travel Forums General Talk Advice for obtaining the best airfare deals

1. Posted by Rem (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

I'm a student who doesn't have heaps of money to spend for a small holiday. Being the case, I'd been trying to call various travel agents for discount airtickets. I've also had a somewhat disappointing experience in the past with travel agents. I know most work for the commission and some of the ones I've talked to won't be patient enough nor helpful to people like myself, who don't quite know a lot about the airline industry and who don't seem very certain about purchasing a ticket because they're "shopping around" for a price that is feasible.

Could anyone offer good advice in finding good/discounted airfare deals? What sort of questions should I ask a travel agent and how should I ask them?

Also, is it wise to make follow-up phone calls to travel agents who've said they'd call you back but haven't?

In advance, thanks.

[ Edit: Edited at Oct 29, 2006 5:08 PM by Rem ]

2. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 10y

Why use a travel agent? You can search the internet and the air carriers yourself online. I signed up for a few of the major ones (Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia...etc) and I receive email notifications on preselected trips I entered on each site. I also get email notifications on special last minute deals. It is more work than a travel agent, but YOU are doing it for YOU! So it is worth the time and effort.
Good luck! :)

3. Posted by Rem (Budding Member 23 posts) 10y

Thanks for your reply, Cupcake.

I ended up looking at a travel agent for help because I live overseas and a lot of the major online booking sites don't show flights departing from the airport nearest to me. I also figured that some local agents might have access to discounted fares. I'd read somewhere online about "bucket shops" (my memory fails me in mentioning where I read it). Do you think I would have any better a chance to enquire from a major airline company about discounted fares instead of travel agencies?

[ Edit: Edited at Oct 29, 2006 8:31 PM by Rem ]

4. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 10y

Hello Rem

The way to get the real budget flights is to avoid the travel agents, and find them on the internet.

And this also allows u to search as much and as often as u feel like it, to find the best prices. Also, u wont have to pay the 10% travel agents commission.

When i want to go someplace, i check how much the ticket would cost, if i fly, at different times, of the year. The price varies, a lot. And different airlines charge different amounts.
I am flying to Estonia, in April. The prices ranged, for that month alone from 250, to 900 euros. So checking different dates saves money.

I will try to find some web links u could use, and post them here later.

Mel

5. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 10y

Hello again Rem

Here is a link u could try.

http://www.billigfluege.de

Mel

6. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

I stopped using a travel agent because I realized they just plug in my city and my destination and give me the printout. They only looked at direct flights on the dates I gave them, so the prices were rediculous. I'd suggest searching online and playing with the dates. You'd be surprised at what a difference leaving on, say, a Wednesday as opposed to a Monday can make. Sometimes spending a little bit of time and money to get to/from a bigger city can also save you money.

You're your own best travel agent!

7. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 10y

I sometimes find going to the carrier direct (the website) can get you a good deal, eg if you see on for example expedia a fare for a United Airlines flight out of London cheaper than what is being quoted to you directly on the United website (times etc all being the same) give them a call and see if they will price match or do it cheaper than the online agent!

Also as Tina stated often not going direct will get you a cheaper fare - that really depends on your own itinerary l suppose.

I like to use:

- EXPEDIA
- OPODO
- TRAVELOCITY

To compare and contrast flights and costs by different carriers!

I also like to add into the mix flying only with Star Alliance members or at the very least their partners so that l can collect my airmiles too!

Or if you are flying in the UK or Europe check out the cheap carriers the Easyjets, Jet2.com or Ryanairs and see what deal you can get then book your accomodation separate. I like to check out reviews on trip advisor (google it!) where you will get honest reviews from travellers who have stayed thier in the past.

Hope this is helpful!

Heather

8. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 10y

Thanks Heather

I will add those, to my link list.

Mel

9. Posted by Mikey415 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y

I joined the website for the same reason. I'm a student on a serius budget but so far my search has not been very sucessful.

I allways use www.asapfares.com and 9/10 times its the cheapest especially if you fly often. Also I noticed, their nothing like the big companies, very helpful and friendly when you call them.

let me know if u tried somethin better