I think meta search engines like Momondo are perfect for finding the right airlines to buy from direct as I stated above. But I have also found flights on certain websites (Orbitz most recently) that were 400 EUR cheaper than buying with the airline (KLM/Air France) direct (a Europe-NY return ticket). And yes, I always check both
The 'problem' is that most of us don't know which airlines fly between any two airports. A travel agent is told by their system which options there are, but typically not all fares are returned in their systems either, so then it comes down to the agent KNOWING all the other options; VERY hit and miss! Essentially very much the same as doing a search on a meta search engine like Momondo, Kayak etc., without knowing which other airlines to look at. Either way, the convenience of sitting at home at 11PM on a Saturday and being able to research the options for flights/airlines while all travel agencies are closed is nice. Whether you book through the airline in the end, or an agency, is rather irrelevant to all except the airline/agency
Oh, one other thing, nothing beats a travel agent for a multistop/multi-airline itinerary!
Hi - and thanks for the responses.
I've been away for a few days working abroad (well, Belfast - in fact).
It seems that there's really no urgent (if 'ever') need for me to start doing comparisons just yet, as there are some very agreeable posts being put up here - going along with what I have said at the beginning of this subject - and displaying examples.
If push comes to shove though, I will - for sure, open every doubters eyes with a list of flights that prove my point entirely.
As for Sam I Am's comments about 'Nothing beats a travel agent'.... Perfect, as long as you give it to 'em the way 'You' want your itinery planned out - and not what's convenient for them. The same goes for insurance too.
At the risk of getting off on a tangent a little, I saw a report on the BBC the other day that said American Airlines had decided to opt out of having their fares displayed by online portals such as Expedia etc. The report suggested other airlines could follow suit and that this could mean the end of customers being able to conveniently compare multiple airlines' fares online as is the case now. Has anyone else heard about this? I'm not sure what the reasoning behind American Airlines' decision is and whether it really could change the way we book.
Yes - very much so.
'Travel Weekly' has a very interesting article on their website about it.
They won't be the first - either.
It works both ways though. Many agents and choice sites are dropping airlines from their comparisons too.
I'm still unclear what you're suggesting as an alternative though.
Marlis has agreed that booking direct is cheaper. Obviously we're not going to put up a flight search form for just one airline though.
Other than that, I haven't seen a whole lot of agreeing or any examples proving the point at all. The general gist seems to be that nothing's perfect. Sorry tweetme, I'm not really sure whether your post was agreeing or disagreeing I really don't know what would the perfect solution be right now. Removing flight search altogether perhaps?
If you care to put up some findings in a google spreadsheet or something and compare, I think it would be fascinating information.
OK - so as not to saturate T/P to breaking point.
Examples - just a few, not a bucket load....
Manchester - Fuerteventura June 14 - 28.
Attempting to get a flight on Momondo from London - Oz on Air Asia, but it's proving difficult.
I could do more, but I'm sure you get the point.
I actually thought the point was that travel agents can be better than meta search engines, but Skyscanner is also a meta (and yes, a very good one!).
One case doesn't really make a point though I'm sure a good detective could also find them the other way around too (Skyscanner knows the UK probably like Momondo knows Scandinavia). Also, whilst the price is 33 pounds cheaper, how many people really want to fly to Fuerteventura via Dublin and add a good 8 hours to the flying time, plus an additional option for a plane to be cancelled and you lose your connection as these are low cost carriers. You actually also have to make three different bookings, and each of those bookings will also carry 5-10 GBP in fees?
What I like way more about Momondo though is that they return the other airlines that fly that route (or near airports) and that they couldn't retrieve availability from; Easyjet, Condor, Ryanair etc. This is exactly how I use meta search engines; to find the airlines that service an airport or those nearby. I then book direct with the airline
Also, whilst the price is 33 pounds cheaper, how many people really want to fly to Fuerteventura via Dublin and add a good 8 hours to the flying time, plus an additional option for a plane to be cancelled and you lose your connection as these are low cost carriers
I would rather spend longer getting somewhere and experiencing a different country/airport en-route, rather than just doing point-point - so would many others like to have that choice too and save £33. A tenner en-route for a beer and sandwich. That leaves me enough money to have an extra night away.
The point is, this is a travellers site - yes?
Travellers want to see All the options, not just the dearest one.
Yes - Skyscanner is also a meta. I'm just spurting out examples, bit by bit.
I think the real point we need to get to is, what shall we put in that spot instead? If Skyscanner is just another meta and only helps *some* of the people, then is there one that you feel really is deserving of the promotion on Travellerspoint?
Or should we just get rid of the flight search area altogether and provide no options at all? I don't really mind either way personally.