International Airfare

Travel Forums General Talk International Airfare

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1. Posted by bellestri1 (Budding Member 4 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

How and where to buy a cheap ticket from USA? It has been more than 5 years since I travelled internationally and it seems that the game has changed. Help if you please. Thank you.

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 6208 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Use the long-established https://www.skyscanner.com to see all flights & fares from whichever airport you want to whichever airport you want.

Once you've decided I (and most other experienced travellers) would very strongly advise you to book on the airline's own website. Booking via a third-party usually leads to major problems if your flight is cancelled or severely delayed or if you need to make date changes.

3. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 5491 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Hi, welcome to the forum.

I completely agree with Leics in previous post:

"Once you've decided I (and most other experienced travellers) would very strongly advise you to book on the airline's own website. Booking via a third-party usually leads to major problems if your flight is cancelled or severely delayed or if you need to make date changes."

When you use the airlines's own website they take care of you from start to finish. If a flight has mechanical or weather problems, and is cancelled or delayed, the airline will fix things for you! (I have been put up in hotels, got free meal vouchers, etc.)

When you mix airlines to save a few cents sometimes none of the companies care that much about you!

"It has been more than 5 years since I travelled internationally..."

I usually use the same airline company (or their alliance) so I can accrue Frequent Flyer Miles good for free flights, upgrades and free lounge, etc.

So, pull up your favorite airline and research how the prices are going. For some months there may be a "high season" for the cost of flights. Often weather related, for me escaping the cold and snow for a few weeks. Some hotels are more expensive during their "high season."

Since you are an experienced traveler, pull up your favorite airline and with your computer and check prices for various time periods. Only you know if you are flying to snow ski or flying to water ski! Or visit some place you have never been to for the heck of it! Check the prices before and after your preferred departure date to detect a pattern. Sometimes you have to fit something in that matches your vacation schedule or you may be retired and can often go practically anytime.

Good luck.

4. Posted by bellestri1 (Budding Member 4 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question.

5. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1618 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Also consider using this Web site: https://www.google.com/travel/flights

I travel internationally at least six months each year and use it to research routes and flights.

I used Google Flights this month to help book flights from JFK to TPE (Korean Airlines), TPE to KUL (China Airlines), KUL to KNO, KNO to KUL (AirAsia), KUL to SIN (Malaysia Airlines) and CPT to ATL (Delta Air Lines). I purchased all flights directly with the airlines.

6. Posted by Treensbert (Respected Member 321 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

I'm from Canada, and there sometimes we can find cheaper flights on YVR Deals (I found a flight from Seattle to Europe that way once). Otherwise, I try out skyscanner or google, and try to do it well ahead. I've also learned that travel agents (at least in Canada?) can see real time prices for flights, so if a low price is available or pops up if someone somewhere cancels, they see it in real time (you don't see it when you use Google apparently). They're also able to hold a flight for you until you decide. I've never gone this route before, but it might be an option these days. Some might have a fee for their services, though otherwise they receive commission form the airline I beleive (so I don't think? that you pay more, or at least not too much more). I have the same problem as you. Good luck!

7. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 6208 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Treensbert:

If you book a flight through a travel agent the same potential problems exist as with third party websites. Changing/cancelling flights is more difficult and there can be real issues with refunds and compensation (e.g. the EU flight delay compensation) because any money goes first to the agent/agency which booked the flight so you're entirely dependent on the goodwill and speedy response of that agent/agency.

Nowadays imo it really is best to book direct with the airline

8. Posted by Treensbert (Respected Member 321 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Ah.. Yeah, that's a good point. They know to book through third parties and that's a pain... I'm not sure how far the travel agent has changed nowadays. If you find a person (I don't mean an agency), they are trained to basically be available to you at any time. I took a course for this once, and That availability meant having your phone on at 2am (as the agent) if your client was undergoing a specific part of their journey that might require a call to you (eg flight, meeting up with you grp, sthg like that). I was thinking about that... But going with an actual travel agency, yeah. I have to agree there. It would cause potentially more pain than less :/

9. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 6208 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

If you use someone 'available to you any time' you're certainly going to pay more than just booking the flight yourself on the airline's website. They're not going to do it for nothing!

[ Edit: Edited on 28 Feb 2024, 08:16 GMT by leics2 ]

10. Posted by Treensbert (Respected Member 321 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

I'm honestly not sure. From what I picked up, it depended on the individual agent, if they chose to ask for an additional fee (the course suggested not to be shy about it). I've a feeling it might have been outdated though (I took it during covid). People habe been switching more to online options, making the travel agent sort of obsolete..
But there's still a fight to get into that industry (I was looking into it at the time, for after covid) so I'm not sure if they would choose to charge the client more or stick with commission in order so he doesn't go to a competitor (unless they put in a bunch of work the and the client isn't interested - for that the course recommended a fee, as in for the persons time). That's about all I've picked from it, so it's a bit wishy washy. But yeah, haven't tried booking one before either!