- Be aware that if you have any issues such as delays during your trip, you could be stuck. When I have issues, I get in that rebooking line, while tweeting the airline, and on the phone to them. I would even run the chance by rebooking myself via the app and then having the airline credit me. Remember I have 24 hours to cancel anything so this is another sneaky option. Although the airline might have even better options. If you book with a third party you will have to coordinate through them which could leave you stuck and paying change fees. In addition, you could miss out on any vouchers or free miles an airline might be willing to give due to whatever the issue was.
- You aren’t saving any money. These companies aren’t charging less. If you saw a better price you would just get the airline or hotel to match it which should be easy. In addition, booking with a third party could leave you without many options such as a seat selection. That could be quite inconvenient if traveling with a family. Booking direct gives you access to seat selection first.
- Either way you will earn miles, however booking direct could give you the chance to earn loyalty with an airline or hotel. This leads to upgrades, status challenges, etc.
- Booking direct will give you more options and save fees if you need to change. Companies like Expedia may charge you a change fee on top of what the airline charges. In addition, some airlines like Southwest don’t allow third party bookings, thus you could be missing out on lower fares, free bags, and no change fees if you can find a good Southwest rate. Some airlines have started charging fees if you don’t book direct as well.
- Booking direct with hotels can be even more rewarding since its easier to gain status with a hotel than an airline. This can lead to free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and room upgrades. Plus you probably avoid that bad room or the one right next to the elevator.
- I will also add in on a side note to research an airline first. You might always see that cheapest prices and click book. While any airline can experience an issue, booking the cheapest might lead to an airline like Spirit. As I like to joke,” friends don’t let friends fly spirit”. If you haven’t researched an airline, do a quick google search or forum search first. Learn about fees and common issues.
Finally, most of these third-party companies are all the same company and owned by Expedia. Honestly the only place where you might actually save and it’s a “might” is the packages. That’s because the third-party company low balls the hotels to fill rooms leaving them money to knock off some money on the package price.
I can see where someone that don’t travel a lot might want to just go to a site and book a package. If you have to, you can always book a travel package through an airline. This ensures your flights are booked direct but you might be able to save on the hotel side. Many airlines also give you extra points or miles for booking hotels and car rentals.
Remember, I am always willing to do some quick research for just about anyone to help you save some money.
The next time you think about booking a trip know what you are getting into first!