Nowadays airline ticket aggregators have almost supplanted travel agents and it is common for people looking to book any tickets to first check out the prices across a wide variety of airlines on such websites or services.
As a result, many booking are actually carried out through these third party websites or services – but it must be said that there are advantages of booking airline tickets directly.
Chief among these is the fact that you may not even know it but most third party websites charge a service fee or booking fee. Normally this is a fairly nominal sum of $10 or less, but if you’ve found that a certain airline is offering a ticket at a certain price via a ticket aggregator then by going directly to the airline’s website and booking it there you should be able to get the same price and avoid paying the fee completely. Alternatively you could even call up the airline and book over the phone.
Next, you need to know that airlines are not entirely comfortable with the dominance of these ticket aggregators and many nowadays are trying to draw customers to their own websites directly. As such, you’ll find that there are some promotions and discounts that only apply to customers who book directly and not via third party websites or services.
Of course it may not be feasible to check every airline website directly, which is why it makes sense to use a ticket aggregator as a starting point and then once you have a rough idea of the prices offered by various airlines, check the cheapest few directly and see if there are any promotions.
Last but not least, when you book airline tickets directly you know for certain that the booking has gone through. Some third party websites or services may collect booking information and only channel it to the airline at a later date, which can lead to changes in the pricing. In the worst case scenario the wrong information may be channeled, or no information channeled at all – which could mean that the airline will be unaware of your booking.
The alternative to booking directly is to check with the airline directly after the booking is completed or after a few days, but you can avoid having to do so if you just purchase the ticket from the airline itself.
See how booking airline tickets directly does have advantages? Granted, ticket aggregators are great tools but now that you’re aware that direct bookings can pay off as well, you should be able to reap the rewards of doing so if they do apply to the tickets that you’re interested in buying.