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Online airline ticket purchase - pitfalls?(2 posts)

Online airline ticket purchase - pitfalls?cking17
Oct 17, 2002 2:48 AM
Any advice or good/bad experiences with Expedia and others? I see that from using their web sites over the past several days that the ticket prices change drastically from minute to minute. Prices now for coast to coast travel around Christmas can regularly get as low as $215 round trip per ticket (I need 5 for family and in-laws for a flight). If you "save" tickets to your "My Flights" area of their websites while you go ask your wife/spouse if the departure times are OK - the price of your tickets TRIPLES within 1 or 2 minutes. You have to buy them right away without "saving" the itinerary or you are out of luck on the price.

Just want to avoid their changing the flight times after I've purchased. I know they cannot change the price - but I'm flying with little kids so I'm weary of anything that can go wrong vs. paying a bit more and buying tickets via the airlines or a travel agent directly.

Thanks in advance!
My experiences have been OKms
Oct 17, 2002 6:08 AM
I have purchased many tickets through during the past few years without any significant problems. The only minor annoyance was that I had to spend about 30 minutes on the phone when I wanted to change the return date on a non-refundable ticket from Geneva (I was able to do it, but I had to pay a $150.00 fee -- about 25 of the 30 minutes was occupied by the Travelocity agent's convincing British Airways not to charge me additional fees, so it was worth the wait). I also have purchased tickets online directly from Southwest and EasyJet (for intra European flights) without any problems. Your concern about flight times really is an airline issue, not a travel agent issue -- if the airlines cancel or move a flight it impacts everyone regardless of the manner in which one purchased the ticket. One plug for Southwest: three years ago my family (wife and two daughters then 7 and 10) were ticketed on a Friday afternoon flight that was overbooked. The Southwest agents at Chicago made special efforts to make sure that we were not bumped even though we were among the last people to check in. They were very sensitive to the needs of a family traveling with children. Also, Southwest only charges $40.00 for a bike case as opposed to $75.00 or $80.00 for other airlines.