For This Frequent Traveler, Search Engines Give Her The Best Fare

Lo and behold, summer has come. It has become an annual ritual of mine to dream of the places that I wish to visit someday and now is the time to dream. Places like Sydney, Paris, and Seattle. I may not have enough time and money yet to take a trip but with the Internet it is possible for me to search for flights from my windowless office. Quite familiar with online travel agencies are frequent travelers and because of the free time they give traditional travel agents these people can now travel more.

Online agencies can miss out on Web specials and airlines that can be uncovered by the lesser known travel search engines that check multiple sites at once. To check four of them out, I searched for 11 imaginary trips through Labor Day. Coming from the search engines are all of the best fares. Should you plan a recent trip to San Francisco you should avoid agencies so that you do not incur additional service fees and instead use search engines to go to the airlines’ Web sites for direct booking without fees. The agencies’ fares only become a few dollars pricier after adding the service fees.

I got the cheapest fares from two major online travel sites which did not allow the multisite engines to search their sites. You can expect the availability and prices to change by the minute. In this case, all trips were searched twice and all seven sites were checked within five minutes of one another. Mentioned by most online travel agencies is that customers should not decide based on prices because what they can be provided with is better customer service and even package deals with hotels.

One among the rest was a pretty flexible agency. Apart from the cheapest weekend trip in June, you can also find a two to four day trip between July 15 and Aug 3. Selling tickets for adults, seniors, and minors were two other agencies but this one had the options that included specifications for infant in lap or infant in seat.

What the three sites did was alert me to cheaper fares from nearby airports or dates without searching for them. When it comes to one of the sites, what they had was a nice calendar showing fares for the entire month. In one occasion, I was looking for departure times but there was one agency that sorted everything out by price. Going through numerous cheap afternoon flights does me no good when I need to be there for a 9 am meeting and this is because the company sorts their flights based on price categories.

Having more options, one search site offered the best flexibility. Searching for multicity as in New York to Chicago to Boston to New York and so called open jaw trips flying from New York, but returning to Boston is what I was able to do with this company. Like other agency sites, it also offers email fare alerts. A feature limited to the agency sites started by them was a beta test for flexible date searching up to three days before or after.

It was hassle free. Permitted by four sites were multicity searches but from this one came the automatic filling in of the next box. It is possible to use tools for narrowing, expanding, and comparing flight results with these sites. By removing a check mark next to an airline you automatically eliminate related options. Or choose to remove all evening flights, or add flights from a nearby airport.

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