Don't make any travel plans until you read this!
Especially when we're experiencing one of the worst global recessions that we've seen in decades, every dollar counts. And because travel is so expensive, many of us turn to well-known discount travel Web sites like Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia.
When you book on these sites you think you're getting the lowest prices available, right?
Why You Might Not Get the Best Deal When Booking Your Trip with Most Discount Travel Websites
In reality, you may actually be getting higher priced offers from airlines and hotels that are affiliated with the discount travel website you use to book your trip. Additionally, you're doing all the work to research flights and hotels, yet the travel sites are still earning their full agency commissions.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Here Are 5 Travel Secrets Orbitz, Travelocity & Expedia Don't Want You to Know
1. They charge service fees on every booking. Sometimes that fee is disclosed in the "final price" listed online. Sometimes it's buried in the Terms & Conditions. Need to change your plans? Be prepared to pay service fees of up to $30 on every phone call for a change or re-issue. This does NOT count the $75 - $150 airline penalty. These travel websites actually hope for bad weather, because bad weather means altered plans, which means extra revenue for them.
2. The rate you see may not be the lowest rate available. That's because large travel websites deal in bulk volume. As a result they concentrate on "national" and "public" rates. They don't publish "private" fares, consolidator fares, or below-market fares because it's not in their interest to do so. You can only get those fares from an experienced travel professional, who knows the system and where to find them.
3. Their definition of lowest price may not match yours. Have you ever entered the exact same search on 3 different travel websites and gotten wide-ranging results? That's because travel websites have special arrangements with certain "partners" and may give these partners preferential treatment or placement bias. That's how they make money. Consumers, however, are catching on. According to Travel Weekly, bookings on the "Big 3" have fallen over 10% this year. People are turning to airline and hotel websites directly because that's where they're finding the lowest fares.
4. A confused customer is their best customer. In the last 12 months we've seen a spate of new surcharges assessed by airlines to offset rising costs--from $5 for some aisle seats to $15 for the first piece of checked luggage. Unfortunately, these costs are not reflected in the search results of most airfare comparison sites. Consumers are left to do the research and the math on their own. As a result, they're confused. What looks to be the lowest price may not actually be the lowest "total" price when all applicable fees are factored in.
5. Once you hit that SEND button, you're on your own. What happens when you book online and your flight is delayed or cancelled, or if you miss a connection? Ever tried to get a human being on the phone? You may be on hold for a long, long time. Or when you do finally get someone on the line, you find out he's in Bangalore (and English isn't his first language). Meanwhile, the last seat on the last flight out has just taken off. Travel has become more unpredictable than ever. Sadly, it's not a question of if something will go wrong, but when. And when it does, do you want your fate to rest in the hands of the guy whose job it is to get you off the phone as fast as possible?
This article may seem harsh. But Travelocity, Orbitz and Expedia are keeping these secrets from you. And, you have to know these dirty little travel secrets if you want to hold onto more of your cash.
Discount Travel Expert Don Buynack has seen the industry evolve toward tricking travelers into thinking that they're saving money instead of actually giving them the best travel deals. That's why he started his new online travel agency, FreeSpendingMoney.com, which guarantees you the lowest online fares PLUS gives you $200, $300, $500 or more in spending money. To learn how, get his free newsletter Best Travel Bargains at: http://www.freespendingmoney.com
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