Best Website for ticket purchases?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by HardieBoys, Aug 15, 2006.

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  1. HardieBoys

    HardieBoys Member

    Sep 28, 2003
    411
    2
    Hi. Just seeing what people recommend for plane fares. Just picked up a CX ticket to Paris using Zuji, which was significantly cheaper than the CX website, and I could get to Paris significantly cheaper than any offer going on the QF website. It was 10% cheaper, which for a J class seat, is better than a kick in the head. I was surprised, as previous perusals of Zuji had led me to conclude that it was a relatively expensive place to purchase tickets.

    Have tried to get quotes from the Flight Centre website, but found them atrocious. No wonder their share price is going nowhere...

    What sites would people recommend as being consistently better value, or have people found it's always a case of price comparisons across different sites?
     

  2. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
    12,228
    1,312
    London
    Flight Map:
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    I use the following for prices (and sometimes purchases)

    Zuji (note that there are various regional zuji sites - some that can have better prices than the Australian one).
    Travelocity (good for certain purchases but mainly superceeded by AA - see below)
    BestFlights (great for ex-Oz specials that you may not find elsewhere)
    American Airlines (The infamous American Airlines)
     
  3. Andy

    Andy Junior Member

    Jul 28, 2006
    43
    0
    For a particular flight to BOM I tried out Zuji and it was the cheapest. It was cheaper than Qantas as the base fares, taxes etc were the same but they offered some sort of discount on Qantas tickets of 35$ while for other airlines they were charging a 12$ service fee
     
  4. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    I always compare unless it is an extremely urgent short notice booking (with limited time). I do find that the best fare for a particular trip may come from one website, while the next trip the cheapest is a different website with large $ differences in each case.
     
  5. Tiki

    Tiki Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    456
    33
    BNE
    I used to use those websites to get fare quotes but lately I have noticed that they dumbed down their fare rule displays. You used to get a full fare rule with restrictions, booking class, stopovers, routings, everything. Now you just get stuff like expiry date. :mad:
     
  6. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    40,478
    8,821
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Yes I find this happening regularly.

    Zuji is good but not always the cheapest. When purchasing tickets for travel in SE Asia or short intra-Europe sectors best to directly check airline websites or even get in touch with local TA. The savings can be huge sometimes.
     
  7. HardieBoys

    HardieBoys Member

    Sep 28, 2003
    411
    2
    Thanks for the feedback. It sounds as though the consensus is that there is a relatively high degree of variance between different websites for different products, rather than a consistently better-priced website.
     
  8. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
    12,228
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    London
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    #8 Mal, Aug 18, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2006
    There have been some changes in the Australian online fare purchasing market this week.

    1. Bestflights (Australian Travel Agent : Best Flights - discount travel - Travel Agent Australia) have introduced an online International fare purchasing system with promises that more things are to happen in that space.
    2. Expedia (Book cheap flights, holidays, hotels, cars and attractions online – Expedia.com.au) have launched their Australian online flight booking site.

    One last thing - Travelocity have taken on full ownership of Zuji. While Zuji were using Travelocity's booking system, they were seperately owned (Travelocity did own about 15% of the company, with various holding companies owning the rest). This all happened earlier this year, but most of the changes seem to be starting to happen now.

    Looks like things are happening in the marketplace.
     
  9. troyboy6

    troyboy6 Newbie

    Aug 18, 2006
    3
    0
    Just a note re Zuji and SE Asian fares:

    I have had mixed results with Zuji. I recently tried to book a flight PER-BKK in November, msge kept coming back unable to contact aitline - no matter what dates I mentioned same msge appeared. Contaced via phone and email still waiting for reply. Also refused my card (Visa) and wanted me to jump through hoops to have it verified. Upshot was I quoted the Zuji fare to Flight Centre, which they undercut (as per their guarantee) - booking paid and confirmed in
    45 minutes. Incidentally, the fare total cost was $924 return on Thai. Anyone
    do better? (4 November).

    One of the downsides of online agents is that they do not list discount airlines that I am aware of. You have to visit individual websites to find fares.
    That can be fun! I travel to SE Asia frequently, and there are some outrageous fares out there.

    First post - hope it is helpful:mad: :p ;) :evil: :D :D
     
  10. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,766
    245
    Canberra / London
    Good to see that Expedia is now in the market. They'll keep Travelocity a bit more honest, and where does it leave the likes of travel.com.au?

    As for ticket rules and regs, just checked a fare with expedia and it came up with the fine print. Shame on the others which don't, particularly Zuji (Travelocity) and travel.com.au.

    :)
     
  11. FlyFirst

    FlyFirst Junior Member

    Jun 24, 2006
    30
    0
    Australia
    Hi all

    As other posters have mentioned - I too have had mixed results with zuji. I looked for a fare with them to Hong Kong in early December, they were qouting over $1300, the same fare was available from CX's own website for $1100 (go figure...)

    On the expedia.com.au side - also mixed results there.

    I am flying JFK-LHR-ORD late Nov returning early December. I booked via aa.com and paid (in Aussie dollars) through AA's call centre in India, total price AUD686. The fare through expida.com.au was $815. To be fair, the aa.com price was only available through selected travel agents, which included expedia's US arm and travelocity, but did not include Expedia's Australian arm.

    Where expedia Australia did save money was on a domestic flight in the US where the price was USD126 on expedia.com, but only AUD145 (incl booking fee) via the Australia website. Saved about 21 dollars.

    Another interesting difference is that expedia Australia allows access to real priority seating (like exit rows for US carriers), whereas the US site still has 'priority' seats, but excludes exits. (For example, I could book row 31 on AA transatlantic through the Australian site, but not through the US site). Both sites say you need supporting status with the relevant airlines to secure these seats.

    Expedia Australia allows you to book United's economy plus cabin at time of booking.

    No such luck however with QF and BA seats - the good seats are still blocked on expedia Asutralia.

    Regards

    FlyFirst
     
  12. maninblack

    maninblack Established Member

    Aug 14, 2006
    2,303
    698
    I reckon that they are all rubbish. They dont show all the options and I have yet to see a fare that couldn't be matched or beaten by a travel agent. Waste of time:rolleyes:
     
  13. FlyFirst

    FlyFirst Junior Member

    Jun 24, 2006
    30
    0
    Australia
    Indeed - but it the web sites do help you find the good fare and options in the first place. If I'm doing a simple point to point I'll search the web, find the fare, knock off $20 (or 30 or 40 depending on the fare level and commission) and then take it to my agent. Also makes the agent happier as they don't have to do the leg-work.

    Regards

    FlyFirst
     
  14. GDSman

    GDSman Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    302
    213
    Hobart
    Hi - a comment from an industry perspective. It's very difficult to claim any site leads on every fare to every market, fares are much more complicated than that.

    Most sites connect to a GDS for airline published fares. These fares range from outrageously expensive to rock-bottom, depending on the airline's distribution strategy. Nearly every airline approaches this differently.

    Some sites also have access to a negotiated fares database. This will either be 'offline', resulting in a price quote and then an email page to request availability, or 'online', resulting in an 'available seat and price' search.

    Some negotiated databases can cope with very complex fares but most can't - the 100,000s of combinations can't price automatically for every conceivable itinerary option.

    And finally the travel industry has made a lot of effort to dumb down rule displays because the majority of feedback is that conditions are incomprehensible to the average punter. Some sites reflect GDS rule conditions (look out for capital letters as a giveaway). In those you'll get all the details but some bizarre mangled english at times.
     
  15. Tiki

    Tiki Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    456
    33
    BNE
    GDSman, I would be happy if they had a dumbed down version for the general public but with a "view complete rules" option for experienced travellers. Do any of them have that? I would like to know at least the booking class so I can see if its one that gets miles.
     
  16. GDSman

    GDSman Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    302
    213
    Hobart
    Hi Tiki. I'm not aware of any site that has both a simplified version and the full version of rules - which is a pity given your point is definitely valid. Most travel agencies I know have gone down the simple route. The truth is that there are plenty of Travel Agents who can't understand the full GDS rules and most of the people building the sites are techos rather than travel people so it's one of the first areas they try to change.....
     
  17. thatwouldbher

    thatwouldbher Junior Member

    Aug 7, 2004
    18
    1
    Ohio, USA
    Hi there, I have been readng all your quotes and has anyone tried United.com's website and Travel to Australia, Cheap Flights, Hotels and Car Rentals.

    I have found on numerous occasions that u ited has better fares than AA and Qantas. However I realise that you are all trying to boost your QF FF points. UNited has a great FF point system I believe, well tey did before I settled in USA and after a couple oftrips I had enough FF points to make a couple of free trips return to Australia. I think the United cabin crew are more eager to look after you inflight than QF crew.

    Best flights site does have a lot of great prices and you can get them weekly in your emails.

    I also feel that QF's fuel surcharges etc are way over the top and so is ANZ, and wonder how they can get away with them. Have you noticed when fuel does go down the fuel surcharges dont... and they have huge profits every year.. well how about they share there profits with the users and reduce there surcharges!!!:shock: and maybe more people would choose to use them..:D

    I was always a stauch QF flyer, but no more as there service and food is terrible, there prices over the top and their lack of service inflight pushed me to other airlines.:!:
     
  18. troyboy6

    troyboy6 Newbie

    Aug 18, 2006
    3
    0
    I have posted before on this topic and it is interesting the travel and fare experiences which each poster has experienced. Many of the posters seem to share similar experiences when attempting to book/find discounted air fares.
    I think that one of the advantages that we have as individuals is usually the ability to spend time searching for the best deals whereas if you use an agent like flight centre, they seem to be locked in to their own booking systems, which will give a reasonable fare, but usually can be beaten. I have booked two fares recently through flight centre after obtaining quotes from zuji. Firstly was PER-BKK in November with Flight Centre originally quoting $960 on Thai . I then received a quote from zuji for $960 which Flight Centre undercut as per their guarantee to $924. Given the time and routing I was happy with this deal as it was via Phuket with a 2 hour layover outbound and a direct flight on return. One of the problems with flying from Perth is the lack of choices to SE Asia especially Thailand, where everything is routed through Singapore or KL and usually involves ticketing Qantas (which steadfastly refuses to have reasonable connections with anybody), and as I have noted on this and other forums, there seems to be a groundswell of opnion that Qantas needs to lift its game as there is a lot of dissatisfaction with their service (onboard). Royal Brunei is another option (no alcohol) which can be up to $100 cheaper or more depending on dates but be wary of the 12 hour layover in Brunei - although they will organise a day tour for you while waiting which is apparently quite good. Also on occasion they will overnight you for free.
    I also recently booked a flight from Perth - London return for 2 friends and was able to significantly reduce their fares on fairly short notice. Flight Centre quoted $3800 for 2 return - out 30 September back 14 October (although they werent able to provide an outbound seat until 2 October)
    Zuji quoted $3520 which Flight centre matched ($3500) a saving of $300 and on preferred dates. So FC are good to their word regarding beating any price.
    This was on Emirates with a two hour layover in Dubai both ways, a much better option than via SIN in my opinion.
    I think that if you want a good deal on fares (and accommodation) you have to do the legwork, and it pays off.
    I travel to SE Asia fairly frequently and like to think that I know my way around reasonably well so when I saw this post on another forum:

    "I am planning on my next trip to Thailand to do a tour of Asia. I was thinking of departing from the UK, to go to Singapore, Bali, Kuala Lumpur and then onwards to Thailand. My internal flights within Asia come to the staggering sum of £684.00. Which is additional on my ticket from the UK and back, to the UK, which is £502.00.

    I am now thinking would i be saving money if i just purchase a ticket from the UK to BKK, and purchase my interanls flights around Asia, from BKK.

    I would be grateful, of any advise and tips. Thankyou in advance guys"

    I spent a little time getting together an itinerary just for fun (it was raining, and I had a delightful unwooded chardonnay for company) and came up with this: (for November)
    Prices in $US

    London - BKK return 908.00 Austrian Air
    3 nights BKK 60.00
    BKK - KL 23.00 Asian Air
    3 nights KL 90.00
    KL - Denpasar 30.00 Asian Air
    Bali 3 night package incl. xfers,
    b/fast and massage 263.00
    Denpasar - SIN 79.00 Jetstar Asia
    2 nights Singapore 108.00
    SIN - BKK 19.00 Asian Air
    3 nights BKK 60.00
    BKK - Chiang Mai (return) 75.00
    Chiang Mai 3 night package incl 160.00
    xfers, b/fast, tours
    BKK - Pattaya (return limo) 55.00
    Pattaya 5 nights 80.00

    Total $US 2010.00
    GBP 1055.00
    $AUD 2620.00

    Given that the original price of GBP quoted was $1186.00 airfares only I think
    that this is a pretty good deal (no, I am not an agent)

    Sorry if I rambled on, but I hope that this may be interesting and helpful for forum members. There are great deals out there (getting through the minefield is the problem)
     
  19. Zuji doesn't accept Amex, so I go elsewhere.

    When in the US, I have been known to use Orbitz.com, and ex-Australia I am quite fond of bestflights.com.au. Even though they (annoyingly) charge a 4% Amex surcharge, it almost always offers considerable savings on premium cabin fares compared to what I am offered by United's website.
     
  20. auriga

    auriga Active Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    807
    22
    I do not like flightcentre's policy of having a credit card surcharge!
    Also their quotes are usually far from the cheapest, so you do have to do your research first.
    I found the Amex website quite competitve, and no surcharge!
     
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