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Booking through KLM vs Delta

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Phila, PA
posts: 197
reviews: 2
Booking through KLM vs Delta

Just an FYI for anyone shopping tickets. I have been watching prices for a couple of months and on a couple of occasions checked KLM vs Delta prices. They were always pretty much the same. I went to book through Delta and the prices had skyrocketed. To go direct from AMS to EWR without a stop in another US city first, on the way home, had gone up to $2000. I could still book with an additional stop for $1500. Just booked shortest flights through KLM for $1097!!

Jackson, Michigan
posts: 319
reviews: 23
1. Re: Booking through KLM vs Delta

Thanks for the tip!

nyc
posts: 13,745
2. Re: Booking through KLM vs Delta

On my last visit, checked KLM first and got a fare I could deal with... into JRO, out of NBO (an open jaw). Then checked with Delta (they're partners/ code shares and with either I accrue FF miles), and their fare was only $100 higher. And both flights had same departure time, both on KL metal. When I asked if DL could match the KL price... answer NO. So, easy decision... went with KL.

Always gotta check, ask and make best decision. Have found though that generally DL is not very cooperative. Shame on them. Besides, of course when they became partners... didn't combine/share their reservations systems. Dumb! That was about 8/mos ago, so have no idea whether they've changed this quirk since.

San Francisco...
posts: 2,874
reviews: 2
3. Re: Booking through KLM vs Delta

I originally booked via KLM website our RT flights LAX-JRO.

Then we decided to go to Rwanda too (after discarding the idea earlier. oy!) so i tried to call KLM to change the flights. I had found one online that was almost $300 cheaper than the one I had booked, which (since the money was already paid) would have covered the change fee. but KLM was closed (it was after hours apparently) and i was shunted to Delta. they told me there was no such flight, and tried to sell me a more expensive fare.

but i told them i was looking right at it on KLM and lo and behold! he eventually found it and rebooked for us. but he wouldn't have had i not been so persistent. so i got the LAX-JRO and KIG - LAX for just under what the OP paid!

Austin, Texas
posts: 225
4. Re: Booking through KLM vs Delta

Sometimes, search engines show you flight combos that you will not find on the airline website. Sometimes, the flight legs are on multiple-airlines and sometimes on the same airline. I once called an airline when I wanted to take a red-eye that was visible on a search engine but the airline website didn't show it. Both legs of the flight were on the same airline. Like an earlier poster wrote, the airline person said there was no such option for my route but I persisted and eventually he was able to see the individual flights and told me that there are some routings that airlines don't want you to take, so they don't display those flight combinations. I am guessing that search engines probably work from a flight listing database and if something can be put together from the permissible options for your route, they do it, not caring how a specific airline would rather have you fly.

So it pays to look at both airline websites and search engines. One never knows where one would find value.

Edited: 10:10 am, July 25, 2013
Nashville, Tennessee
posts: 2,187
reviews: 150
5. Re: Booking through KLM vs Delta

I have actually had a different experience a couple of times. My flights for march to JRO is actually cheaper through Delta than through KLM by $150. In researching for DAR next aug, Delta and KLM are the exact same. (I am using estimate dates since actual dates are too far out). In both cases I saved money compared to 3 search engines I use regularly.

Also, I much prefer booking through the airlines since it is MUCH easier to deal with them if there is a snafu. I do not want to be I. Africa trying to contact Expedia when the airlines mess up.

San Francisco...
posts: 2,874
reviews: 2
6. Re: Booking through KLM vs Delta

i agree Stephen. i check out the search engines, then book with the airline. aside from the practicality you mentioned, it's always the cheapest alternative anyway.

Saint Paul...
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
posts: 1,737
reviews: 1
7. Re: Booking through KLM vs Delta

I've experienced everything that everyone has mentioned. You just have to do some searching and trying and tweaking and searching and trying and tweaking again, to figure out what will work best. I've tried to understand it, but have found that's not possible.

The trick: Don't look too many times until you are really ready to make the transaction and then give yourself a good amount of time (like a couple of hours), do it all in one setting and then pay and be done. If you spread out your thinking over weeks of hemming and hawing and thinking it through, everything will keep on changing and you'll get frustrated. Those are my words of advice.

South Riding VA
posts: 568
8. Re: Booking through KLM vs Delta

I've tried to post this twice before. So if it comes through multiple times, I apologize.

It is not really on-point since it's Ethiopian, but I thought I'd add it.

I just rechecked the fare after reading this thread that I booked for my husband last weekend. He is flying business class (remember, gimpy knee). It is $1000 more for the same flights today!

Confirms what I have always done - though I admit it may not work every time - book as soon as I know where I am going and when. I'll do the same when I can book my return on 8/5.

chris

Austin, Texas
posts: 225
9. Re: Booking through KLM vs Delta

B_in_B, I agree that it's a good idea to scout out various sources to get an idea of what's out there and not do daily obsessive comparisons. Doing so seldom clears the fog. We've come to the conclusion that airfares have no logic to them and it's not a deterministic game.

In my experience, airfares are seldom competitive 6+ months in advance unless one is flying in some super busy time like Thanksgiving in the US or Christmas. I don't travel in those periods so I can't say much but otherwise, good deals are found closer to departure than 6 months out (talking only of domestic US or international fares from US).

siouxxie, airline websites do not *always* offer the cheapest fares, even for their own flights. Sometimes, they offer low fares and some amazing unadvertised deals that can only be obtd. through their websites but not always so. There are many advantages to booking through the airlines websites such as being able to redeem FF miles for a ticket, getting other perks like bonus miles for car rentals/hotels reserved through the airline website, etc.. The value found (cheaper fare, convenient timings, decent layovers/connections, peace of mind, ....) varies each time and value is subjective, IMO. My personal history of booking flights (I've been doing on-line bookings since the days of SABRE when most airlines did not offer web bookings) through airline websites and search engines is about 50-50 and I have not seen a pattern of advantage by going with either. I have also not had problems with either thus far, touch wood!

Sorry OP, not KLM/Delta but hopefully relevant info nonetheless, as you can substitute other airline names for those and find similar experiences.

nyc
posts: 13,745
10. Re: Booking through KLM vs Delta

Another thing to remember is your 'cookies' - if you constantly check for flights whether specific air carrier and/or on occasion thru a search engine... they remain in your cookies. Thus the more you check especially continual days, it's not unusual for the fares to constantly creep up or fares previously seen disappear altogether.

Try cleaning out your cookies to avoid this possibility.