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Fare Errors on Trip Advisor

Niagara, Ontario
Level Contributor
11 posts
3 reviews
Fare Errors on Trip Advisor

I went to Trip Advisor to look up flights. The prices that they quote for flights on the Air Canada site are not the same when I click on the fare and then are redirected to Air Canada. There are a number of flights that have this same situation. What gives?? I don't understand that the Trip Advisor search would come up with the wrong prices on the Airlines own site. I can understand 3rd party sites being different (as they quite often are) but not when the prices quoted are directly from the airline. What gives?

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
15,095 posts
73 reviews
1. Re: Fare Errors on Trip Advisor

Hi,

I think where the issue falls, is that like most 3rd party sites, TA doesn't see nor refresh their prices to show live, real-time fares...

They pull and post either what is the THEN best fare when the page is initially created or updated; or what is shown as the best fare for the range of dates advertised.

It might be nice if they did, but live feeds from the GDS' do cost money to subscribe to.

Travel Safe,

Palmetto, Florida
Level Contributor
4,381 posts
15 reviews
2. Re: Fare Errors on Trip Advisor

Can you explain why code share flight operated by air Canada from lax to yvr cost 399 about on partner UA and only 210ish on air Canada site?

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
15,095 posts
73 reviews
3. Re: Fare Errors on Trip Advisor

Hi,

Are you looking at a code-share flight-- that is a flight listed with a UA flight number, and comparing that fare one listed with a AC flight number, who would be the actual operating carrier?

If so, then while the ticket for each will get you onto the same plane, the cost for the two can be different to reflect the sales agreement and pricing for a code-share on that market..

It's not uncommon (but not exclusive) for the code-share listed flight to be more expensive than if you were to buy the same routing, but via the operating carriers website/sales channel.

Travel Safe,

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
25,319 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: Fare Errors on Trip Advisor

>> Can you explain why code share flight operated by air Canada from lax to yvr cost 399 about on partner UA and only 210ish on air Canada site? <<

Sure. The the code share partner (United) is allowed to sell a fixed set of tickets in each fare class (fare bucket). As soon as their allocation of lower buckets are sold out the only fares avaiable from them are in higher priced buckets.

If the lower fare buckets with Air Canada haven't sold out at that time then they're still available only via Air Canada. So it appears that United may be "overcharging", but in reality they aren't allowed to sell out of any cheaper fare buckets.

It works the other way round, and with other airline partners that code share.

Damn code shares! :)

Edmonton
Level Contributor
8,300 posts
14 reviews
5. Re: Fare Errors on Trip Advisor

I price out Air Canada and United for clients all the time and almost always, AC comes out cheaper on their code share flights no matter who's operating. Like stated above, it comes down to the fare bucket that each has allocated, but it does always seem that UA has their lower ones sold out quicker. That could just have to do with more people booking via UA rather than AC. But checking both is always a good tip:)

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
25,319 posts
6 reviews
6. Re: Fare Errors on Trip Advisor

panacea97,

To answer your original post, this regular contributor to the TripAdvisior forums would not recommend using the TA flight search engine. It's a commercial arm, and is no better than the search engines that link to the 3rd party bookers that we hear so much grief about.

It's no better, though I'd add it's probably no worse. As to why the AC flight offered direct wasn't available when you linked through, it could be that they just search on archived fare data. Or that there was only 1 or 2 tickets available at that fare and by the time you selected it someone else somewhere in the world had nabbed those last fares just before you. It could happen.

At least when you clicked through it took you to AC that informed you of the price "increase". If you'd clicked through to a 3rd party booker you wouldn't have found out until you'd paid them $xxx for the advertized fare before you found out with the booker asking for an extra $yyy.

Edited: 12:34 am, February 17, 2013
Niagara, Ontario
Level Contributor
11 posts
3 reviews
7. Re: Fare Errors on Trip Advisor

thanks for all of the replies. I understand that TA is a "middle-man" so to speak. I guess what frustrates me is that Air Canada is MUCH more expensive for flights from Toronto to Copenhagen than any other airline. It also confuses me since Toronto is Air Canada's home airport!! I have been watching flights from Toronto to Copenhagen in May for a couple of months now and Air Canada has continually been the higher price.

Palmetto, Florida
Level Contributor
4,381 posts
15 reviews
8. Re: Fare Errors on Trip Advisor

Yeah, me too, thanks for the comments.

But damn it, you have to be clever to keep even!

Leicester, United...
Level Contributor
1,280 posts
1 review
9. Re: Fare Errors on Trip Advisor

"It also confuses me since Toronto is Air Canada's home airport!"

It shouldn't confuse you because that's your answer.

What other airline offers direct flights on that route? None. So AC can basically charge what they want.

The lower prices you are finding on other airlines are for indirect flights, via Helsinki, London or NY for example. This is because airlines like Finnair, BA and Delta need to offer some incentive for you to use their indirect services.

Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
35,764 posts
747 reviews
10. Re: Fare Errors on Trip Advisor

Instead of TA use something like www.kayak.com to find the best deal.