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Kayak vs airline: where & when to book

Nazareth, Israel
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Kayak vs airline: where & when to book

Hello all,

I'm looking to book flights for September 2013.

My dates are not flexible (have a choice between 2 dates because of school holidays) so I don't want to wait for the last minute.

I've been following the flights on Kayak for the past two months and now I found a really excellent price (291 USD).

When I went to airline's site, The flight was priced at 500 USD.

Other sites: expedia, orbitz, travelocity, cheaptickets - had the flight priced at 357-555 USD.

How can Kayak be so much cheaper than anybody else?

Kayak's recommendation was to buy now (at 58% certainty).

looking at similar flights in 2012 I know that a "good" price is around 350-400 USD.

Should I buy from Kayak now? What are the risks?

Thanks!

Fredericia, Denmark
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1. Re: Kayak vs airline: where & when to book

Kayak is a search engine - they don't sell the flights. They refer you to the airline or a 3rd party company.

Most search engines don't have real time prices.

Edinburgh, United...
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2. Re: Kayak vs airline: where & when to book

Unless something has changed, Kayak does not sell flights, they are merely a search engine. Often the prices they show are out of date and won't match when you follow the links they provide.

Nazareth, Israel
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3. Re: Kayak vs airline: where & when to book

The booking and entering personal details incl. credit cards are being done on a page on kayak.com.

I looked slosely at that page and it is written : "Book this flight on KAYAK via our partner travelocity"

I checked Travelocity's website - the flight is priced there at 302 USD and it's not exactly the same one (a later one on that day) - which doesn'treally matter to me (there are pros and cons to both)

What would you do in my place?

Limerick, Ireland
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4. Re: Kayak vs airline: where & when to book

Please tell us where your travelling from and to ?

and which airline ?

Edited: 6:00 am, March 07, 2013
Nazareth, Israel
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5. Re: Kayak vs airline: where & when to book

TLV to HER on Aegean in September 2013 (outbound on the 12th or 13th, inbound around the 25th)

Nazareth, Israel
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6. Re: Kayak vs airline: where & when to book

Has anybody booked via Kayak?

Can I assume Travelocity is reputable and trustworthy? they have been around for a long time.

Or should I wait with the purchase? Paying 290 USD instead of 500 USD per ticket is really tempting... but the HUGH price difference is also suspicious.

Nazareth, Israel
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7. Re: Kayak vs airline: where & when to book

I just checked ITA Matrix and I do find the 290 USD fare there - does it mean anything?

Is it safe to order from Kayak/Travelocity?

Why is this fare not showing on Aegean's website?

Please advise...

Thanks!

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Kayak vs airline: where & when to book

I've never booked on Kayak. Like the other posters said, I did not know you could. I have booked on Travelocity. Normally you can get the same price from the airline's website as from the third party sites. However, I have on occasion found big savings from the third party sites, just like you see. I don't really know enough about airline pricing to know why it happens, but it does.

Personally, if the savings is large, and the odds you will cancel the trip or change the flights are small, I would book on Kayak or Travelocity. Many people on here recommend only booking direct with the airlines. The big disadvantage to booking on a 3rd party like Travelocity is it's much harder to change your itinerary after you book

If you book with the airline, if you have to change, you call them and they'll change it. If you book on Kayak or Travelocity, and need to change, you'll need to call Kayak or Travelocity. They are online sites. They're not staffed for great customer service. If you have to change and need to call them, you'll likely be disappointed with the service you get. If you search the forums, you'll find a lot of people complaining about that, and usually it's when they had to change an itinerary or had a missed connection or some other problem.

So given those recommendations, hopefully you can decide whether to buy direct from the airline or not.

Iowa
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9. Re: Kayak vs airline: where & when to book

Kayak is a search engine but they do offer 'Kayak' as a booking option also.

When you choose to purchase from 'Kayak' they tell you this...

*About this booking... KAYAK will send your information to Airfare.com to complete your transaction. You will receive a confirmation number from Airfare.com and can use their call center and website to manage your trip. Your booking will be stored on KAYAK as well. *

This is somethig fairly new as kayak didn't offer this in the past. I had noticed it several months ago but hadn't give it much attention. So rather than sending you to another site to book, you stay on the kayak page and then kayak will forward your information on to airfare.com

Travelocity is a reputable site. But- I don't recommend booking air travel with anyone other than the airline. There is too much that can go wrong when using a 3rd party.

Edited: 3:31 pm, March 08, 2013
California
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10. Re: Kayak vs airline: where & when to book

I use Kayak all the time to search. They are a great search engine, and sometimes they DO turn up a ticket that is quite a bit cheaper than other sites.

Usually, Kayak takes you to the airline's own site to book, so there should never be a problem with the reliability of the tickets. I would say, go ahead and buy with confidence with Kayak if you find a great fare.

We usually fly American Airlines. Searching Kayak and AA.com, I've found cheaper flights sometimes on the Kayak site, even on American flights, which I could not get on the AA.com site itself.

I click through Kayak, and it takes me to the AA.com site and most of the time, that lower fare is available, right on the airline's website. (even though it was not searchable just going through the airline's site itself originally)

Kayak is one great tool that travelers have to improve our options in travel.