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    • Murphy_The_Cat
    • By Murphy_The_Cat 17th Jul 16, 1:25 PM
    • 19,453Posts
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    Murphy_The_Cat
    0 WOW
    OTA or Airline Direct ?
    • #1
    • 17th Jul 16, 1:25 PM
    0 WOW
    OTA or Airline Direct ? 17th Jul 16 at 1:25 PM
    By a happy chance, I've got the opportunity to spend some time over the Christmas period on the West Coast of America.

    "Just get yourself some flights and we'll go from there !"

    Long story short, the best timed flights, at the best fare are flying with BA.

    Buying it via an OTA (in this cae NetFlights) is about 12% cheaper than booking direct with BA.

    I'm one of the subscibers to 'if it looks to good to be true, it generally is" and if the OTA was www.elcheaporubbishtravelcompinc.com I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.

    Comparing like for like, both will charge nothing for using a debit card, (a similar amount for CC), I'll get a touch of cash back via Quidco with either, its for identical flights -- bog standard return fares to the West Coast of the US.

    Netflights seem as reputable as can be and are part of a large conglomerate, BA are a hossing big part of IAG.

    Am I missing something, or just for once, have I found an instance where the OTA offers a better deal than direct with the airline ?
    Last edited by Murphy_The_Cat; 17-07-2016 at 3:03 PM.



Page 1
    • Alan Bowen
    • By Alan Bowen 17th Jul 16, 2:54 PM
    • 2,893 Posts
    • 1,459 Thanks
    Alan Bowen
    • #2
    • 17th Jul 16, 2:54 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Jul 16, 2:54 PM
    No, sometimes OTA's are offered net fares which they can sell at any price they choose. The terms are usually stricter as regards changes and cancellations but Netflights is owned by Dnata, the agency controlled by the Government of Dubai, so I don't think they are likely to disappear and regularly appear here as one of the 'good guys' Just make sure the flights are exactly what you want and that you have cancellation insurance and you are 'good to go'
    • Kernow666
    • By Kernow666 17th Jul 16, 3:25 PM
    • 3,358 Posts
    • 3,115 Thanks
    Kernow666
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 16, 3:25 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 16, 3:25 PM
    I have used agents a lot if price is right and never had a problem


    flight centre
    ebookers
    travelup


    I know people say always book direct ( these are usually the people who dont even travel but have an opinion on everything )


    if the saving is 10%+ then I would do it again & again if its a reputable company
    "If I know I'm going crazy, I must not be insane"
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 17th Jul 16, 6:19 PM
    • 6,591 Posts
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 16, 6:19 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 16, 6:19 PM
    There does come a tipping point where a decent saving with a reputable provider makes it worth ignoring the "book direct" logic.

    And you can still credit the flights to your AA loyalty scheme!
    • cubegame
    • By cubegame 17th Jul 16, 6:55 PM
    • 1,343 Posts
    • 666 Thanks
    cubegame
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 16, 6:55 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 16, 6:55 PM
    BA do price match so no reason at all to book with an agent. Only offers an extra layer of inconvenience.

    http://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/flights-and-holidays/flights/price-promise
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 17th Jul 16, 7:55 PM
    • 6,591 Posts
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 16, 7:55 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 16, 7:55 PM
    BA do price match so no reason at all to book with an agent. Only offers an extra layer of inconvenience.

    http://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/flights-and-holidays/flights/price-promise
    Originally posted by cubegame
    Claiming the price match is also inconvenient and given my experience of BA customer service I'd have little faith in them honouring it.
    • bagand96
    • By bagand96 17th Jul 16, 8:49 PM
    • 2,699 Posts
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    bagand96
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 16, 8:49 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 16, 8:49 PM
    I always think that if the saving is worth it, and you do a bit of homework and carefully consider the OTA, than it can be worth it to book with them.


    In this case I'd agree that netflights are definitely reputable enough and I'd have no issue booking with them.


    It's all well and good saying an airline has a price guarantee but they generally have so may get out clauses they make it near on impossible to claim.
    • novelty-socks
    • By novelty-socks 17th Jul 16, 8:57 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 101 Thanks
    novelty-socks
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 16, 8:57 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 16, 8:57 PM
    I fly between the UK and US a fair bit (mostly for work), and I generally always try and book direct.

    But, like you say, when savings hit that sort of level it's definitely worth booking indirectly. Sounds like the agent you've found is reputable, so I'd certainly be tempted to give them a go.

    My advice would be: once you've booked, make sure you get the record locator (6 character code) and use it on BA's website to make sure your flight has been ticketed and confirmed. Then you're sorted!
    • Murphy_The_Cat
    • By Murphy_The_Cat 17th Jul 16, 10:31 PM
    • 19,453 Posts
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    Murphy_The_Cat
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 16, 10:31 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 16, 10:31 PM
    Thank you everyone who has contributed to this thread.
    I've mooched around the various OTA's and I've booked with NetFlights.
    Amongst other things, they were able to give a 100% accurate quaote that reflected the age of my children.
    All of teh confirmations came straight back, although I realise that I'll have to wait for the PNR to come over night/within 24 hours.

    I'm not at all interested in BA's price guarantee - life is to short to argue the toss with a large organisation, when someone has just under cut them, on their flights, quite substantially.

    Happy Days and the countdown to Boxing Day begins !

    p.s. no positioning flights needed - on this occassion, flying from my regional airport has well and truly come up trumps !



    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 17th Jul 16, 11:42 PM
    • 6,591 Posts
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    PeacefulWaters
    Check the price inclusive of car hire with BA Holidays.
    • Murphy_The_Cat
    • By Murphy_The_Cat 18th Jul 16, 10:07 AM
    • 19,453 Posts
    • 25,427 Thanks
    Murphy_The_Cat
    I have used agents a lot if price is right and never had a problem
    flight centre
    ebookers
    travelup
    I know people say always book direct ( these are usually the people who dont even travel but have an opinion on everything )
    if the saving is 10%+ then I would do it again & again if its a reputable company
    Originally posted by Kernow666
    Check the price inclusive of car hire with BA Holidays.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    Hello Kernow

    I followed your suggestion and it was a bit like Goldilocks and the three bears.
    FlightCentre website couldn't find any flights for me.
    Ebookers weren't competitive
    TravelUps website wouldn't accurately work out prices due to the age of my children
    But NetFlights was 'Just Right'

    PW
    The suggestion about adding the car to the BA booking (which would also make it a BA holiday which wouldn't need paying for several months) was a really good one.
    I'd checked it before I booked with NetFlights and it did close the gap.
    However, booking the car with (probably rentalcars.com) and the flights with NetFlights is still approx 10% cheaper than going with BA.

    p.s. the PNR has now come through, & I've added my AAdvantage details to the booking - although on this occassion, I realise that I won't get that many miles due to the imaginitive way that AA look at flights not booked on AA/flying on AA metal.

    Happy Times. I've got the quickest flights that I could get, from the most convienient airport, at the 'cheapest' price and then discounted by NetFlights.
    Last edited by Murphy_The_Cat; 19-07-2016 at 9:51 AM.



    • Murphy_The_Cat
    • By Murphy_The_Cat 11th Jul 17, 11:07 AM
    • 19,453 Posts
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    Murphy_The_Cat
    Resurrecting this thread from the dead.

    Everything went 100% with the NetFlights booking. The cherry on the cake was £20.79 cash back via Quidco.

    For a simple & straightforward booking, I'll happily go down the Net Flights route again (they don't seem to be set up online for multi stop trips)



    • leylandsunaddict
    • By leylandsunaddict 11th Jul 17, 1:48 PM
    • 1,257 Posts
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    leylandsunaddict
    Netflights are one of the better OTAs around. They've been trading for many years. If you went in a high street agent to book a flight the chances of they'd book through Gold Medal. Netflights is just the direct sell arm of Gold Medal. They're one of the few OTAs I'd even contemplating using. You can book an open jaw online, but not a multi city as far as I know.
    • stevie11
    • By stevie11 12th Jul 17, 5:27 PM
    • 237 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    stevie11
    Murph, I read the thread then realised it was a year old. Anyway couple of points, I would normally book via the airline and I am glad I did on a recent trip with Qatar Airways (QR). After a day at our destination we had to return home asap, a quick call to QR and they got us on the most convenient flight home at no extra cost. Back home in less than 24 hours of the call. If I had been booked via an OTA I am not sure we would have been successful in getting back home so soon and without cost. QR customer services came up trumps in light of all the problems they are currently experiencing.

    Second point, did your AA points come through booking via the OTA?

    Cheers
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 12th Jul 17, 5:59 PM
    • 21,904 Posts
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    pollypenny
    We had a similar experience two years ago. We always get short notice of when were needed to babysit in the USA.

    July 15: BA from Manchester to Philly - £1100!

    Luckily I'd done a trial booking through Expedia a few weeks earlier and received a timely email pushing it. £880. Phew!
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • stevie11
    • By stevie11 12th Jul 17, 6:14 PM
    • 237 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    stevie11
    We had a similar experience two years ago. We always get short notice of when were needed to babysit in the USA.

    July 15: BA from Manchester to Philly - £1100!

    Luckily I'd done a trial booking through Expedia a few weeks earlier and received a timely email pushing it. £880. Phew!
    Originally posted by pollypenny
    Peak season Polly and they know people will pay it if they urgently need to get to the destination. Even at £880 it was still high but at least you saved a few £000. I assume they are economy fares.


    We had no choice we had to get back home so would have been at the mercy of the airlines compassionate fares but QR came good for us.
    • Murphy_The_Cat
    • By Murphy_The_Cat 12th Jul 17, 9:55 PM
    • 19,453 Posts
    • 25,427 Thanks
    Murphy_The_Cat
    Murph, I read the thread then realised it was a year old. Anyway couple of points, I would normally book via the airline and I am glad I did on a recent trip with Qatar Airways (QR). After a day at our destination we had to return home asap, a quick call to QR and they got us on the most convenient flight home at no extra cost. Back home in less than 24 hours of the call. If I had been booked via an OTA I am not sure we would have been successful in getting back home so soon and without cost. QR customer services came up trumps in light of all the problems they are currently experiencing.

    Second point, did your AA points come through booking via the OTA?

    Cheers
    Originally posted by stevie11
    Hi Stevie

    Thankfully, I've never had to call on the services of the airline or OTA to amend an itinerary, so I can't give an honest comparison - but the pragmatic part of me says that dealing directly with the airline surely is easier than with the TA, then the airline.

    The AA points did track through within a few days, no problem there at all.



    • stevie11
    • By stevie11 12th Jul 17, 10:10 PM
    • 237 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    stevie11
    Hi Murph, thanks for the feedback, hopefully that is the one and only time I need to call to get back home sooner.

    Glad the points came through for you
    • fifeken
    • By fifeken 13th Jul 17, 4:16 AM
    • 2,138 Posts
    • 1,103 Thanks
    fifeken
    Murph, I read the thread then realised it was a year old. Anyway couple of points, I would normally book via the airline and I am glad I did on a recent trip with Qatar Airways (QR). After a day at our destination we had to return home asap, a quick call to QR and they got us on the most convenient flight home at no extra cost. Back home in less than 24 hours of the call. If I had been booked via an OTA I am not sure we would have been successful in getting back home so soon and without cost. QR customer services came up trumps in light of all the problems they are currently experiencing.
    Originally posted by stevie11
    Not strictly true. After the first flight is taken, the airline takes control of the booking and can make amendments in line with their own rules and procedures.
    • budgetflyer
    • By budgetflyer 13th Jul 17, 6:34 AM
    • 5,612 Posts
    • 3,597 Thanks
    budgetflyer
    Its a shame OTAs reputation have been ruined by the cowboys. Years ago it was the normal way to book .
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