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    • Murphy_The_Cat
    • By Murphy_The_Cat 17th Jul 16, 1:25 PM
    • 19,469Posts
    • 25,439Thanks
    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 2
    • Murphy_The_Cat
    • By Murphy_The_Cat 13th Jul 17, 8:59 AM
    • 19,469 Posts
    • 25,439 Thanks
    Murphy_The_Cat

    Glad the points came through for you
    Originally posted by stevie11
    They did come through, but it wasn't a massive amount. I was booked on the cheapest ticket class possible, on a BA ticket, on a BA plane, so my AA points were earned/awarded at a very low rate.

    Its a shame OTAs reputation have been ruined by the cowboys. Years ago it was the normal way to book .
    Originally posted by budgetflyer
    Absolutely right. Several years ago, I wouldn't even have considered booking directly with an airline, as using a high street, then phone, the internet TA was the way to go.

    Nowadays, my holiday trips are multi stop and openjaw and I always do them myself. Mostly because I enjoy setting them up, but also because I'm not 100% confident that someone else can do exactly the trip that I'm looking for.



    • stevie11
    • By stevie11 13th Jul 17, 1:11 PM
    • 241 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    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.
    Originally posted by fifeken
    Good to know for the future but as I said I wasn't sure. I was just glad it was dealt with quickly and professionally by the airline.
    • Heliflyguy
    • By Heliflyguy 13th Jul 17, 1:37 PM
    • 758 Posts
    • 360 Thanks
    Heliflyguy
    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.
    Originally posted by fifeken
    Dont know where you got that idea from because they most certainly do not take control after the first flight is taken and if the booking is refer to agent for changes then back to the agent the passenger must go.

    An airline can take control of a booking at any time they need to which will lock the agent out unless the agent requests it to be handed back from the airline (requiring a rather laborious process) so generally the pax will make any other changes direct with the airline.

    If the airline took control after the first flight it would be a nightmare for the agent to make any changes to the return flight refer to agent or not.
    • fifeken
    • By fifeken 14th Jul 17, 3:44 AM
    • 2,139 Posts
    • 1,104 Thanks
    fifeken
    Dont know where you got that idea from because they most certainly do not take control after the first flight is taken and if the booking is refer to agent for changes then back to the agent the passenger must go.

    An airline can take control of a booking at any time they need to which will lock the agent out unless the agent requests it to be handed back from the airline (requiring a rather laborious process) so generally the pax will make any other changes direct with the airline.

    If the airline took control after the first flight it would be a nightmare for the agent to make any changes to the return flight refer to agent or not.
    Originally posted by Heliflyguy
    Sorry, but I disagree. I and several mates have done it several times when we've changed the length of spells away. Booked with an OTA (usually for price) and changed return dates by calling the airline. Never been referred back to the TA and I thought it was quite common knowledge going by posts on FlyerTalk.

    One I'm not sure about is your middle paragraph where I thought if control was to be transferred in advance of any travel, I understood the TA had to initiate this. I've never had to do it so only going by what I've picked up. What makes you say the airline can unilaterally take control?
    • Heliflyguy
    • By Heliflyguy 14th Jul 17, 11:08 AM
    • 758 Posts
    • 360 Thanks
    Heliflyguy
    The fact that you and several mates changed your flights on a ticket issued via an OTA with the airline does not mean that airlines take over the booking after the first flight had flown trust me if they did agents would not be able to make changes to any part flown ticket without having to get the booking passed back to them.

    The airline took over the booking when you called them to make the change not before.

    Your tickets probably were not refer to agent type (mostly corporate and private fare are though)

    As an example to you second question what do you suppose happens if a flight goes tech just before departure and the airline was not able to take control of the booking without contacting the OTA who are closed for the day. How do you suppose the airline rebooks the disrupted passenger onto other flight(s). Hope that helps.
    • Matisse Grojan
    • By Matisse Grojan 14th Jul 17, 11:38 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Matisse Grojan
    Agents
    Yup i would go with the agents - always found them good and nearly always cheaper. There are multiple theories for this but ultimately, choose yourself a good one like ebookers or flyusanywhere.com and you shouldn't go wrong
    • fifeken
    • By fifeken 19th Jul 17, 1:29 AM
    • 2,139 Posts
    • 1,104 Thanks
    fifeken
    The fact that you and several mates changed your flights on a ticket issued via an OTA with the airline does not mean that airlines take over the booking after the first flight had flown trust me if they did agents would not be able to make changes to any part flown ticket without having to get the booking passed back to them.

    The airline took over the booking when you called them to make the change not before.
    Originally posted by Heliflyguy
    Having asked about this over the weekend, it's even more than I thought. Airlines are said to have taken over the booking when the flight comes under airport control, typically 24 hours before take off. That then allows them to make all the changes I thought and more.

    Agents may well still have access as you describe, but it's as well as the airlines, not instead of.
    • photome
    • By photome 19th Jul 17, 7:29 AM
    • 12,591 Posts
    • 8,077 Thanks
    photome
    I always book direct, except this time I have used netflights for a Virgin Atlantic flight.

    The saving was £108 for the 2 of us, confirmation was instant and was able to log on to Virgin pick seats and add my flying membership number instantly, all good so far.

    It is a direct flight, I often fly indirect with KLM and they always change the flight timings, I wouldn't book that with an OTA
    • Blue264
    • By Blue264 19th Jul 17, 11:42 AM
    • 1,542 Posts
    • 915 Thanks
    Blue264
    Having asked about this over the weekend, it's even more than I thought. Airlines are said to have taken over the booking when the flight comes under airport control, typically 24 hours before take off. That then allows them to make all the changes I thought and more.

    Agents may well still have access as you describe, but it's as well as the airlines, not instead of.
    Originally posted by fifeken
    Airlines always have access to the booking, but when they make major changes to a booking at the request of the pasenger, such as significantly amending flight itineraries, it falls under their control. That's the point where most agents will refuse to have further dealings with the booking because the 'contract' is now between the passenger and the airline.

    The regular alterations an airline makes to a booking include, seat request confirmations, flight time changes, bassinet request confirmations, flight cancellations, etc... These are all noted in the booking by the airline and queued back to the agent so that they can notify the passenger.
    • fifeken
    • By fifeken 20th Jul 17, 3:33 AM
    • 2,139 Posts
    • 1,104 Thanks
    fifeken
    Airlines always have access to the booking, but when they make major changes to a booking at the request of the pasenger, such as significantly amending flight itineraries, it falls under their control. That's the point where most agents will refuse to have further dealings with the booking because the 'contract' is now between the passenger and the airline.

    The regular alterations an airline makes to a booking include, seat request confirmations, flight time changes, bassinet request confirmations, flight cancellations, etc... These are all noted in the booking by the airline and queued back to the agent so that they can notify the passenger.
    Originally posted by Blue264

    It was explained to me that once a flight is under airport control changes like bumping pax, re-routing etc may be required and the TA is essentially out the loop at that point and the airline has taken control of the booking. I would certainly agree that there's lots more reasons for the airline to exercise control and effectively that's what they do.
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