Third Party reservations?

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Aug 20, 2019
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#1
Is there a downside when airline tickets are purchased thru a third party?
i.e. hopper, Google flights, Expedia etc.
If there's a missed connection, or any of the endless problems that could arise.
Is the carrier then responsible for correcting the problem or does that responsibility
fall back to the third party?
Ultimately is it better to purchase direct from the carrier?

Thanks
JoeSkiier
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#2
Your questions are . . .

Is there a downside when airline tickets are purchased thru a third party?
Yes. This forum has many cases of difficulty when dealing with third-party purchases (hotels, airfare, and tours). If all goes well, then third-party purchases are successful. But too often issues arise and then third-party providers do not respond well or pass you off to the actual service provider.

Is the carrier then responsible for correcting the problem or does that responsibility fall back to the third party?
It falls to the third party to resolve ANY issues first . . .

Ultimately is it better to purchase direct from the carrier?
The carrier or hotel by far . . .
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#4
Is there a downside when airline tickets are purchased thru a third party?
i.e. hopper, Google flights, Expedia etc.
If there's a missed connection, or any of the endless problems that could arise.
Is the carrier then responsible for correcting the problem or does that responsibility
fall back to the third party?
Ultimately is it better to purchase direct from the carrier?

Thanks
JoeSkiier
Google flights is a search tool. They send one off to another site to purchase a ticket.

If you book with an OTA you have to deal with the OTA -- a middleman.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#6
The short answer is YES!!! Use those sites for research on flights available but BOOK DIRECT. This way when things go wrong the airline can actually help you directly.
 
Likes: VoR61
Jul 30, 2018
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#8
A high percentage of posts on this forum are travel misadventures or disasters involving a third party online company. When something bad happens, a ping pong match of blame ensues between the third party and the airline, hotel, etc. Use them to research and plan, then book directly with each company.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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#10
People think they're "getting a bargain". That's the message in all the national advertising, and people believe it.
I get that. However, pretty much the only way to access on-line sellers is by going, well, on line. And if I'm on-line with Expedia, I can open another window and check directly with the airline. There are surely some things that are tough to do price comparisons. (Prescription drugs come to mind, where most sellers want to see both the Rx and your insurance card before they quote a price.) But comparing hotel, rental car, air, cruise, etc. are relatively easy. We use a travel agent for cruises, because that industry still pays agents commissions, but we book the rest direct.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#11
I get that. However, pretty much the only way to access on-line sellers is by going, well, on line. And if I'm on-line with Expedia, I can open another window and check directly with the airline. There are surely some things that are tough to do price comparisons. (Prescription drugs come to mind, where most sellers want to see both the Rx and your insurance card before they quote a price.) But comparing hotel, rental car, air, cruise, etc. are relatively easy. We use a travel agent for cruises, because that industry still pays agents commissions, but we book the rest direct.
Travel agents are paid for hotels and also for packages including air as well as cruises.
 
Likes: VoR61

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#12
I get that. However, pretty much the only way to access on-line sellers is by going, well, on line. And if I'm on-line with Expedia, I can open another window and check directly with the airline. There are surely some things that are tough to do price comparisons. (Prescription drugs come to mind, where most sellers want to see both the Rx and your insurance card before they quote a price.) But comparing hotel, rental car, air, cruise, etc. are relatively easy. We use a travel agent for cruises, because that industry still pays agents commissions, but we book the rest direct.
It's important to note that "going online" is not a problem. A problem is going online to do a search for Hilton Hotels or United Airlines. We advise not to click on the link that comes up, but to open another screen and type in the website address. This ensures that you are dealing with the "real" Hilton or United. When we advise "book direct" we mean to book directly with the hotel or airline on their website. There's nothing wrong with using the internet, as long as you are careful and thoughtful. I'm sure none of us could imagine planning travel without it!