6 November 2013

While booking a flight ticket online, many of us face the dilemma on whether to book the tickets on an online travel portal or directly from the airlines website. There are pros and cons to both and it all depends on time of your travel, number of stop over and the destination.

Many people are the under the false notion that booking directly on an airline website means they can circumvent commissions charged by online travel portals. Unfortunately this is not the case; very often online travel portals will have an exclusive partnership with certain airliners. This will allow the portal to display fares which are much lower compared to what you will get when you book directly with the airlines. Another factor to note is the deals and discounts offered by online travel portals which will give you considerable savings on your flight ticket.  Booking your airline tickets online has another benefit of raking in reward points which you can redeem for future bookings. Though the trend of reward point system is catching up among airliners, very few have adopted the system till date.

Having said that, there are countless advantages of booking domestic flight ticket directly on an airline website. The most important of them is that you get to see an extensive flight schedule. Most airliners publish a comprehensive flight schedule which states the precise time at which their flight departs and arrives. This can be difficult to obtain from an online travel portal. So if your travel involves multiple stop over and flight changes, it might be a better idea to book directly with the airlines.  When you do an online flight booking with an airliner, they save a significant amount on overheads. Most airliners pass this savings on to the customer in the form of a discount. Another major advantage of booking directly with the airlines is the extended period for alteration or cancellation of your flight ticket. Most airliners allow you to make changes to the timing and seat as late as 24 hrs prior to departure. Making a change in timing or seat with an online travel portal tend to be cumbersome and they have a longer cut off duration for the same.

The next time you are confused whether to book cheapest airline ticket from an online travel agent or the airliners, take these things into consideration for helping you make the choice that works best for you.


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