Sunday Savings Series: Booking Flights Through a Third Party Site

There are two different types of flights in this picture!

Third party sites can save you a lot of money when it comes to hotels and car rentals. (Just don’t use Hotwire.) Once when I rented a car the person behind the desk looked at the price and said, “Wow, that is such a good deal!” I’ve saved on hotels booking that way as well. Your flight is a different story.

I have three words to say about booking a flight through a third party site. Don’t do it. Since the beginning of the pandemic I’ve heard horror story after horror story about people who have tried to cancel or have had their flights canceled and did not get any help through the third party site. I know a couple who was stranded at the airport for over 24 hours. The airline couldn’t help because they hadn’t booked through them, and they couldn’t get in touch with anyone with the site that they booked through. They aren’t the only ones who have had that happen.

That doesn’t mean that the third party sites are useless when it comes to flights. I like to search to see what is available for the dates that I hope to fly. I can see the prices for all the airlines, check the times, and see who offers nonstop. When I find a flight that I think will work, I’ll then book directly through the airline. The price won’t be higher, and I’ll be able to earn airline points.

If you do search for a flight on a third party site, either do it on a private browser or clear your cache after your search. If you don’t, your search will be saved and the price on the third party site will be higher the next time you search. You also could be inundated with ads for the place that you were searching about.

We all want to save money when we travel, and often third party sites will allow you to do just that. Just keep in mind that it might not be the best way to book your flight. You want to know that you will be able to easily have assistance if there is a change, and booking directly through the airline will give you an added layer of support. The same thing often goes for things like theme park tickets. Back in 2019 I shared with you a “deal” on Walt Disney World tickets that was no deal at all. You can read about that here.