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(Washington Post)   Airline says sure, you can shop around, but if you want to pick your seat, earn more miles and pay lower fees, you'd better a) be a frequent flyer, b) have their credit card, or c) book their flights on their own web site?   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 27
    More: Interesting, frontiers, travel agencies, lion's shares, Travelocity, Spirit Airlines, Orbitz, airlines, Virgin America  
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1492 clicks; posted to Business » on 12 Sep 2012 at 7:06 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



27 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-09-12 07:37:41 AM
I've never flown Frontier, but given that the "majors" require me to either be "elite" (fly, say, 25,000 miles or more a year on them) or get their "special" credit card (the one with "no annual fee" for the first year, and probably $400 annual fee every year after that), this honestly seems a lot easier.

Does it mean having to bookmark another web site and do another search to see if you're getting the best price? Sure. But I've either worked for, or have former co-workers who've worked for, all of the big four (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, CheapTickets) air travel sites in the US, and if you're really looking for the best prices, you'd not going to just search one site anyway.
 
2012-09-12 07:43:19 AM
Why does that headline not parse through my English syntax processor?
 
2012-09-12 08:10:03 AM
"Particularly for families, it provides an incentive to book directly," said Daniel Shurz, Frontier's senior vice president, commercial. "There is no logical reason for our customers to want to book anywhere else."

Obviously there was a logical reason for them to book elsewhere and you've pissed on that.
 
2012-09-12 08:17:53 AM

stpauler: Obviously there was a logical reason for them to book elsewhere and you've pissed on that.


Yeah, like the Expedia person points out, being able to combine flights on different airlines for a trip. If an airline wants people to book through their site, they really have to make sure it works well, too. Delta's site refuses to admit that one of its partners does fly to my city, and therefore claims I can't get anywhere from here. So if I'm stuck flying Delta, I'm forced to book somewhere else.

Of course, combining multiple airlines is a two-edged sword. I just had an itinerary on All Nippon, United, and Hawaiian. I couldn't do on-line checkin on any of their web sites, and when it came time to check in at the airport, the ANA counter initially said they couldn't find my first flight, and on Hawaiian's end, their kiosks said I had no ticket. The agents were able to sort things out, but it should've been a lot easier.
 
2012-09-12 08:47:14 AM
Airlines hate the idea of competition. This shouldn't surprise anyone.
 
2012-09-12 09:03:57 AM
This is sad, but mostly because Frontier tends to be pretty awesome in my experience, and the person in charge of travel at our company won't ever check their site if it means an extra step :(
 
2012-09-12 09:04:50 AM
Keep in mind that if you book through a 3rd party and there is a problem with your flight, it may cost extra to bring the booking from the agent to the airline. That is one reason I prefer booking directly with the hotel/airline/whatever when possible. They can be more flexible when problems pop up.
 
2012-09-12 09:05:50 AM

Reyvacs: This is sad, but mostly because Frontier tends to be pretty awesome in my experience, and the person in charge of travel at our company won't ever check their site if it means an extra step :(


Our travel agent sucks as well. Not sure why we use them. But I'll find the flights I want and tell them to book that one rather than wait to see if they can find something.
 
2012-09-12 09:35:05 AM
http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

Then book where ever you want, usually calling them is the best bet and just read off the fancy booking codes to get that exact price.
 
2012-09-12 10:00:21 AM
Here's how I book business flights:

1) Check Kayak, Travelocity, whatever for flights from/to/when I need to go.
2) See which airline is most convenient with spending a fortune.
3) Go to airline website.
4) Book flight.

All of that takes less time than calling up an airline, wading through the menu options, waiting on hold for 5-15 minutes.
 
2012-09-12 10:12:53 AM
Several years ago, American treated me like a red-headed step-child because my flight was canceled and my tickets had been purchased through - Christ, I don't remember - let's just say Expedia. I was dead last in being accomodated on a new flight. So yeah, I take the Craptastic strategy now: 1) Check Kayak/Orbitz/Whatever; 2) Book what I want on the winner's website.

At least that's when I don't just automatically book on JetBlue or Virgin America; between those two I usually find a good schedule and I don't have to worry about the legacy carrier's penchant for treating coach passengers like steerage on the Titanic.
 
2012-09-12 10:15:23 AM
I got a great deal on a RT with a 4 month gap this last summer by going to the airlines website. Sadly, that airline was United and they suck ass. but it was cheap.
 
2012-09-12 10:22:10 AM

Craptastic: Here's how I book business flights:

1) Check Kayak, Travelocity, whatever for flights from/to/when I need to go.



Might I suggest what I just mentioned: http://matrix.itasoftware.com/


What I like is that you can enter numerous destinations more than most sites let you. For example I was going to Yosemite. There are 3 equidistant airports from there and I didn't know which one would be best.
 
2012-09-12 11:25:58 AM
I would like to know where all this money actually goes.
 
2012-09-12 11:55:16 AM

darkscout: Craptastic: Here's how I book business flights:

1) Check Kayak, Travelocity, whatever for flights from/to/when I need to go.


Might I suggest what I just mentioned: http://matrix.itasoftware.com/


What I like is that you can enter numerous destinations more than most sites let you. For example I was going to Yosemite. There are 3 equidistant airports from there and I didn't know which one would be best.


Kayak does that. If you search by location name instead of airport name, you can select up to 4 airports in the vicinity (a map comes up showing the airports and distance from the location you want to go to).
 
2012-09-12 12:24:42 PM
When it comes to flying, the only rule anybody should follow is: Don't fly Delta, ever. That's it. Shop around for the best price, the most convenient airports, convenient times, and whatever else is important to you for your journey. But if you fly with Delta, even if it presented the cheapest flight at the most convenient place and the most convenient time, you will regret it. Nobody has ever flown Delta and not had a miserable experience with them.

Delta is the worst.
 
2012-09-12 01:37:32 PM

Why Would I Read the Article: When it comes to flying, the only rule anybody should follow is: Don't fly Delta, ever. That's it. Shop around for the best price, the most convenient airports, convenient times, and whatever else is important to you for your journey. But if you fly with Delta, even if it presented the cheapest flight at the most convenient place and the most convenient time, you will regret it. Nobody has ever flown Delta and not had a miserable experience with them.

Delta is the worst.


I gotta say, I'm a Delta Platinum flier and I've never had any major trouble from them. I fly 70-80 times a year (35-40 round trip flights) and they have only misplaced my bags twice in the past three years, and both times they bag showed up within 12 hours. Now, I admit, that as a frequent flier I may have a different experience than the average person, and I feel weird sticking up for big business, but I never understood the Delta hate.
 
2012-09-12 02:40:30 PM
I gotta say, I'm a Delta Platinum flier and I've never had any major trouble from them. I fly 70-80 times a year (35-40 round trip flights) and they have only misplaced my bags twice in the past three years, and both times they bag showed up within 12 hours. Now, I admit, that as a frequent flier I may have a different experience than the average person, and I feel weird sticking up for big business, but I never understood the Delta hate.

I don't fly nearly as often as you, maybe 5-6 times per year. So maybe 100 flights in my lifetime, about 6-7 with Delta. Something goes wrong with Delta every single time, like lost luggage, overcharging my credit card, once they even canceled a return flight and I had to pay Southwest $400 for a same day cross country flight, and Delta refused to reimburse either my original ticket, which they had sold to somebody else, or the additional $400 I had to pay. I've had delays, mechanical defects on other flights; I understand that things sometimes go wrong, but every single time I've ever flown Delta, something majorly wrong has happened, and it will be a cold day in hell before I give those rat bastards another cent.
 
2012-09-12 02:50:55 PM

Why Would I Read the Article: I gotta say, I'm a Delta Platinum flier and I've never had any major trouble from them. I fly 70-80 times a year (35-40 round trip flights) and they have only misplaced my bags twice in the past three years, and both times they bag showed up within 12 hours. Now, I admit, that as a frequent flier I may have a different experience than the average person, and I feel weird sticking up for big business, but I never understood the Delta hate.

I don't fly nearly as often as you, maybe 5-6 times per year. So maybe 100 flights in my lifetime, about 6-7 with Delta. Something goes wrong with Delta every single time, like lost luggage, overcharging my credit card, once they even canceled a return flight and I had to pay Southwest $400 for a same day cross country flight, and Delta refused to reimburse either my original ticket, which they had sold to somebody else, or the additional $400 I had to pay. I've had delays, mechanical defects on other flights; I understand that things sometimes go wrong, but every single time I've ever flown Delta, something majorly wrong has happened, and it will be a cold day in hell before I give those rat bastards another cent.


I've always wondered if people would stop hating Atlanta airport so much if Delta went out of business and had their slots divided between several other airlines.
 
2012-09-12 03:56:07 PM

Reyvacs: This is sad, but mostly because Frontier tends to be pretty awesome in my experience, and the person in charge of travel at our company won't ever check their site if it means an extra step :(


Yeah Frontier is my favorite domestic carrier. To the point where when we had a tie on where to go for vacation, we picked the place Frontier served so we could fly them.
 
2012-09-12 06:27:13 PM

Reyvacs: This is sad, but mostly because Frontier tends to be pretty awesome in my experience, and the person in charge of travel at our company won't ever check their site if it means an extra step :(


Really? My experience has been nothing but piss poor.
 
2012-09-12 06:29:56 PM

Avonmore: Why Would I Read the Article: When it comes to flying, the only rule anybody should follow is: Don't fly Delta, ever. That's it. Shop around for the best price, the most convenient airports, convenient times, and whatever else is important to you for your journey. But if you fly with Delta, even if it presented the cheapest flight at the most convenient place and the most convenient time, you will regret it. Nobody has ever flown Delta and not had a miserable experience with them.

Delta is the worst.

I gotta say, I'm a Delta Platinum flier and I've never had any major trouble from them. I fly 70-80 times a year (35-40 round trip flights) and they have only misplaced my bags twice in the past three years, and both times they bag showed up within 12 hours. Now, I admit, that as a frequent flier I may have a different experience than the average person, and I feel weird sticking up for big business, but I never understood the Delta hate.


Yeah, I've had the same experience. American Airlines is the one that always seems to have flights delayed or canceled, and a 3-4 hr luggage drag (if not lost outright).
 
2012-09-12 09:08:49 PM

Avonmore: Now, I admit, that as a frequent flier I may have a different experience than the average person, and I feel weird sticking up for big business, but I never understood the Delta hate.


The people who work for Delta are pretty nice but the club sucks (what kind of airline charges for drinks in the club) and the international business seat is too freaking small at the feet. The food is decent tho.

But for me I'll fly SQ, LH, and UA, before DL again.
 
2012-09-13 01:10:36 AM

wingnut396: Reyvacs: This is sad, but mostly because Frontier tends to be pretty awesome in my experience, and the person in charge of travel at our company won't ever check their site if it means an extra step :(

Our travel agent sucks as well. Not sure why we use them. But I'll find the flights I want and tell them to book that one rather than wait to see if they can find something.


They're probably finding flights that bring them the highest commission rather than those that bring you the best deal.
 
2012-09-13 05:01:04 PM

thornhill: darkscout: Craptastic: Here's how I book business flights:

1) Check Kayak, Travelocity, whatever for flights from/to/when I need to go.


Might I suggest what I just mentioned: http://matrix.itasoftware.com/


What I like is that you can enter numerous destinations more than most sites let you. For example I was going to Yosemite. There are 3 equidistant airports from there and I didn't know which one would be best.

Kayak does that. If you search by location name instead of airport name, you can select up to 4 airports in the vicinity (a map comes up showing the airports and distance from the location you want to go to).


Itasoftware is much more robust, you can have it check about 1/3 of Europe all at the same time.
 
2012-09-13 05:42:35 PM

stpauler: thornhill: darkscout: Craptastic: Here's how I book business flights:

1) Check Kayak, Travelocity, whatever for flights from/to/when I need to go.


Might I suggest what I just mentioned: http://matrix.itasoftware.com/


What I like is that you can enter numerous destinations more than most sites let you. For example I was going to Yosemite. There are 3 equidistant airports from there and I didn't know which one would be best.

Kayak does that. If you search by location name instead of airport name, you can select up to 4 airports in the vicinity (a map comes up showing the airports and distance from the location you want to go to).

Itasoftware is much more robust, you can have it check about 1/3 of Europe all at the same time.


I don't see the practicality of that. If I want to go to Paris, for example, whatever savings there may be from flying into an airport 50 miles outside of the city proper are going to be lost to the time and expense of traveling those last 50 miles.

I played around with Matrix for a bit. Kayak has easier to use and better filtering with take-off, landing and layover times. Kayak also lets you filter by plane type, amenities (such as WiFi), red-eye, and a bunch of other stuff.
 
2012-09-14 09:40:25 AM
. If I want to go to Paris, for example, whatever savings there may be from flying into an airport 50 miles outside of the city proper are going to be lost to the time and expense of traveling those last 50 miles.

And what if you just want to get to europe? What if you want to search the cheapest day to fly over the next month to get somewhere? Or search for more than 4 airports. Sometimes the schedule is more important than the cost. It's how I found out how to get to Berlin on business a few hours before everyone else.
 
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