Booking a flight on-line is the easiest way to purchase your trip, but knowing where and where not to book can make a big difference.
All major airlines (and most regional operators) allow you to book your flights on-line. The advantages are that in most cases, you are given frequent flyer bonus miles for booking with the airline directly.
The disadvantages are that you only see the flight options that carrier has. With an on-line travel agent, you’re presented with flights from all carriers, allowing you to select the schedule and price that meets your needs. Also, on-line agencies and their partners have access to more hotel rooms, meaning if you want to save by bundling your airfare and hotel, you will find more options through an on-line agency.
But with so many travel sites out there, how do you know who is repudiable and who wants to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge? Simple, look for a site that features one of the leading on-line travel agencies. Many sites provide free info on a topic, and also have a place where you can check on the price and schedules of flights, and even book directly there. Our advice is two-fold: make sure the site you’re on supports one of the major on-line agencies (Expedia, Hotwire, and Kayak are our favorites) or airlines, and take a look at the site to make sure its not a one-page wonder. To compare major agencies, click here.