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Booking international flights


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#1 SilverSky

Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:44 AM

So I was wondering what is cheaper - booking direct with the airline or through an agent?
I'm looking at Vietnam or Cambodia so have done some searches on Malaysian airlines and Singapore however if I go into a travel agent are they likely to offer the same price?

I would prefer to go with an agent so they can organise the visa etc. Not sure about accommodation yet.

Do agents price match what you find online?

#2 PrincessPeach

Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:50 AM

I go to Harvey Norman & they always match the prices I've found online.

The other thing i've found is they can often package accomodation & flights together, so your accomodation ends up cheaper than what you can book yourself, plus transfers are easy to arrange.

#3 jai*

Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:52 AM

Harvey Norman?

I always check the comparison websites, Zuji, Skyscanner etc and then book with whomever is cheaper. The airlines are working hard at being the lowest price available!

When I went to Vietnam we booked directly with Jetstar. It was a horrible trip, but it was super cheap so I would do it again. But I'd prefer to use Vietnam Airlines.

#4 PrincessPeach

Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:59 AM

Sorry Harvery World!  ddoh.gif

Just imagine the look on the faces of the staff if i walked into harvey norman asking to book a holiday... roll2.gif

Only 1 1/2 days of work to go.

Edited by PrincessPeach, 20 December 2012 - 10:59 AM.


#5 jai*

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:01 AM

QUOTE (PrincessPeach @ 20/12/2012, 11:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry Harvery World!  ddoh.gif

Just imagine the look on the faces of the staff if i walked into harvey norman asking to book a holiday... roll2.gif

Only 1 1/2 days of work to go.


LOL that's what I was thinking!

#6 Peanut

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:07 AM

QUOTE (PrincessPeach @ 20/12/2012, 10:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry Harvery World!  ddoh.gif

Just imagine the look on the faces of the staff if i walked into harvey norman asking to book a holiday... roll2.gif

Only 1 1/2 days of work to go.


laughing2.gif

Good one!



#7 HRH Countrymel

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:08 AM



QUOTE (PrincessPeach @ 20/12/2012, 11:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just imagine the look on the faces of the staff if i walked into harvey norman asking to book a holiday... roll2.gif



Well I'd expect them to at least try to sell you an itty bitty book light, neck pillow, and some travel adaptors for all the small electrical items they were offloading on you!




OP I'd simply do a run down of the prices you can get off the web and then compare them to what the agent can offer you.  Often it is worth paying a little extra just to have someone else do all the running around for you.

I've done it both ways and each has had it's pitfalls.  

The most important thing though is to organise travel insurance.

#8 PrincessPeach

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:09 AM

At least I can add some enteratinment to this otherwise dragging on forever day!

Although Harvey Norman do price match..

Edited by PrincessPeach, 20 December 2012 - 11:11 AM.


#9 FeralAlpacasFool

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:27 AM

Flight Centre's policy is to beat any price (only by $1 but still) on flights if you find a price online, print up the info from the page and take it to them on the same day.

Eta if you do this and they DON'T beat the price, ie accidentally charge you the same or more, their policy is to give you the flights for free.

Edited by lovealpacas, 20 December 2012 - 11:29 AM.


#10 emlis22

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:33 AM

I always go through an agent (flight centre in particular). I have a good relationship with one agent in particular now and I think it really helps. I just like that he can tell me good places to go, where to stay, can do you quotes to mull over, and you can email them with any 'dumb' questions you might have leading up to the trip.

The price is no different. When I was booking some internal flights in the US - the agent basically said we don't book through with company, but you can do so using our credit card. Same happened when I was looking for my flight over to the US. I found the cheapest one, and went in and booked with the agent. I just liked having the feeling that if something didn't work out, the travel agent was there to fall back on and help out (like chasing our luggage for us when it didn't arrive in Phuket!).

#11 FeralAlpacasFool

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:46 AM

QUOTE (emlis22 @ 20/12/2012, 12:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I always go through an agent (flight centre in particular). I have a good relationship with one agent in particular now and I think it really helps. I just like that he can tell me good places to go, where to stay, can do you quotes to mull over, and you can email them with any 'dumb' questions you might have leading up to the trip.

The price is no different. When I was booking some internal flights in the US - the agent basically said we don't book through with company, but you can do so using our credit card. Same happened when I was looking for my flight over to the US. I found the cheapest one, and went in and booked with the agent. I just liked having the feeling that if something didn't work out, the travel agent was there to fall back on and help out (like chasing our luggage for us when it didn't arrive in Phuket!).


Emlis he doesn't charge you a credit card fee that makes the price dearer does he? Because I know of someone who did, and the client then got $4k worth of flights for free original.gif


#12 Fairey

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:46 AM

I'm the same, OP. I find the prices online and then go into Flight Centre. They are always happy to match, and I also like that I have them to fall back on if things go wrong.
And I have a fantastic travel agent who is always willing to go above and beyond what others in the past have done (ie search different airlines and seeing whether prices are cheaper from other capital cities etc)

Enjoy your trip - Vietnam and Cambodia are on my to do list!!

#13 Isolabella

Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:53 PM

I have found agents don't match the online prices I have had. Directly book with Singapore for our last two trips.

Flight centre have been horrid in my experience.

Eg. Singapore Airlines flight online $10,000 FCC $12,400 they said their allocation of sale seats was gone and they could not price match.


Edited by lsolaBella, 20 December 2012 - 01:59 PM.


#14 Justaduck

Posted 20 December 2012 - 02:01 PM

QUOTE (lovealpacas @ 20/12/2012, 11:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Flight Centre's policy is to beat any price (only by $1 but still) on flights if you find a price online, print up the info from the page and take it to them on the same day.

Eta if you do this and they DON'T beat the price, ie accidentally charge you the same or more, their policy is to give you the flights for free.


We took in quotes to a friend of mine at FC. She could beat them, but by the time you add on credit card surcharge (only way my parents will pay) it ended up $12pp dearer. Considering if we will do it that way or not. The airline we were looking at didn't charge the same CC fees

Also, there was a big story in the paper about Flight Centre lowest airfare guarantee...they legally do not have to honour it at all.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/travel/qcat-...f-1226534439372



#15 Isolabella

Posted 20 December 2012 - 02:45 PM

Yes I went and booked the $10k flights direct with Singapore two days later. The flights and sets were still available.



#16 2bundles

Posted 21 December 2012 - 02:44 AM

Agents don't have access to all airlines. If I was going to se Asia I would be looking at Air Asia, Jetstar, Scoot etc. these airlines are all cheapest on their own website. Visas are not hard.




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