The Professor's Travel Blog

5 Worst Mistakes You Can Make in Booking Airfare or Hotels

Travel Better With These Booking Tips

Author: The Traveling Professor/Tuesday, February 27, 2018/Categories: Travel Tips

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Here are the worst mistakes you can make when booking airfare or hotels:

Booking Airfares on Expedia or Orbitz:  In fact, airfares should not be booked anywhere but directly with the airline. We have found when travelers book with non-airline websites they are not always notified of changes, when travelers need to make changes or cancellations on their own they need to go back to their online booking sites (good luck with that).   We find if flights are changed or cancelled due to weather or other issues, the passengers who booked directly with the airline are taken care of first, those who booked with another site are pushed to the side.   On top of it all, there is really no price advantage for booking on a site like Expedia or Orbitz.  Make sure to always book airfares directly with the airline.

Booking a Flight Connecting through LHR:  It often takes half an hour to get from one terminal to another, security is excrutiatingly detailed, and the long lines test the patience of any traveler.   Some of my flight attendant friends even refuse to take an assignment that goes through LHR.

Booking Super-Budget Airlines:   WOW and  Spirit airlines come to mind.  First of all, in the long run, after adding in all the fees, they are not budget flights any longer.  Then on top of it, the customer service can be horrible, even by airline standards.

Using a Credit Card without Travel Benefits:  When booking airfares, always use a credit card that provides at least trip cancellation/interruption insurance and if going overseas, provides emergency health and evacuation benefits.

Booking Hotels on a Travel Website:  What a mistake!  Hotels pay as much as 20% commission to sites like Expedia and Orbitz.  Book directly with hotels and get better terms (early check-in, breakfast, etc.) rather than going directly to a website.  Sometimes it is even better to call the hotel on the phone directly to get a better deal.  For instance, I commonly book a "park and fly" deal with a hotel in Boston.  If I book it online, the rate can be 100% higher than calling the hotel, speaking to the manager, and getting a better deal for my repeat business.  Another mistake of booking a hotel on a travel website is that you may not get the benefits of being in that hotel's rewards programs


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