Post Content

With the warm weather here, many consumers are looking to book summer vacations now to save money on expensive flights and destinations. The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation recently conducted a survey of four popular travel booking websites.

Consumer Affairs researchers surveyed– Travelocity, Expedia, Priceline, and Orbitz – and searched for flights and hotel stays in Los Angeles, Houston, Orlando, and New York City. Researchers looked at round-trip flights departing Boston Logan Airport on August 2, 2015, and returning on August 9, 2015, searching for the least expensive option.

Of the 16 flights surveyed, 13 were the exact same price . Three cheaper flights were actually found on the airline’s official website. The price differences were small, ranging between $12 and $22.

We did find that consumers can save big when booking package deals through the travel booking sites, versus booking flights and hotels separately. For example, the flight and hotel package deal to New York City cost only $1,561.88 on Travelocity, compared to $2,567.23 when booking separately through the companies’ website. The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation advises consumers to consider the following when booking airfare and hotels online:

• Package deals typically offer the lowest price. However, consumers should be thorough when researching the terms and conditions of the package deals on the travel booking websites, and at each airline and hotel website before purchasing. Check both the travel booking sites as well as separate airline and hotel sites. Sometimes the prices on the airlines or hotels website were cheaper than the same airlines or hotels booked separately through the travel booking websites. Don’t forget to check the airlines’ or hotels’ websites for special deals—you might find a better price when booking them separately. We found that the cheapest flight available when booked separately on a travel booking website was often close to the price of the cheapest flight found on the airlines’ website.

• Check other comparison sites. There are many ways to double-check the prices listed for airfare, hotel stays, or package deals. Kayak.com and Trivago.com are price comparison sites, but make sure to note that you cannot book through that site.

• Use a credit card. It is always safer to complete online transactions using a credit card because credit cards have more consumer protections than debit cards do. You may also be able to earn rewards points or mileage towards another trip.

• Pay attention to policies for low-cost airlines. On Expedia and Travelocity, consumers can cancel traditional airline bookings through their websites , but consumers with tickets on low-cost carriers must contact the airline directly. For Expedia and Travelocity, low-cost carriers consist of Volaris, Interjet, AirAsia, and Spirit Airlines.

Written By:

Recent Posts

National Preparedness Month: National Flood Insurance Program Facts posted on Sep 22

National Preparedness Month: National Flood Insurance Program Facts

You never know when rainfall may lead to a major flood. National Preparedness Month is a great time to make sure your home and belongings are prepared for the unexpected. Having a flood in your home can cause major destruction, leading to costly repairs. Programs   …Continue Reading National Preparedness Month: National Flood Insurance Program Facts

Ballot Question 1: Right to Repair posted on Sep 18

Ballot Question 1: Right to Repair

Should you, or shouldn’t you? 2020 Massachusetts Ballot Question 1 has a lot of voters wondering which option is best for the people of the Commonwealth as proponents on each side spend millions on advertising to convince you to vote one way or the other.   …Continue Reading Ballot Question 1: Right to Repair

Tuition Reimbursement Insurance posted on Sep 17

Tuition Reimbursement Insurance

There are lots of things that parents worry about when they send their children off to college, a global pandemic has not conventionally been one of them – until now. A year ago, no one would have predicted the outbreak of Coronavirus, or its impact   …Continue Reading Tuition Reimbursement Insurance