Thursday, June 29, 2006

My Airline Ticket Purchasing Tip = Cheating the System? My Response To a Comment.

I wrote a post earlier about buying airline tickets, and I received one comment, but it was a good one, from Anonymous:
you actually post tips like this?
I took that comment as sort of a jab at the fact that my post suggests cheating or taking advantage of a site like Expedia or Orbitz, but a comment I appreciate none the less. In fact, so much so, that I'm going to respond in its own post. I definitely don't condone "using" another site simply to, well, take advantage of them. However, I do believe in the mantra, "the marketplace drives all decisions." Even if I didn't post it, I'm sure others have already been doing it. So that being the case, the question becomes, "Is it okay to use _______ travel site for the sole purpose of finding the best price, and then booking it to the airline's site to actually purchase the ticket(s)?"

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To me, the answer is a firm, YES! One of the reasons I blog is to share my knowledge of how I save money, not to benefit an airline or travel agency. If consumers start taking advantage of a service made available on a site like Expedia, Orbitz, etc. and then go and purchase tickets at the airline site, then maybe the business model at Expedia, Orbitz, etc. needs to change. For example, they could charge for the service of finding the cheapest flight. In any event, I definitely don't condone cheating. To me this is not "cheating" the system, as consumers, we are the marketplace for travel sites like Orbitz and Expedia. Thus, if informed consumers start doing this more frequently, than the travel agencies need to make the change, not us. Wouldn't you agree?

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