The internet is the best place to find cheap airfares. While online travel agencies, or 'travel consolidators', lack the attention and service of a traditional travel agent, the ease of price comparison is unbeatable.
Online travel consolidators are able to undercut traditional agents because they can market to a wider audience online, attracting more customers, and cut their overheads by avoiding the expensive high-street rents and print advertising traditional travel agents have to spend.
Online travel consolidators
- Bargaintravel.com is one of the oldest independently owned travel agencies on the web. Includes all the major airlines and the U.S. domestic flight search provides price comparisons from 3 major flight engines at the same time.
- CheapTickets is one of the leading travel consolidators, part of the large Travelport Inc. group of companies.
- cFares offers you access to wholesale tickets not normally available to the public. Also the unique cAgent service which will search and hold tickets matching your itinerary and desired price point for 24 hours while you comparison shop. Full review of cFares on eyeflare.com.
- Cheap Flights has more than 700 travel companies displaying over one million deals each day.
- Economytravel.com provides a range of special deals airfares for travellers engaged in humanitarian roles such as aid, volunteering, church groups, and many more.
- Expedia is the net's biggest travel consolidator offering flight prices from all the major and most smaller airlines.
- Farecast is a new site aiming to forecast air ticket prices, whether the cost goes up or down, and give you buying recommendations within a 90-day window. The service is currently limited to 38 major airports in the United States but the concept is very interesting. Unfortunately, the service has been closed.
- Kayak.com. Kayak's meta-search engine helps you search across more than 100 airfare sites with just one click. This is a seriously good site if you like cheaper air tickets.
- Lowfares.com. The online travel bookings granddaddy. The site's been around since 1995 and has morphed into a meta search engine that's very effective. Full review at eyeflare.com.
- Orbitz is an award-winning flight search engine with more than 455 airlines included.
- Skyscanner uses search engine technology to obtain ticket information from airline websites. This gives visitors a single site to budget airline flight prices throughout Europe.
- STA Travel is a specialist student travel agent offering discount flight deals for students and travellers under 26. STA Travel compares flight prices across all major airline groups.
- Travelsupermarket provides flight comparison for budget airlines that are not usually included on some of the bigger sites. Also enables you to submit multiple departure airports for the same flight.
- Travelocity searches the lowest fares from hundreds of airlines, and gives you access to special web fares from major airlines. The .co.uk site is nowadays owned by lastminute.com and some features have been removed.
- Travel Secrets is the oldest online travel agency (est. 1996) and offers low cost consolidator airfare tickets; discount hotel bookings at low wholesale prices; villas, apartment and chalet rentals at popular resorts throughout US and Europe.
- TravelZoo focuses on providing good deals and travel information to travelers. Tickets aren’t bought on the site, but rather directly from the providers, but the deals on the site are picked by a team of 35 travel specialists. Very strong on packaged holidays and well worth a look.
Do you know of other online air travel consolidators? Had any experiences with the mentioned companies? Leave feedback with your opinion or link below.
Jumbo image by lupe.longo on flickr
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