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  1. #1
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    14 Apr 2003
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    Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire/ Khao Yai, Korat
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    Default A Warning to the Less Experienced

    I have just booked my flights for February/March direct with Etihad. I hate booking direct with them as it always takes ages and rarely runs smoothly. I much prefer to book with an agent like Southall where the whole thing is done and dusted in just a few minutes. However, as I was paying part cash and part reward miles, I had no choice but to go direct.

    Prior to calling I checked out the prices on Etihad's website. I called quite late which although not a problem with Southall, can result in quite a wait as after a certain time calls are diverted to Abu Dhabi - this time I waited 14 minutes for them to answer!! I told the agent which flights and seat classes I wanted and after a long time he came back to me saying that would cost me 57,000 miles and £348!! When I checked online the total cash price was £426 so that meant 57,000 miles were only worth £78. I was having none of it. I told the agent to check again as there was no way that could be right.

    It turned out he had ignored the seat classes I'd requested and picked more expensive ones. This is not the first time I've had a similar problem when I've booked direct with them. Often, flights that are actually available don't show up on Etihad's flight search. In the end I got the classses I wanted and paid a lot less. The only good point was that he was able to offer me a better timed flight from Abu Dhabi to Bangkok which although a little more expensive, was showing as sold out on their website. The end result was £168 cash and 44,000 miles - I was happy with that.

    I find that when booking with Southall they are very aware of other competative prices and usually give me the best deal and point out any long layovers. However, I have sometimes found that their sister company Travel Trolley sometimes have a better price so even they are not infallible.

    If you've not booked flights very often - spend a few minutes checking out prices first and don't be afraid to question what you're told - especially direct to the airlines.

  2. #2

    Default

    I use Travel Trolley almost exclusively these days for my flights plus relatives plus stacks of Thais who rely on me to book for them at best prices. I'm at a loss as to what their husbands/partners look at for prices as rare I cant get it cheaper by at least a ton. £10 a flight they give me adds up over a year to £500 easy sometimes more

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