The Awful Experience Of Booking Vacations Online

from the it-ain't-easy dept

I’ve been doing way too much traveling lately, and one thing I can say is definitely true: booking online really isn’t that much of a time saver. It may be a money saver, but the process is a complete hassle, and you really need to set aside a few hours to surf around, comparison shop and really figure out what you’re going to do. A new study (though, apparently done by a somewhat biased travel agents association) certainly agrees with that, finding that the promise of cheaper and easier vacations online hasn’t come true. I’d take the results with a grain of salt, considering who did the study, but it should be admitted that the online vacation booking process is hardly a breeze. Part of the problem, of course, is you never really know where to shop. Just today, Northwest Airlines announced that they’ll charge an extra $5 for any flight not booked online (matching a few other airlines), but there’s still the question of where online. As we mentioned last week, a number of major hotels have pulled out of, forcing you to shop around a bit. On the last trip I booked, I ended up getting the flight directly off the airline’s website (which got screwed up and required a phone call to fix), the rental car via Travelocity and the hotel via Priceline… and I still used Expedia, Hotwire and others for comparison purposes.

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Comments on “The Awful Experience Of Booking Vacations Online”

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Alex Moskalyuk (user link) says:

It seems the airlines just dont get it

There’s that fake pretense among airlines that the customers are loyal to the brand and will prefer to do the business the way they did 20 years ago – by calling up an agent and asking for a flight with the airline they recently saw on TV.

Meanwhile travel is always about money, and it’s always about saving money. By pulling out of various aggregators like Expedia and Travelocity they think they will take more comissions, while in fact it’s more hassle for the consumer. Heck, I’ve bought some vacations from Travelocity even as I wasn’t planning to – I was just subscribed to their last minute deals, and the prices seemed reasonable for getaways.

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