Looking For A Travel Deal? Have Your Browser Do The Walking... Out Of The Country

from the go-local dept

With the Internet, we now have a whole range of options when we need to book travel, ranging from online travel services to "name your own price" services. Whether or not we are better off still is up for debate, but now a new angle has emerged in the quest for lower prices. Booking travel through non-US websites may yield travelers a better deal -- even for the same exact offering. In one example, the rental car price quoted was 58 percent lower when booked through the foreign site. Travel companies defend this practice, claiming that they need to be able to set different prices in different markets in order to compete. But, this is merely the economic principle of price discrimination at work -- if you're able to get a higher price for any reason, then it technically is exactly what the market will bear. The mere fact that American customers visit different websites than Spanish customers naturally segments the market. So, by being able to increase their utilization by lowering prices in the appropriate markets, the price of the goods is driven down in the long run by this practice. That said, people will still be pissed off by this practice because buying from a different website does not seem like a "reasonable" explanation for that price difference. At least companies have not implemented higher prices for the wealthy -- that would definitely raise some eyebrows.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2007 @ 5:45pm

    One cavaet:
    When doing business with a website or company out of the US, the customer may lose certain rights if anything were to go wrong with transaction, for example, if the site is located in England, the customer may be barred from suing them in the US if the customer loses his money.

     

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    dorpus, Oct 1st, 2007 @ 6:19pm

    добро пожаловать к России

    Sleazy Russian travel sites, anyone?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2007 @ 6:52pm

    Re: dorpus

    That's "добро пожаловать в Россию", smartass :)

    Then again, this is one practical example of how the knowledge of foreign languages pays off. =^.^=

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2007 @ 9:20pm

    Read the entire article, Dennis.

    Americans are rarely able to book that way for many reasons, including airline and rental comapny rules. If we were, the prices would level out at some point.

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 1st, 2007 @ 11:00pm

    Is it as simple as...

    What exactly is the issue here? Is it as simple as the fact that typical USian punters are allergic to clicking on any URL that doesn't end in .com? If you have to click on a .es address, or .co.nz, or whatever, to get a better deal, why feel pissed off about it? Why not just do it? I mean, is it costing you a lot of effort, or worry, or fear, or what?

     

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    Lucio, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 5:06am

    That happens already...

    We do exactly the same outside the U.S. Whenever we want to rent a car or book a flight we go to a U.S. site and get a far better deal than we would have if we've done it at home.

     

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    Alexio, Oct 2nd, 2007 @ 5:29am

    Yep. When travelling to Vietnam, I've got almost 30% better deal booking a flightthrough Hong Kong travel agency vs. Expedia. You have to be open minded, though. The process there was rather different, but at the end everything went smoothly. Moreover, local regulations allow you to change the flight dates without paying the penalty. Bonus....

     

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    iGuide, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 8:59pm

    Always Go Foreign!!!

    Knowing a foreign language helps too. Sometimes not even the language of the country you are visiting, as I had one experience where knowing Chinese was needed to get a good deal on a hotel in Venice!!

     

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    Tourism Center, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 4:07pm

    comments

    We do exactly the same outside the U.S. Whenever we want to rent a car or book a flight we go to a U.S. site and get a far better deal than we would have if we've done it at home.
    When travelling to Annam, I've got near 30% change flock employment a flightthrough Hong Kong length effectuation vs. Expedia. You soul to be yawning minded, tho'. The deliver there was rather opposite, but at the end everything went smoothly
    lucy

     

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