This is actually my question and I am seeking some responses. Today I posted fares for Chicago to Paris at $499 with Delta. Ticket prices I found for United nonstop flights were $507 round trip. Then a few hours later I see a similar post on SecretFlying.com.
Loyalty Traveler – AA, DL, UA $499 Chicago to Paris Sep 28-Oct 20, $466 Amsterdam, $533 London.
When I examine the airfare links on SecretFlying.com going through OTA meta-search engine Momondo.com, the fares for the same United flights I priced earlier today come up on different online travel agency sites at ticket prices up to $80 lower.
How do they do it? Are these sites taking a loss on ticket prices?
Here are some examples using Chicago fares available today I found through Google Flights at 12:30pm Pacific time.
Click through the United links and I get the $499 fare.
United Airlines Chicago ORD – Paris CDG nonstop flights
$498.86 Mon Oct 10 – Tue Oct 18
Plug these same dates into Momondo.com and the ticket price for these same United nonstop flights comes out significantly lower through several OTA sites. All these fares were searched around 12:45pm Pacific time.
Momondo.com shows four OTA sites with the same United Airlines flights priced from $50 to $70 lower than united.com. The other 18 OTA sites are priced in $490s.
The same Chicago – Paris United Airlines nonstop flights priced at $498.86 round trip on united.com are being sold for:
I notice all the lower fares are United/Star Alliance, even though American Airlines has the same $499 fare on these dates. I don’t see any discount fares for the American Airlines $499 tickets Chicago ORD – Paris CDG.
I have wondered many times why I don’t see many of the low fares shown on SecretFlying.com? Obviously I am not looking at booking through the lowest priced websites selling airline tickets.
Do any readers have answers to how the OTA sites are selling airline tickets at significantly lower prices than the airline’s themselves? Are they burning through venture capital funds to promote their sites?
Any reason not to book airline tickets through these lower priced online travel agencies?
Seems all I have are questions.