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Independent ticketing

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We are frequent flyer members on United. I am planning a trip to Europe. I put our particulars into the United site and they listed a number of flights, all on United. I understand that they want to sell seats on their flights, but we have been growing disenchanted with United, and I wanted to see what was available on other members of the Star alliance.

I found the ITA site and they listed some attractive flights, but cautioned that they don't sell tickets themselves, and said I should take the information they found, which they listed in an easy-to-print format, to a travel agent.

I know that most of the travel agents are no longer in business in my town. So what is the best way to buy these tickets. Can I call United (and pay for the privilege) and have them book the tickets (that seems most convenient to me, as they already have all the information on us, such as passports and credit card, needed to get the tickets)?

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