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International Flight to Tel Aviv- which search engines, self transfer questions

International Flight to Tel Aviv- which search engines, self transfer questions

Jan 23rd, 2019, 06:24 PM
  #1  
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International Flight to Tel Aviv- which search engines, self transfer questions

Hi, all! I have booked international flights before. It's the most nailbiting part of travel planning. Helping someone with a multi-leg routing to Tel Aviv, and he wants to visit one European city before going home. Last time for our family, I used Matrix ITA or skyscanner to find my flights, and ended up booking them for reasonable amounts on the airlines' own sites. At least once I got the credit card and picked up some great miles that way.

One big issue has always been checking the length of the layovers. Right now I am looking at Google Flights, which is new to me. They have a tab where you can set a minimum layover time, which seems really cool. Is this a feature on any other search engines? I'm not finding it but I've been wrong before. What methods are you all using these days?

I also usually check Kayak, which I did again. But I'm seeing something called "self-transfer" on some of their routings. Is that one of those warnings that if your connecting flight doesn't arrive in time, you are out of luck on re-booking? If not, what does self transfer actually mean? The dropdown was a bit obscure.

Finally, the flights I'm finding this time, I can't find them for near the prices on the actual airlines' websites for competitive prices. At all. In the past, I've booked domestic flights on Orbitz and Travelocity. I've never used a resellers for international. How bad of an idea is it? Is clicking through on Google Flights a bad idea? Thanks so much....

Last edited by 5alive; Jan 23rd, 2019 at 06:28 PM.
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Jan 23rd, 2019, 08:41 PM
  #2  
 
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>>But I'm seeing something called "self-transfer" on some of their routings. <<

Which routings? Without knowing that . . . perhaps its something like landing at LGW and departing from LHR and the transfer from one airport to the other is on the traveler. Or in to Orly and out of CDG . . . Just a thought.
janisj is online now  
Jan 24th, 2019, 03:55 AM
  #3  
 
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There are several sites where you can set the min/max layover time, including Kayak, Opodo for instance.

Self transfer means it is a DIY connection, maybe two separate tickets or one ticket with several airlines flights on it, if the incoming flight is late and you miss the connection, then the travel agent (I assume you saw this warning message relating to a booking that would be potentially made on an OTA site as they are the only ones that can support multi airline reservations and ticketing) will rebook the onward for you but the airline will not. Rebooking is with a fee (travel agent admin and airline) and possibly a fare differential

<< In the past, I've booked domestic flights on Orbitz and Travelocity. I've never used a resellers for international. How bad of an idea is it? >>

There is no difference in the mechanics of booking a domestic flight vs an international one. Booking a flight is booking a flight. Why would it be a bad idea to use Orbitz or Travelocity? They are not resellers, they book airline seats from live inventory.

Book where ever the price is best, whether it be an airline website or an OTA. Alot of the major OTAs were originally setup by airlines in the first place. If the price difference is small, book direct on the airline website, if the price difference is substantial, book on an OTA. Check their customer service info section, do you have to pay to call them if you need rebooking help, what are their T&Cs? Can you even contact them (applies to airline and/or OTA) easily or is it email only that will take days to get a reply on? The price is not just the price on the ticket but the price of changing/cancelling/contacting etc.
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Jan 24th, 2019, 11:47 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Odin View Post
There are several sites where you can set the min/max layover time, including Kayak, Opodo for instance.

Self transfer means it is a DIY connection, maybe two separate tickets or one ticket with several airlines flights on it, if the incoming flight is late and you miss the connection, then the travel agent (I assume you saw this warning message relating to a booking that would be potentially made on an OTA site as they are the only ones that can support multi airline reservations and ticketing) will rebook the onward for you but the airline will not. Rebooking is with a fee (travel agent admin and airline) and possibly a fare differential
Yes, you understood the situation correctly--it was through a site advertised on Kayak. And this was my fear.

Originally Posted by Odin View Post
<< In the past, I've booked domestic flights on Orbitz and Travelocity. I've never used a resellers for international. How bad of an idea is it? >>

There is no difference in the mechanics of booking a domestic flight vs an international one. Booking a flight is booking a flight. Why would it be a bad idea to use Orbitz or Travelocity? They are not resellers, they book airline seats from live inventory.

Book where ever the price is best, whether it be an airline website or an OTA. Alot of the major OTAs were originally setup by airlines in the first place.
No difference in booking a trip, sure. Fixing a trip that's gone wrong can be expensive. In the lower 48 at least, you can choose to get a train or drive home if the price is too high. Can't do that from Tel Aviv. You just have to put it on your credit card.

So regarding the "wherever price is best..." there are so many more now. Ask Kayak and I get CheapOAir, Flight Network, Just Fly. Flight Guru. I don't know a thing about them and I'm typing in all my information and giving them $1,000.

I was hoping to get some pointers on which ones you've all used.
5alive is online now  
Jan 26th, 2019, 08:24 AM
  #5  
 
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Google Flights is run by, yes, Google. Matrix.itasofware.com is older and also run by Google as information for airlines. It doesn't sell tickets but it is my impression -- I stand to be corrected -- that Matrix covers more flights. Its information helps buy the tickets elsewhere. I always go to the airline to buy -- less hassle, and nobody beats their prices. However, if an itinerary has several legs and the airlines don't sell each other's tickets, then I turn to an on-line agency. Google Flights is one but I like CheapoAir for ease of use (don't like the name, though). Also, for extras such as seat reservations, I go back to the airlines once the tickets are set.

Last edited by Southam; Jan 26th, 2019 at 08:27 AM.
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