Traveling to Spain in March

Dec 2nd, 2016, 09:56 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 1
Traveling to Spain in March

Hi,

I am in the process of booking a flight from San Francisco to Madrid in March. By default I went to Kayak first and saw British Airways flights for $700. 1 stop each way. 3 of 4 legs are "operated by" different airlines (Iberia, American and American), but the layovers are good (3 hrs each).

Then I started reading about booking international flights through Kayak and Travelocity etc, and read horror stories about doing this. People saying don't do it, book directly through the airline for International travel.

Here is the problem, booking through British Airways directly for the dates I want is $1291. United Airlines is $1260. Lufthansa is $1350.

That is a major difference compared to what Kayak is showing.

Any advice here? I want peace of mind, but at the same time that is almost double the price...

Should I check back on another day? Day of week? Wait till January? Just book through Kayak?

Thanks!
Josh
JD2775 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2016, 05:27 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,464
You don't buy from kayak, you buy from whatever online TA kayak sends you to. (Personally, I start with skyscanner, not kayak, but it does the same thing.)

You are likely seeing a consolidator fare, read this:

http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/blog/...ator-airfares/
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 4th, 2016, 08:52 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,505
No site covers all flight possibilities, but www.itasoftware probably comes closest. It is a service for the airline industry, owned by Google. To buy tickets you have to go to the airlines themselves or, if it is a combination ticket for airlines that don't sell each other's seats, to an on-line agency. Kayak is one step further away, showing agencies (as well as airlines) that do the actual bookings. Search over a range of dates since prices can vary day by day.
Southam is offline  
Dec 4th, 2016, 08:54 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,505
Sorry, www.itasoftware.com
Southam is offline  
Dec 4th, 2016, 08:38 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,963
You are in luck, norwegian.com flies from Oakland several times a week to Madrid, with one stop in London, a long one but it lets you go into town. Dirt cheap, even when you take the "LowFare-PLUS" fare that includes luggage and food and a reserved seat. Probably about $800 roundtrip per person.

I have flown with Norwegian, twice, and liked them. Sure, they charge for bags and food and seats, but they start at such a low fare that the add-ons still leave you with huge savings. Planes are fine, nothing bad to say.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Dec 7th, 2016, 03:36 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 60
When Kayak shows "Multiple Airlines' in an itinerary it seems to mean the ticket will come from either a consolidator or is a "hacker fare" where you have to book with more than one airline by yourself. This is where you're getting a great price on Kayak.

There are pros and cons to both. The pro is low price. I've never used a consolidator. There are good stories and horror stories. The downside risk is too much for me. If it goes wrong it's really wrong. I've used hacker fares with no problem but be aware, if airline A has a problem then airline B doesn't care. You just missed your flight.

I recently bought tickets on Aegean Airlines through Kayak. Their website transferred me to either Priceline or Expedia and that's where I bought. No problems.

Normally I book directly with the airline for peace of mind.

Note on Madrid's airport: We used the metro to get from the airport to central Madrid, about 30 minutes, ~8 euros. I recall that the station is accessed from the UPPER level of Terminal 2. Research that before you go.
MichGuy is offline  
Dec 11th, 2016, 08:50 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,963
Not knowing your specific dates, I went to Kayak and input SFO-MAD R/T 3/15-3/29 for 2017.
Up came a 1-stop roundtrip combo for USD 530.66 inclusive of all taxes at www.exploretrip.com
Outbound:
Finnair flight AY5524 SFO-LHR (5:05PM-10:40AM)
BA flight 640 LHR-MAD (01:50PM-05:15PM).
Homebound:
Finnair flight AY 5653 MAD-JFK (12:10PM-02:30PM)

Can't come even close to this fare by going to Finnair or BA

Turns out that they are all BA flights.

I'm starting a separate thread about this - see "www.exploretrip.com - anyone?"
michelhuebeli is offline  

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