Any experience with Bestfares.com?

Apr 30th, 2005, 11:52 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 302
Any experience with Bestfares.com?

In researching airfare options for Romania, I found some options on bestfares.com. In particular, $1220 RT from SLC with a "free" stayover in London, or $809 RT from NYC with a stayover in Rome (I can get from SLC to NYC for about $250 RT). Site info states that these fares do not include government taxes and a processing fee. Plus it notes that the fares are based on a "rebate" you get after travel is complete. Without being a bestfare member (for about $60) I can't access more info. Any opinions or personal experiences with this site?
NatalieM is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 02:33 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,260
I've used BestFares in the past..they are a consolidator and reliable IMO.

What I would be concerned about in this case is/are:

"government taxes" which might add a substantial amount

As I recall when you posted your first message I found an approximately $1400 RT fare from SLC to Bucharest (not knowing your exact dates) at Onetravel.com and that INCLUDED taxes and airport fees. I'm not sure the BestFares $1220 NOT including taxes and fees is all that different. But it didn't include any free stayovers, either, and this is something to consider.

I assume that $809 fare to NY also doesn't include taxes and fees. Can you get to NY from SLC and not have the hassle of changing airports and the additional time and money that involves? Is the connection time adequate?

Bottom line: BestFares is totally reputable IMO but I do think you have to, as you are doing, analyze all these options very carefully.

Intrepid1 is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 05:29 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I'll repeat what I have posted many times before: bestfares.com was the worst travel money I have ever spent in my life. I tried this membership two years in a row and while I travel a tremendous amount, never, ever, ever did I find them to have a better deal/route that I wasn't able to beat by doing minimal research on the internet. Their phone service is dismal, their travel agents sounded so inexperienced (I can give you plenty examples of this), their "magazine" was glossy garbage. In summary, the only one getting a good deal off bestfares.com is the owner, laughing all the way to the bank.....

My advice is: 1) call arilines directly, 2) consider flying to a European major hub and using an intraEurope airline from there, 3) per personal experience, I recommend the following web consolidators: cheaptickets, expedia, travelocity, superbreak, go-today.com.

Best of luck and IMHO, stay away from bestfares.com.
Viajero2 is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 05:53 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I'll say it again: if you stick only with Cheaptickets, Orbitz, Expedia, etc., you are possibly doing yourself a disservice.
Intrepid1 is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 08:01 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,098
We got a great rate from BWI to FRA two years ago on Besfares. $451 midweek and $491 weekend in mid-June. At that time they had a two-week subscription cancellation policy if you were unable to find a trip. They changed that, so we didn't renew our subscription.

Before taking the $491 fare (we had no choice but to travel on the weekend), we checked with individual airlines, Orbitz, Travelocity, several consolidator 800 #s, and a bunch of other online sites like Cheaptickets--the closest we came was $90 higher per ticket after accounting for the membership fee.

So our experience with them was great. But because they did change their subscription cancellation policy, we never used them again. By the way, they did bargain down $15 on the membership fee.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 08:10 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,777
The taxes and fees should be around $75-100, probably. The processing fee is their own, of course, and they should state on their website somewhere what it is, don't they? If not, I wouldn't consider them, because that isn't good business practice.

I've never heard anything good about them and wouldn't do business with any company that makes you pay a fee to access supposed special airfares. I also wouldn't buy any air ticket with some disclaimer about needing to get a rebate after travel. That sounds totally bogus. What's the point of that anyway, if it's a legitimate rebate, they should take it off the price of the ticket, as I assume the ticket is nonrefundable. So whether you complete the travel should be irrelevant if you have to pay for it, if the ticket is nonrefundable. Even if refundable, most of those now don't really give you your money back, but allow you to apply it to another trip with another change fee. They still have your money, either way.

Christina is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 08:19 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 185
Hi Natalie,

I've used Bestfares in the past once with no problems. They basically match up prospective travelers with travel agencies, consolidators etc. A friend of mine had a horrible experience last year. He made many calls, only to get the response of "oh, that was a promotional fare that is sold out - let me find something else for you"($200 more expensive). When he finally did book something, there were many problems and the customer service is a joke. I would steer clear of them unless you haven't any other options.
whitey is offline  
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