has anyone used Sidestep?

Sep 21st, 2003, 05:41 AM
  #1  
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has anyone used Sidestep?

(Wasn't sure which forum to post this in so have asked in other forums as well.) Has anyone used this company to book flights? Would be grateful for any comments on this company.
Mary1 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2003, 05:52 AM
  #2  
 
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I've used sidestep to check competitive prices, Mary, but have never actually booked from their website. I was under the impression that you were routed to other websites to book (ie if you see a fare on United airlines & click select, you're routed to United)& that sidestep was not actually a booking agent, but I could be wrong. I don't think they have prices that are unavailable elsewhere. So if you see an airfare price that suits you, I'd try going to that airline's website to book it directly, but others may have a different opinion.
mclaurie is offline  
Sep 21st, 2003, 07:00 AM
  #3  
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thanks -I've only just checked their prices and have not gone as far as booking yet.
Mary1 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2003, 10:26 AM
  #4  
 
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Hi Mary,

Yes I have used it to both compair prices and I did book a flight through them on US Air for my sister who is in another state. She got a really good fare this way.

Mclaurie is right, when you hit select it brings you to another site to book.

I had been following prices on Sidestep to Rome in May - I missed a really good price on Sidestep waiting for my sister to respond! I ended up taking a chance and then having to get it on Priceline, which I had never used before. Luckily it worked out fairly close to the price I saw on the Sidestep site, but I wish I would have nabbed it.

I found it works well and hope this helps.

Best, E
ecat is offline  
Sep 21st, 2003, 01:13 PM
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Today's Houston Chronicle had an article about SideStep. We booked flights to Venice 3 weeks ago through sidestep. Sidestep is a search engine that checks numerous sites for price and availability. The article stated that Travelocity and Expedia are not included in the search because they are not "members". You'd have to check them separately. Once you decide to purchase, sidestep swings you over to an independent booking agency - ours happened to be airfare.com. The tickets were actually issued from a travel agency in Virginia. We have a cruise ship to catch and we're travelling on Christmas day so we booked early. The same flight (3 weeks later) is now $300 cheaper (for 2 people). We checked back with the booking agent and the only thing you can do at this point is cancel the tickets we have now and get new ones issued ($150 each ticket to do so) so it would be a wash $wise. As with any online ticketing service, be sure you can stand it if you find a cheaper price later because there is no turning back if you don't want to lose money. The service with sidestep was good though.
Txrangerterry is offline  
Sep 21st, 2003, 02:21 PM
  #6  
 
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The aspect of Sidestep that led me to delete it from my machine is that it is a form of "spyware" that collects and reports (not sure to whom) your online activity, ostensibly so that you will receive marketing ads more targeted to your preferences.
Seamus is offline  
Sep 21st, 2003, 03:32 PM
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I hadn't heard that about SideStep, Seamus...where did you learn that? I've had it on both home and work PCs for about 2 years and really hadn't noticed any targeted ads popping up.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 06:35 AM
  #8  
 
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Yes, I have noticed that when I'm browsing on expedia, orbitz, or some of the airline websites, Sidestep pops up automatically and suggests I do a price comparison. Each time so far, Sidestep price has NOT been lower.
elaine is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 06:56 AM
  #9  
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thanks for the replies. I have always used Expedia in the past( after checking other sites).
Txrangerterry
I just dont do searches once I've booked as I know I'd be annoyed if I find it cheaper!
Mary1 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 10:25 AM
  #10  
 
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I think Sidestep popping up when you look at other sites is supposed to be a "feature" rather than spying. It is a basic fact about it I've read a lot. However, I finally deleted it from my computer because it never actually worked correctly. ON the other hand, I started receiving spam email from the Sidestep people themselves. It took quite a while to get them to stop, so I'm not a big fan of them.

I imagine it doesn't search Travelocity and Expedia because they are competitors. IN theory, it shouldn't be necessary as most of what they list are regular flights from airline sources. I think I've heard Travelocity and Expedia may sometimes have their own flight deals, but I've never run across one.
Christina is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 10:58 AM
  #11  
 
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I have used sidestep several times and have been pleased with them. Their prices seem to fluctuate more than those of Expedia and Travelocity, but that has always worked to my favor. I keep checking back for a week or two (if I have enough lead time),and they almost always give me the best price. Also, I have found prices through them that were not available on the airlines' own websites (don't quite know why not), but you should check both just to be sure.
walkabout is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 04:34 PM
  #12  
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I've used Sidestep mainly to compare prices and it has been helpful. Re the supposed "spyware" issue....believe me, once you've used Orbitz or Expedia to book anything you'll be getting some "promotional" e-mails as a result. I can just imagine what Fodors must be doing with all the commentary here..if anyone really thinks this site was set up strictly for travelers' "convenience" and "sharing" info should remember that the sharing can be done with a lot of people..and I have a feeling that it very much is. Hitting the delete key more frequently than we'd like is sometimes a price we have to pay I guess.
 

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