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lmb18 Sep 11th, 2007 08:40 AM

safe to buy expedia-type tx?
Hi everyone, I've just started looking into Vancouver-Paris flights for next April/May, since we feel we should book our Paris apartment sooner rather than later, and I'm impressed by prices on, edreams, and flightcentre. But I've never purchased tx. on the internet before, and am a little leery about doing that. Is it safe? Is there anything I should be careful about vs. going to a travel agent? Thanks!!!

wombat7 Sep 11th, 2007 08:43 AM

Also check out the prices on - you might be able to beat the three that you mention.

lmb18 Sep 11th, 2007 08:51 AM

so, I guess you think there's no problem with buying tx. from one of these companies then? I'd be happy to hear about any differences you've found amongst these methods of obtaining tx. thanks!

Christina Sep 11th, 2007 09:17 AM

Never heard of the last two you name, but Expedia is a major company that has been around for years. It's perfectly safe, but just buying on the internet doesn't mean much in comparison to the exact company (Expedia versus some fly-by-night company that is one guy with a computer). If you want to avoid any middlemen, book on an airlines' own website, I usually do that if possible.

Michel_Paris Sep 11th, 2007 09:18 AM

I've purchased tickets for Paris multiple times and just recently for Istanbul. I've also purchased flights from Buffalo to Florida, Arizona,etc..I flew to Africa a couple of years back and used travel agent my sister was using to ensure same flights. I've used Expedia and Travelocity, as well as airline websites. For work, I always use American Express on the web to make my bookings, never talk to a live person, everything via email.

My last trip to Istanbul I wanted to change one flight in Paris in order to
have a layover. The counter person at AC said I should have booked it via AC instead of Expedia, they could have allowed for a layover. So...maybe Expedia (without much research on my part to disprove this) would have been less flexible on flights than going to the Air Canada website.

No problems with process, you get an email that you print and present at the counter. They use a secure site to take your CC number.

Since all airlines and ticketing agencies are going towards e-ticketing, at some point the internet will be the prime way to get tickets (if it isn't already). I have not used a travel agent in a long long time.

I find that with time on my side, I can research a lot on the internet. Can a travel agent do more? I'm not sure. If I HAD to use a travel agent, I would only use for flights. I can get so much info at Fodor's that an agent recommending a tour or hotel would have less credibility (?..maybe not the right word) than those who have been, and are unbiased.

There are areas I might consider a travel agent (maybe Russia, or China), but based on my past experience, these exceptions are getting fewer and fewer.

J62 Sep 11th, 2007 09:19 AM

I like expedia for searching for tickets/flight options, but personally prefer to book flights directly through the airline website directly.

Expedia is a well respected travel agency. Where they really come in handy is when you wish to book a trip using 2 or more airlines. If you purchase them separately then you are on the hook of something goes wrong on flight 1 and miss flight 2.

When a TA like expedia books the ticket they are responsible.

WillTravel Sep 11th, 2007 09:23 AM

For Vancouver to Paris, I think the cheapest option is Zoom - . It's also a direct flight (possibly with a stop in Calgary, but still the fastest way there). My only caveat is because it is a small airline, delays can be long if there is a problem with a plane.

In any event, purchasing tickets on the Internet is safe. If you really don't want to do so, though, just go down to your local TravelCuts office and they'll do exactly the same transaction for you.

lmb18 Sep 11th, 2007 10:17 AM

wow, thanks everyone for all these tips. I'll check out the websites and then phone the airline if I'm not changing carriers, and I'll feel completely comfortable doing that. What a relief!

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