Airfare Tip: Name your own price

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Booking Airfare through a website that doesn't tell you what time you'll fly or which airline you'll be flying is an intimidating thought for many travelers, but it can also be a great way to save money on Airfare. This type of retailer is called an "opaque" provider because the prices, departure and arrival times, and/or airlines are hidden from the buyer until the sale is final.

The two major opaque sites, Hotwire and Priceline, offer customers some of the lowest prices available by not telling potential fliers some details until after they've agreed to purchase.

By allowing their airline partners to maintain anonymity during the purchase process, sites like Hotwire and Priceline can sometimes offer prices that are well below the published prices. This is because airlines need to fill unsold seats but don't want to promote prices that will undercut their own pricing structure.

Before deciding to book, make sure you are the type of traveler who will benefit from booking with an opaque seller. For instance, you must be flexible with your departure and arrival times, since you won't find out those exact details until after you purchase your ticket. Be sure you won't need to change your itinerary or cancel your trip entirely, as itineraries booked on opaque sites cannot be changed or refunded. If price is the most important factor in your decision, however, then an opaque site might be for you. Solo travelers or couples traveling together will often benefit more from using an opaque site than people traveling in large groups, because airlines are more likely to have one or two free seats left over than a group of seats.

Opaque sellers are best used only in certain situations. If you can be flexible with your flight times and don't need to arrive at your destination for a time-specific event (e.g., a wedding or business meeting), you might want to book with an opaque site. The opaque sites can't guarantee ahead of time that you will land in your destination by a specific time, only a specific date. And, if you're a frequent flier, it's important to weigh the fact that you will not earn miles when you book with an opaque site.

 

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✍: FYIcenter.com

2021-06-04, 359👍, 0💬