Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ordering airline tickets on the net - best bargains

I, personally have not used travel agencies for ages, as I always book airline tickets and hotels using the internet. Still, I have my sites where I usually book flights and hotel rooms, and I have not bothered to check where to get the best bargains. That is - until know. Yesterday I started to check 21 Norwegian travel sites, in order to find out how much I cold save through the internet. And I was truly surprised!!

I wanted to find an answer to four questions:

  1. Where could I get the best price for a round trip airline ticket for a fixed date?
  2. Travel booking sites or the airlines own booking services, where could I get the best fare?
  3. How large precentage would taxes and booking fees be of the total price?
  4. How quickly would the price fluctuate, i.e. would the price change from one day to another?
The order

My order would be the cheapest round trip ticket available from Oslo to Barcelona, departure date April 20th, returning April 23rd, not considering total travel time. I did however try to avoid a time return that would require staying overnight during transfer. The prices will be presented in Euros (8,17 NOK).

The sites


I ordered through the following sites:

• www.ebookers.no
• www.lufthansa.no
• www.ticket.no
• www.travelink.no
• www.gotogate.no
• www.supersaver.no
• www.seat24.no
• www.marcopolo.no
• www.ryanair.no (Gerona)
• www.skytours.no
• www.reisefeber.no
• www.berg-hansen.no
• www.sembo.no
• www.restplass.no
• www.kilroytravel.no
• www.kelkoo.no
• www.brusselsairlines.no
• www.klm.no
• www.airfrance.no
• www.britishairways.no
• www.sterling.dk

Question 1: Where could I get the best price for a round trip airline ticket for a fixed date?

Conclusion:
  1. The best price was offered by www.ebookers.no and www.lufthansa.no
  2. Lufthansa is the preferred airline for the booking sites for this destination. The cheapest fare offered by ebookers, however, is KLM. The price difference between this cheapest flight at ebookers on KLM is €212, €134 less than if you had booked the ticket directly with the airline!
  3. The budget airlines offers no great deals during weekends, use them if you may travel on less popular weekdays, where you really can get great bargains.
The result:

Best: www.ebookers.no had a great offer of €212,36, followed by www.lufthansa.no €255,93.

The following other sites had prices under €275: www.ticket.no (€265,11), www.travellink.no (€266,34), www.gotogate.no €266,95), www.supersaver.no (267,19), www.seat24.no (267,31) www.marcopolo.no (€269,03) www.ryanair.no (€270,01), www.skytours.no (€272,21), www.reisefeber.no (€274,90)

Prices €276-300: www.berg-hansen.no (€276,74), www.sembo.no (€280,04) www.restplass.no (€281,39),

Prices €301-325: www.kilroytravel.no (€309,91)

Prices €326-350: www.kelkoo.no (€330,84), www.brusselsairlines.no (€331,57), www.klm.no (€346,02)

Prices €351-400: www.airfrance.no (€364,74)

The most expensive, price over €400: www.britishairways.no (€427,90)
www.sterling.dk (€438,18)

Question 2: Travel booking sites or the airlines own booking services, where could I get the best fare?

Conclusion:
  1. The booking sites offers much better prices than the airlines themselves. The only exception here is Lufthansa!
With the cheapest price (ebookers) equals 100, the arline booking sites get the following result:
  • Lufthansa: 120,81
  • Ryanair: 127,14
  • SN Brussels Airlines: 156, 13
  • KLM: 162,93
  • Air France: 171,75
  • British Airways: 201,49
  • Sterling: 206,34
Question 3: How large precentage would taxes and booking fees be of the total price?

Conclusion:
  1. Most sites charge from € 106 - €122, roughly from 30-50% of the price
  2. Ebookers charge more than 50% in taxes and fees, but they offer the cheapest flight overall
  3. The budget airlines, Ryanair and Sterling have the lowest overall taxes, Sterling as far down as 5%. But Sterling offer the worst deal of them all!!
Question 4: How quickly would the price fluctuate, i.e. would the price change from one day to another?

Conclusion:
  1. The prices does not fluctuate much from one day to another. Most sites did not change their cheapest prices over night
  2. Ebookers was not the cheapest the day after as it inceased its lowest fare with 26%! Sterling and SN Brussels airways did also increase the lowest fare overnight (with 16% and 2%)
  3. British airways offered a 13% lower price overnight, but still it was one of the most expensive rates. Kilroytravel and restplass.no dropped their lowest price (5 and 7%)
I will return and check price differences next week and update you on the fluctuation in prices.

4 comments:

Grey said...

To book flights trying to find the cheapest bargain is such a science! I have some more suggestions. If you wanna book for a round trip, try to book the to flight separetly. Sometimes it's cheaper.

Tor Johnsen said...

Thank you - I will try that. I will check out the options later.

Anonymous said...

see http://enginepuller.com

Jay said...

Hi,

Just wanted to share my article on Online Performance of Airlines & their Ranking

Thanks