For a long time, I have been using ticket aggregators such as kayak.com, orbitz.com etc. to look for best deals on air tickets. They seemed to work very well for domestic travel. Even international fares started looking good. However, today I was looking for tickets to India in July. It seems July is a peak season and fares seemed quite high even after making adjustments. During non-peak season, round trip ticket should be around $1200. Add a couple of hundred for peak season and I expected to get something around $1500. But, the fares generated by all these aggregators were very high. More than $1800. I was about buy one such ticket. Luckily I thought of going to some airlines web sites direct and check out fares. I am so glad I did. I got tickets at much cheaper price. For example, Singapore Airlines did not figure for the dates I was looking for. When I went to their web site, found SFO-BLR round trip for $1551 from July 17-Aug 1. That's a good deal. Cathy Pacific showed in some searches and the price quoted on kayak.com was around $1700. On Cathy Pacific web site the fare was around $1500. Same thing with American Airlines web site. Kayak.com showed around $1900. AA web site quoted around $1700.
Something to keep in mind before buying tickets from aggregators. I do not know if this is true even for domestic fares. I will start checking airline web sites even for domestic fares now on.
Biggest disappointment was makemytrip.com which I thought was a great source for cheap tickets to India. Not this time at least. Their tickets were in the range of $1900. That too on British and some other European airlines.
Ticket buying experience from Singapore Airlines was very smooth. You can choose seats, meals etc. You can even do electronic check in and print your boarding card before you leave. Electronic tickets only. That is even better.
Some good lessons learnt.
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