close
Advertisement
 

5 Secrets of Web Travel Sites

Booking a trip on an online travel site is convenient, but comes with its own set of problems.

5 Secrets of Web Travel Sites
Thinkstock
Advertisement

1. They know who’s on a Mac and who’s on a PC – and who’s going to spend more.
Last year, US travel research company Orbitz tracked people’s online activities to test out whether Mac users spend more on travel than PC users. Turns out that on average, Mac users lay out US$20-30 more per night on hotels and go for more stars, according to the Wall Street Journal. As a result, online travel sites show these users more expensive travel options first. To avoid inadvertently paying more, sort results by price.

2. Their software doesn’t always hook up to the hotel’s system.
A guaranteed reservation is almost impossible to come by anywhere – but the risk of your flight or hotel being overbooked increases with third-party providers. The middleman’s software isn’t immune to system errors, so always call the hotel or airline to make sure your booking was processed.

3. Don’t be fooled by packages: Often, they’re low-end items grouped together.
Ever notice how travel sites recommend a hotel, a rental car, and tour package all in one click? These deals usually feature travel that no-one wants, like flights with multiple layovers. Check the fine print.

4. You could miss out on loyalty points.
Third party providers can get between you and frequent flyer miles or points. Many hotel loyalty programmes don’t recognise external sites, others award only minimum points and exclude special offers, like double points on hotel stays.

5. Once your trip is purchased, you’re on your own.
An online travel agency can’t provide assistance the same way an agent can if a flight is cancelled or a room is substandard. Basically, when you arrive at the airport or hotel, you’re just another client who booked at the lowest rate.



Advertisement
The best flight deals we have found this week

The best flight deals we have found this week

Welcome to our weekly wrap-up of the best flight deals we've been able to discover – just for you!
Say goodbye to airport boredom with these global wi-fi passwords

Say goodbye to airport boredom with these global Wi-Fi passwords

Blogging genius Anil Polat has created a map with Wi-Fi passwords from hundreds of airports around the world. See if there's one near you.

Travelling during a storm?

Travelling during a storm?

What to do when your travel plan is disrupted by natural disasters
What to look out for when buying travel insurance

What to look out for when buying travel insurance

Make sure you’re adequately covered during your travels by closely reading the fine print
Experience the world’s best places

Experience the world’s best places

Looking for ideas on where to spend your next holiday? Check out some of the world’s greatest places, according to Time magazine.
Advertisement