While booking flights through third-party travel sites such as Expedia and Travelocity does save time and effort to a degree, it isn’t risk-proof at all. In some cases, you might not be entitled to a refund, in others you may just end up paying more. The best way to dodge problems is to first compare the services and then carefully read the fine print before you proceed further.
Changing or cancelling plans isn’t easy or cheap
Unlike a ticket booked directly via your airline, if you wish to change your plans booked via a third party, you will have to contact the booking site’s customer support line and then take it from there. Also, expect to pay slightly more change fees if you have booked via a third-party and not directly through an airline. However, some sites allow for free changes or cancellations within one day of booking.
Might miss out on flight sales
If you book directly via airlines you not only avoid referral fees given to booking websites but also get some incentives such as additional points or miles. Moreover, third-parties often do not account for flight sales or promotional offers on their sites. Some third-party sites do have their own reward programs; however, they are only worth it if you are a frequent buyer from the site.
Not notified of changes or updates
This is the most scary of them all; not being notified is quite often a major downside of booking with third-parties. If you book air tickets via a third-party site, most likely your contact information is not passed onto the airline, so you never get informed of any change. Imagine being a passenger who has been switched to an all-economy flight from business-seat-only plane, and gets to know only when you’re about to board.