Sometimes It Pays to Check Airline Website Due to SITI Pricing

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On Monday, I need to get from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur. I usually take the KLM’s 5th freedom flight on this route, but their pricing is not competitive and the number of SkyMiles I would earn wouldn’t make for the difference in fare.

This is fairly competitive route due to Kuwait, KLM, AirAsia, Malaysian, Garuda, Batavia, Lion etc. flying it non-stop.

I have written previously about air fares in Brazil and how it is often cheaper to buy them from Tam’s/GOL’s Brazilian websites instead of their English ones or online travel agents. This is due to market specific special fares that requires both selling and ticketing of the fare in specific country (SITISold Inside Ticketed Inside).

Few weeks ago, I was buying one-way Kuala Lumpur to Yangon flight and both Expedia’s Malaysian and Malaysian airlines local websites were offering far more competitive fares than other channels.

Here’s comparison for my CGK-KUL oneway

ITA Matrix

ita-cgk-kul

I am a huge fan of using ITA’s (owned by Google) Matrix to research flight prices. This time, however, it was of no use.

Hipmunk

hipmunk-cgk-kul

Only able to show prices from major carriers and no local fares.

Kayak

kayak-cgk-kul

They were able to get pricing from number of discount carriers such as Mandala and Lion.

Expedia

expedia-cgk-kul

Expedia doesn’t have local POS (point of sale) in Indonesia and I used the US website. It did return prices on Air Asia, KLM and others. Here’s their pricing for Malaysian flight that I was eying at.

Malaysian Airlines

malaysian-cgk-kul

Malaysian Airlines is joining the oneworld alliance later this week. I did fly with the few times in 2012 and the service even in economy was good.

They had pricing available on their website that almost matched the low cost carriers once you factor in all the junk fees that you have to pay separate but what Malaysian includes in their fare quote. I would imagine that the fare class would be ineligible for miles in American’s program.

So, this same flight is more than $140 on Expedia vs. $70 on Malaysian’s own website?

Conclusion

It always pays to check number of websites for airline ticket pricing. I am NOT a huge fan of booking directly with the airlines, but on this example it is the way to go.

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