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Orbitz has been promotion their rewards programs a lot lately and I wrote a piece about it when it was launched last year (read more here).

Orbitz $20 Orbucks Flight

Orbitz is now offering $20 in Orbucks that you can use towards future hotel booking by making a standalone flight purchase between May 27 and June 11, 2014. The actual flight date can be later. [click to continue...]

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Last year, Orbitz launched its own rewards program called Orbitz Rewards (read more here) and part of it was a new best price guarantee program that promises to refund the difference + give you $50 to $200 in Orbucks.

orbitz-scam-orbitz-expedia-agoda-booking-dot-com-headline

Orbitz used to have something called “Price Assurance”. They probably spent 100 times more running the never ending ads on TV compared to actual “assurance” payments. [click to continue...]

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Earlier in the year, I wrote about my Best Price Guarantee (BPG) experience with matching Bookig.com’s price that was about 20 cents lower than Expedia’s (read it here). I also managed to take a photo of the invoice that showed the Expedia’s margin (read more here).

expedia-best-price-guarantee-test

I decided to go for Expedia Elite Plus-status and needed some more stays. I was in Phuket and was able to locate a Tune Hotel (read my review of the Bangkok property here) at a very reasonable price that was around $25 on Expedia. [click to continue...]

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Orbitz has launched Orbitz Rewards to reward those that book travel on Orbitz’s website at orbitz.com or via their mobile apps. You earn Orbucks (valued at $1) for bookings that you can redeem instantaneously on subsequent orders.

orbitz-rewards

Orbitz had a number of launch offers for $10 Orbucks for your first flight booking, extra rewards for flights, hotel discounts and $25 bag fee credit. [click to continue...]

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There seems to be two schools when it comes to buying airlines tickets; one group prefer always booking using the airline’s own websites and the other uses travel agents like Expedia.

expedia-grid

I belong to the latter group and here is why:

1. Easier to compare prices among several airlines.

2. Agents are often able to offer more combinations than airlines.

3. You can easily ticket from different country than where your credit card is issued.

4. No need to present a credit card at check in.

5. I can get some cash back for my purchase.

6. I can choose the country where the ticket is issued.

7. I don’t have to go through the process of declining all the “extras” that the airlines are trying to sell in addition to the air transport.

8. The agent, the ticketing carrier or the operating carrier can fix and help in case that there are problems along the way.

9. Automated ticketing. Some carriers still queue some reservations for manual review before the electronic ticket is issued.

There also some drawbacks to consider as well:

1. The agent should do all the changes before the travel begins.

2. There could be a charge for using the agent’s services.

3. Sometimes it is difficult to pull up the exact fare rules.

Conclusion:

Unlike with the hotels, I rarely see any benefit of booking directly with the airline compared to online travel agents like Expedia. I prefer having a greater number of options