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09/30/14

Traveling bland: Why low fare sites seem rather vanilla

When was the last time you had to book a flight and opted to go directly through the airline itself?
Probably has been a few years if not decades since the inception of travel related sites such as Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline and others of that ilk.
Truthfully, there are at least a few dozen sites that center on not only flights but hotels and car rentals that tout their services as being the best in a crowded field of online booking players.
Some have even gone out and hired celebrities spokespersons such as William Shatner to promote their products.
But do these sites really differ from each other enough to crown a realistic winner?

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Go ahead and plug in a few flights, for example, and see what you get from one site to another. You might be surprised at some of the results put in front of you.
Whether you're talking about Orbitz or Priceline and if you're actually taking note of the prices put in front of you, you'll notice that a lot of them are the same, no matter which site you visit. That revelation sort of takes the wind out of the sails of not only the marketing department of these online entities but also the consumers who have their hearts set on saving a ton and watching the travel sites compete with one another, only to see them essentially offering the same flights their so called competitors.
This in no way suggests that any of the aforementioned travel sites aren't worth using when it comes to the flights, rentals or hotels at hand but rather more of a message to customers that choosing one no longer rests on price alone.
Instead, potential travelers might want to look at other features of these sites, such as customer service ratings or if you can even talk to an actual person should the situation arise. Perhaps you want to check out the refund or return policy if you have to cancel or take a closer gander at the interface in terms of how easier or difficult it is to actually navigate the site and book with confidence.
Orbitz, for instance, is a neat, clean site that isn't overly complicated. Because the Orbitz brand is well known, using them also puts you at ease that you're using a reputable company versus one that might have the same pricing as Orbitz but falls under the category of being a little sketchy as far as notoriety and subsequent positive reviews.
The inception of services that allow you to book online infuses convenience and simplicity to the vacationing and traveling process but keeping things in perspective as far as pricing might make the experience more enjoyable and less disheartening when you see the final fare price.

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