Published on Friday in the NY Times, this article reviews the current status of online travel sites. The gist: airlines are dropping contracts and many popular sites (Orbitz.com, Expedia.com, Airfare.com, …) do not (or soon will not) give you an accurate picture of the flights and fares available. Here is a summary of the Times’ suggestion for “navigating the airfare maze online”:
1. Start with ITA Software, which allows you to scan an entire month for the cheapest rates. [“Search airfares now” -> enter your departure date and destination -> select “see calendar of lowest fares”]
2. Use a meta-search site like Kayak.com, Fly.com, or Farecompare.com to cover your bases.
3. Finally, check out Airfarewatchdog.com, a site where you can piggyback on the people who actually manually search for fares.
4. Purchase the cheapest tickets.
[Other… Europe: Momondo.com. Price Predictor: Bing.com. Students: STATravel.com or StudentUniverse.com. Quality of experience: Hipmunk.com or Inside Trip.com]
—-Thanks for the forward, Mom.
—-On a similar note, I just booked tickets to NYC for February 10-13 — which means I’ll be there just in time for Will Akers’ play and for Fashion Week 2011.