Advantages easy to use, secure, good backup, cheap flights!
Disadvantages accomodation services, booking flights at busy times
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ebookers are one of only two "complete online" travel engines that I truly rank. (There are quite a few good research sites, but this one and expedia.co.uk are the best when it comes to the whole process from flight research through to actual payment).I have used e-bookers successfully for a recent trip to New York. It pays to book ahead and I managed to get good flights (i.e. leaving at night and coming back over night) on British Airways for £155! (plus tax). At the time I did an analysis of BA's own website (more expensive), Expedia (close but not quite as good) and Travelocity (pretty bad) and lastminute.com which didn't even hit a score as the date we were flying was too far away (not surprising really).
I booked another flight with them again today, (this time to Venice) and once again they came up trumps against the same sites, with Travelocity once again scoring last place.A few tips:
* Book early - the earlier you book the better you get and it doesn't matter how much you look around great cheap flights evaporate in front of your eyes! (The trip to Venice cost us £151.60 over Easter which is a brilliant price, but at one stage I had the same flight for £120, but it had gone by the time I completed my credit card details!). Try sites like lastminute.com, at the last min if you like, but I have generally been disappointed!* If its a tricky flight (weird location, multi-stop, different starting and finish airports) or at a bad time (Easter / Christmas etc) search for an idea of what's around, but don't kill yourself trying to find a good deal. Call them. By calling them today I got a cheaper flight that what was on the web (£161 via Frankfurt both ways was the best on the web and we got £151 direct there and Milan on the way back by calling them). They were very friendly and very helpful, with Jasmine giving me her personal extension if I have any problems or any further travel requirements.
* leave you details online - some people may find this risky, but from experience I have had no problems with this (or any other site). Makes booking easy as well if you are a member (sign up for free) as you don't have to repeat or retype in all your details.* E-Tickets are great. Some airlines (say BA) offer e-tickets which are a real hassle free way to travel. Normally ebookers charge around £4.10 to send your tickets out to you, but if you choose an E-Ticket, (when available) then you just turn up at the airport with your passport and a confirmation number and you're away. You don't even need the confirmation number. Very easy. I must have used e-tickets over 20 times now and never had a problem. Note that you might need an itinerary to prove to customs (overseas) that you have a return flight, but you can get that when you check in.
* Ebookers - hotels. Disappointing. Very limited range and often top end hotel are only offered.* Random fares. Always check back the next day. Last night we were strugging to find any ticket to Venice for under £200 over Easter. Today, first try I land a great deal via Frankfurt with good flights (i.e. evening flights) for £160 with Lufthansa. Work that out?!
* You will pay less if you:- stay a Saturday night
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