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Fare aggregators

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How to save when comparing airfares




Basically the fare comparison sites are search engines that are designed to deliver price results of multiple travel sites.

The words "fare aggregator" and "fare comparison" refer to the same type of service and are most widely used in case of airfares and hotel rates.

Let's take a look at what these companies represents. What interests they have, how they work, which are the limitations of their engines and how can you best exploit their platforms.


The advantages of fare aggregators


Basically there are the following few, but very evident positive aspects of using a fare aggregator:


"All in one" is the general idea: results from multiple merchants appear on a single site

Allow booking multiple services from multiple merchants (meaning that you aren't obliged to buy only from a single supplier)

Speed up the online booking process

Permit fast, easy selection of service primarily based on their price


The limits and tricks of fare comparison sites


They are linked through business interests with the merchants that they list.

Normally they make some sort of a deal regarding referrals of clients. They either are affiliates of the merchants that they list or they offer marketing (traffic generating) services to the travel agents, hotels, airline companies.

The fare comparison site's prices include some sort of a commission that they receive from the merchant when the service is selected and bought by the client. Therefore the fare aggregator might even charge a bit more (in many cases, but not always).


The visitor who searches online will find it extremely useful to view a long list of merchants offering the same or similar services. Selection is done according to the price, primarily. But there are some downsides as well:


Little information about the service - the direct sellers usually provide more information

Little or no information regarding fare rules, limitation, guarantees etc. - information that airline provide on their sites

Possibly higher price because of commissions - fare comparison agent might "put on top" of price to ensure his own profit

Only some merchants are listed - the website's business partners actually, they earn together on clients who buy

The potential of fakes sites, illegitimate "agents" is quite high - you need to make sure where you are buying from!


How is best to use fare aggregators?


You are human, therefore you have qualities that these machines don't have. And no, you don't have to buy from an aggregator, just learn how to use it in your advantage.

And we will teach you how...


Use several fare aggregator sites - at least 3

Compare the prices of agents

Select the best service & price that fits your needs, then compare the 3 results picked on each fare aggregator

Select finally the one you would purchase, note the name of the travel agent that offers it

Check the agent offering the service for the price and compare it with the one listed on the airfare aggregator

Buy the cheapest service! (in most cases the traveler will not buy from the aggregator, but from the service seller directly!)


Useful related resources


Fare Comparison Aggregator - Fare Aggregator

Allows you to find airline ticket prices and a series of other tariffs on travel services sold by a multitude of travel agents and other similar sites. Get them all in one!

Addition: November 20, 2009

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