If you have ever dealt with customer service after booking a flight through a third party, chances are your experience was much like most: grueling and unhelpful. If you have an issue with your flight — be it delays, cancellations, or weather problems — an airline will solve the problem directly whereas a third party likely won’t. Aside from the lack of useful customer service, third-party sites don’t have the same coverage an airline would if anything happens to your flight. Fees can be more expensive and they’re not as accommodating to the customer.
If something goes wrong — say, a flight cancellation — and you have to re-book your flight, the airline will have you go through your original purchase method for help, and as just stated, these companies don’t have the best customer service. However, if you’ve booked through the airline directly, they will immediately work to accommodate you and get you on the next available flight to your destination.
So what should you do instead? First, find the best deal through whichever third-party website you prefer. Once you’ve found the flight, jot down the flight number, head over to the airline’s website, search the same dates and airports you just used for your third-party search, and then look for the flight number. Sometimes this method is even cheaper.