I never cease to be amazed at just how many different ways there are to buy (or not buy) the exact same flights. I’m finally getting around to booking my seat on the inaugural BA A380 LHR-LAX flight and, to keep the cost reasonable, I’m tying it to a flight back to Europe in January. I tried a lot of different options but eventually settled on the final itinerary:
BA’s website wouldn’t give me the 12:05pm flight for HEL-TLL and would only sell me the return half BA-coded and I want it AY-coded (probably for no good reason, but wh’ev). Vayama wouldn’t sell me the long connection in Heathrow and the whole point of the ticket this way is getting that long connection.
I went to my trusty partner Hipmunk to see if I could will an OTA to my ways. It came up with an AA option for $20 less than what ITA could find, but again with codeshares that I was trying to avoid.
Orbitz was closest, though getting the flights I wanted out of it was less than simple, again because of the long connection in Heathrow. And Orbitz was close to the ITA price so I figured it might be the best option.
I went back to Hipmunk and did some more on forcing the booking codes and ended up with an option on Priceline, again for less than what ITA says it should cost.
Clicking through on that saw Priceline add on their own $7 surcharge but that was still less than ITA or Orbitz wanted and actually put the flights on the codes I wanted them.
Every one of these options was basically the same flights and yet getting to book what I actually needed online is still a pain in the ass with multiple different price points. Sadly, I’m quite certain that the value of time I spent getting it “just right” exceeds the value of actually having the ticket that way.
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