To Book or Not to Book: Frequent Travelers Offer Advice for Securing Best Holiday Flights / Hotels and Avoiding Travel Reservation Anxiety

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Seasoned Travelers Tell ExpertFlyer Their Proven Processes for Untangling the Stress and Complexity of Travel Research and Booking while Yielding Great Deals

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Torben Lonne, editor-in-chief at Dive.in

These are great tips from frequent travelers who want to share their processes with others and are oftentimes the best resources for accurate and impartial advice - Chris Lopinto, president of ExpertFlyer.com

To book or not to book. That always seems to be the question for consumers looking to pull the trigger on a great travel deal. But how do travelers know when they are getting a good deal? According to a recent research study by OnePoll and Iceland Air, the search for an answer typically leads to confusion, stress, and anxiety among many travelers. Add to that a study by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), which reports 23% of consumers say they have been either misled or downright ripped-off by third-party resellers to the tune of $5.7 billion in 2018 alone, and you have the perfect formula for purchase anxiety and stress among consumers.

So, who can travelers trust to help them find the best deals? Well, according to ExpertFlyer.com and its recent outreach to frequent travelers, it just might be the person sitting next to you on your next flight. ExpertFlyer tapped the skill and experience of several frequent flyers to understand their proven travel research and booking methods so others can reduce flight and accommodation search fatigue when planning their next holiday.

Torben Lonne, editor-in-chief at Dive.in, an online magazine focused on diving, travel, and the environment, is an international traveler who embraces the “sharing economy” when it comes to travel accommodations. “I rely heavily on Airbnb, Booking.com, and Couchsurfing, in that order. For Airbnb, there are often new listings trying to build a reputation on the platform and offer much lower rates than more established apartments for rent and staying outside the downtown city core can produce huge savings,” Lonne said during his recent podcast interview with ExpertFlyer. Lonne also uses Couchsurfing as a backup option for finding housing in remote locations. “It's a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and lowers travel costs significantly," he added.

When searching for the best airline fares, Will Hatton, CEO at Hotel Jules, begins the process by using comparison apps, such as Skyscanner and Kayak, to triage prices and available routes. "To purchase flights, I use ad blockers and an anonymous browser on Skyscanner and similar sites, to avoid getting tagged with cookies. These codes inform the sites which flights you are looking at, so next time you visit the prices may rise, but certainly won’t be lower, as they know they have a warm lead."

Kieran White, a UK-based photojournalist who travels the world, describes his search process as a “highly strategic artform,” beginning with Momondo, a travel fare metasearch engine. “Momondo offers the option to keep your travel date and location completely open so you can access the best prices and times to travel to numerous locations across the world," explains White.

Once White finds the best price on Momondo for his preferred dates, he cross-references it with Google Flights to confirm the best price he found. The final step in his search and flight booking process is to compare the deals directly with the airline itself, which could also provide an additional discount if you call them.

Saurabh Jindal, Talk Travel CEO based in Paris, concurs. "I use Google Flights, Momondo, Skyscanner, and Kiwi for flight search and comparison, but I avoid booking flights through aggregator websites. They tend to have hidden charges, which surface later during the booking process. Also, booking directly from the airline website helps with making changes in the future, if needed."

“These are great tips from frequent travelers who want to share their processes with others and are oftentimes the best resources for accurate and impartial advice,” said Chris Lopinto, president of ExpertFlyer.com. “ExpertFlyer also provides fare and class information for most airlines around the world. In addition, we have the ability to display the number of Award tickets and Upgrades that are available on any particular flight, in real-time, which can add tremendous value to the ticket you purchase,” Mr. Lopinto added.

Anupriya Basu is a researcher for Insurantly.com and a frequent flyer between Canada, India, and the U.S. Her experience has found that Expedia finds the best flights but not necessarily the cheapest. “If I have the budget, I prefer booking through Expedia because they offer attractive hotel deals at a discounted price for the dates you’re traveling.”

To learn more about the proven research and booking methods of frequent travelers, visit ExpertFlyer’s Blog.

About ExpertFlyer.com
Each month, ExpertFlyer's One-on-One blog goes face-to-face with the travel industry's leading decision makers to discuss and address topics relevant to many of today's business and frequent travelers.

ExpertFlyer.com was conceived and created by an eclectic team consisting of a veteran elite tier frequent flyer, an airline captain and corporate travel manager, and information technology professionals to deliver a 24/7 real time powerful air travel information service. The company provides its subscribers and corporate travel managers alike with a complete, concise and efficient way to access the ever-changing details of worldwide air travel information. For more information, please visit expertflyer.com.

Stuck in the middle seat again? Download the free Seat Alerts app from ExpertFlyer and get the window or aisle seat without hassle or frustration.

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Lou Desiderio
ExpertFlyer
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