CheapAir.com: The New Best Kept Secret In Travel
Written: Apr 26, 2005
Some travel sites claim that they have lower prices than the competition. How can we be so sure that they are telling the truth, and not claiming this just so we click on their advertisement? I guess there is no real way to find out unless you go to several websites and compare prices. However, some new sites such as Yahoo!s FareChase now take prices directly from company websites without adding fees, etc. to the cost.
My sister, a known web- and computer-mastermind, called me up one day to let me know that she booked her tickets to Cyprus, a Mediterranean island and country that practices the Greek culture. She knew that I was also hunting for low fares for this upcoming July, and she told me to check out this site. I was a bit hesitant to even look at the site as I had never heard of it before. My sister hadnt even purchased the tickets yet and told me that she would only buy them if I did too.
Out of sheer interest, I went to cheapair.com and explored. The site is laid out like a traditional travel web site, offering flights, rental cars, cruises, hotels and travel packages at the top of the page. Also, like other travel sites, specials are listed on the Home page. What other websites dont have, however, is a News area. Such news on cheapair.com includes the unveiling of the largest airliner in the world, the brand new Airbus A380. Its certainly nice to be in the know, and cheapair lets me be just that.
When first visiting the site, youll realize that you can sign up to be a member, and therefore keep track of your bookings with cheapair.com. However, you do not have to sign up in order to use the site and make reservations. This is an optional feature. Dont you hate it when sites make you sign up just to buy something from them? Welcome to How to Drive Away Business 101!
Some more interesting things to point about out about the actual site is the fact that the Start Over button is right next to the Search button. Ive hit that Start Over button so many times and then have proceeded to hit myself for doing so. Also, you can check a button that asks if your dates are flexible. In my case, they were. However, this feature can only be used for domestic flights, not international. I guess this is so because a vast number of flights in countries outside the U.S operate only on certain days, not daily like most flights here in America.
When typing in your flight selection, you can either type in the city or airport code. Because Im good with airport codes, I typed in JFK-LCA, and within seconds I was looking at several options. The cheapest option was $1,030.60 on KLM connecting at Schiphol (Amsterdam) to a Cyprus Airways flight. More expensive flights were listed further down the page.
The selection page clearly points out all connections, flight times, and airlines. On other websites, Ive seen schedules for connecting flights in the same city but at different airports! I would never want to land at Chicagos O-Hare to find that I have a connecting flight leaving in two hours...from Chicagos Midway!
As far as price goes, I was very impressed! I checked several other websites to see if I could find anything cheaper, and everything was at least $100 more. My usual travel agency, Cyprus Tours, usually has the lowest fare. This time they were $30 more and couldnt honor the lower price. It amazes me that a website that is so infamous is home to some of the lowest fares out there.
After I checked out the site, I received some really good vibes. I called up my sister and told her that I was booking. She actually had me book hers too as we felt it would be better to have only one case of credit card fraud, not two. However, those worries were soon discarded as soon as our tickets arrived three days later in perfect condition. I even called KLM to make sure they had us in their system, and they did!
Overall, I am very impressed with cheapair.com. One minor negative that I can think of is the inability to use the flexible dates feature for international flights. Also, Im still stumped as to why the designer of the site put the Start Over button right next to the Search.
However, the positives heavily outweigh the negatives. For starters, I loved the selection of schedules to choose from. The price was the absolute lowest out there, and best of all, cheapair.com delivered my tickets to my door in just a few days.
Would I recommend cheapair.com? Yes, theyll be my first stop for future international travel.