One thing that I have recently learned regarding online shopping for airfares, car rentals, and hotel reservations, is that no longer do the “heavy-hitters” always give you the best rates. There are a lot of newer, lesser-known sites that a lot of times will have better pricing. I just finished researching the online booking website CheapOair. In addition to airfares, they offer great travel information and rates on cars, cruises, hotels and packages.
All the Same?
My initial reaction to checking out CheapOair was that they must be like all the rest. I am sure you know the routine. You need to book a flight so you think you’ll do your research to find the best fare. After you go to all of the major websites, you come to find out that all of their “special” and “hot” deals are the same and you just wasted a bunch of time.
This is not the case with CheapOair. I first spent quite a bit of time looking at their site for more information and user-friendliness. I found several items of interest that seem to be unique to this site alone.
CheapoAir offers the following that I have not seen too much of on other travel booking sites:
- $10 money-back guarantee if you find a cheaper flight or hotel reservation
- $5 Inconvenience coupon if your flight is delayed more than one hour, or your baggage is lost or delayed
- Variety of automatic discount coupons, ranging from $10-$15
- Airport parking reservations
The money back guarantee and the inconvenience coupon must be submitted for within 12 hours of the booking of your flight or the occurrence of your flight delay or baggage delay. This is a great option as there have been many times when I have found a cheaper airfare fare shortly afterbooking my flight, and thinking that I had no recourse.
Regarding the $5 coupon, I could probably get rich from this discount alone considering the recent performance of the airlines, so I found this to be particularly appealing.
During my two or three day viewing of CheapoAir, I found advertised discounts on their site ranging from $10 up to $15. That’s not a massive discount. However, this is what set them apart to me because their fares were very close to most of the other booking sites, besides this discount. This is what allowed me to determine that they had the best rate in a lot of cases.
Another very interesting feature that I found to be unique to CheapOair is that they offer rates and reservations on airport parking. If you are travelling to an unfamiliar destination, this could really save you a lot of time and money. This is a great feature.
CheapoAir also offers a lot of the services that you will find on most other booking sites, including:
- 24/7 customer support
- Email updates for travel deals to top destinations
- International travel listings
- A user-friendly site
CheapOair seems to offer very competitive prices and they do advertise several discounts that the others do not. But, during the course of my research, I did find quite a few review sites out there that didn’t have great reviews posted about CheapOair. Some people had issues with customer service; some had issues with the veracity of the discounts mentioned. There were several others as well. As with any website out there that you are considering giving a try, be sure to do your due diligence and know on the front end what you’re getting into. If it were me and I were going to give CheapOair a try, I may give them a call before booking to go over all the discounts they offer, and any other questions that I might have. This could prevent any future issues you may have.
Yay or Nay?
These are my thoughts regarding online booking sites in general and specifically CheapOair. When dealing with airfares, I found that most sites offer just about the same rates. I usually try not to waste too many hours searching for the best fare, because most of them seem to be the same. However, you can find cheaper rates if you go to some of the smaller, lesser-known sites. I tend to limit my searching of online airfares because if you’re searching for that “golden” rate out there that is going to beat everybody else by some huge margin, it usually just isn’t there.
Lately, I have landed upon and have used a different online booking site for my air travel. It is often smaller site such as CheapOair. So the question remains: Would I use CheapoAir? The answer is “yes, but with some due diligence.” I would certainly consider booking with CheapOair. However, if I ever decided to actually use them, I would probably invest some time into a phone call either before or after booking to their customer service department. I would go over with them the discounts that apply to my fare or that I may qualify for during my trip. I would double check all aspects of my reservation, and I would make sure to note the name of the person that I spoke to.
Just because an online booking site out there is not a “heavy hitter” or does not get as much publicity does not mean you should never consider them. It just means that you should go into things with your eyes wide open. Have you had any experiences with CheapOair, or any other feedback you’d like to share? Please feel free to let us know below.