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Booking fllights to Sicily on Expedia vs Alitalia directly--any problems??

Has anyone had a problem booking through Expedia for Alitalia or other European carries for flights within Europe? The prices are much better on Expedia vs Alitalia site. Trying to book for my RS Sicily tour next month after I reach Rome. Need to fly Rome to Palermo to start tour and then Catania to Rome at end of tour.

Posted by
4363 posts

Never a problem. You may hear a myth that when using Expedia and not booking directly that you will have a problem if the flight is delayed or canceled.

Posted by
1840 posts

I’ve used Expedia numerous times to purchase Alitalia tickets for flights within Italy on 5 occasions. Never had a problem with any of the flights.

Posted by
2534 posts

Anyone considering using Expedia should read today’s “Travel Trouble Shooter” column in the New York Times.

Posted by
41 posts

Where in NYTimes--i see nothing today for travel trouble shooter????

Posted by
3387 posts

I swore off Alitalia after they cancelled an important flight (well in advance) and there was no replacement that fit my needs. They have had past financial distress. I find that using Expedia can harm the ability to get seat assignments in advance, but I'm sure that varies by airline. Because of my first sentence, I would be interested in Expedia's rules and policies regarding consumer protection in the event of carrier shortcomings. (Not knowledgeable about that myself. I use Expedia as a last resort because I prefer buying things directly.)

Posted by
2638 posts

We flew from Rome to Sicily and back for a RS tour last May r/t on Alitalia that was part of our booking with Delta. I am glad that we booked with the airlines since Alitalia sent us two different messages related to flight changes. In my yearly trips to Europe since 2001, I have always booked directly with the airlines after doing research on other sites for pricing. I have had several occasions where the airline has contacted us about flight changes. I may have to pay more money but for my piece of mind it is well worth it especially since the price difference is such a small percentage of the total trip cost.

Posted by
1573 posts

Not specific to Alitalia, but I book directly through the airlines. In my experience reserving through Orbitz, it did affect seat assignments as well as a flight change that ended up costing us an additional $100. It was as if when the airline overbooked, those who booked via another service, got bumped, since I flight we got bumped from left at the appointed time. Our flight was to Buenos Aires.

Believe the referenced troubleshooter article was from February 3. There is a link to it from the February 10 article. Think it was about being stranded in Santorini and Expedia was of no help.

Posted by
68 posts

it depends how much is the difference. Obviously I will book direct with the airline if it is the same price as the third party. For a difference of $50, I might still go with the airline (x4 people in my family, so a total of $200). When talking about a difference of $100 per person, I probably will book with Expedia, or the other third parties.

Posted by
2534 posts

Oops! It must have been in the San Francisco Chronicle. I think anyone can access the Chron’s website, sfgate.com. I don’t know if that includes special features, however, or just news.

Posted by
757 posts

I have used Expedia to book flights in the past. The ONLY thing I'd double check before booking is the fare class. Make sure that you have read all the details for the fare you're booking. We ended up booking the entire trip (US to Rome to Palermo and Catania to Rome to US) on the Delta website.

Posted by
41 posts

Thank you all for this great info--i will book directly with airline. Although for hotels, Expedia has been great and even got me out of "non-refundable" reservations.

Posted by
2832 posts

A quick journalism explanation: Chris Elliott is an advocate whose column is syndicated to a number of newspapers other than the NYTimes. You can use the link above, or Google his name. His website forum deals with other consumer problems too. My chief impression of his main page is that travellers find an amazing array of trouble to get into, helped by the intricacies of airline organization (plus bad luck.)

As to the specific question, using an agency instead of the operating airline for bookings offers no advantages for me, neither convenience nor price. I use Expedia and a number of others for research, but only book through one of them when the itinerary involves several airlines that don't sell each other's tickets.
And yes, a multi-city ticket is efficient, when booked through a multi-destination search function.