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February 07, 2014

"How to Choose an Air Travel Search Site"

Potentially useful information.

The real solution is finding the sites that best fit your specific travel needs — all the more true for the heavily budget-conscious. Each has different strengths offered through different interfaces that use different functions and produce different results. But where to go for what? Even for people like me who live on these sites, it’s not always clear.

So I designed a test — from Europe, as it turned out, where I was reporting on the road. I selected 15 online travel agencies, from the old stalwarts like Travelocity to an excellent (and increasingly robust) group of upstarts like Routehappy, which are more likely to take into account niche specifics like seat pitch. Then I put them through the wringer, shopping for six itineraries, from basic domestic to overseas-only to elaborately multicity: Miami-Chicago, Louisville-Portland, Los Angeles-Paris, Dallas-Singapore, Shanghai-Chengdu in China and, finally, New York-Guadalajara-Bogotá-Charlotte (presumably a Mexican-Colombian-American visiting family and the Nascar Hall of Fame).

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