Today’s Problem: Getting from Boston to Orlando and then Berlin
Like most business owners, I try to not spend anymore than what I really need to. With the upcoming 2008 TYPO3 conference in Berlin, it was time to do early bird registration and book my flights. Since, fuel is such a constant concern nowadays, I wanted to book now in hedging against even higher fuel fees.
In the past, I’d spend (waste) time searching a wide variety of airline websites and the associated flight option mashups. Inevitably though, I’d come back to a certain geeky like solution to plan my flights and then book specific flights without fear of surprise fees.
Official TYPO3 Conference, October 9-11th, 2008, Berlin, Germany, http://t3con08.typo3.org/
Orbitz Boston to Orlando
ITA Boston to Orlando
ITA Flight details
ITA Flight booking details
Actual Delta Boston to Orlando ticket price
Orbitz Orlando to Berlin
ITA Orlando to Berlin
I still use my travel agent, but with a $ 25 per ticket surcharge, when I don’t have a special need, booking my own flights ends up saving me time and money.
For today, by using my geek method and booking flights through an airline’s website, I saved $ 7 between Boston and Orlando and $ 192 between Orlando and Berlin. My geeky method even got me a few bonuses.
- No 90-mile taxi ride or one-way car rental
- In getting to Berline, there’s only 1 connection
- The connection is Dublin with enough time to sight see
I determined my bonuses by doing quick comparisons between my geek tool and Orbitz based upon price, convenience, and have I been there before.
So how did I pull off a really slick flight down the East coast and then onto Europe?
Here’s how. You visit one website to find the flight sequence to take and learn which airlines to book directly through.
- Visit my geeky flight tool, ITA Softwareat http://matrix.itasoftware.com/warn/cookies.
- Registration is free or you can log in as a guest.
- Select your round trip, one-way, or multiple-city option
- State your airport or city from and to locations.
- Don’t worry, the system will ask you for clarification if an entry doesn’t make sense.
- Pick your dates and times
- Hit Go below the options
- Or continue on to revise your traveler and flight preferences.
- Now you’ll see a flight matrix of airlines, number of stops, and prices
- One very important thing to note when using the ITA Software flight matrix, is that the price shown is typically what you’ll actually pay if you book shortly after viewing the flight details with the airline
- In comparison, you’ll notice that Orbitz catches you with a low price in bold. However, your real price is below in fine print.
- Boston to Orlando is $ 104 via ITA versus $ 94 but really $ 111 at Orbitz.
- Orlando to Berlin, ITA says $ 468, Orbitz says $ 488 but really is $ 734.
- In the matrix, click on the price to limit the flight details below.
- In the flight list below the matrix, click on Details at left to learn more
- When done looking at the details, return to the list via the Back to Search Results link at top.
- Once you’ve found the flight you want to book, can click the Booking
Details link at left from within the flight details.
- In the Booking Details, you’ll see the flight, pricing, rate code, and contact information for the flights.
- From here, it’s a case of visiting the each airline website and booking the flight.
There’s definitely some cons to this system in regards to intra-airline transfers, but I’ve found playing “opps, silly me” at the ticket counter once in a while at the airport gets my luggage booked through for them rare times I even have to check luggage.
You might question why I mentioned saving $ 192 between Orlando and Berlin. In looking at the screen shots, the first low-fare options of ITA Sofware and Orbitz is actually $ 266 after taxes. Here’s why I say $ 192, ITA Software gave the Aer Lingus 1-stop flight option that’s not even mentioned on Orbitz when I first searched it. Now though it is.
What’s your flight booking secret?