Last Minute Flights has a membership program where you can get exclusive deals, so they are a good site for those who book lots of flights. Priceline is a good bet if you’d rather bid on your own tickets. Agoda is part of Priceline, and it will work well for combining hotels and airfare through Priceline.
Covered in this report
Book your flight together with a hotel and car in order to save money.
Members get access to deals of 50% off or more not available to non-members.
Best for: Those looking for airfare and hotel and car packages at the last minute.
Name your own price for airfare to get closer to the rate you want.
12-hour turnaround times for response through email.
Best for: Those looking for for custom pricing that they are more comfortable with paying.
Wide app compatibility with iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices being able to run it.
Free cancellation so you can change your mind without paying a fee.
Best for: Those looking for reduced extra fees for booking.
Since people often have different goals when it comes to air travel and booking, it makes sense that there would be different companies to meet these goals. Here’s a look at a few different companies for buying airfare including how they match up on a few different issues.
Last Minute Travel
As the name suggests, the site is focused on making It easy for you to find tickets in a hurry. There also seems to be a lot of focus on the site for packages, basically booking hotels, cars, vacation homes and other things together with airfare. The site uses TRUSTe for Internet security, and you can click on the seal on the site to verify this.
- LMT Club Coupons-You can often get coupons worth up to $35 off of airfare, as well as a discount on membership fees through the boxes that pop up on the site if you’re there enough.
- A+ Rating at BBB-Click on the BBB link on the left on the main page of the site to verify the Better Business Bureau accreditation. This is for Altamonte Springs in Florida. The rating is based largely on just the numbers of complaints and how many were closed. Only 50 or so were made in the last 3 years, and they were all closed.
- Exclusive Deals on Mobile-If you get the app, you can find extra deals like $25 off of your first booking that only work through the mobile.
Priceline is famous for running commercials with William Shatner. The other main thing they are known for is naming your own price in order to get discounts.
- Name Your Own Price-If you scroll down the page a little, you can hit the name your own price link for flights in blue. This brings up a box that you can then fill out for the flight details. After you hit the net link, there’s a big orange rectangle where you can input the price you want to pay where it says “Name Your Own Price Per round-trip ticket.” You can then bid on tickets and often end up with better tickets.
- Free iOS App-It looks like you can get the app on Apple for Priceline, but there’s no particular ad or indication that Android is forthcoming, so you may have to use it only through Apple.
- 12-hour Email Response-Priceline promises fast email response in as little as 12 hours. During the right times of day, you can also get chat through the green “Start Chat” button on the contact page.
Agoda has been around since 1998, and it’s a fairly recognizable brand with the colored dots in the logo. The site seems to focus on accommodations with flights being just part of that.
- Wide App Compatibility-You can get the Agoda app not only with both iOS and Android, but it will work with Windows mobile devices as well.
- Price Guarantee-Agoda lets you get the best price, and the way you do this is by hitting the orange checkmark in a circle link from any search. You can hit the “claim form” link from there, and then fill out your booking ID, address where a better rate is found, and screenshots of the better rate. There are the usual caveats excluding deals.
- Free Cancellation-You can book hotels and then cancel them for free as long as you do so online quickly enough.
Head to Head
A flight from Boston to Seattle round trip, leaving only in a few days in the summer would cost $390 or so through the site. The best plan they found was an American flight. This is where Last Minute Travel flourishes after all, finding last minute trips. It was possible to find same-day tickets for roundtrip service for the next day at $900 as well. It’s $50 to sign up as an official member for extra discounts, but this is often discounted to $10.
The same trip on Priceline yields results of as low as $380 through companies like Delta or American Airlines.
Agoda has hotels that cost $59 a night, but it’s often going to be possible to combine this with Priceline for better deals.
Overall, Priceline has some of the cheapest fares, and they seem to often beat Last Minute Travel in terms of cost, though Last Minute Travel may have more last minute options if you need to go somewhere at all costs.
Services and Customer Service
You can search flights and packages right through the main part of the Last Minute Flights site, and when you find a flight you like, you can hit the “View Seat Availability” to locate seats that work for you. There are also services like an entire coupon tab and a mobile app. The site has extensive customer service options including price quotes for packages online. You can open up a customer service ticket, contact them on social media, mail their physical location in Florida, and there’s even a “Chat now” button in blue in the top right corner of the site after you do a search.
Customer service on Priceline is accessed through the “Help” drop-down menu in the op right corner of the site. You can link to “self-service” there for FAQ info, or you can hit the contact link for email service that gets back to you in 12 hours, according to the site or live chat. The main other type of service Priceline offers is the ability to bid on your own ticket.
Agoda is largely going to have the same types of customer service as Priceline since they’re part of the same overall company. You can call Agoda specifically at 1-212-444-0600 in the U.S., however. The main services the site offers is allowing you to find hotels, and you can get packages for hotels and airfare through the combination package that Priceline sometimes offers.
Overall, the customer service options are comparable between the various airfare options in terms of how many options you have.