you may all well know that the new way to buy an airline ticket is online. it's gone so far that airlines are actually giving you cheaper rates for buying your tickets on the internet. in other words, the pass on 10 dollars of the $20,000-$30,000 savings that they get now that they fired some middle class old lady from her job (not to mention not having to provide them with flight benefits). no doubt you also know that there a bunch of websites such as expedia, travelocity, and the most recently launched orbitz that claim to be able to find you the chapest fare to anywhere. anyways, i was trying to book some plane tickets for my sister who is going to vietnam next month. they list a bunch of cheap fares that are lower than the ones that i got from the airlines websites. problem is, that when i tried to buy them, none of them were actually available. you get this bogus message that says that flights change from second to second and that's why you didn't get the fare. which of course pushes to to click on a higher fare, and so on and so on, until i'm back at the price that i originally got from the airlines website. anyways, the wonderful people at the UCSB branch of STA Travel (particularly the good looking ticket agent that helped me) gave me the straight poop on how it works. apparently, what orbitz does is to list the lowest fare that was offered in the past six months. meaning, that the fare in all likelihood is no longer in effect.
maybe this is the best way to do it, but it seems to me that this is a classic case of bait and switch. they lure you in with the promise of the lowest fare ever, then they say, "oh the lowest fare available is not available, why don't you let us make a reservation for the normal price so that we get the commission." what's even worse is that the pretty lady at STA actually found a lower fare for me.
anyways, the point is, these sites and the airlines would have you believe that using the internet saves every tons of cash. when in reality, it only saves them cash and gives them an excuse to lay off people. f them and their soon-to-be-bankrupt asses. do yourself and call yourself a travel agent. that way the airlines has to pay money to a hard working person who actually does know which flights are available and will actually try to save you money. and if you go to the UCSB branch, ask for katie malley, she's kinda hot.