Lessons from not booking direct

There are many ways you can book an airline ticket now – online, on the phone or in a travel agents (who does that any more?!). You have a variety of choices when doing so online – you can use a third party site like Expedia or go direct.

I am writing this in Toulouse Airport, waiting for an Alitalia flight to Rome, with some lovely views across the tarmac to the Airbus assembly hangers.

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I have written before about the joys of online check in for securing exit row seats and this is where my first lesson begins. I booked on Expedia; I don’t know why. I could have booked direct with Alitalia – I always book direct with British Airways – and I cannot remember why I didn’t. Had I done so, I think that I would have been able to check in online and select my seats. In my case, I was able to use Expedia to ‘request’ seats, but not select them. This was all fine until I looked at the booking in the MyFlights to see that I had no seats for the outbound flights and random ones, separated from my wife, on the inbound.

 

The second issue has been with the frequent flyer programme Alitalia run, MilleMiglia. I am going to write more about it, and the current status match programme they have, but for the moment, let me outline my difficulties. You know that I love an app, and Alitalia has a nice looking one. However, I cannot for the life of me get my flights to show up on the app linked with my MilleMiglia account. I have phoned them up, but they havent been very helpful so I have not been able to rectify the problem.

Now, whether this is just because it is a bit of a rubbish IT system, or whether I booked with Expedia, I don’t know, but I feel that If I had cut out the middle man and gone direct then it would have been somewhat simpler.

I also know of people who have had issues in getting taxes refunded from cancelled flights when booking with a third party, as they said it was the airline’s responsibility, and the airline said it was the online travel agents. After much to-ing and fro-ing it was resolved.

 

In any case, I will certainly do the direct route next time!

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