Travel Thoughts: Air Flight Tickets from CheapTickets.sg vs. Expedia

Photo by Stuart Miles

The prices on Cheaptickets.sg are not as cheap as the name implies, simply because they charge administrative fees for credit card payments. Although the prices might seem attractive (at first), by the time you come to the check out page, the (increased) price would be more than its competitors (e.g. Expedia). Of course, if you compare with the actual airline fares, the ticket pricing is slightly less. So you if you ever purchase from Cheaptickets.sg, you do get to save a little, but in the terms of value for money than that would be sorely lacking.

I had the experience of booking a pair of return tickets from Singapore to Seoul in a frenzied hurried state (something that I totally regret but it is a lesson learnt). C and I were planning to get the same tickets off Expedia for S$601.20 for an Asiana flight; however we were buying our tickets separately. Unfortunately, I was unable get my ticket on Expedia during the same time. By the time I was at checkout for Expedia, the price for the same Asiana flight was at S$900!

Depending on the dates chosen for the November period, the cost for an average flight ticket, (not inclusive of budget airlines) from Singapore to Seoul would range between S$750 to S$900. So having to pay for around S$900 on a 3rd party website for a full-serviced flight is a little ludicrous (you might as well purchase your tickets directly from the airline's website).
The pricing from Expedia
S$601.60 nett


Determined to find a cheaper flight and in a panicked state at 2am in the morning (not really a good time to purchase flight tickets), I started looking for other alternatives for cheaper flight fare to Seoul. I managed to find a fare of S$702.81 for a Korea Airlines with similar flight timing (to the Asiana flight) on CheapTickets.sg. However, when I was at the payment page, in order to proceed I had to select the credit card administrative fee of $6, which resulted in me having to pay a total of S$708.81 instead of the the advertised S$702.81!

The choices from Cheaptickets.sg
Making the purchase

The hidden credit card charge
The final price

Unfortunately, due to my over eagerness and it being early in the morning at 2 am (my brain was not really functioning), I impulsively bought the tickets and was happy with my purchase... until C emailed me the next day to say that Expedia had a cheaper rate for Asiana… without any additional administrative fee. Oh the horror! 😨😱😱😱

How much was saved using CheapTickets.sg: 2.5% in savings

For the dates and timings we wanted to travel, purchasing tickets from Korea Airlines directly would have cost around S$726, so with Cheaptickets.sg I managed to save a mere S$18 (2.5% in savings). Had I waited a couple of days and had bought my tickets from Expedia for the Asiana flight; I would have saved at least S$50.
Prices from the Korean Airlines website

The Korean Airlines flight is a Boeing 777-300 with an average seating configuration of 3-3-3, the seats at certain parts of the plane are with a 2-3-2 configuration.

[Read about my Korean Airlines Experience here]


How much was saved using Expedia: 4.6% in savings

For Asiana, the average pricing of the ticket for the dates we wanted was at S$647 from the airline's website, so C managed to save around S$30 (4.6% in savings), and overall she managed to pay for less than my Korean Airlines flight. The Asiana flight is a A330-300 with a seating configuration of 2-4-2.

Advice: Never purchase anything in a frenzied stated, even if the website is telling you that it is the last seat left; especially in the wee hours of the morning. πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Give it a couple of days and check back again… the cheaper price will still be there. Also never purchase on a weekend, when the offices are closed.

Cheaptickets.sg vs Expedia

CheapTickets.sg:
I received the conformation email and ticket almost instantly after payment. With the booking reference I managed to check the validity of my flight and book my preferred seats (the only thing I can comfort myself with) via the Korean Airlines phone app.

Pros:
  1.  Instant email confirmation
  2.  Able to check online on official airline website with booking reference
Cons: 
  1.  No free (24 hour) cancellation option
  2.  Not really as cheap as they claim to be
  3.  Hidden charges when it comes to payment
  4.  No 24 hour hotline. So never buy your tickets after working hours as there is no one to assist you, especially on weekends, as some departments do not work on weekends and by the time your changes are made, some extra costs may be incurred should you choose to go ahead with any changes to your booking.
[Tripadvisor Forum: Problems with Cheaptickets.sg]
[HWZ Forum: Review on Cheaptickets.sg]


Expedia:

C received her ticket and confirmation email the next day and they even allowed a 24 free booking cancellation. C really wanted to be on the same flight as me but unfortunately CheapTickets.sg does not have such a cancellation policy, so I was stuck with my tickets. To book her seats, C called the service center and they did it for her very quickly.

Pros: 
  1.  Prices are upfront, not additional (hidden) costs
  2.  Has a 24 hour free cancellation policy
  3.  Easy to navigate site and contactable (friendly and helpful) service center
Cons:
  1. No 24 hour hotline. So never buy your tickets after working hours as there is no one to assist you, especially on weekends, as some departments do not work on weekends and by the time your changes are made, some extra costs may be incurred should you choose to go ahead with any changes to your booking.

Verdict:

Although this is my first experience with booking air tickets to Seoul on Cheaptickets.sg, it was not memorable one. In the future, I would rather try Expedia (or other 3rd party websites) over Cheaptickets.sg when searching for a cheaper priced air ticket for my next trip. Of course, I would do some comparison with the airlines directly as well to make sure that there is cost savings (i.e. cheaper than the original fare or with airline promotion).
Do note that as with all things cheap(er), they are usually less flexible (i.e. usually not refunds) and limited in what changes you can do to your booking (i.e. you might be only able to choose your seats 72 hours before your flights takes off ).

Have you used Cheapticket.sg before and was the fare really cheaper?




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About TravelBytez

When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.
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