do ITA / Orbitz come up with non-existent fares?

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by catharsis, May 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. catharsis
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    catharsis Silver Member

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    Hi all.

    I've found a variety of relatively cheap fares/routing using ita for a multiple-city OW ticket Europe - NZ.

    however while kayak/orbitz can be persuaded to 'price' my ticket I am unable to actually confirm - I seem to always get a "We're sorry, due to changes in availability, we're unable to confirm your selection with the airline. Please make another selection." message

    Does anyone either know of some way in which I can price this ticket/get it purchased, or can definitively determine whether the proposed routing is invalid.

    (edit: The itinerary is DUB-CDG-CAN (stop) CAN-PEK(stop) PEK-AKL - in august 2011)

    I am able to reproduce the issue using multiple dates/flights, so it is categorically not the case that it is related to any 'actual' changes in availability.

    I am also separately able to reliably price an itinerary in ITA (on a different airline, for a different itinerary) which I am unable to buy from the selected airlines website - the airline in question(Aeroflot) seems to ALWAYS show the inventory as one category 'higher' than ITA does. e.g. if ITA says T is available then http://www.aeroflot.ru/eng will show U availabiliy and so forth... in my examples it means that ITA is systematically 'out' by US$100 on every flight priced as opposed to the airlines own website.

    any help would be appreciated. I am of course happy to post the entire routing and fare rules from ITA, but was not sure if that was appropriate as it is possible that this is an FD.
     
  2. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    A friend and I just had a similar situation with a US-Asia itinerary that priced on ITA, the price could be reproduced at some portals, but it could not be booked anywhere. We only got similar error messages. At the primary carrier's own site, the same itinerary priced at 5X the ITA price. I would be most interested in any clarification this thread may elicit.
     
  3. sunseeker
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    sunseeker Silver Member

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    Recently I priced a UA metal itinerary on ITA and could not ticket it on the UA site but was able to ticke it on UA metal on CO's site.
     
  4. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Because of the pricing policies, Orbitz doesn't actually query the airline when you perform a search. It uses archived prices from the last active session for that query and displays the fares. When you go to purchase, however, it sends an active query (meaning it pays to have a brand new search performed), and if the fares have changed since the last active query, then the new price is displayed. Hence the rather frequent messages of fare changes, both increase and decrease.
     
  5. catharsis
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    catharsis Silver Member

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    OK - but if that is the case what is the basis for ITA's information - are they also using the same information?
     
  6. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    Orbitz' grid is based on ITA information.
     
  7. catharsis
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    catharsis Silver Member

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    OK, so if the issues I am experiencing are related to changes in availability is itplausible that I should STILL be able to price fares in ITA (and find them in Orbitz) for 3 WEEKS and systemeatically be unable to book them when I try to ticket?

    As I said - it seems more like the ticket/routing is invalid than that the information is slightly out of date?

    Can this happen? - I always assumed that ITA was taking data from Galileo and so forth and hence 'is it showed you could book it'.

    Just trying to understand what could be occurring here. given my routings ITA has been showing me results for several weeks now on several airlines and routings which simply do not seem to exist in reality.
     
  8. DesertRose
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    DesertRose Silver Member

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    In another post, you show the ITA fare details. ITA prices this itinerary using 2 fares:
    DUB-BJS
    BJS-AKL

    The fare DUB-BJS covers DUB-CDG-CAN-PEK as a single fare with a stopover. It doesn't really surprise me that you can't reconstruct this on a basic booking engine like Orbitz - I strongly doubt they have set up their queries to allow stopovers. Further, since the fares are CZ (China Southern) fares, several of the major travel sites don't even allow you to specify CZ as a preferred airline. Also, you want part of the trip in Premium Economy and part of it in Coach. This presents additional difficulties because a) most of the regular booking engines use the same cabin class across the entire trip and b) some of the major booking engines don't offer premium economy as a choice.

    Out of curiosity, what booking city are you using for the ITA search? Are you using the default city of BOS?

    If you really wonder if the fare you want is available, you can use ExpertFlyer to review the fare rules and check if the fare buckets are available on your flights. You can get a free trial subscription for a few days, or get a monthly subscription for a few dollars.

    If indeed, the fare is valid, you could probably find a full-service travel agent who will book the trip for you for a fee. If you are working with "tricked" itineraries, you may be out of luck - most travel agents won't want to mess with those for fear the airline will make the TA pay for the dumped fuel.
     

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