Third-party travel booking sites may have cheaper options, but there are cons that every traveler should know before making a reservation. 

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Here are common mistakes people make when booking travel through third-party sites and how to avoid them:

Photo by Thought Catalog

Not reading reviews

Don’t ignore reviews and book with just any site. Some third-party sites are better than others, so you should always read reviews before booking. Things to look for when reading reviews are mention of customer service and if they provide travel insurance. 

Choosing an airline that doesn’t support third-party sales

Some airlines don’t support passengers booking through third-party sites. If you go forward with booking through a third-party platform, canceling your reservation may be nearly impossible through the airline, not to mention more expensive. When booking, make sure to get an official confirmation through the air carrier. 

Assuming the booking site has the lowest prices

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Yes, third-party booking sites are great for comparing prices and finding deals, but often times the costs are the same across platforms. It’s always best to check the airline’s website and Google Flights when comparing prices. 

Ignore the fine print

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not reading the fine print when booking flights. Make sure to read the refund policy and book with a travel credit card, preferably with insurance, to ensure nothing goes wrong. 

Orbitz and Skyscanner are great for booking flights through third-party platforms. When booking, be sure to find flights with major airlines. You may find cheap flights but realize that there are added costs, such as checked luggage, seats, and even food. 

Not getting loyalty points

If you love loyalty points, then you may want to stay away from third-party booking sites. With many bookings, you may not be able to earn loyalty points. Always check with the airline to confirm if you’ll be able to earn points. 

Try to contact the airline for customer service

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When booking through third-party sites, you have to contact them for customer service issues. Your reservation is with the third-party site, not the airline. 

If you prefer direct customer service with the airline, it’s best to avoid third-party sites and stick to booking directly with the airline. 

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