Is Booking.com Reliable For Flights? (Updated 2023)
Online travel agencies like Booking.com offer a one-stop shopping experience for hotels, rental cars, taxis, flights, and excursions.
Booking.com is available in multiple languages and currencies, making it easy to find discounted rates on travel-related reservations worldwide.
As one of the world’s largest online travel agencies, Booking.com provides travelers with a reliable service for making domestic and international flight reservations. However, flights listed on Booking.com are provided through a third-party site. This means Booking relies on its partners for routes, pricing, and resolving customer complaints.
This article explains how Booking.com works for flights and offers some tips for making Booking an easy and reliable way to travel.
How Does Booking.com Work for Flights?
When it comes to flights, Booking.com is actually just a listing service, providing a place to search and reserve flights offered by their third-party partners.
If you arrange a flight using Booking.com, you will receive a plane ticket – it’s not a scam – but Booking is only the middleman between the customer and a third-party aggregator.
Flight aggregators (such as GoToGate, Kiwi, JustFly, etc.) compile routes and prices, then act as the intermediary between the client and the airline.
Booking.com has various partnerships with third parties and earns a commission from each flight purchased through its website.
Are Flights Cheaper on Booking.com?
Flights are not always cheaper on Booking.com.
Often, customers can find the flight they want at a lower price when reserving directly with the airline or the third-party site.
However, Booking.com can offer discounts on trip packages when travelers book their flights, hotels, excursions, and/or car rentals together.
Pros and Cons of Using Booking.com for Flights
An advantage to using Booking.com for flights is that their site is a one-stop shop for all things travel-related.
You can book your plane tickets, accommodations, car rental, and activities in one place and be assured you’ll get what you pay for.
Booking.com also offers a large selection of flights, and their booking process is easy and straightforward.
They tend to offer two types of tickets: standard and flexible.
Standard tickets are for travelers confident in their travel plans and cannot be changed without penalty.
Flexible tickets are slightly more expensive and can be changed (within the same airline) up to 24 hours prior to departure for only the difference in fare.
That said, Booking may not always list the most up-to-date flight routes or pricing, nor will they have access to all available flights to any given destination (the third-party sites or the airlines themselves may have different options available).
Also, customers are limited in what they can do at the time of booking.
For example, many airlines offer discounted rates on checked luggage if selected ahead of time – which may not be possible on all Booking.com flights.
Moreover, flights reserved through Booking.com can be problematic if there are any issues, including missed flights.
Because Booking is just the interface between the customer and the third party, if a problem arises, they can’t do much to help.
Should You Book Flights Through Booking.com?
While Booking.com provides customers with a comprehensive travel interface to design the perfect vacation, they aren’t always the best option, especially when making flight reservations.
Reserving directly through an airline’s website provides travelers with the best protection if any problems occur, especially if the flight route is complicated or you aren’t 100% sure of your travel plans.
That said, many customers use Booking.com to find flights, accommodations, and activities because the website is easy to navigate and they have a good reputation.
If your flight is simple and Booking has the best price, you should be absolutely fine to reserve with them – you will get what you paid for.
Remember, whether using Booking.com, a third-party aggregator, or even the airline website, read the fine print before reserving a flight to avoid surprises.
Booking.com provides a reliable platform to book an entire vacation, including accommodation, activities, and transportation – and often offers discounts when booking these things together.
They have an excellent website interface that makes it easy to find domestic and international flights; however, there are some things to keep in mind before using Booking.com for plane tickets.
Booking.com is a middleman between customers and third-party flight aggregators.
This means they may not have access to the best price or route to a given destination and aren’t responsible for any flights reserved on their site.
While customers can trust that Booking.com is selling them the flight they want, if any issues come up, resolving them can be difficult.
Often it’s better to book flights directly with an airline; however, if Booking has a flight you want at a reduced price – and your travel plans are guaranteed not to change – you’re likely good to go.
Always read the terms and conditions of any flight reservation so you know what’s included and who to contact if something goes wrong.