Travel tips: Is it safe to book cheap flights through lesser-known online travel websites?

LOOKING AT FLIGHTS TO SPAIN, THERE ARE WELL KNOWN WEBSITES SUCH AS WEBJET, EXPEDIA AND ZUJI BUT I AM CONCERNED ABOUT BOOKING THROUGH LESSER KNOWN SITES EVEN THOUGH THEY OFFER SOME OF THE CHEAPEST FLIGHTS. K. RUBERU, ST IVES NSW

Online travel agencies that deliver air tickets are going to be either consolidators, essentially a wholesaler of airline tickets, or aggregators, which scour the web looking at a range of sources and showing you the various options. Since they buy big blocks of tickets, which they then resell, consolidators are often able to offer a lower price than the airlines, although flyers who buy these tickets might see some perks trimmed, such as their entitlement to frequent flyer points. Aggregators will interrogate the websites of consolidators when they search for the best fares and if you're looking for a rock-bottom price, you're probably going to end up buying from a consolidator. While they deliver a cheap fare, some consolidators do not stack up particularly well when it comes to customer service. For that reason, many travellers prefer to book either with the airlines or with an accredited travel agent such as Flight Centre flightcentre.com.au.

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