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Should I be nervous

toni3063

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about booking airfare for 4, to Aruba in July with United/US Airways given that they are currently operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection? Hotwire emailed me today and they have a couple of flights available for my travel dates that are more than $200 less (per ticket) than the next best published fare with any of the other travel or airline sites. The ticket prices are just over $400 each (this seems like a good fare from Columbus, Ohio), plus taxes and fees, I haven't been able to find any others for less than $620, plus taxes and fees. The flight times are posted (I have never used Hotwire and I thought that they were more like Priceline in that you didn't know your flight times until after the purchase) and are good times for us to travel, and relatively short flights (6 hours going, and 7 hours returning). Any input is appreciated.
Thanks!
 

Dave M

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Which airline are you considering? US Airways or United? US Airways emerged from bankruptcy about two months ago and merged with America West. United has been in bankruptcy for a couple of years and is working on a plan to emerge from bankruptcy. No one seems to be predicting the demise of either airline within the timeframe for your trip.
 

toni3063

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Dave M said:
Which airline are you considering? US Airways or United? US Airways emerged from bankruptcy about two months ago and merged with America West. United has been in bankruptcy for a couple of years and is working on a plan to emerge from bankruptcy. No one seems to be predicting the demise of either airline within the timeframe for your trip.

It actually shows up under United Airlines (operated by Us Airways). How is Hotwire to book through? It looks very simple. And last question.... Do you think $425 plus taxes and fees is a good fare? It seems fair to me... but I've never gone to Aruba before so I have no comparisons.
 

Luanne

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I haven't used Hotwire to book airfare, but I've found that when I've attempted to use sites like travelocity or expedia, when I try to book the low fare that's shown, all of a sudden that fare isn't available. I tend to book on the website for the airline. I also belong to just about every frequent flyer program there is, and by booking on the airline's website I generally get bonus miles for booking there, plus I'll get the miles for the flight. This isn't always the case when you book through Hotwire, Travelocity, etc.
 

Dave M

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You'll be flying on US, even though it's a UA ticket. Thus, as long as US is in business, you'll be okay. US is not in bankruptcy.
 

Pat H

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Go to the US Air and United sites and see if you get the same price. Personally I would rather book thru the airline in case there are problems. That price is great for Aruba. Airfare to Aruba is always high. I'd grab it.
 

2hokies

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We're in the same boat as you, but we have booked. We have 4 FF tickets booked through United, outbound on USAir, homebound on United for August 2006. My husband travels all the time for work so this is one tiny benefit we get from daddy being gone so much. We've flown to Hawaii, SC and Aruba on FF tickets through United while they've been in bankruptcy so I'm not too concerned.
 

toni3063

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Well I booked through Expedia. I went to United (and called them) and US Airways websites. Airfare through them, Orbitz, Travelocity, AAA and Interval World was $788.97 ($3155.88 total). Expedia was $5 less per ticket than Hotwire and gave me a child rate of $335 for my grandson. Total including taxes, fees, and I bought the insurance ($25 per ticket) for 4 tickets is $2124.88. We're booked with United operated by US Airways (what ever that means). Thanks for all your help and advice.
Toni
 

Dave M

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toni3063 said:
We're booked with United operated by US Airways (what ever that means).
What that means is that you will be flying on US Airways.

United and US Air have a "code sharing" arrangement, like many pairs of airlines have. That means, in this case, that US Air sells a certain number of seats to United, which it can sell at whatever price it chooses. United has apparently chosen to resell some of those seats through Expedia at a price less than what you can currently buy those tickets for from United.

At check-in, you'll have a choice of using either your United or your US Air frequent flyer number. When you check-in for your trip, be sure to go to the US Air counter to do so. United will not check you in for your flights.
 

toni3063

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Dave M said:
At check-in, you'll have a choice of using either your United or your US Air frequent flyer number. When you check-in for your trip, be sure to go to the US Air counter to do so. United will not check you in for your flights.

Thanks, Dave. I was totally confused about what to do with my ff miles. I gave my United number to Expedia but didn't know if United would give me points since I was actually flying on US Air.
 

Linda74

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We had tickets on Hotwire a few years ago to Munich....After purchasing the tickets and getting the actual flight information, they had us on Sabena. I knew that Sabena was in real financial difficutly. I called Hotwire and told them that I was sceptical to fly Sabena. I wrote down the name of the agent I spoke with. Sure enough, a few months later, Sabena folded. Hotwire wanted to refund my money. I told them that they had a contract to get me from NY to Munich and that tickets were at this late day far more expensive. I had to speak to a few supervisors....but ultimately they made good on our tickets. They got us great flights and definitely did right by us. So, I would not worry about Hotwire.
 

2hokies

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Keep an eye on your flights!!! Just this evening, my husband called to try to change the date of our outbound flights to Aruba next August (booked through United using FF miles). The outbound flights were on USAir...Dulles to Charlotte to Aruba. Homebound was on United, Aruba to Dulles direct. The booking agent was having a hard time finding 4 tickets on the same flights for the date we wanted, and she had to stick with our original routing. Then she asked my husband, "Were you aware USAir cancelled one of your outbound flights?" He answered, "NO!!". It seems that was to our advantage after all, because then she was allowed to rebook us entirely, so we got 4 seats on a direct Dulles to Aruba for the date we wanted. Not meant to scare you, just stay on your toes and check every so often!!
 

toni3063

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2hokies said:
Keep an eye on your flights!!! Just this evening, my husband called to try to change the date of our outbound flights to Aruba next August (booked through United using FF miles). The outbound flights were on USAir...Dulles to Charlotte to Aruba. Homebound was on United, Aruba to Dulles direct. The booking agent was having a hard time finding 4 tickets on the same flights for the date we wanted, and she had to stick with our original routing. Then she asked my husband, "Were you aware USAir cancelled one of your outbound flights?" He answered, "NO!!". It seems that was to our advantage after all, because then she was allowed to rebook us entirely, so we got 4 seats on a direct Dulles to Aruba for the date we wanted. Not meant to scare you, just stay on your toes and check every so often!!

Thanks, I will. I booked through Expedia so would I call them, United or US Air? I'm already a little concerned because I have been looking for tickets for a couple of months now (checking daily) and yesterday was the only day that I've seen prices below $650. I paid $430 per ticket for 3 adults and $335 for 1 child. Already today the price is back up to $653 (I can't break the habit of price checking daily yet) for the same flight numbers. Congrats on your good luck.
 

2hokies

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toni3063 said:
Thanks, I will. I booked through Expedia so would I call them, United or US Air?
Hmmm, not sure. I would call Expedia first. If they give you a United or USAir reservation number, you could call the airlines directly as well. Our flights on our last trip to Aruba were a mess too, so just stay alert. If they cancel your flights or adjust your flight times so you don't have enough time to make the connection, they need to fix it for you.
 

Art

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Tracking Schedule Changes

At some point in the ticket purchasing sequence, you were given a 6 character "locator" code.

You can try punching this in on the United and USAir sites. One of them, most likely United since they the booking airline, will have the details on your flights. Assuming seat assignments are open, this is the place where you can get those, too.

Art
 
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