Cheap flights to S. America?
I’m hoping to travel to Peru this year, and am looking for a reputable ticket wholesaler (prices can be several hundred dollars cheaper than through a regular travel agent), from whom to buy tickets from Canada to Lima.
One guidebook suggests www.exitotravel.com/ as a particular specialist in Latin America.
The company’s website has some impressive background info, but gives no information about consumer protection. I did have a quick, very favourable reply for a quote, but I’ve had no response about whether they are IATA-registered, what consumer protection measures they have in place or under what consumer protection laws they are regulated.
Can anyone vouch for them as a reputable, reliable, hepful company?
Would anyone be able to suggest one with whom you have booked, and would use again with confidence?
Hello there. I imagine that you’ve probably found out a bit more about this now… but in case I can still help, here goes:
Direct flights from Canada to South America are very limited and it is generally best to transfer at a US hub (usually Miami, Houston or Atlanta). Airfares are seasonal, with the best prices during the dry winter (May, June and late September) and the wet summer (generally February–April excluding Carnaval and Easter). You’ve got the right idea going through a specialist flight agent, as they can often save you cash.
We at Rough Guides don’t know about eXito travel i’m afraid (hopefully someone who has used them might be able to answer this). Any legitimate company should be able to provide you with written information about your consumer rights and any airline protection scheme that they are members of.
If you are keen to go through an agent or operator, we can recommend Adventure Center (www.adventurecenter.com), Travel Cuts (www.travelcuts.com) and G Adventures (www.gadventures.com). You can often do your own online research to find a cheap flight with a reputable airline such as Air Canada. Payment by credit card provides certain protections under federal credit laws and you could take out insurance that specifically covers airline failure.
Thanks for your suggestions. I want to avoid the usual travel agents and the airline websites however. Having worked for a short while in the industry, I know specialist discounters will usually beat both – often quite dramatically. My only concern is finding one that sells Latin America to the public and for whom I can validate the credentials.
eXito have simply referred me back to their website at this point, so I’m going to pass on them for now. If I do end up going back to them, I’ll post here how things turn out.
Are you, or another of your colleagues able to tell me who Rough Guides uses, or who you have had good experiences with as a discounter for S. America?
It’s worth checking out flightfox.com. They have a pretty unique model for finding cheap flights. Basically, you post your flight as a ‘contest’ along with the cheapest flight you found online. You then challenge the experts to come up with something cheaper (that meets your criteria of course). The winner then gets a small fee. I haven’t used it personally, but friends of mine have and they made pretty big savings.
If you do use it, let us know how you get on.