I’ve spent a lot of time the past few weeks looking at the various flight deals, packages, and sifting through reams of travel advice. Anyone looking for a flight, I found skyscanner.com and momondo.com incredibly handy, and found many more cheap flights through them than the other flight search engines I used.
In the end, I found the ideal flight for me on Orbitz, via skyscanner. Economy class and 16 hours with two layovers (an hour in Chicago and two in Dublin), it’s hardly a luxury flight but it’s far from the worst out there, and has the added bonus of being well under the budget I’d set for myself – which was $1000. A $564 ticket would bring my evening’s total expenses (added to the course deposit I just paid to The Language House) to the approximate equivalent of a cheap used car, $899.
So I went for it!
A lot of the reviews I read about Orbitz were hit or miss, so hopefully I’ll end up with a hit – I’m counting on the fact that more angry people write internet reviews than happy people, for any company, and Orbitz was hardly alone in having mobs of angry netizens after them. Every airfare aggregate I found had a similar trail of irate indignance smoldering at their backs. But I looked into buying directly from the airlines, as many “Top 10 Travel Tips”-styled articles advised, and found no direct flights from anywhere in Texas to Prague, or series of connecting flights that I could afford. Everything within my budget was hosted by Orbitz or a similar airline aggregate, like Faregeek, JustFly, or CheapTickets. None of which have the sparkling clean record I’d prefer, but so be it.
The flight I stumbled upon with Orbitz is multi-airline, and if I’d booked it with both United and Aer Lingus directly it would’ve been over twice as much. And $564 was too sweet a deal to turn down, especially when there were still plenty of positive reviews trickling in as well. Most of the complaints dealt with Orbitz’s substandard (and apparently sometimes hellish) customer service, which will suck if I run into problems – but here’s hoping a certain three-leaf clover can be as lucky as a four leaf one!
It certainly was lucky for my savings account, as I am now a hefty half-grand ahead of where I thought I’d be, which is a big relief because it was looking like it might be pretty tight for me come TEFL Graduation Day. Now my savings has a little buffer zone and I’m very, very pleased with it.
Though I did notice that my flight leaves on Thursday, November 12th, which means that I will be flying over the Atlantic somewhere when Friday the 13th rolls around… must be why the flight was so cheap – my lucky day!