Save by booking through foreign carrier sites?

Tracy Stewart, December 11, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. When booking with a foreign carrier, how come it's often cheaper to book airfare on their country portal and more expensive on the US version of their site? In other words, booking as if you're Canadian, or Argentinian, or Australian, etc. through the Air Canada, Aerolineas Argentinas, or Qantas sites, respectively, you often find cheaper flights. They are in local currency of course, but even after conversion they are cheaper. What gives? Another ploy to squeeze Americans?

    A. Airlines can set their prices as they choose based on local markets, traffic, and conditions. They charge what they think the markets will bear. We're sure it works both ways, with fares booked on US carriers often beating out what's offered in other markets.

    It is a good idea when comparison shopping to check out fares from your arrival country, in the reverse. Especially when booking one-ways, or multi-city trips, we've definitely saved ourselves some cash by booking in the reverse.


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