Air Travel: Internet Airfare Purchasing

Air Travel: Internet Airfare Purchasing



Receipts for airfare purchased through an internet website should have the following elements:

  • Passenger name
  • Complete itinerary
  • Ticket number
  • Payment information

Expedia examples:

Orbitz examples:

Questions to Consider:

What are the ticket restrictions and associated fees?

  • Refundable?
  • Changeable?
  • Exchangeable?
  • Transferable?

Do you understand and agree to the fine print in the terms and conditions, fare restrictions?

How much time will it really take to find a good fare and schedules via the Internet?

Are there additional costs to the advertised fare? Ticketing fees? Airport fees?

Is the schedule convenient?

  • Connections?
  • Airport?
  • Time?
  • Dates?

Do you have reserved seats?

If not, you can usually go to the airline website for seat assignments after you are ticketed.

Have you reviewed security measures for travel?

  • Check bag limitations
  • Luggage weight/size restrictions
  • Check-in time
  • Foreign entry requirements

At check-in, some airlines require the actual credit card used to purchase the ticket. If using the UO procurement card, will this present difficulties for the department?

What happens if your flight is cancelled or you miss a connection? Is 24-hour customer service available?

What happens if the trip doesn't occur?

Procedures differ for tickets purchased using a contracted travel agency, UO procurement card, or traveler's personal credit card.UO Unused Airline Ticket Procedure

Major Advantages of Agency Purchase:

  • Fare Savings – travel agencies know how to break fares when ticketing and which routes might offer a greater savings.  Depending on your destination,  wholesaler or contract pricing might be available.  They are trained to look for most efficient routes and the least amount of travel time for business travelers. Occasionally you might find a better fare online, be sure to let them know so you can decide together if an extra connection or longer travel time is worth the savings.
    • Airline discounts – Most United, Emirates and Alaska fares qualify for a 2% State of Oregon discount.  This is only available through our travel agency partners.
  • Proper ticketing
    • Travel agents know which airlines have partner ticketing agreements and baggage agreements.  And they know when to not combine certain airlines for security purposes. This is vital to be sure your bag arrives with you or to offer easy itinerary changes.
    • No Trick Ticketing – Online ticket sources have started selling two one way tickets which double the change/cancel penalties, meaning your ticket may become worthless if you need to make a change. 
    • Circle itinerary ticketing – Travel agents know how and when to combine all city stops on one ticket to assure correct connect times, provide airline protection in case of weather or mechanical misconnect, and for calculation of lowest tax rates.
  • Emergency assistance – if you have weather or mechanical issues on your flight, everyone on that plane must either call the airline 800 number or go stand in a customer service line. UO travel agencies offer 24 hour - 7 day a week toll free emergency hotlines and can rebook your flight even before you get off the plane.  This service is also available for international travelers.  If you book all your travel arrangements with your travel agent - air, car and hotel - it assures that if a change is necessary, they can coordinate changes to all your travel components.
  • Special  requests – Travel agencies have close relationships with the airlines and can sometimes:
    • Get seat assignments when none may be available.
    • Get change fees waived or get name changes on tickets
  • No Personal Payment – Air is purchased using the UO Travel Office credit card. No need to incur interest charges on your personal card waiting till after the trip for reimbursement.  However if you prefer to use your own credit card for credits or points, the agency can charge your credit card for the ticket.
  • Comparison Quotes and Split Payments – Adding personal time to your trip?  Your travel agent can quickly prepare a comparison quote to show the business only cost of your trip.  And they can do split payments on most airlines,  charging the business portion to the UO credit card and the personal expense to your credit card.
  • Time Savings – How much do you or your traveler get paid per hour?  Let the agency search out the lowest fare.  The ticket fee may be $25 but if a traveler (or travel coordinator) spends several hours searching for their own itinerary you have just added several hundred dollars to the cost of the reservations.  Your time is valuable!
  • International Travel counsel – Agents provide assistance with entry visas, passport validity and security measures.
  • Fly America Act knowledgeable -  Our travel agents can help you find correct airline, code share carriers and itineraries when traveling on Federally Funded Grants and can assist with any exception documentation requirements.
  • Cancelled ticket tracking – special software allows them to know when a cancelled ticket is available for an exchange on a new itinerary. 
  • Cancel and void a ticket within 24 hours of the purchase, avoiding the airline changes fees of $200 and up.
  • Travel Insurance -  Tickets purchased through our travel agency partners are covered by travel insurance including death/dismemberment and lost luggage.
  • Traveler Profiles – travel agencies keep your frequent flyer numbers, hotel and rental car membership numbers, seat preferences and passport numbers in a secure profile and enter them into your reservations as required.
  • Rental Cars – our travel agencies have the State of Oregon contract discount numbers available or can help you with other discounts if the contract is not appropriate for your needs (personal time, traveling with family or friends).
  • Hotels – Make it a habit to check with your travel agent for hotel accommodations.  They belong to consortiums which offer some of the lowest pricing available.  Hotels and cars can be booked along with your air with no additional fees!
  • Personal follow up – For transaction booked with an agency, your travel agent can assist you with mileage credit, receipt copies, duplicate car/hotel receipts, airline refunds and more.