Is this partner site trustworthy? Do they charge credit card fees? Will I get a refund if I make a cancellation?
You can get the answers to all these nagging questions and more in a few minutes. In case you’re new to Skyscanner, we’d like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves.
We are a leading global travel search engine visited by 80 million people monthly. Travellers come in droves because they trust us to point them to the right direction during their travel planning and booking process. We’re a platform that aggregates the best deals among the millions of options offered by some 1,200 partners including airline sites and online travel agencies (OTAs). On Skyscanner, you can compare such deals with ease and pick those that meet your budget and preferences.
Oh, and did we mention that our services are completely free for users?
The most frequently asked questions about online travel agencies
Here are the questions we will address below:
- What are OTAs?
- Are OTAs legit?
- Why is the price different on Skyscanner and the OTA?
- Where is my booking confirmation?
- How do I change my booking details?
- Can I still earn my miles if I book with Skyscanner or OTAs?
- What is the pink book button?
- What items are included in the price displayed on Skyscanner
- Do OTAs charge credit card fees?
- How do I cancel my booking?
- Do OTAs provide a refund for cancellation or change of dates?
1. What are OTAs?
Online travel agencies (OTA) are websites that offer travel products such as flights, hotels, and car rentals to travellers. OTAs typically have an agreement with the supplier (airlines, hotel owners, etc) and they make a profit through resale.
Does that mean that you end up paying more when booking through an OTA rather than directly with the supplier? Not always. OTAs can negotiate for a lower rate by buying bulk inventory or participating in B2B marketplaces where these inventories are sold at a much lower rate. They then pass on the savings to you.
Skyscanner Tip: Use our app to compare all the prices available out there before making a booking.
2. Are OTAs legit?
If they’re one of our partners, then the answer is yes. We vet all our online travel agency partners and have to meet high standards in terms of customer service before they are able to work with us.
At the same time, each OTA is different in terms of price strategy, booking process, customer service offerings and so on. To help you make better decisions, each OTA has been given a Skyscanner Quality Rating score which is derived from our on-site survey and customer feedback about price reliability, fees, customer service, and the ease of use of the provider’s site.
The ratings appear as gold stars, with five stars as the best rating that an OTA can achieve. The numbers next to the stars indicate how many individual pieces of feedback has resulted in the partner’s rating. What makes this rating different than others, is that it is an aggregate rating of the latest six months, making sure that quality remains consistent.
Skyscanner Tip: You’ll find the Quality Rating score displayed prominently under the name of each OTA so you can compare them easily.
3. Why is the price different on Skyscanner and the OTA?
Skyscanner has standards for fee transparency and price accuracy, but there could still be small price differences between what’s found on Skyscanner and the OTAs. On top of that, the final prices will vary if you select add-ons such as check-in baggage and travel insurance.
Do remember that Skyscanner does not change the price that appears on our platform. Prices displayed on Skyscanner are inclusive of the estimated mandatory taxes and fees. However, after you are redirected to the website of the OTA to make your booking, these prices are updated based on your booking details and availability.
Skyscanner Tip: Read our science behind flight pricing article to get a more in-depth understanding behind this.
4. Where is my booking confirmation?
Once you have made a reservation with the airline or the OTA, the booking confirmation will be sent to your email address. This might take some time (may be up to 24 hours) for the provider to issue the e-ticket or booking reference number.
If you do not receive this email in your inbox, check your spam folder. Otherwise, contact the airline or the OTA directly. In the case that you forgot which OTA you booked from, look at your credit card statement as this information is usually displayed there.
5. How do I change my booking details?
To make changes to your booking details, you should contact the airline or OTA that you made your booking with. Most airlines and hotels allow you to manage your own booking as long as you have a booking reference number. These should be provided to you in the booking confirmation email.
Currently, Skyscanner does not have access to your booking information. Depending on the type of ticket you booked, there may be different options for changes. For more complicated requests, it’s best to go directly to the airline or hotel.
6. Can I still earn my miles if I book with Skyscanner or OTAs?
After your search on Skyscanner, and you’re redirected to one of our partners, then yes, bookings made with OTAs are eligible for miles as well as OTA loyalty programs.
You should get a prompt to input your membership or frequent flyer number during the booking process. Otherwise, you can retrieve your booking directly on the airline website using your booking reference. Then, input your membership or frequent flyer number into the passenger details to earn your miles.
7. What is the pink book button?
When you see the pink “BOOK” button, this means that you can complete your purchase with a travel provider without leaving Skyscanner. This offers you a more streamlined, reassuring and simplified booking experience with select partners, especially if you’re booking flights on mobile.
Bonus, if you’re logged into your Skyscanner account, you can experience seamless booking with details from your previous bookings auto-filled for your convenience. We are constantly improving the traveller experience on our app and site, and these are a few of such improvements we’ve made.
Remember that you are still booking with the airline, travel agent or travel provider – they still collect payment, and you will receive any confirmation emails, e-ticket and vouchers from them directly.
8. What items are included in the price displayed on Skyscanner
The price displayed on Skyscanner will include the base fare, as well as an estimate of the total mandatory taxes and fees. This price will be updated when the user is redirected to the website of the airline or travel agency.
Skyscanner Tip: You can check a list of airline fees here.
9. Do OTAs charge credit card fees?
Some OTAs charge extra fees for certain payment methods. However, there’s usually at least one popular payment method that is free, and the prices on Skyscanner reflect this.
Note that your bank may also charge a currency conversion fee for transactions made in a foreign currency instead of Singapore Dollars.
10. How do I cancel my booking?
If you made your booking through an OTA, you should retrieve your booking on the website of the OTA and request a cancellation. This link may be included in the booking confirmation you received in your email. You can also contact the OTA to learn more about its cancellation policies and whether you are eligible for a refund.
11. Do OTAs provide a refund for cancellation or change of dates?
To make changes in dates or to get a refund for cancellations, you should contact the OTA. Most OTAs charge a fee for changes and cancellations unless you’ve specifically picked a flexible ticket. On top of that, some tickets are non-refundable. Such information on fare conditions is typically displayed on our partner’s website. It’s best for users to read the OTA policies and T&C carefully before making their purchase.