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Malthus

3rd party sites for booking flights

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In my experience there isn't usually a great deal of difference.

You could always start with the comparison sites then just check the airline page to make sure it isn't cheaper direct.  The only thing to consider is the comparison sites may not cover all airlines.  We once got very cheap flights to Mexico by booking with Thomas Cook which never appeared in third party searches.

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Timing obviously makes a huge difference, time of year, weekday/weekend and timing of flight and time before flight that flight is booked. May have some leeway to juggle some of those. Interesting the difference between more commuter orientated routes (where pricing general climbs heavily towards day of flight) whereas holiday destinations just less than a week before the flight the real bargains appear. This feature on Skyscanner exposes some of that data for individual routes. With a single route you wish to travel there may not be the flexibility to play too much with the timing game.

https://www.skyscanner.net/bttb/best-time-to-book-uk

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In the end I booked direct with the airline 

The cheapest prices being quoted on the 3rd party sites had very very tight transfer times and I didn’t fancy sprinting through Heathrow 

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