Last Updated: February 8, 2023
Are you thinking of booking a flight, hotel, or rental car through Cheapoair but have doubts about its legitimacy, reliability, and safety?
Look no further!
In this article, I am going to cover EXACTLY that and what you should be aware of before booking through CheapOair.
Let’s dive right in.
Is CheapOair Legit?
CheapOair is a legitimate online travel agency as it is owned by Fareportal, a leading travel technology company. However, the risk of issues associated with booking through CheapOair is higher than booking directly.
Though issues can occur even with direct booking, the chances are much lower compared to booking through CheapOair due to the involvement of a third party (CheapOair).
Let me explain what I mean.
In case you do not know, CheapOair is an online travel agency (OTA) that basically acts as a middleman between you and the travel providers such as airlines, hotels, and car rental companies.
As a middleman, CheapOair collects your payment and is responsible for your booking, not the travel provider you booked with since your contract is not directly with them, it is with CheapOair.
Therefore, you should not expect any direct assistance from your travel providers.
In case of any issues between you and your travel provider, you must involve CheapOair first, and then they will reach out to the travel provider on your behalf to resolve the matter.
But the problem is:
There is a lack of customer service on CheapOair.
It is not just CheapOair where customer service can be lacking; online travel agencies generally skimp on customer service to keep their costs down and offer you cheaper rates than direct bookings.
So in case you are booked through CheapOair and need any help, there is a good chance you are going to be stuck in a lot of back and forth between the travel provider and CheapOair before your issue is resolved.
And it is quite possible that your issue may not be resolved either, especially if it is urgent due to the lack of customer service on CheapOair.
Likewise, making changes or cancellations to bookings made through CheapoAir gets complicated, especially in the case of flight reservations since an intermediary is involved.
While you may be able to easily cancel or make changes to hotels booked through CheapoAir, but doing the same to flights is much more difficult.
In fact, it is nearly impossible in most cases.
The reason is that even if you book directly with the airline, making changes or cancellations to your flight is challenging.
And if your flights are booked through CheapOair then things are going to be more complicated because of the third party involvement.
On the other hand, when you’re booked directly then it becomes far more convenient to make changes, cancellations, or resolve any other issues since you won’t have to rely on the middleman (CheapOair).
Additionally, the hotels and airlines give more preference to customers who booked directly with them over those who booked through CheapOair or any other online travel agencies.
The reason is simple:
The travel providers make more profits from direct sales than those made through CheapOair since they won’t have to pay any commissions to CheapOair.
Moreover, it is easier for the travel providers to handle direct customers as opposed to those who make their reservations through online travel agencies such as CheapOair, Booking.com, Agoda, Priceline, Traveluro, eDreams, Trip.com, etc.
An example of this is that the hotels may not receive your booking confirmation from CheapOair, resulting in no reservation or overbooking for the same room.
In fact, this is one of the most common issues guests encounter when they arrive at the hotel booked through CheapOair (but you can prevent it by following the tips below).
There have been numerous cases where a guest has been stranded in a strange city without any room availability in the hotel, despite making an advance booking with them through CheapOair.
Here’s why this happens:
Sometimes CheapOair fails to inform hotels about a guest’s reservation since it is a middleman between both parties.
At times, the hotels also “bump” guests who paid the least through an online travel agency like CheapOair and sell it to someone who paid a higher rate directly.
And upon the arrival of the guests at the hotel, the hotel lies to them and claims that their reservation was never made.
In a situation like this, your only option would be to contact CheapOair since your contract is with them, not with the hotel directly.
And since the customer support of CheapOair is unreliable, you are unlikely to get immediate assistance from them.
And even if you manage to get in touch with CheapOair’s customer service, there are two possibilities:
- CheapOair will either get you an alternate room within the same hotel or they will book you at another hotel nearby.
- Or, in the worst-case scenario, CheapOair may push things onto the hotel and the hotel may turn around and push things back on CheapOair, leaving you stuck in the middle.
As a result, you will either pay more money directly to the hotel to give you another room or, in the event that no rooms are available, you’ll have to find another hotel nearby.
Conversely, you won’t have to face such issues when you’re booked directly since there is no middleman involved.
So, long story short:
While it is true that the risks associated with booking through CheapOair are high, as far as its legitimacy is concerned, it is indeed a legitimate platform.
If CheapOair were a scam company, it probably would not be a part of such a prestigious online travel company, Fareportal.
On top of all that, CheapOair has won many awards in the travel space which proves that it is a trustworthy brand.
Apart from that, CheapOair has been in business for over 17 years and it is a fact that scam companies don’t survive this long.
Taking all these factors into account, one can easily judge whether or not CheapOair is legitimate.
So yes, CheapOair is legit.
Apart from being a legitimate company, CheapOair typically offers better rates than direct bookings.
However, having a middleman (CheapOair) can complicate any mishaps.
In case any issues arise, it is quite possible that your travel providers (airlines, hotels, etc.) may tell you to coordinate any issues through CheapoAir rather than directly with them.
And CheapOair may then turn around and push things back to the travel provider, leaving you stuck in the middle.
In simple words, CheapOair generally saves you money over direct bookings and works out just fine as long as everything goes smoothly.
But if something goes wrong or you need to make changes or cancellations to your bookings, especially if you booked flights through them, you will have a hard time doing so.
So, Should You Book Directly or Through CheapOair?
If the price difference between booking directly and through CheapOair is the same or slightly less then there is no point to book through CheapOair.
However, if there are significant differences in rates then it mostly comes down to personal comfort.
Personally, I recommend you to book your flights directly rather than through CheapOair.
The reason is that when your flights are booked through CheapOair and something goes wrong or you need to make changes or cancellations, it can be a nightmare for you.
I only recommend CheapOair for booking hotels since their hotel bookings are powered by Booking.com which is one of the most trusted online travel agencies for booking accommodation.
However, you should book hotels through CheapOair only if these conditions are met:
- If you’re getting a much lower rate than a direct booking with the hotel.
- If you plan to stay in a normal hotel, rather than a luxury hotel that is expensive.
- And lastly, you’re not booking a hotel for weeks or months.
In addition to these conditions, you must be following these:
8 Tips To Know Before Booking Through CheapOair
If you follow these eight tips, your hotel booking experience with CheapOair is going to be a smooth one:
1. Check Hotel & Room Photos
To know about the condition of the hotel you’re considering booking, make sure that you’ve properly checked the photos of it.
And most importantly, you should also check the photos of the room you’re considering booking for your stay.
Be wary of any listings with limited photos of things like the bathroom or beds to avoid any nasty surprises when you arrive at your destination.
Note: The hotel presents its best side to you in the photos. To get a realistic idea of a hotel and its rooms, you need to:
2. Read Guest Reviews
Before you make a booking with your hotel, it is very crucial to read guest reviews properly to get an actual idea of what to expect from the property.
Always choose a hotel with a minimum of 100+ reviews and ratings of at least 8.5 out of 10.
Next, you’ve to:
3. Be Aware of The Policies
In most of the cases, customers overlook the policies of the hotel when booking which later on results in many problems such as unsuccessful cancellations and refunds.
Therefore, it is extremely important to be aware of the room cancellations and refund policies before booking because some rooms include free cancellation before a certain time to receive a refund, whereas others are non-refundable.
Furthermore, you need to read and follow the house rules as well.
Next, you should:
4. Look For Your Needed Facilities
Make sure the room you’re considering booking has your required facilities.
Additionally, check the hotel’s overall facilities as well to ensure if it has the facilities you require.
Following the tips above, you’re ready to book your hotel. However, when booking, you should:
5. Book Your Hotel with One That Do Not Require Prepayments
Most of the hotels at CheapOair do not require prepayments.
Therefore, it is highly recommended to book with ones that do not require prepayments so that if your plans change, you can easily cancel your booking without dealing with CheapOair’s lengthy and complicated refund process.
6. Enter The Required Booking Details Correctly
You should bear in mind that your name and other details may not be changed once your booking is made.
Therefore, when booking anything through CheapOair, make sure that you have entered correct booking details, especially name and date, as only a slight difference can cost you both time and money.
And finally, you must:
7. Confirm Your Booking with The Hotel
As I said before, one of the major risks associated with booking a hotel through CheapOair is that your host may not receive your booking confirmation from CheapOair.
This can result in no room availability when you arrive at the property.
Although CheapOair will send you a confirmation email once your reservation has been made, it is highly recommended to contact your host and confirm your booking to avoid any nasty surprises when you arrive at your hotel.
In case you’re wondering, how to contact your hotel?
Well, once your hotel reservation is made through CheapOair, you’ll be able to see your hotel’s contact details.
Note: In case your hotel does not doesn’t respond to you, you should cancel your booking before the cancellation deadline and since you chose to pay at the hotel, you don’t need to worry about anything.
8. Print Out Your Itineraries
Upon successful booking, CheapOair will send you a confirmation email outlining the details of your stay, what’s included in your package, refund/cancellation policies, and other important details.
While you can present an electronic copy of your booking confirmation upon check-in, it is preferable to print out your itineraries to avoid any problems when you arrive at your destination.
There you have it!
By following these eight tips, you are unlikely to encounter any problems with your hotel bookings through CheapOair:
Why Is CheapOair Cheaper Than Direct Bookings?
CheapOair basically acts as a salesperson by facilitating a booking between the traveler and the travel provider (airline, hotel, car rental company, etc.)
To help travel providers sell their bookings, CheapOair gets a commission in exchange.
Since the travel providers pay a commission to CheapOair when a traveler books through them, CheapOair, in turn, may pass some of that commission on to consumers.
Thus, CheapOair is able to offer you cheaper rates than direct bookings.
No doubt, CheapOair is a legitimate company and it really offers cheaper rates (in most cases) than airlines, hotels, and other travel services.
But if things go wrong or you need to make changes or cancellations to your bookings, especially flights, then it will become complicated.
So, should you book directly or through CheapOair?
Well, as I said before, it mostly comes down to personal comforts but here are my final suggestions:
Avoid booking everything, especially flights, through CheapOair.
You can only consider booking hotels through them and that’s only if:
- You’re getting a much cheaper rate than booking directly with the hotel.
- You plan to stay in a normal hotel, rather than a luxury hotel that is expensive.
- And lastly, you’re not booking a hotel for weeks or months.
Apart from these conditions, you must be following the tips listed above.
So that’s it from my side!
If you still have any questions or want to share your personal experience with CheapOair, please feel free to let us know in the comments.