How To Find A Benchmark
Price For Airline Tickets

by David Tinney

Recently, I found a tool to that helps determine whether the price of an airline ticket is a bargain or not.

How do you know if the price you are being quoted is actually a low price? There is a way and I am going to tell you now.

You must first set a benchmark price and the best benchmark is the "retail" price the airlines are selling the ticket to your destination for.

Why is the retail price the benchmark? Because that is highest price you should pay. So any price below that would be a bargain, right?

Not long ago, I came across a website that scans up to 30 online booking engines. This including the major sites such as Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia and all the major airline sites.

You can use this site for yourself, it's free. The name of the site is Sidestep and is located at

When you find the lowest price for your destination on Sidestep, you have effectively set the benchmark, the retail price. Because all of these sites are selling "retail" prices.

For an explanation of the difference between "retail" and "wholesale" air tickets, go to this site: What is a consolidator air ticket?

Incidentally, consolidator tickets are the airlines "best kept secret" from the public.

To show you how this works, on Sidestep I checked the price for a return ticket from Chicago to London, departing April 15th and returning one week later. Sidestep revealed the lowest price was $738 on Air Canada's website.

So now, I have set a benchmark price. Anything I find under $738 would be a better buy, right? A bargain fare.

Then, I checked the fares on our booking engine located at Adventure Travel Service, consolidator airline tickets, and we have a fare of $568 on United Airlines.

That's a savings of $170, a true bargain fare!

So now you can use a free tool to determine the benchmark price, "retail", then continue your search and you'll know if you are getting a bargain fare as you compare it to the benchmark price.

David Tinney, an expert in the travel industry, is the owner of Adventure Travel Service and author of the best selling e-guide, Why Not Fly Free?

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