On Monday, September 8, Expedia starting selling fares on upstart low-cost carrier Virgin America. In a press release, Expedia said Hotwire, which is owned by Expedia, Inc., will also begin selling Virgin America fares soon. Expedia's main competitors, Orbitz and Travelocity, already sell Virgin America tickets.
Why should you care? A wily blogger for BudgetTravel heard from an inside source that prices for Virgin America fares are 10 percent cheaper on Expedia and VirginAmerica.com than on other travel sites. This secret sale applies to fares booked by midnight PT September 11 for travel through October 29. When I checked online for round-trip Los Angeles to New York fares for mid-October travel on a variety of travel sites, VirginAmerica.com and Expedia.com both had low fares of $250 plus taxes. Prices for the same Virgin America fares on competitors' websites including Orbitz and Travelocity started at $278.
If you're planning to fly a route offered by Virgin America (the carrier serves Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York-JFK, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington-Dulles) this month or next, definitely check out fares on VirginAmerica.com or Expedia.com. If you just want to buy airfare, it's probably best to book directly with Virgin America—SmarterTravel.com generally advocates booking directly with the airline if cheaper fares can't be found elsewhere. However, if you need a hotel or other add-on, you may save on your overall travel costs by booking a package including Virgin America airfare through Expedia.
(Editor's Note: SmarterTravel.com is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network, an operating company of Expedia, Inc. Expedia, Inc. also owns Expedia.com.)