Flights: book thru RS or Book Yourself?

I was unclear on the 2 categories of flight bookings offered by RS: Using Gateway city or custom. Gateway option is using a consolidator; happened to me with Collette and had ridiculous flight times and too many airports involved with long layovers. They get cheaper rates using less busy airports. Custom option will cost extra but you have to pay for it first, then see what they arrange for you. It takes time, and the whole system is rather a nuddle, but I book my own. On one RS trip met a couple from Georgia whose route to Burlington VT went from Atlanta over Chicago! That scared me off using RS.

  • For some upbeat experience using RS to book flights. I have good experiences using RS to arrange my flights. I think the key is to be proactive.

    Check what kinds of flights are possible from your airport to the destination and note down some options that work for you. E.g., when I'm flying to the East Coast, I need to be sure a red-eye flight is available to arrive within the pick-up window.

    Don't be shy about calling the RS travel service before they contact you. You can do this up to 9 months before departure. I was planning to call after the holidays to start arranging travel for a September program. Was surprised yesterday when I received a preliminary itinerary and encouragement to call about any changes I might want to make. Just did that and have the flights I want to extend my trip for another week and depart from a different airport.

    Bottom line: Do some research and don't be shy about initiating contact.