Do we waste time comparing travel costs?

LONDON, 5 March 2021: Over nine out of 10 (93%) adults in the USA find it cheaper or more convenient to search for holidays using an online travel agency (OTA) instead of booking directly with an airline.

The claim has its foundation in independent market research commissioned by eDreams ODIGEO, a leading online travel company in Europe.

The study showed that travellers planning future trips could avoid the elements of journey planning they enjoy the least – time spent on researching the best possible price (43%)  by booking with an OTA.

Although the survey findings were limited to just 2,000 adults in the US, it may have relevance worldwide, possibly indicating travellers now recognise an OTA offers savings in both costs and time.

However, most of the survey respondents still underestimate the level of discounts that an online agent can generate for them, with 78% of people believing that the saving is likely to be less than 15% compared to booking directly with an airline.

In reality, eDreams claims it can save customers an average of USD234, the equivalent of 19% when booking a dynamic package holiday (where travellers can create their own packages by combining accommodation and travel).

Though travel continues to be affected by lockdown restrictions around the world, positive progress in vaccination programmes is starting to create an uptick in searches for the summer months across eDreams ODIGEO’s USA travel brand

Reduce research time

When asked which elements of the travel booking process, consumers find the least enjoyable, nearly half (43%) referenced the time taken to find the best possible price.

According to an analysis of booking time by eDreams ODIGEO, consumers booking on its OTA websites will save a combined one million hours this year compared to booking directly with an airline, avoiding the least enjoyable element of travel planning.*

Another significant frustration felt by US travellers when planning travel is the difficulty in aligning dates and times for flight with the available accommodation, with 41% finding this element of travel planning unenjoyable.

Just over a third (35%) of respondents stated that they find organising flight connections for multi-leg trips, an unpleasant part of the travel booking process. OTAs can alleviate these frustrations by amalgamating multiple options from travel providers to provide different route and price options in one place, depending on whether convenience or price is the traveller’s top priority.

eDreams ODIGEO chief air supply officer Pablo Caspers commented: “We spoke to US travellers to understand what their pain points are when it comes to planning and booking travel and how eDreams as a travel agent can work to relieve these.

“Despite many people still being in lockdown with plenty of spare time, nearly half of US consumers still find researching price to be the least enjoyable element of travel planning, and this is a place where OTAs like eDreams can really help.”

eDreams ODIGEO is one of the world’s largest online travel companies and one of the largest e-commerce businesses in Europe. The leading travel brand offers 274,000 flight routes from over 650 airline partners.

Under its four leading online travel agency brands – eDreams, GO Voyages, Opodo, Travellink, and the metasearch engine Liligo – it serves more than 17 million customers per year across 45 markets.


An independent poll was carried out by OnePoll between 25 and 28 January 2021. 2,000 US adults who have travelled were surveyed.

*Calculated by eDreams ODIGEO based on an internal study that shows that consumers save on average 4.95 minutes when booking via the eDreams ODIGEO OTA brands compared to booking the same products on the airline website directly. The 1M figure is the aggregated time saving expected in 2021 for all eDreams ODIGEO customers, which includes single airline and multi-airline trips combined.



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