Next time you’re looking for a deal on a flight, make sure to check out the ‘deals’ page of airlines flying to your destination. Airlines are increasingly keeping their deals off of popular online travel agents such as Kayak and FareCompare.

It??s pretty clear why this is happening: airlines are forced to pay OTAs and other third party sites a commission when a consumer buys an airfare, just as they used to pay travel agents, who once got a standard 10 percent commission on every airline ticket they sold. If the airlines can skip the middleman, not only do they save the commission expenses, but they build consumer loyalty and drive traffic to their sites.

When you are set on getting a deal, install Yapta to get automatic alerts when tickets fall below your desired price and check Airfarewatchdog. Agents from the site check all of the airlines’ sites manually and post the prices and details of each deal.

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[photo by: alpine]