We compare two of Australia's biggest online travel agencies to see which can work better for you.
Flight Centre or Expedia? Both online travel agencies dominate the market, allowing you to browse, compare and book everything from flights and hotels to car hire and travel insurance.
But there must be a difference between the two, right? We peg these two agencies against each other to see which can work better for you and your travel needs. Here we go!
Flight Centre vs Expedia
|What can I book?||
||Flight Centre offers a wider range of products.|
|Can I price match?||Flight Centre will beat competitor flight prices by $1.||Flights and packages can be price matched.If successful, you'll also receive a $50 Expedia voucher.||Expedia offers the bigger incentive, but you'll have to book with the company again.|
|Can I use lay-by or a payment plan?||Interest-free finance is available for holidays of $999 or more. A $99 annual fee applies and finance is subject to approval.||Yes, for hotels only.||Flight Centre offers finance for a wider range of travel products.|
|Are there any booking fees?||Online bookings incur a $9.99 fee for domestic flights and a $39.95 fee for international flights. These are waived on Fridays and on flights booked over the phone.||Expedia doesn't charge fees, however, the airline you book with may.||Expedia is fee-free.|
|Is there an online chat function?||Yes.||Customer support is available by phone only.||Only Flight Centre offers online chat support.|
|Is there a loyalty scheme?||No.||Yes, for hotels only. Earn points per stay and benefit from hotel extras.||Only Expedia has a loyalty program.|
|What are my payment options?||
||Flight Centre accepts a wider range of payment methods.|
|Can I book round-the-world flights?||Yes, the full list can be found here.||No.||Only Flight Centre offers round-the-world flights and bookings.|
|Can I book a multi-city trip?||Yes, but you can't do it yourself.You must speak to an agent for a quote.||Yes.||It's easier to book your multi-city trip with Expedia.|
|Any features for finding the best price?||Some destination pages include a comparison of the cheapest, quickest and most popular flight options.||The flight finder search will show you a calendar of dates with low fares closest to your nominated dates. It also shows any flight and hotel deals for your dates.||Expedia allows you to easily play with your dates to find the cheapest possible fare.|
Which offers the best price?
Flight Centre and Expedia both offer price-match guarantees with incentives of $1 off (Flight Centre) or a $50 voucher to use on future bookings (Expedia). Whichever website you book with, you stand to get the best price.
When searching for the same flight we found that Expedia.com.au came out cheaper. Again, you can work your price-match guarantee to get an even better price with Flight Centre.
Flight Centre flight price:
Expedia flight price:
Which offers a wider range of airlines?
Both online travel agencies work with a wide range of airlines in Australia and around the world.
Flight Centre features fares from 67 airlines worldwide. Domestically it offers flights on Airnorth, Jetstar, Qantas, Rex, Tigerair and Virgin Australia. International airlines include American Airlines, British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Fiji Airways, Qatar, Royal Brunei and Thai Airways.
Expedia features fares from 130 airlines worldwide. Domestically it offers flights on Jetstar, Qantas, Rex, Tigerair and Virgin Australia but not Airnorth. International airlines include Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Emirates, American Airlines, China Eastern and China Southern.
Of the two, Expedia offers flights with double the number of airlines that Flight Centre does. It offers flights with several airlines that Flight Centre does not, including Flybe, Alitalia and Air Europa.
Any other differences worth noting?
Cancellation policies: Expedia offers a 24-hour cancellation window on flights. To cancel your flight, simply log in to your account and click "cancel flight" on your itinerary page. Flight Centre's cancellation policy differs depending on what you're booking, and it's advised that you read the fine print or query your cancellation options before committing.
Sign up: To book with Expedia you'll need to sign up for an account. This is free to do but is an extra step. Flight Centre bookings don't require you to have an account. In fact, there aren't any account sign up or login options available.
What are the deals like?
Flight Centre offers deals across all kinds of travel products including flights, cruises and holiday packages, but it doesn't offer deals on hotels, tours or car hire. It updates its best deals page daily. Prominent deals that Flight Centre has featured in the past include $799 return fares from Australia to London and $1 return fares on domestic routes.
Expedia offers deals across flights, cruises, holiday packages and car hire. It has a dedicated last-minute deals page as well as a daily deals page. Prominent deals that Expedia has featured in the past include Bali holidays from $699 and 30% off hotels.
Each website boasts its own solid assortment of deals but Expedia covers a wider range of travel products. See below for the best deals around from both at the moment: