The Roaming Gnome

By | August 21, 2006

Travelocity is one of the most popular of the online travel sites, having been around since the beginning of these types of sites. Travelocity is known for its commercials featuring the Roaming Gnome, enforcer of the Travelocity Guarantee. The provisions of this guarantee are found here.

As Gridskipper reports here… the guarantee isn’t so much a guarantee as one might expect. It isn’t a price guarantee. What that means is if you complete the purchase process with them, and their partners cannot or will not supply what is promised at the price it was promised at, they will not guarantee what you purchased in good faith.

They will work with you and your partners to attempt to satisfy you…Often this means you may get a voucher for a future discount with them or a free night’s stay at a hotel. To expect them to pick up the trip is unreasonable. To expect them to honor what you purchased seems more reasonable, but not always an option.

Realistically, as Travelocity is not the operator of these services, they cannot always use their clout to convince their partners to provide in the event there is a problem. Generally, in the case of the online travel agencies, they get no commission from the airlines anymore, and thus they charge service fees to issue the tickets. These service fees are usually not charged when booking directly with the provider’s website, although phone bookings often incur a service fee.

Once Travelocity has made money off of you, it is not in its best interests to expend resources on helping you further. In the case of airline tickets, it will often refer you to the carrier for change. Essentially…they have taken your money and want someone else to do the work.

For this reason, we do tend to emphasize direct booking. With some rare exceptions, such as certain private fares, direct booking through the carrier’s website is less expensive than booking through a third party. And if there is a problem, the buck, so to speak, stops with the carrier. There is no third party in the middle of things. Do not think because it is Travelocity they are certain to have leverage with the carrier beyond what you would. provides a booking option with Kayak on every page of our site. Kayak allows you to search multiple sites and research the best fares possible. They do not sell anything themselves. We advise you to use them as a resource. Once you select a flight, they will transfer you over to the airline or even the travel site that posted the rate for booking.

We endorse them as a way of searching multiple sources for the best fare.

Author: Guru

Guru is the Editor of Flight Wisdom and a long time aviation enthusiast.