DENVER (CBS4)– Those great online hotel deals may not be a bargain. A lawsuit against Orbitz, Travelocity and several major hotel chains suggests the sites conspire to fix prices.

Two consumers are seeking a class action status in a federal court in California. A legal ruling could be months or even years away.

Consumer experts say it’s best to shop around and do your own research instead of treating the sites as the final word.

“I go to a fare finder site and I compare several different places,” said one traveler.

Sites like Orbitz and Travelocity have become so popular because of specials advertising 40 percent off and other big discounts.

A lawsuit filed against the companies makes claims the customer isn’t getting a good deal.

“Once you hone in on where you want to go, check Trip Advisor and Yelp,” advises Washington Park Travel spokewoman Sherri Teter.

Teter suggests calling the business directly and asking the hotel about a prepaid rate which may be cheaper.

“Once I get on the internet I get phone numbers. Don’t rely on calling the 1-800 number because I don’t think you get all the information,” said Teter.

She suggests calling the hotel directly and asking to speak to the front desk manager.

Orbitz denies any wrongdoing and claims the case has no merit. Travelocity said it hasn’t engaged in any anti-competitive actions.

Travel experts recommend asking about military discounts, senior citizen and student discounts. Triple A also offers discounts but for an annual fee.


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