Getting Good Airfaresby ExperiencePlus! - Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Getting Good Airfares
Note that we said "good" airfare, not "cheap" airfare. There’s a difference and you should make note of that difference as it may save you money and grief in the long run.
Cheap airfare often means that you cannot change your mind or your flight and you pay 100% penalty in the event you have to cancel. As certain as you may be about going on your tour, accidents happen, companions fall ill or aging parents require you to cancel. So be very careful about purchasing the cheapest airfare.
Good airfare is inexpensive or "fairly" priced airfare that allows you flexibility in changing flight dates if necessary and even canceling if required. This is often worth the extra money!
Here’s where to look for good airfare: Online, online and online. Note however, that as smart as you may be and as adept as you are at shopping online, there may still be a reason to pay your travel agent to do this for you! For the modest fee of $25 – $50 per person your agent knows exactly where to look and she or he know the tricks of the trade. Those tricks include:
Increased competition online is leading to better deals. But you have to monitor them and you have to know what the airlines are thinking!
For example: I just searched Orbitz.com for a Denver to Bologna round trip flight in June. The airlines are holding back on reduced fares that far into the future so the cost is $1200+. The same flight in April is $560! Yet come February, that flight will likely be reduced as airlines try to sell unsold seats. I found fares to Seville in May at $693 round trip and to Palermo in April for $907 on Orbitz, while Cheaptickets.com was $986 to Palermo and OneTravel.com was $936).
Buy your ticket now, at the higher fare, through a travel agent and your agent may be able to monitor fares and get you the reduced price if and when it becomes available. (You may be able to do this also, but read the fine print first!)
When trying online look at both your favorite airline and at the online travel outlets like Orbitz.com, Expedia.com, Travelocity.com but try also some of the lesser known sites such as CheapTickets.com and OneTravel.com. A good travel agent will have even more suggestions.
Need a Good Travel Agent?
We’ve been working for years with Jane Folsom at Destinations By Design here in Fort Collins. She knows the needs of our customers and because she is likely helping other of our customers going on our tours, she may have just researched the fare you seek. Give her a call at (800) 553-6133 or drop her a line at Jane@dbd-travel.com. Jane will charge you a small fee for her services but you’ll save yourself a lot of time and headaches!
Here is a simple three-step approach to finding the lowest airfare this fall and winter:
Check fares online: Search for low fares at both the big travel sites (e.g., Travelocity.com, Expedia.com, Orbitz.com) as well as the sites for individual airlines (e.g., BritishAirways.com, United.com, Delta.com). The key to finding deals online is to shop around and to try different routes and departure dates. Depending on ticket availability, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars by flying into Brussels instead of Paris, for instance. Or by flying on a Wednesday rather than Thursday.
For more tips on finding the best airfare deals, contact us by e-mail at tours@ExperiencePlus.com or call our sales staff at 800-685-4565.
Airtravel Suggestions from the Fort Collins Staff
— Rick Price