Posts tagged ‘airfare’

Travel Predictions for 2009


Last week I wrote about the price of airfare falling, but airlines are not the only ones who will be making major changes to their pricing and terms of service when it comes to the travel industry.  Obviously, the poor economy coupled with falling fuel prices is making ticket sales lower; but both domestic and international airlines are going to be pulling back and canceling new flights and routes.  Instead, they’ll be focusing on running leaner and meaner with fewer flights to Europe, China, and South America.

Other differences you may encounter when traveling in 2009 include car rentals and hotel reservations.  Car rental companies will be less likely to replace their old cars which means you may find yourself in a less-than-perfect rental car with higher mileage than you’re used to seeing.  Advantage Rental Cars has already filed for bankruptcy, and Dollar seems to be close behind according to business news reports.  You’ll find that there will be fewer on-hand employees to help you when you go to rent a car, too.  These companies are cutting back on everything.  

The hotel industry is suffering after several years of rapid, unchecked over-development.  There are simply not enough people to fill the rooms and some real estate experts claim that many hotels are feeling the mortgage crisis worse than residential home owners.  All this means that some hotels will be closing down, and the survivors will be cutting back on staff, services, and perks.  That being said, customers will see the benefit of this downturn with highly competitive rates.

If you’re planning to travel in 2009, try to make your reservations and buy your tickets in advance.  Don’t be shy about comparing rates, and asking for discounts, vouchers, and other value-added perks that can get you a better deal on your trip.  Just be aware that there are going to be some attempts to sneak extra fees by you, so be sure to ask for full disclosure when you’re speaking to an agent, read the fine print, and double check your bills.

January 18, 2009 at 3:35 pm 2 comments

The Silver Lining…


We’re in a recession and no one is immune to the economic troubles, BUT the good news for consumers is that they can take advantage of some amazing discounts that large companies–including travel agencies, airlines, and hotels–are now offering to help boost their sales.  Combined with the weak economy, fuel prices have drastically become lowered, which means that airlines can cut fares even more.  According to this AP news article:

It’s not unusual for airlines to announce fare sales in January — there were 17 or 18 announced in January 2008 — but what’s different for several carriers this year is that the discounts are for travel extending as late as April, May or June, Seaney said. The sales last January were typically for travel through March…

Obviously, airlines and other travel-related companies can’t afford to give tickets away, but it would be well worth your while to start comparing fares now and buy tickets for later on in the year if you are planning to travel overseas or domestically.  Before you buy your tickets, compare prices with at least two other airlines, and ask them all if they match prices with other carriers.  Also, be sure you ask the agent to disclose all fees and additional costs associated with booking your flight.  These small expenses can add up and make the difference whether a ticket ends up being a good deal or not.

January 11, 2009 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

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