Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cool Airfare Website

Thanks, everyone! Sorry it's been a while since we've posted. Hope to get back in the swing of things shortly. We're putting the final touches on our first travel book. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here's a little trick:

Let’s say, for example, you want to fly from Tampa to San Diego, or Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand. Go to www.kayak.com and sign up for their free fare alert service by sticking in your dates and city pairs. Then just wait for the “Kayak Buzz Daily Alert” emails. Included are interesting graphs showing the history of recent fares to your destination and lists of airlines offering the current lowest published airfares in the market.

Typically (if there really is such a thing in the airline world), sales are more likely to happen on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or early Thursday mornings. There’s a little trick for you night owls out there. Did you know that it’s not uncommon for the airlines to change a bunch of their airfares between midnight and 3 a.m. local time of the hub city for the airline? (i.e., Atlanta time for Delta, or Minneapolis time for Northwest).

Sometimes during these wee hours, the airline employees who are loading the airfare onto the airline website might mess up and either omit or reverse a number in the fare. That’s the rare occasion you might be able to grab a ski season fare from your hometown for $37 dollars plus tax, instead of the $370 dollars it was supposed to be.

Granted, these airfare mistakes don’t happen often, but when they do, again be ready to jump on a sale without thinking twice. Once the fare is ticketed, the only way the rate can increase on you is if you decided to change your travel dates.

The time frame when the airlines load their sale fares into the computer certainly is not set in stone. This past Friday at 9:15 p.m. we spotted a discounted airfare to Zurich, and immediately called some clients late at night. Alas, by the time folks got back in touch with us within a few hours, the rate had already vanished!

As a matter of fact, the sale rate was in the computer all of 45 minutes! The airfare zoomed up $337 within the blink of an eye. Moral of the story is scoop up that sale fare as soon as you see it. So many of them are here this hour and gone the next. Happy travels!

The Trip Chicks

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