All Articles Tagged "airfare"
Traveling to and from a destination should really be a relaxing experience. You should be able to go through security, board your flight and indulge yourself with an in-flight movie and above-average airplane food. One would think with such expensive flights, airlines would be rolling out the red carpet for us. Unfortunately, this is not the way things are.
Whether you must fly for business or pleasure, what are some things you deem to be non-negotiable when it comes to traveling? Here are nine things airlines could do that just might make our flight experience more enjoyable.
With airlines continuing to merge, there is less competition which results in higher prices for everyone, according to The Wall Street Journal. Some big-city air routes have been hit with price increases as steep as 40 or 50 percent.
More price increases could come with the announced combination of American Airlines and US Airways. “When two competitors combine to dominate prime routes, those markets tend to bear the brunt of higher prices,” reports WSJ.
History tells us mergers are bad news for travelers and ticket prices. In 2010 United Airlines and Continental Airlines merged. The two carriers previously competed for customers flying between Chicago and Houston. Following the merger, the combined company (which took the United name) now carries 79 percent of the traffic traveling between Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, according to the newspaper. The average fare on that route jumped an incredible 57 percent in three months, according to Department of Transportation data compiled by PlaneStats.com.
And with the latest merger, many routes served by both American and US Airways will see higher prices. These routes include Miami-Philadelphia, Dallas-Phoenix, Charlotte-New York, Washington DC-St. Louis, among others.
“Another route that will be dominated by the planned merger is between Philadelphia, a big hub for US Airways, and Dallas-Fort Worth, American’s biggest hub,” writes WSJ. “The two airlines will have a combined 92.4% market share of that route, based on current business numbers.”
While most experts say ticket prices will rise due to the merger, executives of American and US Airways said in testimony before the Senate in March that overall, their financial projections include no fare hikes, reports the newspaper. Instead, they claim the merger will increase competition across the country because they can offer more connections and be a stronger competitor to United and Delta.
Over on Fox Business, there are tips for finding lower-priced airfare, particularly important as we head into the heavier travel season. Among the tips: use am “airline consolidator” and be flexible about when you travel.
What are your money-saving travel tips?
If you haven’t booked your Thanksgiving flights yet, the tickets may cost you a little bit more this year. And the lingering efforts of Hurricane Sandy could be the reason. During the storm period, airlines grounded thousands of flights, causing them to lose revenue. In order to make up their losses, carriers might have to raise airfares.
Holiday travel prices were already expected to be most costly this year. “The average round-trip domestic airfare will be 4 percent to 9 percent higher than a year ago,” reports Tulsa World.
United Airlines just announced that Sandy caused its October revenue to be cut by about $90 million and profit by $35 million because the carrier was forced to cancel nearly 5,300 flights. Traffic in October fell 3.3 percent. “That’s nearly an entire day’s worth of United’s schedule lost. It runs about 5,500 flights a day throughout the world, including those operated by its regional partners,” reports The Chicago Tribune.
Delta, too, was affected, and according to the Trib, the hurricane cut its October revenue by $45 million and profit by $20 million. Both airlines expect the negative impact of Sandy to continue through the month of November.
There are still a few deals to be found, Courtney Scott, senior editor of the online travel website Travelocity tells Tulsa World. According to Scott, the average round-trip domestic airfare this Thanksgiving is $386, including tax—but you can do better. How? Don’t travel when everyone else is. “If you can adjust your travel dates, you can save as much as $288 on your Thanksgiving airfare. We recommend leaving on Thanksgiving Day and returning home on Friday, Nov. 23, or Tuesday, Nov. 27, to see the most savings and avoid the crowds at the airports,” Scott explains to Tulsa World.
-Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is one of the first women ever to be admitted to the He Man Women-Haters Club a.k.a. the Augusta National Golf Club. The other woman to be admitted is Darla Moore, a South Carolina financier who was the highest paid woman woman in the financial industry in the 1980s and 90s and married a billionaire in 1991. The club, which has been around for 80 years, issued a statement yesterday saying, “These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership.” The issue of admitting woman became major earlier this year. IBM was a big sponsor of the Masters tournament (held at Augusta) but wouldn’t let its CEO, Virginia Rometty, join. The four previous men had. It’s reported that the club also sees the admittance of women as an opportunity for growth — of the game and its own roster.
-Travel is getting trickier. A number of regional airlines, such as Pinnacle and Comair, are shutting down or headed to bankruptcy court. These smaller carriers are responsible for half of the flights that take off and land in the U.S. This means longer drive times to the nearest airport for many across the U.S. At the same time, airfares are going up. Southwest is fixing to charge $5 more on one-way fares for trips that are 500 miles or less. Other airlines will likely follow in their footsteps. But if it’s any consolation, fares to Europe have gone down for the fall now that the Olympics are over. Still, the prices can be steep ($750 to London) because of fuel costs.
-This New York Times article says that President Obama wasn’t aggressive enough with his policies to help homeowners facing foreclosure. “Mr. Obama and his advisers were convinced that even in the depths of an unyielding crisis, most Americans did not want their neighbors rescued at public expense,” the article says. Thoughts?
-The Beloit College Mindset List, which details the reference points for the incoming class of 2016, has been released. Guess what? Most of us are old. Some of the items on the list: they’ve never seen an actual airline “ticket”; the Jacksons (as in Tito, Janet and Jermaine) rather than the Kennedys are “American royalty”; and they have very little use for a radio.
-Missouri Rep. Todd Akin has apologized (again) for his absurd and outrageous comments about “legitimate rape” in this online clip. Some Republicans are urging him to drop out of the race.
Wouldn’t it be nice if traveling didn’t mean picking up extra hours at work, or going on a serious budget for months just so you can afford it? If only airfare was cheap, the world would be yours for the taking. Guess what? It can be (sometimes) if you use these tricks.
Tax season is here so how about using your windfall to take a single girl’s vacation? You don’t need to spend all your pennies either–if you go off the beaten path a little bit. “What is a frugal travel destination? It’s not only a cheap airfare; it also means that once you arrive at the destination, you will find great food, culture and accommodation that are reasonably priced,” says Thomas Kent, vice president of marketing at Vayama, an online travel agency specializing in international travel.
(AP) — Searching for airfares often seems to be a game passengers are set up to lose. Prices change from day to day, even minute to minute. Scouring multiple websites for the best deal can be overwhelming. And after you book, there’s no guarantee that you got the best price. “You just don’t know when to pull the trigger. It’s not like buying anything else I can think of,” said George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com. Harriet Levy paid $179 for a recent round-trip flight on American Airlines between New York and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Sitting just one row behind her, Shirley Harrison paid $215. A few rows back, Ellis and Dianne Traub paid $317 each. There were at least 12 fares on the flight, ranging from $169 to $360. “There’s no rhyme or reason to it,” Harrison said.
(New York Times) — FOR the last two weeks, I’ve been complaining about the fees and surcharges that some hotels add to the bill for things like maid service, bellhop availability and landscaping. But travelers have also been telling me to look harder at the fees the airlines are busily conjuring up. John Carrick, for example, said he was recently surprised to discover that transferring some of his wife’s American Airlines frequent flier miles to a daughter resulted in charges of $250 for the transfer of the mileage points, $30 for a “processing fee” and $18.75 in taxes. “I found the processing fee, which I had never heard of before, outrageous,” Mr. Carrick said. For some time now, the airlines have been adding fees for all sorts of things that used to be part of the ticket price. So figuring out the true costs of air travel has been baffling for business travelers as well as the corporate managers who pay the bills. American Express estimates that business travel accounted for $242 billion in domestic spending last year.