Remember our earlier post about JetBlue’s “All You Can Jet Pass” that’s good for travel anywhere from Sept. 8 through Oct. 8? It was a clever stunt that became a “trending topic” on Twitter.
In the meantime, other airlines have jumped into this brave-but-not-so-new social media world – think United Airline’s Twares, which are special fares just for the Twitterati. (think @jetbluecheeps)
The question is – is Twitter doing the job for them? Do these stunts work?
Well, clearly it’s paying off for JetBlue -as you’ll see for yourself on the graph that’s coming up — keep reading.
Clever Marketing Moves the Needle on Market Share
Yes, it’s only mid-August, but as far as the airlines are concerned, autumn has arrived – with a bang.
And by “bang” I mean airfare sales.
The historically soft U.S. domestic air travel period that starts in September just got its first jolt of stimulus with some targeted, last minute Labor Day Weekend sales initiated by United Airlines Monday (and widely matched by most airlines). This was quickly followed by Southwest’s launch of a huge fall/winter sale, announced just a few hours ago.
The Southwest sale covers travel through early January (the end of their current booking schedule) which is an unusually long travel window of 4 months – typically Southwest sales have had travel windows of 3 months or less.
So — when to buy? Keep reading…
Forget the Calendar – Fall Airfare Season is Now Underway
Every now and then I notice a cool or unusual “destination nugget” which I then pass along to you – like the awesome Manta ride or the free National Parks weekends. Here’s the latest:
Believe it or not, airline magazines often do have interesting articles – and one that caught my eye recently was US Airways “Take the Long Way” – about the world’s most beautiful routes.
And part of the point is you can hop right on these cool drives, right from the airport.
I have traveled some of these roads, and can attest to the magnificent scenery. The list includes:
- The Old West Skyway to Durango, Colorado – ruggedly breathtaking
- The Road to Hana on Maui – drive into a tropical rainforest
- The circular drive from Shannon that dips down into Limerick – green and gorgeous
There are others on the list – but I think a couple of amazing drives are missing. Keep reading for my $.02
Road Trip: The World’s Most Scenic Drives
Just when you think the airlines are winding down their sales, out pops another!
First, United offered Labor Day Weekend deals (and the other airlines jumped on the airfare sale bandwagon).
Now it’s Southwest’s turn – with fares as low as $59 one-way, for travel from September 9th through January 7th. It’s good for travel every day except Fridays and Sundays, although there are blackout dates during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Purchase your tickets by Sept. 3 – and see more details here.
And watch for other airlines to start matching activity later on today.
UPDATE: More city pairs have been added to the sale! Most travel dates include Sept. 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 and 9.
The end of summer is creeping up on all of us – but you can still get away – and still save big.
Yesterday, United Airlines announced a Labor Day Sale, for dates just before and after the holiday weekend – for most of their city-pairs – with savings up to $100 roundtrip. Purchase by Aug. 21.
This is great news for last minute vacationers, especially now that most of the other airlines are joining in.
Tips: For a quick and easy way to see the best fares available, head to FareCompare’s deal finder right here at http://www.farecompare.com/dealfinder/. Planning to grab a rental car? Get busy with that, too.
Missed my tweet about this sale yesterday? I urge you to sign up to Follow FareCompare Deals “from your airport” on Twitter for real-time alerts. This is really simple – just click on this link: www.farecompare.com/twitter.
This year, Labor Day falls on Monday, Sept. 7 – and I see where the Air Transport Association of America (ATAA) is forecasting a 3.5% drop in travel for the holiday period, compared to last year.
And as we all know, empty seats typically means lower prices.
So I went looking for bargains – using the FareCompare deal finder – and it only took me about 20 seconds before I found these two:
Where do you want to go? Our fun (and fast!) “deal finder” tool will get you there, for less.
Just saw this from the BBC: rental car prices are zooming in Europe – when you can find any cars to rent. Apparently Spain is being hardest hit, and some reportedly paying twice the normal rates.
Same thing in the US: earlier this summer, the New York Times noted that rental car companies were cutting their fleets – a matter of supply and demand, much as the airlines have cut capacity – with the result that average rental car prices jumped 65% in some areas.
A friend recently tried to rent a car in Hartford, which she noted “is not exactly a hotbed of tourist activity” – and called five companies before she found one with a vehicle for rent – a huge gas guzzler that she didn’t want, but took anyway. She also noted the daily rates for compacts at some of the companies were listed at $80+.
Well, at least someone in the travel industry is making some money this summer. My advice: don’t put this off to the last minute — if you need a car, rent early.
I’d really like your comments at the end of this one…
Here’s the story: over the weekend, one of my employees flew from Connecticut to points West – and, she checked a bag.
She said what happened next literally startled her.
The very nice US Airways agent at Bradley International asked her if there was “anything in the bag, such as medication or work related documents that you cannot do without for the next 24 hours.” The agent went on to say, “Look we don’t intend to lose your bag, but what if?”
At first, my employee was a little put off by these questions – and the suggestion that she and her bag might not be reunited anytime soon – but then she got to thinking and – well, keep reading…
Airline’s Shocking Honesty: “In Case We Lose Your Bag…”