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Finding Cheap Deals with Twitter and Facebook – Video Guide

May 29, 2010 | Posted in: Deals,Travel Tips,Twitter | 0 comments

I had fun at CNN the other day, talking about the bargains you can get if you’re connected to Twitter and Facebook.

These are deals aimed exclusively at the “social media set”.

What if you don’t tweet or don’t have a Facebook account? Relax, it’s real easy – and I’ve got a simple step-by-step “how-to-to” that’ll get you on Twitter and Facebook and enjoying cheap airfare deals in no time. Seriously, you can do this (if my social media-challenged editor can do it, anyone can. “He’s got that right.” – Ed.).

So take a look at this video, courtesy CNN Money – it’s short and to the point, and I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised at what’s out there waiting for you.

Gulf Oil Spill: Cheaper Airfare in Region – My Interview with Fox New’s Shepard Smith

gulf oil spill cheaper airfare

Shepard Smith of Fox News introduced me as the CEO of FareCompare – he then helpfully explained that FareCompare.com is the ” place where we go to sort of look at what everything’s costing”.

Everything airfare, that is.

And as I told Shep in our live interview yesterday, we are definitely seeing airfare prices trending downward to the New Orleans area – recently, airline ticket prices were down about 20%, whereas they are up about 20% everywhere else (compared to last year’s historic lows).

Shepard Smith says he’s hearing from people in Destin and Panama Beach who depend on tourism, saying “We’re hurting”. I believe it, and depending on the fluid situation with that gulf oil spill, we could see more discounting on the way.

 Look here for the interview  or just click on the picture above (it’s not very long).

Facebook Article in Time Magazine – A Must-Read

May 27, 2010 | Posted in: Travel Tips,Twitter | 2 comments

facebook time must read

I am sitting here on a plane without Wi-Fi (how gauche) reading an actual paper version of Time I picked up at the airport newsstand. The cover story is about Facebook, ostensibly about privacy issues if you are to believe the cover’s tag-line, but oh so much more – a must-read.

The cover caught my eye when I was picking up my normal 3 hour flight reading material at the newsstand, the Wall St. Journal and Financial Times.

The cover art appears to have 1,295 icons of Facebook (FB) profile pictures. These folks evidently were part of an “I Want to Be in TIME” FB group contest – not sure why exactly 1,295 icons (looks like they have room for more) but it appears that some have gotten their 3 nanoseconds of fame (one reason to update that profile pic. ;-)

I must admit I am a Twitter aficionado (having just attended the Chirp Developer conference recently) and have been dragging my feet on getting into Facebook whole hog (as well as LinkedIn) which I hope to correct over the next few months.

One reason for my FB reticence has been feeling bad about not accepting “friend” requests from random people – it makes me feel like I am dissing them (which isn’t the case).

Check out the rest of Facebook Article in Time Magazine – A Must-Read

Facebook Article in Time Magazine – A Must-Read

Change in My Personal Blog’s Focus

May 27, 2010 | Posted in: Airline News,Travel Tips | 5 comments

personal blog focus

I am not sure exactly sure how air travel got into my DNA, but certainly it is a strand that is hard to shake (presuming one wants to shake it, which is not the case for me).

I started this blog in July 2007 on a lark after reading a book on the joys and pitfalls of blogging in the corporate environment that everyone should take a gander at, called “Naked Conversations”.

After years of doing just about everything one can do in what some call information technology, from designing data centers to writing firmware for hardware devices along with reams of code in several languages for hundreds of projects (if that is not a run-on sentence, I don’t know what is)

I have found in the past few years a passion for writing (regardless of my terrible grammar and spelling), especially about the intricacies of air travel and airline ticket pricing, in which I have invested almost a decade now in study and research.

Now that I am writing more (my choice), it is time to get a bit of organization.

I have recently been placing my consumer focused analysis, tips and newsy musings on the FareCompare site where they belong – a place where those that want to save a buck on air travel can read and ruminate on the ever more complex process of scoring a cheap flight (I learn something from someone online every day).

I also will have a variety of syndicated content like my weekly ABCNews.com column.

For now, however, I am going to focus my personal blog (the one you’re now reading) on what some might call air travel geek stuff – a lab, if you will, which I have been wanting to do for a long time.

I intend to change the editorial direction on this blog, to muse about:

  • Algorithms and tools we are working on at FareCompare (feedback is most welcome)
  • Wonky in-depth research related to our huge historical database of worldwide airfare pricing information (with a goal of productizing the ideas on our site)
  • My analysis of Hitwise sentiment and competitive intelligence information
  • Evangelizing Social Media and how it is going to change the way we shop for travel in the future  (and how it could collapse under the weight of privacy issues)
  • Opening up the curtains on FareCompare.com and why we are so different in a world of commodity airline price quotes

I hope you will continue to follow both tracks of musings (over at FareCompare (my author page) and here) and provide me the invaluable feedback needed to have a more lively and active two-way conversation.

Let’s get started  ;-)

Oil Spill Not Affecting Gulf Airline Ticket Prices – Yet

May 25, 2010 | Posted in: Fuel Watch,News | 0 comments

oil spill gulf airline ticket prices

I decided to take a look at that terrible oil spill in the gulf, and see how it’s affecting airline ticket prices.

So far – and you’ll see this clearly on the airfare price charts I created – it hasn’t had much affect on flights to New Orleans (but you sure can see how much prices have risen since last year).

Later this week, I plan to investigate other gulf cities, and the airline ticket pricing situation there – and see if we’re starting to see some real change.

If any of you have (or had) plans to visit the region – perhaps a vacation on the beach in Panama City, Florida – let us know if you’re going ahead with your plans, or if you are starting to think about looking elsewhere.


Airfare Deals for Memorial Day Weekend: Not Too Late (Yet)

May 19, 2010 | Posted in: Deals,Holiday Travel,Tips and Tricks | 0 comments

airfare deals memorial day weekend

No, it’s not too late to find a good deal for flights during the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend - but you’re cutting it close.

Some ideas:

  • Low cost carriers: Focus on AirTran, JetBlue, Southwest and others as you are not yet inside their 7-day advance purchase window
  • Budget: Check the cheapest prices in the U.S. (and beyond) by using FareCompare’s Where-to-Go cheap flight finder for May with a $300 air travel limit (or set the limits to any amount you’re willing to pay)
  • Surcharge: many airlines will include $30 airfare surcharges (folded into the price of your ticket) for travel May 27 and May 28
  • Cheapest day to fly: probably Saturday May 29

Please take a look at How to Get a Last Minute Memorial Weekend Airfare Deal for more advice and tips.

Cheap Flights 101: The More You Know, the Better the Deals

May 17, 2010 | Posted in: Airline News,Deals,Forecast,Pricing Activity | 3 comments

cheap flights deals

I can hear you now…

“Why do I need to ‘understand’ airfare, Rick? Why don’t you just tell me when to buy?” But it’s not that simple (nothing about airfare is simple).

Believe me when I say, I would if I could – but like you, I have no crystal ball that determines exactly when to buy airfare to get the best deal. Unlike you, though, I have spent years studying airfare (it’s more interesting than you’d think), so there are things I can tell you.

Like the “hurdles” the airlines set up for you – and how to make all those leaps successfully.

Please check out my “Understanding Airline Ticket Prices: Why Your Seatmate’s Airfare Cost More (or Less) than Yours” – it’s full of news you really can use.

Airport Security: More Body Scanners, More Controversy

May 13, 2010 | Posted in: Passengers,Security | 10 comments

airport security body scanners controversy

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says 300+ body scanners are on the way to an airport near you, so – get used to it.

Or get used to a patdown – your choice when it comes to going through these body imaging machines (you may remember, I went through an airport body scan machine and, no complaints here).

Meanwhile, the controversy continues – including an ugly episode of alleged workplace violence involving TSA employees; check it out in, “Security Update: More TSA Body Scan Machines Coming to an Airport Near You”.

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