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Veterans Day: A Salute from Southwest

November 11, 2009 | Posted in: Destinations,Holiday Travel,Southwest | 2 comments

Southwest Airlines gave an enthusiastic, flag-waving send-off to a couple dozen WWII veterans who flew free of charge from LA to Washington DC today – to visit the WWII Memorial (well worth a visit).

Southwest reminds us that it has “more than 700 Employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserves.” You can see some pictures of today’s event on the Southwest blog.

Hey, Thanksgiving Travelers: Have You Got Your Airport Tent?

November 11, 2009 | Posted in: Delays,Holiday Travel,Passengers,Travel Tips | 0 comments

Ever been delayed at the airport? Of course you have! But here’s a suggestion from BoingBoing:

The MiniMotel – or, the ultimate airport tent.*

Yes, the MiniMotel – a small, portable, zippered tent-like contraption that comes with an air mattress – and even an alarm clock! Best of all, it folds down to fit in a handy carrying case, and weighs less than five pounds.

According to the MiniMotel’s no-nonsense website, this is great for “leisure activities, disaster relief, and airport layovers” – something for us all.

And at $49.95, it might be just the thing if you’re traveling to Grandma’s over Thanksgiving and your connecting flight is delayed or cancelled – just hop in the MiniMotel for a little shuteye – and pray that airport security doesn’t come along and ask what the heck you think you’re doing…

*No, I’ve never tried it.

True Story: How a Cheap Thanksgiving Ticket Rose by $746

November 10, 2009 | Posted in: Airfare News,Holiday Travel | 0 comments

True story: One of my employees just noticed that it was exactly one month ago that she purchased a cheap ticket for her college kid in the Midwest to come home to California for Thanksgiving.

When she made the purchase on Oct. 10, the Northwest ticket cost $372 roundtrip. Mind you, because of the kid’s schedule, the fly-dates were among the most expensive: the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Monday after (and that Monday even included the new holiday “peak travel day” surcharge). Plus the ticket was of the more expensive “non-stop” variety — so it was an overall good deal.

Fast-forward: Just for fun, my employee checked the price today, one month later, and what a shock – that same ticket now costs $1,118!

Moral of the story? If you haven’t purchased Thanksgiving tickets yet, get moving! Yes, there are still some relatively cheap tickets available but you must be flexible. And time to get moving on Christmas, too!

And as always, FareCompare can find you the very best deals available for holidays and any days, no matter where your travels take you.

How to Avoid the Holiday “Peak Travel Day” Surcharges

November 9, 2009 | Posted in: Airline News,Holiday Travel,Pricing Activity | 0 comments

It’s pretty easy to avoid those new and irritating holiday “peak travel day” surcharges:

Just look at my handy new “surcharge calendars” – and you’ll see exactly which days now carry this surcharge, at a glance.

And you really should avoid these new fees – oops, I mean, surcharges – because of what I’ll call the “yeast factor” – you see, they keep rising.

These “peak travel day” surcharges which were first introduced in September, were originally priced at $10 one-way – but they have since doubled to $20 one-way.

Why not put that extra 40 bucks per flight in your own pocket?

Holiday Surcharges Rise: Another Good Reason to Buy NOW

November 4, 2009 | Posted in: Airfare News,Holiday Travel | 3 comments

I’ve told you that holiday airfare prices are going up. But now, even the holiday “peak travel date” surcharges are going up.

In fact, the holiday surcharges have doubled.

Now, instead of paying $10 one-way to fly on numerous airlines on Nov. 29, 30; Dec. 19, 26, 27; and Jan. 2, 3 – you’ll pay $20 one-way. And you may not even know it – these surcharges are folded into the price of your ticket.

It’s all about the airlines and their need for profits. One airline spokesperson noted, prices around the holidays have always been higher – so it’s just a matter of supply and demand.

It is indeed – so check out my “When-to-Fly” Holiday Calendars – so you can get the cheapest possible airfare.

Top Six Travel Tactics for Surviving the Holidays

November 4, 2009 | Posted in: ABC Column,Holiday Travel | 4 comments

I tried to put together some top tips in a column I call Top Six Travel Tactics for Surviving the Holidays, for my weekly gig at ABCNews.com.

Lots of useful information – plus flashes of humor.

Tactic No. 1 talks about finding the cheapest available airfare – but note the term “cheap” is relative when it comes to holiday airfare, which is more expensive. And it’s getting more expensive all the time: buy now, or add another $5 a day to the cost of your Thanksgiving tickets until mid-November, when the prices will simply soar.

Tactic No. 2 is about knowing your airport(s) and how to get around them, and here are some good reasons for that:

“If you see signs for Skylink, do you automatically think of your home TV satellite system? Or does APM bring to mind those delightful machines that spew out $20 bills? Well, forget it: Skylink is the name of the tram at the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport – and you could lose precious minutes trying to figure out how to get from Terminal A to C if you don’t know that. Likewise, APM is short for the Atlanta airport’s “automated people mover”. On a happier note, the conveyance at Detroit Metro’s Terminal A is much easier for the acronymically-challenged among us: they simply call it, Express Tram.” -Rick Seaney, ABCNews.com, 11-4-09

There’s lots more – so please check out my Six Travel Tactics for Surviving the Holidays – I think you’ll find it a useful guide.

Holiday Flights. Time to Shop, Time to Buy. Get Moving Now.

November 3, 2009 | Posted in: Airfare News,Deals,Holiday Travel,Pricing Activity | 0 comments

If you’re planning to travel during the holidays – for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, etc. – the time has come.

Finish up that airfare shopping and start booking!

Here’s a good rule of thumb for Thanksgiving travel: from now on, every day you wait to buy that “turkey day” airfare adds another $5 to your trip, at least until mid-November – when prices really soar into the stratosphere.

Let me get you started in 3 easy steps:

Keep reading – and we’ll help you get the cheapest holiday flights available… Holiday Flights. Time to Shop, Time to Buy. Get Moving Now.

Holiday Travel: Book Cheap Tickets but Book the Right Tickets

Greetings, procrastinators: It’s past time to buy what cheap tickets are left.

I have some simple steps for you: first, check out the Holiday Travel Guide 2009, and pay careful attention to the When-to-Fly Calendars. Then, head to FareCompare’s Dealfinder, for the best available deals to where ever you want to go.

Now, if at all possible, follow these rules for easy flights:

  • 1.) Book early morning flights: in case the weather is terrible, you likely won’t be subject to the “cascading effect” of delays and cancellations.
  • 2.) Book direct flights: same reasoning as above applies
  • 3.) If you must book connecting flights, make connections occur in (relatively) warm weather cities, like Dallas and Atlanta – and avoid the drifts in Denver and Detroit

Good luck, everyone!

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