Playing the Fare Game
How many synonyms are there for 'flummoxed'? Let's see: confused, perplexed, stupefied, confounded, discombobulated.... Can you tell I've been trying to find a low airfare online?
We spend a lot of time here in the Travel section fielding emails, phone calls and chat questions from readers who want advice on airfares -- when to buy, why fares fluctuate so wildly, basically just how to game the system. We talk about the importance of shopping around, checking multiple sites, being flexible on dates, the best days to fly, using aggregator sites, Farecompare, etc., but the bottom line is this: You'll go nuts if you think airline pricing is in any way logical. Don't try to make sense of it, just pounce when you see a good fare.
Which doesn't mean the process doesn't remain maddening. Seems like every time I try to book a fare I go through the same emotions -- anger, denial, depression, etc. (haven't made it to acceptance yet). The latest was this week when I started researching fares for a summer trip to Quito, Ecuador. Stupidly, I didn't lock in the fare when I started searching. Little did I know that those seemingly exorbitant prices would look so good. Just a couple of hours later, prime flights were unavailable at the lower rates -- even though plenty of seats on those flights remained. Now, fares for even the non-optimum flights are up in the stratosphere. Am I driving up the price myself by searching so regularly? The thought crossed my mind, but our resident airfare guru, Carol Sottili, tells me that isn't likely. So I wonder: Should I lock these ridiculous high fares in, or sign up for email alerts and gamble that the fares will go down again? It's a crapshoot.
What booking sites do you swear by? Tricks you've used? Tell, tell, tell.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Anonymous | April 30, 2007 11:19 AM
Posted by: Ryan | April 30, 2007 11:48 AM
Posted by: Sarah | April 30, 2007 12:16 PM
Posted by: Karen | April 30, 2007 2:09 PM
Posted by: Matt C | April 30, 2007 4:11 PM
Posted by: Soelo | May 2, 2007 12:54 PM
Posted by: Rochelle | May 2, 2007 2:04 PM
Posted by: Jim | May 2, 2007 2:13 PM
Posted by: melinda | May 5, 2007 3:48 PM
Posted by: Mike | May 8, 2007 4:44 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.