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Cheap flight guide

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Cheap Airfares and WWW

Friday, 18 May 2007
If nothing else, the Internet ushered in the power for schmucks like me to ferret away cheap airfares. And when it comes to broadcast travelling, inexpensive rules. Or so it seems.

SkyBus, for example, offers 10 $10 seats on every flying. (Don't say the chief or I know how I'll be getting to India the next moment around. ) Then there was my mother who establish an inexpensive flying to Tel Aviv, but had to consume a day in Frankfurt and another day in Kiev as region of the deal. Therein lies the beauty of mining online airfares (or cheap flights).

But there's much than meets the heart when it comes to shopping online for that last-minute airfare, at least according to Volodymyr Bilotkach, an economist at the University of California, Irvine.

In a survey of ticket prices for 238 routes, I was disappointed to learn that Bilotkach found that the cheapest last-minute fares on Orbitz.com averaged $34.46 -- that's 8.5 percent less than comparable deals available through Southwest, my favorite airline. Jeez, after years of flying Southwest not just for its cheap seats but also for its tasty snacks, this was, well, devastating news.

Southwest sells most of its tickets online but does not make its fares available via major online travel agents such as Orbtiz or Travelocity, which aggregate tickets from major airlines and allow customers to compare prices.

"The research suggests that Southwest exploits its low-cost reputation with last-minute travelers who feel they don’t have time to shop around, even if it’s just a few extra minutes," said Bilotkach.

For his study entitled Reputation, Search Cost, and Airfares, Bilotkach compared flight costs at nine airports with substantial Southwest Airlines presence. He recorded quotes for fares between the same cities with the same travel dates, checking the fares one month in advance of the travel date and again at the last minute -- one or two days before the flight. With his research assistant Lisa Nguyen, Bilotkach got the fare quotes from Southwest and Orbitz at nearly the same time.

Overall, Southwest’s lowest advance purchase fares averaged 2.7 percent below the cheapest tickets found on Orbitz for a comparable flight. These findings support previous research showing that Southwest tends to offer better deals and helps keep prices lower among its competitors.

But for last-minute tickets, the median price was 8. 5 percentage more costly on Southwest. About half of the moment, a cheaper ticket could be establish through Orbitz.

"When it comes to last-minute fares, Southwest’s prices are about natural," said Bilotkach. "It’s significant for consumers to recall that just because an airline is known as the low-priced leader doesn’t intend it’s ever got the better trade -- particularly for last-minute flights."

The disagreement between Southwest’s fares and the cheapest menu establish on Orbitz was greatest for long-haul flights and too somewhat greater for North-South routes, such as a round-trip from Chicago to Florida.

[VIA DDJ`s Portal blog]

Help topic: cheap flight

Think you require a holiday now? Just look until you're scouring dozens of booking sites, aggregators and airline Web sites to discover inexpensive tickets for your next journey -- so you'll truly be willing for a week away! Unfortunately for tired travelers, there's no genuine shortcut to finding inexpensive airfare. As with any purchase, you need to browse around to have the better trade -- by trying distinct reservation sites, altering your dates, and waiting until just the correct moment to buy. But if you're ready to place in a less moment and attempt, you could rescue large on your next flying. Want to hear how? Read on for our best 10 tips -- and so Discuss percentage your own!


1. Buy Early Especially during peak travelling periods, making reservations recently in the game can cost you a plenty of money. Airline ticket prices typically get upward 21 days, 14 days, 7 days and 3 days before flying, then if you're planning forward, seek to have the request before these deadlines.


2. Buy Late
Often you can buy tickets at the very last minute for a great price, if the airlines have failed to fill their planes. Many airlines offer weekly newsletters that feature their best last-minute deals. You can also find many of them listed in our Bargain Box, or at specialized sites like LastMinuteTravel.com. If you can stand the suspense, and if you are flexible with your itinerary, you can find fantastic money-savers to very attractive travel destinations.

3. Shop Around No issue how better it sounds, you should never book the best menu you view. Start your hunt by checking a few of the leading online travelling providers, like Travelocity, or aggregator sites like Kayak. com. This will offer you an exploratory thought of which airline flies your specific route, what the going pace is and what restrictions might use. Armed with this data, you can lead immediately to the proper airline Web place to view if the same flights are any cheaper (some airlines ensure to provide the lowest potential fares on their Web sites.

While you're there, cheque to view if the airline is running any sales or promotions to your destination. If you wear't view anything in your favored cost scope, wear't be fearful to bide your moment and see the fares for a piece. Most leading reservation sites have alarm features that will e-mail you when your menu drops to a cost you're ready to repay.

4. Know When to Buy
The hardest part of booking a flight is knowing when to stop tracking fares and make that final purchase. If you're flying within the U.S., Farecast.com can help you reach that decision, offering fare predictions for more than 75 cities. Just plug in your itinerary and the site will advise you either to book now or to wait, depending on whether the fare is expected to rise or drop. (Farecast also offers a Fare Guard service, for an additional fee, that will protect you if the price drops after you book.) Another useful site is Kayak.com, which displays the fare history for domestic and international flights, allowing you to see whether your fare is headed in an upward or downward direction.

Finally, keep in mind that most airlines launch fare sales on Tuesdays and Wednesdays -- so if you decide to buy on a Monday, you may be gnashing your teeth on Tuesday when your destination goes on sale.