Justin Bergman, senior editor for Budget Travel, answers a question I posed from a previous post: Will the economic downturn and lower gasoline prices mean costs for airfare will tumble?
His answer: Oh yeah.
Fearing a possible sharp decline in commercial traffic in 2009, the airlines are desperate to fill seats on their planes this holiday season, so they are going to be offering rock-bottom prices on flights. Rick Seaney, the chief executive officer of Farecompare.com, has said, in fact, that the sales will be the biggest the airline industry has seen in the past 18 months.
Bergman suggests checking out http://www.farecast.com or http://www.airfarewatch.com for the latest prices, but he also correctly points out how airline Websites have some of the best deals. My fiance and I flew to western Ireland in June 2007, and we found great airfare through U.S. Airways’ homepage. By selecting a flight from Baltimore to Philadelphia, then Philadelphia to Shannon in County Cork, we paid only $500. But while that’s a cheap price it’s not the crazy part. Had we selected to only fly from Philadelphia to Ireland on the very same plane we rode, skipping the Baltimore leg, we would have paid upwards of $900. Made no sense to us, but we weren’t going to argue.
So frequently go to airliner homepages when researching airfare. They’re often more affordable than what you find at places like Travelocity.