by Ihla Crowley
Hedging Your Airfare Risk
While checking how long it had been since I first referenced one of the websites below, it hit me that this month begins our third year together. Wow. When the Applebys asked me to do this, I was afraid I would have trouble coming up with topics. Heh, heh, guess I underestimated my potential for finding things to talk about.
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|But enough waxing nostalgic. Let’s get on with something useful, and talk about saving some money when buying an airline ticket, something, coincidentally, we discussed exactly one year ago. First, you could talk to a travel agent. They have access to consolidators, so even if you pay a small fee for the service, you may save more than by doing it yourself, with fewer hassles and/or surprises. We’ll talk about the advantages of using a travel agent in a future column.
If you’re still bent on the ‘do it yourself’ approach, the best place I’ve found to start is the website www.itasoftware.com, which has a search engine providing a list of flight options and prices for a given itinerary. It also warns you about drawbacks, like long layovers or short connection times. You can’t purchase tickets here, but once you have found which carrier best suits your needs for the lowest price, you can call that carrier to book your flight, armed with the necessary booking codes.
Now, let’s say you started way in advance, found the best price, and purchased your ticket. What could be more frustrating than finding out a month or two later that the fare has actually gone down? Maybe way down? Bummer. But don’t get too depressed. A faithful reader told me about Yapta (www.yapta.com), a website that has the potential to brighten your day. Once you register your reservation with Yapta, they will monitor the price and let you know if it has changed. If you see that it has gone up, you can pat yourself on the back for purchasing the ticket early. If the price falls, they will help you get a refund so that you can take advantage of the lower price. Feel better now, boo-boo? I hope so.
For more helpful information, affordable tours, and more, visit www.driftersister.com.
Catch the wind…
Taste the rain…
And touch all of your tomorrows…
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