PLAN AHEAD for Travel and Save


How many times have you heard that?
Why do people wait to the last minute? 

The holidays are here and hopefully you have your reservations!

Just last week,  there was a chance I was leaving town on a business trip without much notice.  I called  3 weeks out, and the airfare  was  $260.  The company I was making plans to visit, did not confirm until 13 days out. When I checked the airfare again it had went up $340. Almost $100 increase, to be in that same plane, same flight, I had previously checked.

This is a screen shot  from CNBC that showed  the Airlines business  and gave an  example of what is called  REVENUE MANAGEMENT and BUCKETS (same system applies for many hotels). Depending on the time, season and how in advance you book or purchase your ticket, the price can vary greatly.

For the same AA flight 2412 passengers seating in the same cabin with exactly the same service paid from $50 up to over $700.  The same is true with hotels. The same room, on the same day can be from $50 – $500.

ALWAYS try to book  at least 14 days out, to get the best price.  It is rare, but it can happen, that airlines give deals in the those final 14 days. Some people say that in the final 7 days, you can find deals. Just don’t plan on it!

AIR TRAN has a sweet deal right now – special fares are available for purchase through November 9, 2010, and are good for travel from November 5, 2010, through February 9, 2011. Super off-peak sale fares are valid for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Off-peak sale fares are valid for travel on Mondays and Thursdays and peak sale fares are valid for travel daily. Like all AirTran Airways fares, prices included in this sale are available for one-way travel and do not require a roundtrip purchase or an overnight stay. These sale fares require a 10-day advance purchase.

It’s usually cheaper to fly in and out on a Saturday. The most expensive days for travel are, of course, the busiest, which are Friday and Sunday. Days in the middle of the week (Monday though Thursday) are also cheaper, although Saturday remains the best day to travel. Juggle different days, if possible. For example, see if you can leave one day before or one day after you planned.

Hundreds of thousands of airfare-price changes flow into the system each and every day — just once on weekends, but up to three times a day on weekdays — at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. After the new fares are loaded into the system, it takes about two to four hours to show up on the search engines.

More tips and tricks to saving at MSNBC