Waiting to Book Summer Airline Travel Could Save You Money

Writing for the Associated Press, and posting her article on ABC News online, Samantha Bomkamp has offered this intriguing idea - "Waiting to Book Summer Travel May Pay Off." If you are making your summer timeshare rental plans for your family vacation and you've heard "Book your summer travel early - don't wait," slow down, take a minute and hear what Bombkamp has to say.

"This is shaping up to be the most expensive summer ever for air travel," says Bomkamp. "But the airlines are growing nervous that higher fares will drive away passenger."

According to online travel site Travelocity, reports Bomkamp, the so-called sweet spot for booking is generally six to seven weeks ahead of a major holiday weekend. By this model, airfares for July Fourth, for example, should fall starting around May 19 and go back up around May 25.

"Those who wait should do better than those who book early for travel to many popular destinations," says Travelocity senior editor Genevieve Shaw Brown. "Travelocity crunched airfare data from the last four years and found that booking more than seven weeks ahead of the Fourth of July cost travelers an average of $348 round trip. Those who waited until six weeks out paid an average of $326."

Airlines successfully raised fares several times since December as oil prices rose to $113 a barrel, writes Bomkamp, yet three recent attempts to raise fares failed, and discount airlines started to undercut larger competitors by putting a limited number of seats on sale.

"They cried uncle," says George Hobica of airfarewatchdog.com. "Obviously they want to create a sense of fear — book now, book now, book now. But if fares are too high, people don't fly."

Bomkamp says that you can predict a sale by looking at the seat map of your potential flight. Most booking websites offer a glimpse of available seats. If you see a lot of empty seats, expect a sale. But book as soon as possible if you see only a few empties.

Travelers who haven't yet booked summer travel still need to do some research, Bomkamp warns. Fare cuts aren't likely to come in the form of flashy sales, and lower prices will often go unnoticed by those who haven't been tracking fares.

Still deciding where to go? Bomkamp says that Bing Travel reports the cheapest summer destinations to be Orlando, Boston, Denver and Las Vegas. Some fares to these locations have actually fallen since last year. All four are great destinations for family timeshare rental vacations: Orlando has the theme parks, Boston has American history and the Freedom Trail, Denver is the gateway to amazing summer fun high in the Rockies, and Las Vegas has lots of activities for kids and many are free.

Read Samantha Bomkamp's article in its entirety.
(Photo credit mint.com)
0 Responses

Post a Comment