Offers Advice for Cost Conscious Travelers

19th Aug 2004
recently published “Airfare 101,” written by Jessica Labrencis, which
indicates that the keys to saving money with last-minute travel include:
knowing where to look, acting quickly, keeping track of flights, and
looking for air/hotel/car vacation packages.Labrencis, airfare beat writer for, which is visited by
more than one million unique visitors a month, says that while
conventional wisdom indicates booking 14 or 21 days in advance offers the
lowest fares, that is not always the case. In fact, Labrencis said,
“Airlines often release last-minute sale fares at rock-bottom prices for
flights they haven’t filled to entice customers to take a spontaneous
weekend trip. The major airlines (American, Continental, Delta, Northwest,
Southwest, United, and US Airways) and smaller airlines (Alaska, America
West, Midwest, Spirit, and many others) all release last-minute sale fares
on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays, for travel in the days and weeks
ahead. Last-minute airfares usually depart on Fridays, Saturdays, or
Sundays, and return on Sundays through Wednesdays.”

The second suggestion is to “act quickly when you see the fare you like,”
said Labrencis, “as the last-minute specials are very limited and sell out
quickly. A fare you see in the morning will often be sold out by the

Labrencis’ third tip is to “keep track of the flights which are released
every week in your city. That way you will begin to notice patterns.” For
example, America West almost always matches Southwest’s last-minute fares
on every route.

The final tip for the last-minute summer traveler is to select a vacation
package which may include air, hotel, and car rental. An increasing number
of websites are now devoted to offering last-minute vacation packages at
low prices. Packages vary widely: weekend or week-long; air-and-hotel,
air-and- car, or hotel-and-extras; domestic or international. There are
dozens of websites offering last-minute packages, but some of our
favorites are 11th Hour Vacations, CheapTickets, and Site59. In addition,
Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity have all expanded their sites to include
last-minute airfare, hotel, and vacation deals.



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