Archive for the ‘Air travel Survey’ Category

Travel Tip – Priceline for Cars

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Although I’ve had generally poor results with Priceline my car rental tonight went very well and saved me about $90. I’ve been looking for a few months for a good rate for our Philadelphia and Pennsylvania trip. We need to pickup and return at PHL and the best I’ve found so far was Hotwire at about $440. Kayak.com, my usual suspect for finding great rates, was about $600!

I started my priceline bid at $20 per day for 12 days and didn’t get it, but the popup gave me another shot and my $22 bid (excluding taxes and fees) got accepted by Hertz.

Hmmm – in this case I knew the fees because I had them from the non-accepted 20 bid but not sure how Priceline informs you of fees if your initial bid is accepted.

As always you need to use *great caution* when booking cars because of these extra fees. Some services, like Kayak, include these in their “daily” quote but many car rental sites do NOT include the substantial fees until your final screens, and this can be confusing.

Your Offer Price: $22.00
Total Rental Days: 12
Subtotal: $264.00
Taxes & Fees: $96.72
Total Charges: $360.72

Here’s the HOTWIRE Quote:
Rental days:
$29.95
Daily rate:
$359.40
Subtotal:
Tax recovery
$91.51
charges and fees:

$450.91

Airline Ticketing Tips from TheStreet.com

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

TheStreet has some good tips for saving on your airline tickets.

My simple ones are these:

Use comparison sites, especially Kayak.com. Kayak features Orbitz.com
but you may also want to use the Orbitz matrix feature which allows you to specify flexible dates. Having date flexibility can be a good key to lower fares.

Spend some time at it. Devote at least a few hours over the several months before your trip to find the best fares. Obviously this matters more for a family buying 3+ tickets than a single flyer so you can adjust that time committment accordingly.

Waiting until last minute is usually a bad idea, esp if only weeks are left, because you’ll have to take whatever fare comes up. However you can also book too early. Summer discount specials often don’t come up until spring and I’ve often found good rates into June for July and August travel though I don’t like to wait that long.

Get on email alert lists for Orbitz and others. This will help remind you to keep looking and will alert you to fare decreases.

Don’t forget your car – this can be more than the cost of the plane ticket, and car prices vary a lot. If you see one of those “129 per week” specials book it immediately. This year appears to be bad for car discounts. And…get a *small* car. Rates approach the absurd for SUVs and big rental cars. If you have money to burn get a small car, save hundreds per week, and make a donation to mosquito nets to save some lives.

Check out some of the new prediction tools for ticket prices like Yahoo’s FareCast

Hawaii interisland air specials thrive as new Superferry steams into port

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Hawaii’s Superferry luanches this summer with ports of call at several Hawaiian islands with a travel time of about 2-4 hours between islands depending on the trip. Fares appeared reasonable even for vehicles. If you rent cars in Hawaii this may change the strategy somewhat which used to be to rent a car on the Big Island for sightseeting, and then do without one on Oahu where public transportation and hotel shuttle abound.

It’s probably not a coincidence that interisland flight specials are in bloom this summer as Airlines work to compete with what will likely be a very popular ferry system.

Ryanair Rocking European Air Travel

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

IATA reports that discount airline Ryanair led all other European passenger carriers in 2006 with almost 41 million cross-border passengers. Lufthansa, Air France, and British Airways follow. Here are the numbers for 2006:

RyanAir Holdings 40,532,000 passengers.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG 38,236,000 passengers.

Air France 30,417,000 passengers

British Airways 29,498,000 passengers

What an Airline Wants

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Recently the big airline association IATA, met to discuss the industry. This USA Today article has a nice summary of the results of that meeting, and notes that the industry had a very modest profit last year after losing money every year since 2001. But Airlines are not out of the economic woodshed yet as most carry huge debts.

Passport Rule Change for AIR Travel to Mexico, Canada, Carribbean.

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Passport rules have been relaxed for air travel to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. My understanding is that you can still travel to Canada and Mexico by sea or by car *without* a passport until January of 2008. However given the slowdowns, bottlenecks, and government confusion it’s a very good idea for anybody who thinks they might be heading out of the country over the next few years to …. get a passport. Go to the official US passport site HERE for more information about getting a passport.

From US Passport Official Website:

U.S. citizens traveling to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda who have applied for but not yet received passports can nevertheless temporarily enter and depart from the United States by air with a government issued photo identification and Department of State official proof of application for a passport through September 30, 2007

America’s Favorite 25 Cities from Travel and Leisure Magazine

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Travel and Leisure magazine has a travel contest where you can submit stories about travel adventures or experiences in what they list as America’s favorite 25 cities.

Umm…should Travel and Leisure apologize to Baltimore, Cleveland, Sacramento, etc? Not sure how they came up with these but it’s always fun to see places “ranked” as the top in the nation. Travel and Leisure Magazine’s cities are below. To participate and submit your city experiences click HERE .

  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Charleston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Denver
  • Honolulu
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • New York
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix/Scottsdale
  • Portland, Oregon
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Santa Fe
  • Seattle
  • Washington, D.C.

Security Tips from TSA

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

Buried in the bloated TSA Website is this key rule for carry-ons at Airports.
Note that the rules for liquids follow, but even simpler is this:

Carry-on ONLY tiny liquid bottles in a SINGLE, clear, quart zip top bag.

This is the TSA’s instruction set for liquids on planes:

3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3 ounce bottle or less; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure.

Consolidate bottles into one bag and X-ray separately to speed screening.

Be prepared. Each time TSA searches a carry-on it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster and easier checkpoint experience.

3-1-1 is for short trips. If in doubt, put your liquids in checked luggage.

Declare larger liquids. Prescription medications, baby formula and milk (when traveling with an infant or toddler) are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint.

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

JD Power has just released their survey of US Airport Satisfaction for small, Medium, and Large Airports.

The 2007 results show Dallas with the top spot in overall customer satisfaction for large airports, Kansas City for medium sized Airports, and Houston Hobby for small airports.