Airfares Drop

Frequent fliers always have their eyes on airfares. The costs of flying has soared recently, so this CNN story caught my attention today:

Airfares have hit their lowest levels in 12 months. But you have to book now, because like most deals, these prices won’t last long.

Rick Seany of FareCompare says domestic flights over the next 6 weeks are priced 20 to 50-percent cheaper than they were over the holidays. That means a $400 flight a few weeks ago is now a little more than $200, before taxes and fees. And the president of AirFareWatchdog says flights to Europe are dropping by as much as 50-to-60-percent from just a few weeks ago.

Of course, there’s a catch. Fees for things like early check in, priority seating, checked bags — those all remain the same. So keep those in mind and add them to the total. Plus, flights to Europe now are subject to a new fuel surcharge, that took effect this year. And fuel costs have been rising. That could add hundreds to your ticket price.

But demand is low right now and that’s causing the airlines to drop their prices in order to fill seats. So experts say:

  • Shop around!
  • Check a variety of Websites, including the airlines.
  • Try to fly on Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Saturday’s. Those are usually the cheapest.
  • Finally, don’t wait. Booking one or two weeks before a flight will likely cost you more than planning ahead.
Most of us probably won’t be flying anywhere until spring break at the earliest. So I’ll be curious to see if the airlines give us a break when we need it the most.

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