Airfare Discounts?

For the last couple of weeks it as been reported all over the place that airfares would be dropping for fall.  Numerous reasons have been cited for this occurrence.  Falling gas prices, competition from low-cost carriers, that airlines have been achieving record profits, blue moon occurring this year, etc.

I would like to believe the hype, but if you examine the facts carefully, we the consumer are really not saving all that much.   One shouldn’t be rushing to buy a ticket like it’s a once in a life time deal in the airline industry this week.

Prices normally drop in the summer, so this is not a special event for this year.

This great savings everyone is talking about is a 5% drop from this time last year. (According to a forecast from Hopper, a Montreal based company that analyzes airline fare data).

It has been reported that the Airline industry wants to pass along dropping fares in light of their record profits.  It is kind of insulting if that is the case, if you look at the figures :

  • Fuel prices have dropped 30%,
  • Baggage fees revenue are up 9%
  • reservation changes revenue are up 6%.

Most of us cannot plan 2 to 4 months out. If you purchase a ticket for $200, but need to change dates, most likely you will have to pay the difference in airfare plus $30-$200 change fee depending on airline (for US domestic flights).

If you rush to purchase that ticket now, say on your credit card.  If you do not pay it off, you will not be saving much, if at all.

Yes, fares will creep up.  But, it could cost you more than this great discounts savings if you rush into purchasing.

Also, the big 4 Airlines, (American, Delta, Southwest, and United) are being investigated for collusion at the moment.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there were other fare sales coming up in the near future.

If you have plans to travel this fall and things are set, yes go ahead and purchase that ticket.  But if things are not set up, waiting a bit might not be a bad idea.


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