Monday, January 14, 2008
Visit the links for traveling on the cheap to Dallas: Cheap Flights to Dallas
Friday, April 27, 2007
Airline Tickets For Less Than Filling Your Car
The budget airline offers nonstop service from Columbus to the Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay and Seattle/Vancouver areas, and to Ft. Lauderdale, Richmond, Kansas City and Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC.
Bill Diffenderffer, Skybus CEO, said,"Travelers who visit our web site will find outrageously low fares on nonstop flights to major markets and to cities that are underserved from Columbus. And these fares - starting with at least 10 seats at $10 on every flight - will always be offered. They are not `promotional’ fares that will go away in a couple of weeks. These are the everyday low fares we promised when we began working to build Skybus."
Visit www.skybus.com for more information and other cities served.
Monday, April 16, 2007
So I've been looking around for budget airline tickets to Paris. I want to fly into Paris then return from Marseilles. I believe this is called an "open jaw" ticket by travel agents and the airline industry.
I found a website that is simple and easy to use, Airfare To Paris, that offers this kind of ticket. Their prices are competitive to a ticket in and out of Paris and after calling their toll-free number, I'm confident they are a reputable firm.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
Taxes and fees make airfare bargains vanish
The airlines aren't trying to hoodwink you. That's just the way final fares are calculated, whether you're flying internationally or domestically. Carriers will give you an approximate fare, but until you book an itinerary for a particular routing, they can't tell you what that final number is until the taxes and fees are added.
For that Chicago-London fare, the Air Transport Association, a Washington-based airline trade group, chose a United Airlines flights departing Oct. 9 and returning Oct. 16. The additions to that $508 base fare would be:
- $2.50 U.S. security tax ("Sept. 11th fee");
- $4.50 U.S. passenger facility charge (Chicago O'Hare);
- $14.50 U.S. international departure tax;
- $24.23 (13) U.K. passenger service charge;
- $37.27 (20) U.K. air passenger duty;
- $14.50 U.S. international arrival tax;
- $5 U.S. customs fee;
- $7 U.S. immigration fee;
- $5 U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection fee;
- and a United Airlines $130 fuel surcharge.
That's a total of $244.50 more.
"On an international ticket, you're not only paying the U.S. taxes, but you're paying whatever taxes that are applied to the country you are traveling to," explained David Castelveter, an ATA spokesman. "Every country has its own rate structure that it associates with travel to and from its country. So based upon where you are flying you are paying not only the fees that our government collects, but theirs as well."
ATA publishes a list of U.S. taxes and fees levied on commercial aviation on its Web site (www.airlines.org/econ). "The reason we don't do an international tax table is because there are an infinite number of permutations of what an itinerary might cost in terms of taxes and fees, depending on what foreign airports and countries are involved in the itinerary," said John Heimlich, ATA's chief economist, who noted that U.S. passenger facility charges vary from airport to airport too.
Taxes on international flights can be wildly different even to the same destination. Looking online at travel site Orbitz, I found that taxes and fees on round-trip flight between Chicago and Delhi range from $69 to well over $300 depending on the airline and its routing.
The cheapest listed basic fare was $807 on Air India, with two stops going and one stop returning. In contrast, American Airlines was listed at $1,280--seemingly a hefty premium for the only non-stop service from Chicago to India. But when taxes and fees--$298 on Air India, $69 on American--were added in, the American non-stop at $1,349 cost just $244 more than Air India at $1,105.
The taxes and fees on the same route can vary even for the same airline. A one-stop in both directions on Air India listed at $1,180, but the taxes and fees on this routing were only $94.
On the domestic front, though fliers don't have to pay international departure or arrival taxes, the additional charges still add up--sometimes in different ways. For instance, there is no fuel surcharge on domestic flights (it's included in the basic fare), but there is a federal ticket tax of 7.5 percent that doesn't apply to overseas flights.
Because of "segment taxes" ($3.30 per segment) and passenger facility charges (up to $4.50 per segment), the price of a ticket can change even more with a connection or stop, noted Terry Trippler, an airline expert.
He provided these two scenarios on a Chicago-Los Angeles round trip, departing Oct. 16 and returning Oct. 23. The base fare ($241.86) and 7.5 percent federal ticket tax ($18.14) was the same for both. But to this total of $260, you would add:
On a non-stop flight: Passenger facility charges ($4.50 each for Chicago and Los Angeles), $9; U.S. security taxes ($2.50 per segment), $5; and federal flight segment taxes ($3.30 per segment), $6.60. The additions total $20.60 and bring the final ticket price to $280.60, about 16 percent more than the $241.86 base.
On a flight with a stop or connection in Denver: Passenger facility charges ($4.50 for Chicago, Los Angeles and twice through Denver), $18; U.S. security taxes ($2.50 per segment), $10; and federal flight segment taxes ($3.30 per segment), $13.20. The extra charges are now $41.20 and the final ticket price is $301.20, nearly a 25 percent increase over the base fare.
Where does all this money go?
- The ticket and flight segment taxes plus--on international flights--the arrival and departure taxes go to the federal Airport and Airway Trust Fund. The fund pays the majority of the annual budget of the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates and oversees civil aviation--including the air traffic control system.
- The security tax funds Transportation Security Administration functions such as airport screening.
- The passenger facility charge is federally authorized, but goes to local airport operators.
- The immigration, customs and agriculture fees assessed on international arrivals help to fund those airport inspections.
Since it's an airline trade group, it's no surprise that the ATA dislikes passing the security taxes on to passengers. "There's no other means of public transportation where there is a 9/11 fee," said Castelveter.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Airlines May Find it Harder to Raise Fares
Writer Kyle Peterson says the US airlines have managed to up fares by 10% over the past year. He predicts that when the busy summer season is over, demand may be so low that airlines will lose their ability to continue raising fares.
"I think the public is now conditioned to expect air fare bargains," said Joe Schwieterman, a transportation expert at DePaul University in Chicago.
All of us budget travelers say, "Hell yes!" to the expectation of air fare bargains.
You can read the entire article, "Airlines may soon find new obstacles to fare hikes" at this link.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Summer Fares Could Be Higher
"I definitely think capacity is going to be tight this summer. Demand is going to be strong," said Standard & Poor's equity analyst Jim Corridore. He said load factors -- the percentage of available seats sold -- probably will approach 90 percent in the summer months.
That compares with an average load factor just above 80 percent in the summer of 2005, he said.
Data from the Air Transport Association, an airline industry trade group, show the number of seats on domestic flights declined by 1.7 percent from March 2005 to March 2006. That contrasts with a capacity increase on international flights of 4.9 percent during the same time period.
The domestic capacity reductions were largely the result of cutbacks by traditional carriers and the demise of low-cost carrier Independence Air in January, the ATA said.
In addition, bankrupt carriers Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines canceled leases on dozens of planes, further thinning out seat availability.
Major carriers, meanwhile, have been shifting their capacity from domestic routes to more lucrative international ones.
Fewer seats in the sky means carriers have more power to raise fares. Ticket prices have been inching higher since last year. The ATA says prices are up more than 10 percent year-over-year.
Still, they remain down 16 percent from peaks achieved before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks torpedoed demand.
Continental & Alitalia Begin Codeshare
Continental and Alitalia are two of the nine carriers who make up the SkyTeam alliance, which also includes Aeromexico, Air France, Czech Airlines, Delta, KLM, Korean Air and Northwest.
Effective immediately, Continental will place its code (CO*) on the following Alitalia flights: between Rome/Milan and Bari, Brindisi, Catania, Florence, Lamezia Terme, Naples, Palermo, Pisa, Trieste and Venice, Italy; between Rome and Bologna, Genoa, Reggio di Calabria, Turin and Verona, Italy; and between Rome/Milan and Tirana, Albania. These flights will connect with Continental's daily non-stop services between New York/Newark and both Rome and Milan.
Codesharing improves airline service by simplifying the booking process with electronic ticketing and communication of itinerary information between airlines. Customers traveling on connecting CO/AZ itineraries are able to have single check-in for all flights, including the issuance of boarding passes and checked baggage to their final destination. Additional codesharing routes are expected to be announced in the upcoming months.
Continental and Alitalia already have airport lounge and frequent flyer reciprocity under the SkyTeam alliance. Members of the two airlines' frequent flyer programs, Continental's OnePass and Alitalia's MilleMiglia, can earn and redeem miles on all flights operated by the other carrier. Indeed, travelers on any SkyTeam airline earn mileage in their frequent flyer account regardless of which member airline they fly.
SkyTeam was named the 2005 Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler Magazine.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Budget tickets for Luxury Class tickets to London
Transatlantic travel amounts to about $20 billion a year in revenue with about a third of that being USA to the United Kingdom. Maxjet and Eos are competing for a share of the lucrative London route.
The Eos Boeing 757 has been reconfigured to accommodate 48 passengers in walled pods, where the seats convert into beds, complete with feather pillows and cashmere blankets. Tickets start at $1,475 each way, meaning a return ticket will set you back just under $3000. Thats not bad, compared to the major airlines' price starting at $4,000. As of this writing, they are also offering American Express members 2 for the price of 1 tickets.
Maxjet uses Boeing 767s outfitted with 102 business-class seats that recline but don't lie flat. Each is on an aisle or window. From New York, round-trip tickets start at $1,500. In April, Maxjet will add a Washington DC to London route.
Eos Airlines phone numbers are, USA 888-357-3677; UK 0800-019-6468. Maxjet phone numbers are, USA 888-I-FLYMAX (435-9629); UK 0800-023-4300.
Click this link for more information how to travel first class or business class for less.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
What To Know in Case of Airline Bankruptcy
The airline industry has struggled for more than a decade, even in the favorable economics of the 90's. All the major US carriers, with the exception of Southwest Airlines, have been in bankruptcy or are in the state of chapter 11 now.
Hopefully there will not be any more airline bankruptcies, but it has to be recognized that it could possibly occur. Following are guidelines you should know and how an airline bankruptcy could effect you.
If an airline declares bankruptcy, it is not obligated to carry you or to refund tickets issued before the bankruptcy. If you purchased your airline ticket directly from the airline, the airline is not obligated to refund the ticket. If you purchased your airline ticket from an internet web site not owned by an airline, such as expedia, travelocity, etc., that web site is acting as an agent for the airline and is not allowed to refund your airline ticket. If you purchased a ticket through a tavel agency, the agency is not allowed to refund the ticket of the bankrupt airline. Money given to a travel agency for an airline ticket, whether it be cash, check or credit card, immediately becomes the property of the airline. Travel agencies are required by law to comply with an airline's orders, rules and directives. If an airline declares bankruptcy, it might continue service, limit service or stop service completely. Other airlinesmight accept passengers under limited circumstances or may refuse to accept any passengers from the defaulted airline. The United States government has given airlines 'preemption', or immunity, from consumer protection laws. Your rights as a US citizen do not apply to airline bankruptcy. Travel insurance is your best protection in case an airline declares bankruptcy.
Northwest offers Cash and Miles Special
Fly for as low as $119 roundtrip plus 10,000 WorldPerks Miles during Northwest Airlines' Spring Cash and Miles promotion. Visit new places in the US48, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia for less. Tickets must be issued no later than May 14, 2006 for travel between April 3, 2006 and June 6, 2006. Travel to Asia must be completed by June 9, 2006.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Now-leaner airline sets sights on its future
Profits may yield stock sale in 12 to 24 months
By Ted Evanoff
While bankrupt Delta, Northwest and United grapple with how to turn their proud and profitless carriers into moneymakers again, ATA Airlines has quietly gone bankrupt, retrenched and gone on.
Once a leading Indianapolis employer, ATA last week emerged from a 16-month bankruptcy reorganization recast as a leaner company reliant on Pentagon charters.
If its stable financial condition improves, the Indianapolis-based company might sell stock to the public within two years, ATA chief John Denison said in his first interview outlining the new course since leaving bankruptcy Feb. 28.
Read complete article at Indystar.com here
Airline fares begin ascent
BY MARK SKERTIC
Travelers will need to get used to paying more for an airline seat in 2006, experts warn.
Even as fuel prices have begun to drop in recent weeks, fuller planes have emboldened carriers to get over their fears of raising ticket prices. Some carriers have raised fares $3 to $10 on some routes in recent weeks. And some analysts predict the days of $39 fares are coming to an end.
"Airlines are realizing they can't keep selling tickets for a loss. Expect to see those cut-throat, under $100 fares double by the end of the year," said Terry Trippler, an analyst with cheapseats.com in Minneapolis.
The price increases mark the reversal of two trends that have bedeviled the industry for several years: Rising jet fuel prices have been blamed for dragging down airline earnings and wiping out profits, while fierce competition has prevented many carriers from boosting fares to offset the jump in fuel costs.
"Even if there are no fuel-price increases, I expect we will see more ticket-price increases," Trippler said.
Fuel prices, while coming down, remain more than 50 percent higher than they were in 2004. Even with the recent slight decreases, even relatively healthy carriers continue to feel pressure on their bottom lines.
Southwest Airlines, the only large carrier to post a profit last year, recently raised fares up to $3 each way. The ticket prices of other carriers also are creeping upward.
If fuel prices shoot upward again, fare increases will be more dramatic. But, even if fuel costs continue to drop, ticket prices are unlikely to move in the same direction, Trippler said.
The nation's large carriers — including Eagan-based Northwest Airlines — are more confident about raising fares because demand is high and planes are more full.
Northwest's load factor, which measures the percentage of seats filled, hit 80.9 percent in January, up 4.1 percentage points from the same period a year ago. A big reason for that increase: Northwest is a smaller airline than it was a year ago, with its capacity down more than 11 percent.
Reducing capacity lowers the number of seats available to travelers, and this comes at a time when demand for air travel is growing.
Investors have sent American Airlines stock up more than 18 percent so far this year, in part because they see a brightening revenue picture for the airline, and the industry, fueled by rising fares.
American Express, in its 2006 business fares forecast, predicted ticket prices would rise up to 8 percent for domestic travel, compared with increases of 3 percent to 6 percent worldwide.
Operating a plane requires a myriad of fixed costs that do not change whether the cabin is filled with passengers or nearly empty. A pilot, first officer and flight attendants are still needed. The cost for the plane, mechanics, baggage carriers and others does not change.
Once an airline makes enough to cover its fixed costs, revenue increases can boost the bottom line.
"Higher revenues and lower fuel costs is a recipe for improved financial performance in the airline industry," said Jake Brace, United Airlines chief financial officer. "Having said that, the fuel price we're starting from is exceptionally high and we have a long way to go to get the kind of financial results we really need.
"It's headed in the right direction, but we have a lot of work to do. … We're going to keep a focus on getting our nonlabor costs even lower."
Northwest Airlines offers Coach Choice seating
Northwest has begun saving some preferred seats (including aisle
and exit row seats) in coach class until check-in, which is available
24 hours prior to departure. You can confirm these preferred seat
assignments for only $15 per flight.
On your next trip, go to www.nwa.com Manage My Reservations, nwa.com check-in or a Northwest self-service check-in kiosk at the airport to purchase your Coach Choice seats.
Coach Choice is a test product available anywhere in the U.S. Only 5% of
seat assignments will be saved for Coach Choice so check in
early for more choices.
Coach Choice fees are non-refundable unless Northwest is unable
to provide the Coach Choice seat assignment due to a Northwest
initiated flight cancellation, equipment change, missed
connection, or the customer does not meet exit row seat
Editors opinion: If Northwest airlines is so strapped for cash they have to sell seat assignments, why don't they look elsewhere to cut expenses? Like, starting with upper management salaries and perks.