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Monday · January 12 2004

I will never understand airline ticket pricing as long as I live. The prices Orbitz spits out are as close to a random number generator as is possible to program. I've been hunting for good prices to Hayden, CO for our Steamboat ski meetup in March. Before Christmas, prices were $400+ and I was considering changing the location to Winter Park where we went last year. Early last week, I checked Orbitz and the prices were at $325 non-stop. I told Stace we should buy now, but I didn't get around to it until yesterday. Nonstop fares are gone and one-stop fare are at $350. Stace says, "Wait til tomorrow, never buy on sunday." I check today. Non-stop fares back at $325. Tickets on hold and paid for by those lovely $800 vouchers AA gave us in September.

What you had to say:
January 12 2004

A few things I've learned with booking hotel and airfare:
1. always book airfare right then & there if the prices are the best you've seen.
2. if you know for sure that you want a particular hotel on a particular day, try to book online with advance purchase. you can save $50 a night easily. you're locked in, but you knew for sure that you wanted to be.
3. always use a credit card, and never a checking/linked bank card, when checking into a hotel. pay however you want when leaving (i.e. your visa check card), but do not let the hotel "hold" your funds as they will do a temp. authorization and freeze up some of your $.
4. go to hotel & airline sites directly. using orbitz/expedia is a great idea to get a sense of what the charges are, but you can often get better internet and direct rates by going right to united or the westin hotel site. Often times, you will get a bonus for booking directly with them (i.e. $10 discount on hotel room, 1,000 bonus miles when booking united directly). It also gives you a chance to see any current deals, including airports close to where you'd be flying anyways.

okay, that's it for now. I just thought I'd pass along some tips...anyone else have some?

January 13 2004

Yes, I have a suggestion. Don't tell airport security you brought your "lucky gun" with you.

Airline ticket prices were a major topic of the one macro economics course i took as an example of near-perfect pricing. The only other thing closer than airline tickets to perfect pricing is college tuition. By perfect, it means different people that have different price thresholds pay close to the maximum price they are willing to pay for the EXACT SAME product/service. Most people know about booking a weekend between your departure/arrival dates. Buying tickets more than two weeks before your trip is another well-known tip, based on trying to f$%@ business travelers.

© 2004 Jason Keglovitz