The airlines are all adjusting differently to the new requirement that taxes and fees be included in the advertised price of a flight. Regardless of the differences, the disclosures are easy to find and it’s much easier to comparison shop.
The price you see includes all the fees. Here’s a look at the ways companies are reacting told through pictures.
Expedia advertises that now it’s easier to find low fares. They’re spinning this as a positive thing, which it is for consumers, even though some airlines are less than pleased about these changes.
Continental Airlines lists a statement at the top that says “Fares listed are for the entire trip per person and include taxes and fees.”
It’s not just ticket prices that are changing, you’ll also see more disclosures about baggage fees and have the opportunity to hold a reservation or cancel it within 24 hours.
24 hold policy
You’ll now get 24 hours to make a decision about a fare. You no longer have to rush into booking something because you are afraid the price may change. You can hold a reservation without a payment or even cancel a fare without penalty for 24 hours after you make the reservation. If I were you, I wouldn’t book. I’d hold the fare and buy later because cancelling the fare may involve calling customer service which may take up a lot of time. This rule only applies if you book or hold the trip one week or more prior to your flight’s departure.
Ever wonder how much it’s going to cost to check a bag? Those fees will be disclosed with the fare quote. This disclosure is easy to miss as its worded differently on every site and doesn’t always make reference to baggage fees.
Also, if there is a delay of 30 minutes or more airlines will have to promptly notify passengers. What this actually means remains to be seen. What’s promptly?
The changes are a good step toward disclosure and give consumers more rights when they hit the friendly skies. Just make sure you know your rights and demand they are enforced (like with a delay situation) when you’re flying.
Don’t let high gas prices ruin your summer travel plans. While airline prices are on the rise, there are deals if you keep looking. There are sales right now if you’re flying to certain cities, and there are ways to be alerted when a price drops for a trip you’re planning.
Persistence pays off whether you check regularly or let an alert system check. We tried booking a flight to Orlando last night, and tonight we checked again and found it for $100 cheaper. We were thrilled to find a flight for just over $250 in this day and age when most flights are $300 plus.
We got lucky on this one, because it’s not every route saw a drop in price. We checked KC to Cleveland for friends that want to visit, and the price is still $350-400. That’s just a ridiculous price to pay. They won’t pay it, and hopefully the price will eventually drop.
Keep looking. Those prices will drop even if for just a few hours some random day. To help you find the best deal set up a deal alert. Most airlines offer this option so you’ll be notified when the price drops.
Yapta is a service that allows you to track price drops. It’s powered by Kayak (the price comparison website), so the results look the same. There is an extra option on the results that allows you to track a specific flight route. You have to create an account to track flights, and select each flight you want to track.
Airfarewatchdog allows you to track fares between cities, from cities, or to cities. The deals are verified by real people and not a computer, and sometimes they offer prices or promo codes you can’t find anywhere else.
FareCompare also allows you to watch a flight. When you search for a fare, the calendar that brings up the days to choose from also shows you the prices for every day in the calendar month. It’s a nice feature to see this right away so you can figure out a ballpark cost. It’s on other sites as well, but not as prominently displayed. If you don’t want to check the calendar constantly, you can also set up an alert.
If you have no choice but to book a flight at a price you don’t like, many airlines offer lowest price guarantees. Make sure you read the fine print of the offer so you know how to claim your money if the price drops.
Posted in Consumer News, Consumer Tips
Tagged airfare, airfarewatchdog, Airline, alert, deal, farecompare, KAYAK, price, travel, trip, vacation, Yapta
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