Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dublin - Unbelievable deals for July Travel

Following on from yesterdays post. Here's some links to look at deals into Dublin for travel in July

Dallas to Dublin $480
New York to Dublin $460
Chicago to Dublin $470
Philadelphia to Dublin $418
Newark to Dublin $485
Boston to Dublin $546

A flight into London from Dublin is around $60, a flight to Paris is around $80 - so you still come out ahead compared to prices directly into London or Paris.

If you aren't in one of the cities above, but are in a city served by Southwest - you can always take advantage of the $99 one way introductory fares they have for flights into La Guardia.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Top 7 Tips for Cheap Summer Travel

For many people the only time they can travel across the pond to Europe is in the height of summer. The airlines realize this and most years charge a hefty premium for July and early August travel - ie more than $1000 RT. However, this year there are some pretty major deals going on from various spots around the country and the airlines keep extending/filing new deals that extend the travel period right into July and August.

Top 7 tips

1. Checkout the published airfares from your home airport to Europe. Use FareCompare's Europe Map Tool . Change the travel dates - the dropdowns are just above the map.

2. Checkout the airfares from major cities. Often times there are deals going on out of the major hubs like New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte etc. Then you can take advantage of all the domestic airfare sales going on to get to the major hubs. For example, Southwest just announced their flights into La Guardia. $99 one way from just about every city they fly from. Jetblue are just finishing up a $39 each way sale tomorrow.

3. Consider flying into Ireland. For some crazy reason, the airlines are cutting their own throats for summer travel into Ireland. Prices are down in the $45o range out of New York for nonstop travel in July. It also helps that Ireland has lower landing fees than many European airports (especially Heathrow, Gatwick).

4. Use low cost carriers when you get to Europe. So you really want to go to Italy, but you can't get a cheap deal into Milan or Rome. Don't fret - see if you can get a cheap deal into Paris, Dublin, London etc then use EasyJet, RyanAir and the other low cost airlines. Use a site like SkyScanner to find all the low cost carrier deals.

5. Make the most of airfare monitoring services like FareCompare's MyTrips If you create a user on MyTrips, then you can create any number of trips to watch fares not only to your favorite cities, but entire regions or countries. Simply type Europe as the destination and remember to specify your approximate travel dates - ie July - August. The system will then automatically notify you when the airlines drop prices.

6. If you get a new email telling you of a price drop. Act quickly ! Chances are the airlines are only going to release a limited number of seats. So have that credit card ready !

7. Be Flexible on your departure and return dates. Tues, Wed are normally the cheapest days to fly into Europe - but not always. Best to use a flexible search like on or the flexible search you get to by clicking on a fare in FareCompare's Mytrips email alerts. Here's an example of available fares from NYC to Dublin in July

If anyone has more tips - please leave them in the comments and I'll add.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nonstop v Connecting - Who's still charging a premium

Last year, we did an analysis for USA Today or AP about the differences in airfare between nonstop flights and connecting. Today, AP were after a quote about price drops and just by accident noticed that US Airways has a nonstop flight from Philly to San Diego (and no one else has). The price for that flight on US has come down from over $700 in September to $338. Of course the cheapest is lower still at $200, but you get to spend time in DFW airport to save the $138.

Last year US Airways were charging some ridiculous premium for flying nonstop between Portland, Oregon and Philadelphia - i t hink it was around $600. They've since canned the service - I wonder why....

I decided to see what the top differentials are now, (looking only at the top 50 cities in the US)

So here's the top 5 list.

1. Nonstop flights from San Antonio to Washington are exclusively United - and they are charging a premium of nearly $400 over Spirit (mind you i might pay that....)

2. Nonstop flights from Memphis to Salt Lake City - provided by the NW/DL megalosaurus will cost you over $300 to save 2 hours in travel time.

3. Nonstop flights from Detroit to Pittsburgh - a flight of just over 200 miles - will cost you a $200 premium courtesy again of Delta/Northwest

4. Travel from Honolulu to Las Vegas on American is around $410, but it connects in LAX and adds two hours to the journey.
Or you can pay an extra $200, save the 2 hours in travel time and fly on Hawaiian.

5. Direct flights from Boston to Indianapolis on US Airways will take another $200 out your pocket over the lowest $160 airfare from Airtran

Generally speaking though - there are a lot less premiums being charged for nonstops than there were even at the start of the year, and especially compared to last summer as airlines as slashing airfares even on routes where they control the lions share of the market due to nonstops.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Weekly Deals On United

This morning I got my normal weekly email from United with weekend deals. I normally don't click through on these emails as they never target the offers in the mail to me. Its always deals out of Los Angeles or flights from Kalamazoo. But today I did.

Some pretty good flights out of Durango for this weekend. Carl and Doug were talking about going to the Tour of California - turns out you can leave early Saturday on a flight to Santa Ana, return Monday for about $200 all in. Pretty damn good. I'm sorely tempted to go see the stage up Mt Palomar - that would be epic standing up there watching them come past.

Another deal United had on for this weekend and next, is to/from Dallas. Works out about $230/$240. I guess DMR's special that they are running with Frontier is taking traffic away from United. Trying to get Rick to come up skiing. Barry & Carin might show up next weekend.

Friday, February 13, 2009

United Airlines - Flight Upgrade Coupons

I flew a lot last year - at least it felt like it to me. As a result I almost got to 1K status on United but was too lazy to do the last couple of flights that would have got me the status.

Anyway, on the way back from Scotland at Xmas, I had upgraded Gregor and myself to first class on the leg from Chicago to Denver. Normally I'd expect a 757 or 737 on that flight, so imagine my surprise when i found out it was a 777 - same ones as UA flies internationally. So just for grins today, its a slow Friday, I poked the flight schedules database to see what other flights are 777's in the US - with the idea that in the current economic climate you must stand a better chance of getting an upgrade on these flights with coupons than any other.

United's Flights


American's Flights


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Top 10 Airports by Bums on Seats

Been doing some SEO work lately on the site, and as part of it decided to create a ranking system for cities and airports based on the number of seats that fly out daily.

Here's the top 10

ATL Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta
LHR Heathrow, London
HND Haneda, Tokyo
PEK Beijing Capital, China
ORD O Hare, Chicago
CDG Charles De Gaulle, Paris
LAX Los Angeles International, Los Angeles
DFW Dallas/Ft Worth International, Dallas
MAD Barajas, Madrid
FRA Frankfurt International, Frankfurt

I thought it was interesting that Tokyo and Beijing are now in the top 5 - i need to go check out historically to see where they have been. Might be a sign of the times, that the Far East is going to be the center of business and not the US or Europe.

Oh, and BTW Durango comes in at position 1118 :) Ron assures me he's working on it..

Monday, February 02, 2009

More Cheap Airfare Out Of Durango

This year is definitely turning out to the year of the airfare sale.
10am this morning - out pops the usual list of alerts from our all seeing app.

Quite a few places for less than $300, which last year would have been unthinkable, with
Frontier driving most of the sales at the moment, with United and US Airways happy to match.

Todays Flights from Durango

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cheerio Martin Schaedel

Its hard to believe - it sunk in - then it didn't sink in. Its almost like its a bad joke that Martin is playing, except given all the information thats coming out of LA County and Santa Monica -its unfortunately true.

My friend, and colleague for the last few years, Martin Schaedel died in a horrific plane crash at Santa Monica airport yesterday.
I'd spoken to Martin yesterday afternoon - he was pumped about going flying again. He'd taken a lesson on Tuesday and given his sinuses a workout when they pulled 2.5G - so was looking forward to going up in an old military 2 seater.

Martin liked to do things differently - he wasnt content to sit on the couch and waste his life away. If he was on the couch it was with either or both of his beloved laptops constantly wired in, networking away - his favorite pastime.

His tall tails were legendary - but what was more remarkable was that some of them were true. The photo is from an after-event party in Miami, after the Victoria's Secret show. I refused to believe Martin was there, unless he produced proof.

He knew a tremendous number of people - and could strike up a conversation with just about anyone in record time.

Farewell Martin....I'll try and ski 'properly' this weekend...just for you

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Looking out the window

So, after last years epic amount of travelling - to and from Dallas 400 times (at least it felt like it), this year I've decided to stay put for a while in Durango. Of course, saying that, we were all over in Scotland for Xmas and missed the huge dump of powder up at DMR.

Talking of DMR, they teamed up with Frontier Airlines this year to try and entice people to get on flights to Durango, and come skiing. Some pretty good deals - however, this morning Frontier took out a half page ad in the Durango Herald with the details on their latest fare sale. $59 one way blah blah blah.

Good news is though, that they have a $51 one way fare up to Denver - where was this fare when the football season was in swing ?

Some pretty good deals over to California at the moment - flights to San Jose are running around $250. Its tempting to go see the Tour of California for a couple of days and drag Spinny over too. He's from around there so no need to get a GPS to navigate - ha! - we'd still manage to get lost, we couldn't even get out of San Jose airport in Costa Rica last year.

Talking of cycling, need to get back on the bike and shed a few pounds - was looking at the photos from Tour de Georgia the other day - that was a good trip - perfect weather - and I was fit enough to almost hammer Carl up Lookout Mountain. Time to get back in shape - pity the weather wont co-operate...Pity also there is no Tour de Georgia this year, they should really do a time trial around and up Brasstown Bald when they bring it back next year so the excitement lasts for a few hours on the climb up. It was pretty intense in 2007 - and having the riders come by at 1-2 min intervals would be pretty cool.

Anyways - enough daydreaming back to work...