Take Off with Deep Travel Discounts
New York Daily News
At least some good news is coming from the dismal economy: It hasn’t been this cheap to fly in years.
With fewer people getting on planes, carriers have been forced to drastically reduce fares to attract customers and keep up with the competition.
The cost of many flights is down 30% to 50% from a year ago at this time. Last spring, for example, you could get a great deal on a round-trip flight to Cancun – $266 on American Airlines, before taxes and fees. But last week, AeroMexico had a round trip to Cancun for $168. JetBlue now has a one-way flight there for $99.
Combine the lower fares with the deep discounts and package deals being offered by hotels and resorts worldwide, and savvy travelers who do their homework can come away with steep savings on their next trip.
“We’re looking at an unprecedented downturn in travel, and the result is an unprecedented reduction in fares,” says Gabe Saglie, senior editor of Travelzoo.com.
“Airlines are all about filling as many seats as possible and as quickly as possible, and we’ve been seeing some dramatically lower prices.”
Yet travelers should be wary, especially when comparing prices and booking flights online. Advertised airfare deals that look too good to be true usually are. Some sites will tout an amazing ticket price to get you salivating. But a little more clicking reveals it’s only a one-way fare – and the return trip is more expensive.
A deal to Bermuda on JetBlue, for example, advertised as $99 one-way, ends up costing $293 to go there and back, with taxes and fees on the return costing $50 more than the flight there.
Advertised prices usually don’t include taxes and fees … or mention that the great price is for a red-eye, the availability is months away or that it’s not a direct flight.
A recent Delta offer to Madrid from New York, shown as $199 one-way, came out to $698 round trip after taxes and fees – and that’s before you realize there’s a four-hour layover in … Atlanta!
Still, $700 to fly to Spain and back is about half of what it was a year ago, according to Saglie.
“The price drops are very dramatic, in some cases 50%, and Europe is especially cheap right now,” says Saglie. “It’s all about getting people to pack their bags.”
With spring break, Memorial Day weekend and then summer vacation on the horizon, click to the next page to see the best airfare deals now available to several popular destinations, along with some great hotel packages.