June 10, 2011

Sneaky Airlines

We only have one getaway on the books... we'll be heading to Phoenix soon to see the White Sox vs. Diamondbacks. I love that their schedule includes several west coast stops while on the road, but I digress. We're itching to plan a vacation or two. But the airlines have not been cooperative. We want to go to New Orleans in October and San Francisco in November. The fares have been sky high.

Yesterday, I had a glimmer of hope for a flight to New Orleans. Southwest was $270, but Continental was $247. I've been seeking fares under $250 so I was thrilled. I checked hotel rates to be sure we could swing the trip, and that's where things came to a hault.

We thought we could secure a discount at Harrah's. However, $309/night is no deal. It's outrageous. We are so spoiled by Vegas rates that even the lowest rates in the French Quarter caught us a bit off guard. Three star hotels were running a minimum of $125/night. It's not a bad rate, I'd consider it to be the norm for most cities, but I really thought we could do better. No reservations were made yesterday.

Today, I tinkered around with hotel rates a bit more. I found some options, but a friend found a good deal at a place in the French Quarter for $109/night. It was looking up. That is until I went to Continental to confirm the price for flights. The price had gone up $84pp. Surfed over to Southwest, they're $40 more per person. Damn sneaky airlines raising prices in less than 24 hours time.

Needless to say, we are no closer today than yesterday to getting a vacation on the calendar. Boo. I'll keep checking and hope fares come back down.


Jay said...

I feel your pain. We do the same thing for airfare to your beloved city. What was once $200-250 is now north of $325.

Do you use sites such as farecompare.com and kayak.com among others? We'd be curious to know what you use most frequently.

Dan Fed said...

Have you considered using Priceline for your hotel request?

In my experience, I can't recall paying over $70/nt. for a FQ 4 star hotel. The back up area is CBD which includes the Intercontinental, JW Marriott and Sheraton which are directly adjacent to the Quarter. The only higher times have been holidays, festivals or football weekends. This site works equally well for locations around the country....I heartily recommend it.

Kellee said...

I use it all to compare prices on hotels and airfare. Honestly, I'm a little crazed when it comes to researching rates, but it always pays to comparison shop.

I like Bing's travel forecast, I like Orbitz for pricing multiple dates within a given period. Once I learn the cheapest time to travel. I start plugging away at all the travel sites in order to secure the best deal. I'm not loyal to any in particular, and fortunately, I've never had a problem with any... even the lessor knowns.

I prefer not to book with Hotwire or Priceline, because I like to know the exact hotel before booking. There have been a couple instances when the gamble was worthwhile.

Dan Fed said...

If you're looking for a specific hotel, Priceline isn't the answer. If you're looking for a specific area and "star rating", Priceline may be a very cost effective solution.

If you're interested, look at a site called Bidding For Travel (www.biddingfortravel.com). It's a bb where people post where they've stayed and at what price. Next week I'm in Nashville at a 3 1/2 star Sheraton for $45/nt. via Priceline. Cheapest rate for any room on their official website is $152.

Kellee said...

Thanks for the tip, I'll keep it in mind when searching options.