Rotten Economy Might Mean Big Savings On Airfare This Fall, If You Can Afford To Travel

Travel guru Christopher Elliott thinks that airfare prices could drop significantly this fall, thanks to a double-dip recession and general economic misery. So far prices for car rentals and cruise packages are going up, but Elliott says he’s hearing from travelers and travel companies about “dramatic, unexpected bargains” and “rates … on par with last year’s record-low prices” when it comes to flights.

“Surprise! Fall bargains will abound — and here’s where to find them” [Elliott.org]

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  1. packcamera says:

    Just because Chris Elliott acted the role of a Cabin Boy on a fishing vessel, does not make him an expert on the cruise industry…

  2. Beeker26 says:

    But after you factor in the checked baggage fee, the carry-on baggage fee, the seat beat fee, the bathroom fee, the air-that-you-breathe fee, and the seat fee, you’ll find you’re paying 50% more.

  3. LuckyLady says:

    I’m shopping now for a trip in September, and so far I’m not seeing any bargains–unless I want to change planes 3 times and spend, literally, 10 hours to get somewhere I can get to on a direct flight for just about 3 hours. Unfortunately, this isn’t a fun trip (family wedding) to anywhere nice (Albany, NY). I need air and hotel, and because they are so expensive, we’re having to pare down our trip and eliminate a car rental.

    • teh says:

      I know what you mean — I just booked a ticket for this fall and it certainly wasn’t a deal.

      As for your trip, is there not a nice bed and breakfast that would be less expensive than a hotel?

  4. PsiCop says:

    But … but … but … other outlets are reporting that air fare bargains will soon vanish altogether. For example, here’s an AP report via the Courant. Who’s to say what will happen?

    And when prognosticators make predictions like this, does anyone bother to check and see if they turned out to be true? Or do the mass media merely assume that folks who are believed to be accurate prognosticators, are ALWAYS accurate prognosticators, without regard to the facts?

  5. Etoiles says:

    Airfare’s been high this summer so I really hope it does drop.

    (Flying is the fastest and least expensive way to get to my family, so I do it at least once a year even when it’s more expensive.)

  6. c!tizen says:

    Yeah, I can see the deals now…

    “$30.00 gets you anywhere in the continental United States!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    final price subject to:
    $400.00 checked bag fee
    $500.00 carry-on fee
    $300.00 courtesy fee
    $15.00 boarding fee
    $90.00 lavatory fee ($30.00 for subsequent use)
    $200.00 trained pilot fee
    $250.00 landing fee
    $30.00 seatbelt use fee
    $100.00 seating fee
    $20.00 arm rest fee
    $300.00 inside cabin seat fee

    for a total list of included fee’s please visit http://www.youshouldhavedriven.com

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      That pretty much sums it up.

      Even if I wasn’t afraid to fly, I wouldn’t get on a plane anytime soon. Airlines are asshole factories.

  7. Leksi Wit says:

    To assume less tourists/travelers = lower airfare is an oversimplified application of supply and demand. Airlines can only go so low as they have operating costs that fluctuate due to fuel prices and labor costs. What my husband and I have noticed is a reduction in flights, at least with United. The planes are much fuller than 1+ years ago. There have been more incidents of overbooking than 1+ years ago. Instead of lowering prices, they’re reducing flights, thereby correcting oversupply and keeping demand steady. Prices remain high.

    I paid $463 w/tax (not including checked bag fees of course) for economy tickets on United, ORD to BOS, for a wedding during Labor Day weekend (Fri-Mon). I bought these months ago for fear of the flights filling up this popular weekend. The cheapest tickets right now for those dates on United are over $270/adult w/tax included.

    This article is at best a prediction of things to come, but the trends have not manifested themselves in any of my personal travel plans. In fact, friends have all complained of the high airfare prices, pre-‘nickel & diming’.

    I’ll believe it when I see it. And, as pointed out in previous comments, did Elliott.org did not appear to make mention of all the extra miscellaneous fees like checked bags to this supposed “significant” “drop” in “airfare prices”.

  8. kurtmac says:

    Planning a trip to Grand Canyon in October, I’m dumbfounded at how expensive car rentals have gone up. We were in Phoenix in January and had a compact for $130, now the cheapest I see is $310! Perhaps I’m looking too far ahead of time, but I think it has something to do with all the companies cannibalizing each other: http://consumerist.com/2010/04/hertz-gobbles-up-dollar-thrifty.html

  9. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Would be nice if it really happened. I still have to fly to see the bf, even though Allegiant has very low fares to where he’ll be moving. It’s still a chunk o’ dough.

  10. coffeeculture says:

    I just paid $775 for a flight from LGA to LHR via Brussels and returning from CDG to SFO over the winter holiday… compare this to $610 for a RT from LAX to FCO in 2006. My general feeling is that prices are flat from 4-5 years ago, I’ve been seeing a lot of fall sales for travel from 9/7 to mid-December on a lot of the budget domestic carriers (Virgin, SWA, Jet Blue) and legacy too.

  11. iheartdm says:

    Actually this is pretty true. I just got a ticket to Madrid, Spain in October for $500, that’s taxes and all.

  12. someoneblank says:

    Try to get a stop over in Chicago O’Here. They almost never have on-time flights for any airline there so you end up getting free vouchers for next time…. keep in mind that you should plan on making your vacation a day longer than expected for these delays because you will be held up and spending a day in the airline, but hey, I don’t make $400 a day at work, so a voucher is worth it to me.