Maybe you’re already aware that airlines have plenty of promotions nowadays, like the 1-peso fare for local destinations (exclusive of tax and other fees, of course). These promos stimulate air travel, which is good for customers, and result to keeping the travel industry afloat.
A recent report reveals that the attractive promotions and discounts offered by airlines to stimulate travel helped keep the travel industry afloat. An earlier report noted that there’s an increase of passenger traffic in domestic flights. According to an Inquirer report, quoting data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), there’s an increase of of 31 percent to 7.59 million against the 5.82 million in the same period last year. This includes Cebu Pacific (which carried 3.61 million passengers in the first semester of 2009, up from 2.57 million a year ago and Philippine Airlines or PAL (which ferried 3.21 million passengers compared with the 2.25 million it carried in the first six months last year). Heavy, boring stuff, huh?
Here’s the easy part: whenever possible, schedule your travel in advance to avail of various promos offered by airlines (same is true for both domestic and international flights). We shall post these promos here in the days or months to come (more reason, ahem, for you to subscribe (click here) in order to be updated of new posts; click here). Here are some reminders:
1. Book in advance. We’ve already said that, but we’re making sure you remember it. Low-fare airlines offer promos in variuos times of the year (but don’t expect generous promos during peak seasons, like Christmas). Promos booked in advance are much, much cheaper than tickets you buy a day or two before your flight. A P1 round-trip promo will easily become a P4,000-plus purchase, one way, if you buy the ticket one day before the planned departure.
2. Stick to your promo flight schedule. You’re ecstatic that you’ve availed of a good promo. Then, as the day of the travel wheels (or flies?) nearer, you decide, for whatever reason, to re-schedule. This is the time when you’re going to wish to have read the fine print. Many promo fares are non-refundable and non-transferable. Which means you might end up paying more at the airline counter. It happened to me once (well, before we started this travel agency). It could happen to you.
3. Take the first or last flight. Not all time slots are created equal. The first flight (which is usually before dawn) or the last flight (when half the world is already asleep) is usually cheaper than other flights. Of course, we can’t do anything if you hate to wake up early.
4. Take the Tuesday or Wednesday flight. Days furthest from the weekend are usually less expensive. Would you normally take a vacation in the middle of the week? Most probably you’ll say “No”. And that’s the reason why it’s less expensive.
5. Choose off season travel. Airlines and other carriers make a killing during peak season, including Christmas. Also, there are usually no promos during peak seasons. Worse, the sea of humanity makes the travel more, how shall I say it, challenging. So, to get away from all these, choose off-peak travel. In the Philippines, that’s June to mid-December.
There you go. If you want to book a flight in advance, international or domestic in any airline, please let us know. If you have other tips, please let us know through the comment section below.