January 19, 2009
Booking Flights Just Like Gambling
Booking flights, to me, has always been like gambling. I watch the ticket prices for my search criteria for a few weeks, I use tools like Farecast to help, but ultimately, when I hit that "buy now" button, I feel like it is a gamble.
I often try not to look at the price of the flight after booking it. But Saturday night, I decided to take a sneak peak at the current price for my trip to Israel. I was shocked to learn that I paid almost twice as much.
Flights from New York to Israel typically run over $1,000 - typically $1,200 or so. When I looked Saturday night, the price was around $650 before taxes. I was shocked.
After I got over the initial feeling of being cheated, cause I know this is how airline prices work. I decided to then call and see what can be done. They offered that I can do a ticket change, for $250 per ticket, and then get a voucher back for flying next time, for the difference. So in short, I did it, and it cost me about $500 (two tickets) to get some money back.
At the end, I will come out $350 or so ahead. But I still feel cheated - although I know I should not feel this way. You rarely ever see tickets to Israel from New York this cheap. So if you want to fly this week, check out Continental Airlines.