The Travel Professor
Join me on a journey across the broad spectrum of interesting travel topics. We’ll discuss destinations domestic and abroad, some familiar and some off the beaten path. We take a look at suppliers like cruise lines, air carriers and tour operators and find their bargains and special offerings. Got questions? Email

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Track air fares & locate deals

An acquaintance asked me the other day” Why are air fares always so high into Savannah? I checked with my travel agent and they said that they are always high into here. Any ideas on how we can get a special price?”

Yes I had a few suggestions and gladly offered them to her now I share these with you.

First off most traditional travel agents will gladly give you a quote on the fare that applies for the dates that you want to travel on. A good agent will offer advice like if you wait two weeks to purchase your tickets and travel on a Tuesday or Wednesday and spend a Saturday night there you’ll qualify for a much lower fare. They might also recommend an alternative departure or arrival airport. The idea here being drive a little and save a lot.

But it’s highly doubtful if they will help track the fare changes for you. This is where you will need to monitor the ups and downs of the airline pricing puzzle and keep a keen eye on the destinations that you wish to travel to. Harness the power of the Internet and use the wonderful fare watching tools that some of the free on-line fare tracking programs and let them do the work for you.

My personal favorite is Once you become a member and membership is free you can use their fare watcher to track 5 different sets of originating and arrival airports. The tools available here are wonderful. You can search a range of dates, specify a certain fare level and when the air fare falls into your search parameters they notify you by email.

Immediately and I stress immediately once you receive a notification of a great price now is the time to call or stop into your favorite travel agent to book and buy the ticket. Or use your favorite on-line travel agency but buy it! The only constant about air fares is that they are always changing. Once booked and ticketed your fare normally is guaranteed and will not change unless you make voluntary changes.

If the air fare drops into your price thresh hold buy it!

So you’re not computer savvy? No problem. You probably have a friend, relative or someone who would gladly act as your Internet connection. My sister in law monitors fares for my mother and when she gets alerts she contacts Mom who then contacts her travel agent.

Enlist the support of a tech buddy and you’ll stay up to date on air fares into your selected destinations.