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Wednesday AM May 13th, 2009

Airfares are down 12 per cent on domestic flights and 13 per cent on international bookings when compared to last year, according to Travelocity. Ed Mayberry reports.


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Travelers considering a trip this summer or for the Memorial Day weekend may want to book now.  Travelocity Senior Editor Genevieve Shaw Brown says international flights are cheaper and domestic flights are in the under-$300 range.

“If you’re getting anything below that price on a domestic flight, you’re doing pretty well.  What’s really interesting about this Memorial Day that was that although Memorial Day is considered generally more of a domestic travel holiday, we’re seeing such great deals on international flights — about $610 on average, and that is below where fares were in 2005.  So those are proving to be a great value.  I encourage people to take advantage of low international fares now.  We expect that when carriers cut back on their international routes this fall, those prices might go up.  So this summer might be a great time to take that trip maybe to Europe or to Asia or wherever it is that you want to go.”  

Brown says you can save money by combining flights and hotel. 

“You do.  Vacation packages are a great way to save money.  In fact, Travelocity recently did a study on vacation packages, and found the average savings is $315 versus booking the exact same trip separately.  A lot of people ask me ‘well, why is that?’  Well, hotels that don’t want to lower their stand-alone rates will lower them when they’re part of a package, when the customer only sees the total price for their flight and hotel.  They don’t see the stand-alone hotel rates.  So hotels give us bigger discounts, which we then pass to customers, and hopefully, everybody’s happy in the end.” 

Brown suggests checking out all area airports when you book a flight, as some have competitively lower prices.  She advises checking out Travelocity’s Web site, but also do travel homework on hotel and airline Web sites. 

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

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