5 Dirty Secrets of Airfares as Told by CNN

By | August 31, 2006

We recently reviewed CNN Money‘s ‘5 dirty secrets of airfares’. We have added our own commentary.

1. Low cost carriers don’t always have the lowest fares – Remember, the legacy carriers are competing with them. If their fares were not comparable to their competiition, they’d lose all business. Revenue or yield management, which determines how many seats are sold at each fare and at what time is different for every airline. This variation can also mean that lower fare seats are released at different times by different carriers.

2. You may pay more in taxes and fees than you do for your airfare – This really only comes into play for international service. The taxes on domestic travel are minimal by comparison. Either way, taxes are assessed by route, not by percentage of fare. Thus different airlines should be showing identical taxes on the same routes(with some variation for delays in updating taxes as they change, especially if part of the taxes are in a different currency).

3. You can mix and match fares to get better deals – The risk of flying two different airlines to your destination is that if these are on two different tickets, neither carrier is obligated to assist you if one flight misconnects with the other. Its obligation to do so is more if two fares and/or carriers are on a single ticket, and the most protection of this nature would be with a single fare from origin to destination. In order for an airline to transfer your bags, it must have a baggage agreement with the other carrier. You can find this information out from the airline in advance. Our recommendation for mixing and matching is to check into one-way fares on routes and carriers that offer them.

4. Your computer may be preventing you from getting the best deals – We have no useful information to add. But we have never heard of anyone getting inaccurate or old search results.

5. The most popular travel web sites don’t have the same information – or the best deals – We must agree that fares are frequently changing and that it is best to check multiple sources, and if you can, eliminate the middle man. Our recommendation continues to be Kayak, a search box for which is on every page of our main site.

Author: Guru

Guru is the Editor of Flight Wisdom and a long time aviation enthusiast.