The pain of air travel…. they get you coming and going!!

Just because I am a travel agent and do “this” for a living doesn’t mean that I am not subject to the whims of the airlines just like everyone else…  yesterday I FINALLY bit the bullet and ran my airline tickets for my upcoming trip in July with my daughter to Paris… so this pain is multiplied by two!

I have been monitoring airfare now for about 8 months… everyday I log onto Expedia and do a new search for flights from Charlotte to Paris… and every day I have gotten the pricing anywhere from $1,350.00 – $1,500.00… surely I thought that one day I would get lucky and that fare would come up closer to the $1,000.00 range.. but never was the case.

With only two months left and not wanting to have to give up a nice schedule, with tears in my eyes, I booked the tickets…

How do I run my own tickets?  As many of you know, airlines do not pay any commission to travel agents… the only way we can make any money on running off your airline ticket is if we charge a ticketing fee… when I do charge a fee it is usually pretty nominal… $10.00 – $20.00 per ticket and many times nothing at all.  But where do I go for my tickets?  It used to be Expedia, they had dropped their ticketing fees a while back… but lately I have wised up and have gone the approach of the credit card with perks…

One of the best cards is Capital One… no blackout dates and any airline.  I used to have a Capital One card but they pissed me off one day and I cancelled them.. (ya I know.. bit off my nose blah blah blah)  I then changed to a US Airways Mastercard.  But that isn’t really working well for me since those points are only good on US Airways and US Airways is the second worse airline for redeeming frequent flyer miles (Delta being the worst).  So I have tons of miles and can’t seem to ever use them.

Then I was running my tickets last summer for Ilyse and my trip up the East Coast on Expedia and that little window popped up and told me that I could save $100.00 off the cost of my tickets if I applied for an Expedia Mastercard with CitiBank.  What the heck I went and got one and saved the $100.00.  Whenever I use the card I accrue points.. more points for things like groceries and gas and at least one point for every other type of purchase.  There is an annual fee of $75.00 though…

In the span of about 10 months I was able to save up about 25,000 points.  So this time when I ran my tickets to Paris off I used my points… it saved me $250.00 off the cost of my tickets so instead of paying $2,816.00 for my tickets I only paid $2,566.00 for them… every little bit counts when you are paying for airline tickets and I never carry cash and use my credit card for everything so I should at least be rewarded somehow!  (and surprise surprise I am flying on US Airways that didn’t have any frequent flyer seats available!)

So you might want to take a look at the credit cards that you use…. are they like my US Airways Mastercard and only giving you points to use on one airline or is it like the Capital One or my Expedia card and allows you to take your points and apply them like cash to pay down on your travel?

So my tears have now dried and I have my tickets… the pain will lessen now until I have to pay for my bags at check-in and squeeze myself into those little seats and eat that overheated stuff that they call Chicken or Pasta and then mess with my earplugs because they aren’t working and I have to read the lips of the actors on the movie…. need I go on?  You get the drift!!

Do you have a way to save money on air travel that you would like to share?  Post a comment here.. or call me at 888 877 8464 and share your knowledge… that way I can save others (or even myself) some money on tickets… I think that we would ALL agree that the very worst part of vacationing these days is the air travel… either the the cost of it all or just the travel itself!!


About Champagne Vacations

Owner of Champagne Vacations and Travel Consultant for almost 20 years. If I can't go myself, I will send you there!
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4 Responses to The pain of air travel…. they get you coming and going!!

  1. Lorraine says:

    Good hint about the Capitol One card, which I already have. I always use Discover when I can, and just did, for my Italy trip. I got the Cap1 a year ago when they were one of the few not charging international transaction fees. Guess I will read about their other perks now! Thanks! Bon Voyage! Need an interpreter??

  2. Pete says:

    Funny you should post about this…as I have been shopping for a travel card. In the end, I think I’m going with Capital One Venture. I’d rather give up the (free bag/priority boarding with Airline cards) for the flexibility of spending points on ANY travel. Credit cards are a necessary evil sometimes…

    • Glad I could help out Pete… you are right.. you can’t go through life (very easily) without a credit card. At least this way the card is working FOR us instead of against us! Where are you off to on your next vacation? Any plans?

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