Archive for the ‘Car Rental’ Category

Your BAT Editor on CNN Talking Holiday Travel

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It’s almost Halloween and that always means one thing to me: Time for smart travelers to get a jump on the holidays! Check out BAT editor Chris McGinnis’ tips for holiday travel on CNN. (See full Q&A script below)


BAT editor Chris McGinnis on CNN with Holiday Travel Outlook

Here’s the full Q&A script for this segment for those of you who don’t want to or can’t watch the video. It includes much more info that what’s included in this one-minute segment.

TOPIC: Holiday Outlook

Q: Give me a general overview of what the holiday travel outlook looks like:

A: Holiday travel will be cheaper this year than last year.

For example, Expedia data show that average airfares around Thanksgiving are down about 17%.

Q: Why will there be lower fares?

A: Two reasons: less demand due to the ailing economy, and lower fuel costs for airlines, which helps keep fares low.

Q: What will be a good price for a domestic flight to a major city?

A: It depends on when and where you are flying.

Flights on the most popular days around Thanksgiving, such as the Tuesday or Wednesday before or the Sunday and Monday after are always more expensive.

If you must travel on those days, you should expect to pay at least 25% more than if you travel on less popular days.

Flights between major cities where there is low fare competition will be much cheaper than flights to smaller towns dominated by one or two airlines.

Q: What’s a price point travelers should keep in mind?

A: It depends on when and where you are flying and varies greatly, so it’s impossible to state.

Keep in mind that holiday travel is peak season travel, so while prices are lower than previous years, they are still going to be higher than any other time of year.

Q: What will be a good price for rental cars?

A: It depends on when and where you are renting a car.

Since business travel demand for rental cars is down during the holidays, rates tend to be lower than at other times of year.

Q: When should travelers book by in order to get deals?

A: The best time to book Christmas holiday trips is in mid-October—no later.

Q: Why will there be fewer delays?

A: Now that the airlines are flying fewer planes, airport congestion is less of a problem overall.

However, big hub airports like Atlanta and New York still have serious congestion issues.

Weather is always the wild card for delays during the holidays. If a snowstorm hits a major airline hub, delays are unavoidable.

Q: What’s the downside of this travel season?

A: Holiday season is peak season, and flights will be much fuller this year.

This means that if you miss your flight or your connection, the likelihood of getting on the next flight out is slim. You may end up having to wait a day or two.

Q: How can travelers avoid getting caught with no back up?

A: Pad your schedule and don’t be late for your flight this year.

If you miss your flight, you could end up waiting a day or two for the next available seat, which could ruin your holiday.

Q: What’s the bottom line for this holiday travel season?

A: Holiday travel will be cheaper than last year if you book your trips well ahead of time.

Airport congestion and flight delays will remain a problem at some big hub airports, but overall, airline on-time performance is improving.

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$100/day for a compact car? You betcha!

CAR RENTAL RATES SOAR. Car rental rates are one area where travelers are seeing HIGHER rates this summer.  Significantly higher in a lot of cases. In mid-June, weekly airport rental rates for a compact car averaged about $350, compared with just $210 a year ago — a 65 percent jump, according to the New York Times. The reason is basic supply and demand. While demand is down slightly, rental agencies have cut their fleets by even more, creating their own shortage and jacking up prices. One smart way to get around higher car rental rates is to buy a package deal—where you get airfare and car rental together in a package— by doing so, you can save about 30% off your rate.

Click here to watch your BAT editor Chris McGinnis explain this trend on CNN!

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