Friday, March 29, 2013

Save Money Flying to Aruba II

Aruba Bound
Beware when booking US Air? I bet you thought this would be a story with an unhappy ending.

Actually it is a cautious tale with a pretty sweet outcome.This is not so much about saving money when flying to Aruba, but more about value when booking your flights. From time to time we have all seen the instances of cheaper fares if you say make 2 stops instead of one.

Do you always automatically chose the first "best match" presented to you when booking a fare on an airline website? Recently while on usairways.com pricing holiday flights for my brother from Philadelphia to Aruba, the "best match" fare was $898.

The itinerary offered PHL to AUA through Charlotte and a non-stop on the return flight. Some of the fare pairings I had seen on other days included flights on turbo prop planes. I know they are safe other they would not be in the air, however, given the choice I would really prefer a "jet" for any of my loved ones.

When scrolling down the page to search flights by connection(s) and equipment, I noticed there were two non-stop flights PHL - AUA offering non-refundable coach for $724. Continuing across the column, one of the same non-stop flights was offered at a cheaper $642 for first class non-refundable.

Round-trip non-stop itinerary from PHL - AUA was a total of $1027, including a first class seat on the outbound flight.

Round-trip connecting itinerary as detailed above through CLT, was a total of $898. For an extra $129 my brother has not only the privilege of first class on the outbound, but:
  • Is able to sleep 4 1/2 hours later
  • Save 1 1/2 hours in travel time by flying non-stop
  • Priority boarding, check-in and priority baggage handling
  • Comfortable seating for a 4 1/2+ flight

Add in the cost of:

A 12 night vacation he will be checking a suitcase, complimentary for first class a savings of $25

Extra cost is $104.

Add in the cost of:

Lunch on board and 2 cocktails, a savings of $22+

Extra cost of first class is $82.

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