Internet Travel Bargains.
By Vijay Dandapani.
Friday, 9th January 2009
The Wall Street Journal's Middle Seat column has a report on stretching travel dollars. The column starts off with a mention of the site Yapta, a resource highlighted in June of this year by this website as one that tracks the prices of airline tickets as they change and sends customers a "price drop" email if the price goes down which may entitle the customer to a refund or voucher from the airline.

The Middle Seat also mentions Expertflyer.com, "a subscription Web site favored by hard-core road warriors who mine the intricacies of airline fare codes and upgrade rules, has a more sophisticated "Award and Upgrade Availability" search function. You can search for coach, business-class or first-class awards at different price levels on different airlines, and search for upgrade opportunities as well".

Other sites noted by the WSJ, all of which have previously been mentioned here, include Kayak, which compares fares and which also has a "feature that opens a chart showing you airline fees -- now a crucial element when comparing prices between airlines", Farecompare which, among other things, "shows historical graphs of the lowest prices offered on a route" and can "show you discounted first-class seats to hundreds of different destinations".

Sites useful for trip planning include Flightstats "so you get early notice of cancellations, gate changes or delays. Flight alerts are also helpful when picking people up at airports, too". Another interesting site mentioned is Tripit which "will take all your travel confirmations and compile one detailed itinerary, even adding directions to hotels or appointments, plus weather forecasts and other local information".

Sites specific to the hotel industry not mentioned in the article where travelers can find bargains owing to the economic downturn include Laterooms where some rooms can be had for as much as "70% off" per the website. For those of a sking bent there is Igluski where discounts of as much as 50% on some chalets in Europe are on tap.

Vijay is Chief Operating Officer and part-founder of Apple Core Hotels- a chain of 5 midtown Manhattan hotels offering value and comfort in the heart of the city.Member of the board of Directors - Hotel Association of New York. www.vijaydandapani.com

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