Top 10 Airfare Tips for 2009: No. 6

George Hobica, January 27, 2009
Fares from Washington DC:

    6. Sign up for fare alert services, but don't blindly rely on ones that monitor price only without considering seasonality.

    Fare alert services (such as those offered by Farecompare, Yapta, Farecast, Travelocity, Kayak, Orbitz, Priceline and Airfarewatchdog) are valuable tools. Each offers its own advantages and limitations. But many of them alert consumers based on price only. So if the lowest possible fare between New York and London on a Friday is $600 RT but only for winter travel, and on Saturday the lowest fare remains at $600 but travel is valid for travel all summer at that fare, you will not necessarily receive an alert about this "higher value" fare in your email. Same goes for nonstop flights: many consumers prefer to fly non stop and justly believe that a $200 connecting fare is not the same as $ 200 nonstop, so choose an alert service that allows you to specify nonstops only or alerts you upfront that the flight is nonstop.

    See tip 7.