Recently a travel trade magazine gave a report about airline ticket prices and fares. The statistics need some interpretation because the article compares Mega travel agencies like American Express and Carlson Wagonlit, online and others… like Vista Travel. The Mega agencies fares were the highest because they tend to be used by large corporate travelers who do not plan in advance and purchase refundable tickets. Online was the lowest because they are mostly leisure travelers planning well in advance and looking for the lowest fares no matter what the times or connections. While the smaller travel agencies like Vista Travel do very well because the searcher knows the industry and where to look for great fares.
The most interesting statistics were the Mega agencies are down 5.3%, online is down 11.3% while others is up 1.1%! Travelers are moving back to travel agents! While all the number of tickets purchased to date in 2013 is down 5.4%. So you ask, ‘Why are the airplanes so full?’ There are fewer in number and smaller planes. The newer smaller planes are more fuel efficient.
Also in the report, which is fun to read, are the hotel ratings. Here are the top five in five categories for domestic hotel chains. We all use these often:
Luxury: Four Seasons, Shangri-La, Ritz-Carlton, Grand Hyatt, Fairmont
Upper Upscale: Kimpton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Renaissance, Westin
Upscale: Hyatt Place, Hilton Garden Inn, Courtyard, Spring Hill, Four Points
Upper Midprice: Wyndham Garden, Fairfield Inn, Hampton Inn, Country Inns, Best Western Plus
Midprice: Wingate, Quality, Ramada, Best Western, La Quinta
It is interesting the terms used because I would not use upscale or upper midprice for either of these groups just midprice and budget for the last group.
I bet most of you never heard of the Kimpton chain. It is fun and funky… with great service! Ask my friends who stayed at the Monaco in DC.
So call me if you what the best fares and best hotels in your budget!