MINNEAPOLIS - It is fast approaching the season of Minnesotans' discontent: the cold end of Autumn and the doldrums of winter. It is the time Gopher state folks look to vacations in sunnier climes, but is now the time to get stung by the travel bug? A Minnesota travel guru said "yes."
"Yes, it is!" said Terry Trippler, owner of theplanerules.com website. Trippler said the end of September and October are the sale times for air fares. "And most of the sales are going between now and December 15th with blackout periods over Thanksgiving. This is a very good time to travel."
Trippler took note of the dropping oil prices, but said that he does not expect that to be passed on in terms of lower air fares. Instead of cuts to their regular fares, Trippler said fliers should expect to see more "sales."
"What the airlines can do, rather than lower fares, they can simply take their lowest tier of fares and make more of them available. So, more people can take advantage of it. Then, they do not go through the process of lowering air fares," said Trippler.
Conversely, Trippler said the airlines can, in effect, raise revenue without raising fares, by cutting the number of lower cost tiers of fares, thereby reducing the number of cheaper seats on flights.
Also, Trippler does not think it is a good time to purchase flights that depart after the first of the year. "The reason I would not is that we may have more sales coming, oil has continued to drop," said Trippler.
The oft-quoted travel expert is no fan of using frequent flier miles for tickets. "I get so many complaints from people trying to use them...Try to use them if you can. If nothing else, try to use them to upgrade (to first class or business class). That is what a lot of people are now doing," said Trippler.
His last bit of advice is to visit the websites of airlines and register for their emails. Trippler said the airlines will then email their potential customers with news of perceived bargains.
(Copyright 2011 by KARE 11. All Rights Reserved.)