Thursday, December 8, 2005
More Bang for Your Buck: Airfare
The holidays are a popular time to travel. But if your flying out of town, there is a way to save hundreds of dollars on a ticket...Even get to your destination for free. In tonight's More Bang for the Buck, we're going to introduce you to something called fat finger fares.
WSVN--Along with fancy feasts and fancy gifts, the holidays are a great time for a trip out of town.
Diana Plucienkowski: "I'll get to see all the kids. It will be the family reunion of 2005."
In a few weeks, Diana Plucienkowski will be on her way to Colorado for Christmas. But this year, spending time with her grandkids has come at a high cost.
Diana Plucienkowski: "The prices were crazy."
Diana could have saved hundreds of dollars by finding what are called "fat finger fares."
Mark Schonbach: "What a lot of people do not realize is that the majority of hotels and airlines enter their rates and fares by hand. So, someone will be entering a rate of $259 for a night at a hotel and they'll accidentally enter it as $25 instead of $259."
Basically, they are typos that are too good to pass up...Such as back in April two great deals surfaced: First, U.S. Airways posted coast to coast round-trip tickets for 88 cents...Then on Travelocity, a $0 dollar fare surfaced from Los Angeles to Fiji. But how do you find these fat finger fares?
Mark Schonbach: "You don't have to do anything. The deals come to you."
They come to you on websites like flyertalk-dot-com - it lets its users post messages when a "fat finger fare" is spotted. Or you can try fare-alert-dot-net - it alerts its members through text messages and e-mails.
Mark Schonbach: "When someone alerts us to an out of the ordinary deal, something really excellent, really extraordinary…we will send out an e-mail to all of out members."
Just do not expect a message everyday - these deals are rare.
Mark Schonbach: "We've had periods when we've had two in a week and we've had periods where we've had nothing for three months."
Whenever they do hit, travelers jump on them because they do not last long.
Mark Schonbach: "Sometimes they'll gone in a matter of minutes, a matter of hours, sometimes it'll take days before they are discovered and corrected."
Diana hopes to discover a fat finger fare soon. Her New Year's resolution is to spend more time with her grandkids.
Diana Plucienkowski: "It's really important for me to get the best deal for everyone."
If you do find a fat finger fare, by law the airlines do not have to honor them, but as far as we know, they 100 percent always do...Including the zero dollar fare from LA to Fiji.
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