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Travel: Just keep checking! (Flight seats, Car Rental Prices)
Old 03-05-2016, 06:48 PM   #1
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Travel: Just keep checking! (Flight seats, Car Rental Prices)

Just keep checking that seat availability and those car rental prices!

If you haven't committed to your airline tickets, you can also monitor those prices.

Last night I saw a $30 drop in my car rental (via Costco Car Rentals), and made a new reservation. The price jumped almost $200 today, so I'm glad I did it.

I've been checking the seats available on one of my flights every few days. Several of the otherwise "good" Economy Plus rows have no windows on the flight to Maui, and I really wanted a view for what looks to be a spectacular approach and turn. Most of the best seats were already taken - including all the "decent" window seats. Yesterday, finally, a row with a window freed up - yay.

How do I know about the seats and whether they are "good" or "bad"? Seatguru.com. Some seats don't recline, including some in Economy Plus. Some seats in exit rows are not good next to the window. Some seats have stuff blocking where you put your feet or bags. There are several models of a given aircraft, but you can usually find one that is a pretty good match to what the airline shows on their seat assignment.

You probably have to book directly with the airline to be able to change seats online after the initial booking - at least without charge.

I've already committed to our airline tickets, but I'm also tracking price change history for this specific flight (plus the original flight I was going to take) at Yapta.com. It's still going up and down. Often goes up on a Friday (but not always), and drops on a Wednesday. Sometimes the lower prices stay through the weekend. Sometimes the prices drop a little more on a Thursday.

Autoslash.com is a way to track car rentals, but I didn't want to give them my specific car reservation to track (or really any personal information - it's bad enough they read my cookies to figure out my destination and travel dates). I have a general one entered and hope they'll send me an email if there is a better offer than the original eight quotes they sent me - as a flag to check Costco Travel again. Otherwise, I'll just keep checking manually.
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:50 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
I
You probably have to book directly with the airline to be able to change seats online after the initial booking - at least without charge.
I always book directly with the airline. They can't blame a travel agent if something goes wrong, and I really like doing business direct if I can.

Last year I checked my seats a few days before a flight and found a little box at the bottom that said 'upgrade to 1st class for $25'. Since this was a cross country flight, it was the best $25 travel dollars I have spent in a while. However, I am now spoiled and expect cheap upgrades on all flights - and I am not getting them. :
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:54 PM   #3
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I always book directly with the airline. They can't blame a travel agent if something goes wrong, and I really like doing business direct if I can.

Last year I checked my seats a few days before a flight and found a little box at the bottom that said 'upgrade to 1st class for $25'. Since this was a cross country flight, it was the best $25 travel dollars I have spent in a while. However, I am now spoiled and expect cheap upgrades on all flights - and I am not getting them. :
Me too - I always book directly. Found that out many years ago when something went wrong with seat assignment on Expedia.

Great hint! I'll have to keep an eye out for upgrades! There is a red-eye on the way back.
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:47 PM   #4
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Last year I checked my seats a few days before a flight and found a little box at the bottom that said 'upgrade to 1st class for $25'.(
My retired airline gate agent wife says she has never seen a 1st class upgrade for anywhere near $25 especially for a x-country flight.

Not saying it isn't true but one would think everyone in coach would want to upgrade for that price.
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Old 03-10-2016, 03:54 PM   #5
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I can't see a downside to reserving car rentals and keep checking. At Christmas we needed a one way rental from Daytona to Miami airport and then a return. We ended up with a $15 ride down there and $80 back all in. Cheaper than we could have driven and parked for, and mama didnt want to take the new car down and have it scratched or worse.
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Old 03-10-2016, 06:14 PM   #6
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My retired airline gate agent wife says she has never seen a 1st class upgrade for anywhere near $25 especially for a x-country flight.

Not saying it isn't true but one would think everyone in coach would want to upgrade for that price.
Don't be so skeptical, the upgrade price might depend on a lot of things such as status with the airline, the fare class and bucket your original ticket was in. It also helps if coach is woefully oversold and they are going to have to start bumping people. I got a domestic 1st upgrade for 75 bucks once and an international one for 140 bucks and got my baggage fees refunded to boot. Actually these upgrades were times 2 for DH and I.
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Old 03-10-2016, 06:16 PM   #7
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Thanks for mentioning YAPTA I need to track an international flight for next fall and was trying to remember the name of my favorite website for price tracking!
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Old 03-10-2016, 06:52 PM   #8
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I check seats daily as we get closer to the travel date and most times I'm able to change seats to one I like better. Last year, I travelled enough to get elite status and our first trip was upgraded to first class. We weren't seated together, but I was able to seat us together when the seat next to me opened up. I'm in trouble now because my wife only wants to travel first class after that trip.

I've always check on car rentals and have had 4 reservations for the same trip open at once (wasn't positive of dates and don't cancel the old ones until to new ones are completed). I think for that trip I had 8 separate reservations as the prices dropped.
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Old 03-10-2016, 08:24 PM   #9
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Checked the car rental again, and dropped $23!

I'll keep checking!
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Old 03-10-2016, 10:48 PM   #10
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Checked the car rental again, and dropped $23!

I'll keep checking!
Thanks for the tip. After reading your post, I checked for a trip we are taking next month and my jaw dropped at the prices. Last week they were considerably cheaper. I booked, but will keep checking to see if they drop.

BTW, I usually find better car rental deals (US) through AARP than through Costco.
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Old 03-11-2016, 09:30 AM   #11
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Thanks for mentioning YAPTA I need to track an international flight for next fall and was trying to remember the name of my favorite website for price tracking!
Ughh, I just went to Yapta for the first time in a couple of years and they do not offer tracking on Delta flights, that's a new "downgrade". Anybody have any other sites that offer tracking with email notifications for Delta..
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Old 03-11-2016, 10:35 AM   #12
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Ughh, I just went to Yapta for the first time in a couple of years and they do not offer tracking on Delta flights, that's a new "downgrade". Anybody have any other sites that offer tracking with email notifications for Delta..
Hmmm - well, Kayak will track Delta flights for you. Not a specific flight, but flights between two airports in general for a given depart and return pair of dates.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:44 AM   #13
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We always keep checking car rental prices. They often decline and there is no cost to cancel previous bookings. Sometimes will book more than one company for flexibility re dates. Generally use Priceline which compares several different rental companies.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:47 PM   #14
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audreyh1, thanks for the heads up regarding seatguru.com. It's a great site. I'm unable to check-in and choose seats until 24 hours before the flight, as I booked through a third-party operator (it's a package). Do you book your flight/hotel/car rental, etc. all separately as a rule?

I admit to being lazy and booking packages therefore probably paying a lot more, correct? I'm new to making travel preparations as I've never really traveled extensively. Never really had the desire to travel and never really like flying. Even now, you'd think I'd be more excited about upcoming travel plans this year (maybe I'll acquire a taste for it?).
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Old 03-18-2016, 11:59 AM   #15
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So far, I've been able to save a couple of $$ on a 1 day car rental. I usually check on Priceline to find the cheapest rental and then go to that car's website since I'm a member of their program which gets a 5-10% discount. I then checked Costco and found one for $1 cheaper. The next day I went to cancel my first reservation and checked rate again and saved another dollar. Another check with Costco was about another dollar savings. I figure I'll keep on checking both until just before we leave as we might see further drops depending on availability that day.


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Old 03-18-2016, 12:27 PM   #16
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I'm glad this thread keeps getting bumped, because it reminded me to check again, and sure enough, my car rental reservation had dropped another $30, so I redid the reservation.

Flights have jumped 50%+. It's getting close to that 21 day window, and maybe all the 21+ days out cheap seats are already taken. Then again, price jumps often happen on Fridays, but I hadn't seen prices anywhere this high so far.
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Old 03-18-2016, 05:17 PM   #17
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At this rate, I'll be renting the car for free. Went to cancel again and both dropped a dollar. They must be checking each other's rates and drop accordingly. Here's hoping for another drop next week. I hope they have many cars available the day we rent.
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:23 PM   #18
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I think that when it gets to be a couple or three weeks before the rental, if they don't have as many cars booked as they want, they start dropping prices to compete. The prices this week at several car rental companies have come down quite a bit more than last week for my trip.
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:41 PM   #19
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BTW, I usually find better car rental deals (US) through AARP than through Costco.
I haven't yet tried AARP but have recently seen pretty good rates through AAA (Hertz). This year we will need to rent cars in San Diego, Maui, and Seattle.

For cities like Seattle or San Diego, it seems renting offsite can reduce costs a lot (no airport taxes). Might have to take a taxi to get to the rental site. One can still drop the car off at the airport.
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:45 PM   #20
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Well, I've managed to save almost $14 on my one day rental, dropping the cost to $25. That's the price I originally was looking to get when I first started the process. This time, the cheapest rate was through Costco. I'll of course keep checking until right before we leave, as it pays to keep checking.
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