Gah!

I feel like I should add my story to fmylife.com because it would fit in quite nicely. In my family I’m sort of in the unenviable position of being travel agent, which I enjoy for longhaul and premium cabin travel, but absolutely hate for shorthaul travel. It’s not like I even get thanks for booking a run-of-the-mill ticket, but if the price goes up it’s all my fault. 😉

Anyway, my brother’s in a bit of a situation at the moment. He’s trying to get from New York to Tampa before Christmas. Due to schedule conflicts he wasn’t able to book his ticket until Saturday night. Now, up until the big snow storm fares were expensive but not unreasonably so. There were plenty of one-way fares in the $200 range or so. Then with the news of the snow storm all flights for this morning became very cheap, right before they cancelled them all. Now in retrospect I should have booked then and had him rebooked for free, but oh well.

And now we’re screwed. Everything’s sold out, the cheapest one-way fares I’m finding are paid first class, and there’s not even an American AAnytime award available until the 24th. Furthermore, never before have I seen such massive fluctuation in fares. I’ll check fares and then literally a minute later you’d think you’re looking at a different date or route based on the fare changes. And no, not in a good way, like fluctuating between $700 and $200, but rather fluctuating between $700 and $1,100.

Anyone have any creative ideas?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. I’m in the same situation for a friend of mine trying to get from DC to SAN. Ended up swallowing a big pill and booking a flight on US. *gulp*

  2. SMF-TPA is $340 AI on CO or DL. At least your brother will get some EQMs, though I’m not sure how bad the drive to SMF would be. Also, have you looked into something going into MCO if that’s not a horrible drive?

  3. The $168 is gone, sorry. The $464 in business on CO is still there, and US has a $278 on Tuesday with a connection.

  4. Thanks for all the help guys, and LMAO, some of you guys are funny!

    It’s just insane how quickly availability is changing. Never before have I seen *anything* like this. One second I pull something up on usair.com for a reasonable price, and by the time I get to the next page the fare is gone. It’s happening over and over and over on virtually every airline. Of the above suggestions, I still see BDL-TPA and EWR-TPA in paid biz, but that’s it. I checked EWR-TPA as AS suggested a minute after he posted, and it was gone.

    Thanks so much, though, and if anyone happens to have any other ideas, please holler.

  5. JET BLUE: Wednesday, December 23, 2009
    $229.00
    Flight 559
    Depart 8:00 AM
    White Plains, NY (HPN)
    Arrive 10:55 AM
    Tampa, FL (TPA) 2 seats left
    at this price

  6. Ben – not sure you are reading your emails or not, but the EWR-TPA opened up again a couple of times in the last hour, including a few mins ago. 1 seat if you want it.

  7. JFK-MCO tomorrow on B6 for $194 if you can get over to MCO to fetch him.
    ABE-CLT-TPA on 12/22 on US whY for $212.

  8. GAH! Just pulled up a $154 fare for EWR-MCO tomorrow on CO and managed to get all the way to the confirmation page, at which point I got an error message.

    Trying to book JFK-MCO for $204 tomorrow afternoon on B6, and while I can pull it up on ITA and get to the final page on Orbitz, I can’t actually book it. Nothing coming up on jetblue.com. Ideas?

  9. Call Orbitz web support and take a screenshot of the fare, You should also try calling CO web support with the $154 EWR-MCO CO fare.

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