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Tips to Beat the Airfare Blues

by Jack Penning

kgw.com

Posted on November 26, 2007 at 11:17 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:45 PM

As we're reporting tonight on NewsChannel 8 at 5 and 6, airfares are up 26% year-over-year according to a study by Harrell Associates. And don't expect them to drop right after the holidays, like they typically do, because the cost of jet fuel is up 52%. That means bargain airfares are going to be difficult to come by - even during the traditional "off-peak" times.

It's going to take some extra shopping to make sure you get the best deal. I have a couple of websites I like, and use, to beat the airfare system.

The first: Farecast.com. This site develops a prediction of the future fare in any market you search. It will tell you how the fare has fluctuated in the last 60-days, and if its likely to go up or down in the next 30-days. I find its predictions to be very accurate, so I always start my search here.

Another site I like is Yapta.com. This site will track the airfare in any market in which you've bought a ticket, and alert you if the fare goes down. What's more, it will tell you how to get a refund or an airline credit should the fare drop significantly.

With the price of oil at $97 a barrel and the price of jet fuel at $2.70 a gallon, airfares are only going to continue to rise. It's more important than ever to do your homework before you book.

Got another good tip? E-mail me at jpenning@kgw.com.

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