Saturday, February 9, 2008

Navagating the Airline Industry

The cruise thing is getting kinda crazy. Thanks grandpa for paying for the thing but I am still having to miss an entire week of school, get myself to port, need a new swimsuit (thankfully its not a "fancy" cruise), passport and a whole host of other random expenditures.

In early January I started looking for flights from Tulsa to Houston. My other grandfather is retired from American Airlines so we often use his passes to fly standby- but trying to catch a boat is a pretty important event. Because I normally fly American- flying Southwest (which I have only done once) feels like I am being loaded onto a slave ship. The whole get a group number, stand in line, pick your own seat is very uncivilized to me- but unfortunately its a great deal cheaper.

While looking at dates I discoverd that the day I get off the boat is my annual convention in Dallas, where my grandparents live. They will be driving to port so I am just going to come home with them and they are going to take me to my convention and then S can drive down and pick me up, or my grandfather said he would take me half way. (Saturday is a triathlon in Dallas and I am considering doing it- but that seems like a lot of stress for one week)

During my search for tickets it seemed that Southwest was running a special for specific cities and where I was flying was one of them. I only needed a one way ticket and the website said $79! Wo hoo! With taxes and security fees it came out to $88. I was pretty proud of myself and my mom was so happy she offered to pay for the flight!

For some reason this morning I decided to check and see what the rates were. $65! Yes, that is right, $14 dollars cheaper! With taxes and fees it comes to $74- still $14 dollars cheaper than what I bought about 3 weeks ago.

Now I understand economics, and supply and demand and all the ways that Southwest uses price as a driver to fill their planes but I still cant help but feel I got the shaft!

I booked under the cheapest category (duh!) and read the rules. Apparently I can cancel my flight and receive 100% in credit for flights at a later date. Does this mean I can cancel- get my $88 back and then book the same flight again? You have to figure if they are this smart then you probably can't do it and it has to do with "later fight" thing.

The only good thing is I didn't pay for the ticket- but I still fell like I flushed $14 of my mom's money down the toilet. Bummer!

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