Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Smacking Myself in the Forehead

Apparently it is ALSO getting to the point where I post once a week. Whoops.

Moving on! I...well, I...well, hell, I'm just say it: Tickets to Japan for the exact time period that I wanted are now $726. From Northwest Airlines, a very reliable source.

I'll just let that sink in.

This means that I paid $200 more than necessary, had I just waited.

It also means that I should really hold my ground more. I was pretty sure I wanted to wait to buy my plane ticket. Tim Ferriss does it, and according to him he's never missed a day of travel. Also, Metafilter recommended waiting until the tickets were under $800.

OH, well. I learned some things, such as the fact that Fare Compare (that I recommended earlier) really let me down here. I swear when I checked it, it recommended a good ticket price of 1000 bucks. I thought I was doing super well with my ticket price of $925. Now Fare Compare lists a good price at $732.

I also think that the money I paid earlier was probably worth it, if not for my own peace of mind, then for the peace of mind of my traveling companions. I'm traveling with two other people, after all, and it's important in cases like these to take the needs of your travel partners into consideration. While I tend to make hotel reservations as early as I can and then cancel them if need be, my travel partners didn't want to live by the skins of their teeth (Whaaaaaaa?) and wanted to nail down an itinerary. Because I did this, Mrs. Travel Partner did all the hotel research and booked all the reservations herself, saving me LOADS of time, work, research, thinking, you name it. There is a lot to know about Japan.

So, in summary, I'll stop smacking myself in the forehead. There's no point to it. I'm traveling with two other people, of whom I need to be considerate, and I've never traveled to Japan before. Surely not everyone gets it right the first time?

HOWEVER, on the next time that I travel, especially alone, I'll plan out the whole trip, but hold off until a month and a half or so before the trip to buy plane tickets. I will trust Metafilter's opinion. If I feel that I need to make hotel reservations sooner, I will do so, and plan to cancel them later if they don't work. (Probably, though, I won't even make hotel reservations. I'm on-the-fly like that.)

We live and learn, yes?


Anonymous said...

Lesson #1: NEVER go back and check the fare when your (non-refundable) ticket is a done deal. No good can come of this.

If it is too late for Lesson #1,

Lesson #2: Understand that the price of flights is regulated by one of Murphy's most obscure laws. If you had waited, the ticket would now be over $1000 and you would be kicking yourself all the same.

skydiamonde said...

I've tried waiting so many times for fairs to drop. It always goes up in my case, and I end up kicking myself for having waited so long when I had a perfectly good price to start with. I think it's better to have paid too much and seen it drop than to have it climb later. At least you're sure you have the tickets and you paid for them already.

Sarah said...

Wait wait wait! If you bought your too expensive tickets through Northwest you CAN get a credit from the airlines, as long as its the exact same itinerary/flights. They won't credit your credit card but htey'll give you a voucher that you have to use 1 year from the date it was given.

Aarwenn said...

WHAT the heck?? How do I do this??

Sarah said...

Just call them up. I haven't done this in the last year but the year before did it a couple of times.