It appears with arduous economic times, the holiday spirit is not compelling people to travel. Travel Web sites have not seen the spike in sales that regularly accompany the Thanksgiving and Holiday season. Companies like Travelocity.com and Expedia.com are offering substantially cheaper itineraries than they were two weeks ago and last season. Airlines like Southwest, American, and JetBlue have also followed suit and are offering flights below past averages. The cutback in travel makes sense. The current market volatility and 2 dollar gas prices are veritable signs that Americans, if they do decide to travel this season, should travel closer distances and road trip. AAA estimates that holiday travel will decrease this holiday season for the first time since 2002. Be aware, online travel agencies will engage in shady practices to recover for this season’s losses. Travelocity uses a low ball technique, emailing cheaper fares, only to subsequently raise the price during the reservation and checkout process. The Southlake, TX-based company will also rarely match fares, even when the cheaper fare is found days later on Travelocity’s own Web site.
Some airlines (United) are trying to recover their losses with taxes and hidden fees. Traditionally free services are suddenly becoming additional charges, such as checking bags and pillows. The airline’s venal marketing drones devised such an underhanded plan because they know that travelers have little to no negotiation power when they are already at the airport.