There was an excellent segment on NPR’s Talk of the Nation today regarding the economy and its effects on travel. It featured Rick Steves – who spoke mostly about European travel – and Rick Seany, co-founder and CEO of FareCompare.com.
A few trends that Seany confirmed were that the average air traveler researches a fare four to six times before purchasing and many consumers are using meta search engines like Kayak.com and FareCompare.com to find the best rate.
One interesting feature with FareCompare.com is the site will e-mail you updates regarding price changes on a specific itinerary immediately after the airline takes action. Some of these e-mails will be generated within 15-minutes after the price change and they can be sent several times in a 24-hour period. A great benefit when compared to the airline web sites which usually only send out one update a day and it is traditionally done around 2:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m.
If your hotel or resort is located in a fly-in destination or you promote a destination that is primarily dependent on fly-in traffic, it may be worthwhile posting Seany’s tips on your web site, blog or in your consumer e-newsletter.