Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Travel Industry Must Be In Real Trouble!

With the economy in the tank and fuel prices on the rise, these must be troubling times for the tourism business. This obviously means people are using their "economic stimulus" payments to pay their credit card bills instead of blowing it on a vacation fling! Case in point:

I have a short out-of-town trip coming up that requires me to rent a car for four days. I first booked this car back in February - a guaranteed midsize sedan for $169,00, including all taxes and fees. I must admit that I was not thrilled with this rate, but I was not concerned because rental car rates often drop as you get closer to the rental date.
So I sat on that 169 dollar rental until about 2 weeks ago, when I revisited the reservation and found the car was now available for 161 dollars. A small change, but an eight dollar savings is still a savings, so I changed the reservation. Since that point, I have checked back several times, and I have now revised the same reservation seven MORE times. The car size has also moved up - first to a smaller SUV, and then to a fullsize sedan. And just look at the timing and size of the price change!

Feb. 08-June 08 169.00
6/8/08 161.58
6/12/08 159.79
6/13/08 151.07
6/15/08 136.57
6/16/08 125.60
6/17/08 110.63
6/18/08 - 1:18pm - 106.63
6/18/08 - 11:39pm - 102.01

That's right - I was able to lower the price TWICE in one day! Mind you - I have made all of these changes without using any coupons, discounts or any other trickery. These are all prices that Dollar Rent-A-Car have posted on their own site, and Dollar doesn't care that I've now changed my reservation 8 times!

102 bucks for a four day fullsize car rental is a pretty darn good deal for me, but Dollar isn't going to make much money on this... Before taxes, the rental is about 64 bucks. If times were better, Dollar would be able to fetch twice the price on this.... and who knows - I may be able to squeeze a little more juice out of this deal yet!

If you haven't made summer vacation plans, you may still be able to find some great deals on room and car packages - too bad though that you can't afford the airfare to get there!

1 comment:

Deb said...

That's some savings!!