Business travel managers are clipping wings these days, according
to a recent survey by the National Business Travel Association (see story).
The reason: higher fares. The result: a combination of selective
travel and smart buying that involves nothing more than common
Hopefully, some of this common sense will rub off on the leisure
market. Last week I was talking with a friend about the high fares
she was bumping into while trying to book a flight to Las Vegas.
Turned out she was traveling, by choice, from Sunday through
Wednesday. Yikes! She'd never heard of the Saturday-night-stay
All travelers, including the leisure variety, need to work the
system to their advantage. Utilize advance-purchase discounts, shop
around, be as flexible as possible about dates, times and
And agents, if the vibe you get from a customer is that the
lowest fare will get the booking, don't wait to be cajoled, find
I'm not ashamed to admit that when I'm flying, especially on
short hops, I call my agent and ask for the lowest possible fare.
She gets it. I'm loyal. Win, win.