A Bargain Isn’t Always A Bargain

a-bargain-isne28099t-always-a-bargainJust because something is labeled as a sale, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good deal. Take, for instance, the latest sales that Southwest Airlines has marketed with regard to airfares.

Southwest Airlines has long been considered to be the nation’s leader in low-budget air travel. With one-way coast-to-coast tickets as low as $99.00, and round trip tickets at $198.00, it’s no wonder. These prices are the type of airline fares that are a steal when compared to many others. Unfortunately, Southwest’s latest sales pitch isn’t as much of a sale as it once was.

The new low prices now offered by Southwest have risen to include coast-to-coast one-way tickets at $149.00 and $298.00 for a round-trip coast-to-coast ticket. These new prices aren’t all that bad, but still, they’re not the rock-bottom prices that travellers had become accustomed to.

Tom Parsons notes that the prices are “not really that bad” but adds that they’re still not the usual low prices that air travellers have come to expect from Southwest.

“The writing is on the wall,” says Parsons. “We had nine months of great travel bargains in 2009. Air travellers will be paying much more (In 2010) than they did in early 2009, as much as 50% more.” Parson’s website monitors airfare prices.

Even in spite of these higher “sale prices” from Southwest, many of their fares are still lower than those being offered by their competitors. Even so, the new fares aren’t nearly as low as some of the great discounts the company offered consumer’s over the summer.

Travelocity reports that airfare prices are now on an upward curve, but are beginning to stabilize. Consumers, however, aren’t travelling as much as they use to. Travelocity reports that Fall fares that are booked for the 2009 season are 14% lower than a year ago.

Apparently, airfares are starting to rise once again. Even sales prices are higher than they once were. While this may mean that the economy is starting to rebound from the recession, consumers will surely miss the days of rock-bottom airfare pricing they’ve enjoyed for so long.