I watch the cost of plane tickets to Oaxaca like a hawk. My inbox flashes when I get news from Kayak, Airfare Watchdog, Vayama and Trip Advisor (okay, just kidding about the flashing inbox). But my eyes flash. Tuesday is the day the airlines put their best prices out on the internet. If you are not buying your tickets online ON TUESDAY then you are missing out on great deals and paying a premium.
Last Tuesday prices to Oaxaca round-trip dropped over $350, down to $545. So did my stomach. The day before, the cost of a RT was over $900. I called my friends Tom and Sam Robbins who are teaching/leading the photography expedition next summer and said “buy.” I can only imagine what it’s like when you are on the stock market floor and an instant bargain presents itself. I bought a ticket for next summer, too.
Have you ever played craps in Las Vegas? That’s what buying a plane ticket is like these days. Last month I panicked because the price kept inching up and we had not yet bought tickets to get to Oaxaca for the women’s writing retreat set for March 4-10, 2011. Robin, our instructor, bought her ticket on a Sunday and paid almost $950. I gulped. I hadn’t seen a low price for several months. Then, the following week, on a Tuesday, I found a $745 fare on AeroMexico leaving Raleigh-Durham at 6 a.m., going to NY-Kennedy to Mexico City to Oaxaca. Not what you call the easiest or most direct route, but the price was better.
Then, the following Tuesday the price plummeted to under $600. Why? I attribute it to multiple factors: airlines playing havoc with our minds, fewer seats being sold on planes to Mexico these days, the gambling mentality of waiting for and offering fare bargains. If you have a better answer, please let me know. What I do know is that each seat on the airplane I will be taking to Oaxaca has been sold for a different price.
This week, the cost to travel to Oaxaca is back up to over $700. Keep your eyes open. When it gets down to close to $600 or less, it’s the moment to buy and the gamble to wait has paid off. But, if you have no choice around dates, then you pay what they ask for and swallow hard. Me, I just want to tear my hair out and scream that I was impatient and paid so much. I gambled and lost.