Friday, September 17, 2010

Airlines' Promo Fares

Nowadays when my family and I travel by air in domestic routes, we normally spend less than Php 400 airfare per way, including aviation fee and value added tax (VAT). Thanks to low cost carriers like Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific, who put a few seats on sale on certain periods.

Air Philippines is the low cost carrier of Philippine Air Lines. Last month, I was able to book my industry colleagues on our planned Cebu seminar next year, for only Php 88/way or Php 214 round trip fare including aviation fee and VAT. Hehe, we jokingly refer to it as field trip for all 23 of us riding the same round trip flight next year.

The downside on booking promo airfare is you have to book 4 months to a year before the travel period. Payment must be made in advance, and there's a possibility that you will forget about it, or recent developments will not allow you to use your promo tickets. Good thing that you paid only a minimal amount, so the financial loss due to non-usage should be negligible.

Between Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific, I prefer the former airline. Why? because Air Philippines does not charge any website convenience fee, and even their promo airfares automatically include baggage allowance. The latter may have Php 1 (piso) airfare promos, but if you add their Php 50 website convenience fee and Php 100 optional baggage allowance, you will spend more on their ticket. It is also easier to book in the website of Air Phils whenever they have promos, unlike in CebuPac, as their website usually becomes very slow or shuts down.

For international routes mostly on Asian region, we have enjoyed the promo airfares of Air Asia.

Here are a few tips to avail the promo airfares:
  1. Timing is the key. Visit the budget airlines or low cost carriers' websites everyday if you can. Sign up on promo alerts by emails and/or SMS from these airlines. It will also facilitate auto key-in of your name and address details, if you're a registered user.
  2. Prepare multiple travel period and destination alternatives. Popular destinations and weekend periods are the first seats to be gobbled up, so book rightaway when you find available seats on your target date and destination. If you can travel during weekdays, you have more chances to get promo airfares.
  3. A list of your complete names, sometimes birthdates, and credit card details should be at hand during booking time.
  4. If you're desperate to get the lowest airfares, stay late at night then book starting at midnight of promo period. Be patient when the airline's website is too slow or bogs down. The persistent and early bird gets the prized worm, or in this case the lowest airfare.
  5. When booking a big group and the promo fares are unavailable, try booking the group in smaller batches until the promo seats ran out. The remaining unbooked persons could book on the other promo flights within the same departure dates, or just wait for another round of promo period. The worst scenario would be booking the rest of the group in regular fare, but at least majority of you were still able to get low airfares.
  6. After successful booking, save or record your confirmation number. If there's no confirmation, check with the airline and/or your credit card company if the booking was successful or not. This is to avoid double booking, as doubled booking is usually hard to cancel or takes many months before they reverse it to your credit card's statement of account.
  7. To avoid forgetting your promo airline bookings, record them on a spreadsheet, and keep the confirmation emails on a dedicated folder of your inbox.
  8. You may arrange your accomodation and tours a few months before your departure.
Now here's a fresh tip:

Air Phils have a promotion which just started a few minutes ago until tomorrow (Sept. 17) for only Php 288 fare on their A320 destinations from Manila to Visayas.

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  1. Air Phils. Singapore Sale

    Selling: 01-02 OCT 2010
    Travel: 1-20 DEC 2010 and 16FEB-31 MAR 2011

    Manila to Singapore/Cebu to Singapore (v.v.) - PHP1288

    *exclusive of Philippine Travel Tax and SG taxes.

  2. 10 10 10 Promo of CebuPac

    Php 10 fare to all domestic destinations

    Php 1,010 fare to all international destinations

    Selling period on 10 Oct. 2010 only

    Travel period: Jan. 1 - March 31, 2011

    However, most promo seats are already sold out after 30 min. since opening of promo. Wasn't able to find promo fare to Coron on Feb. 2011. Very limited seats, Cebupac's website hangs, proves that they're really unreliable during promos.

    Air Phils. is still my favorite.

    Payday Specials: 29-30 NOV 2010
    Travel Period: 01 MAY - 30 JUN 2011


  4. Cebu Pacific's Counter Promo!

    All Domestic Flights P147++

    Sale Period: Nov. 29-30, 2010 or until seats last
    Travel Period: July 1 - September 30, 2011

  5. Air Asia now flies to New Zealand. They have a promo now until the 5th for P 2931 airfare KL-Christchurch NZ, travel period from 01 April to 10 Nov. 2011.

  6. Do you have NZ Visa? Is it easy to have NZ Tourist Visa? or Are we Pinoy can go there with 30 days stay same with Singapore?

  7. I don't have NZ visa. But based from the story of a friend who was able to get a NZ visa, it is easier to get a NZ visa than a US or Australian visa, as long as you show documents of your ties to go back in the Phils.

  8. Chinese New Year Promo from Air Phils, booking period 03-04 Feb. 2011:

    Php 88 fare to all domestic destinations, travel period June to Sept. 2011

    Php 888 fare Cebu to Singapore, travel period Feb. to March 2011.

    Have just booked an August trip to Bohol before Air Phils' website had crashed. Php 642 round trip fare for 3 persons is a steal! Hehe.

  9. Cebu Pacific has Piso fare promo today, while Air Phils. had Php 100 promo fare also today, both on domestic destinations.

  10. Air Phils has P100 promo fare on selected domestic flights from May 30-31, 2011. Travel period on August to September 2011.

  11. Air Phils has promo today until tomorrow to selected Visayas destinations for P100, and on selected Mindanao destinations for P300. Travel period is on Feb. 2012.

  12. Piso fare promo in AirPhil today on all domestic destinations. Travel period June-July 2012.

  13. Php 12 fare promo of CebuPac today until tomorrow on all their domestic and international destinations. Travel period on January to March 2012.

  14. Cebu Pacific's Php 1 fare promo today until the 22nd for all destinations. Travel period June 1-Dec. 15, 2012.

  15. AirPhils Piso promo fare today from Clark to Kalibo, Davao, and Puerto Princesa. Mock booking to Kalibo amounts to Php 848 round trip fare.

  16. Piso fares promo is back without fuel surcharge at Cebu Pacific. I just booked a RT ticket to CDO for only Php 443, inclusive of P200 terminal fee, but no baggage allowance yet.

    Mounts Dulang-Dulang and Kitanglad, here I come!