Hi, I’m Nina and currently, I’m holding seven airline tickets. Some are for local destinations, some for international; some one-way, some round trip.
I wasn’t always like this. Years ago, I’d ignore these sales and just watch from the sidelines as travelers battle with unstable servers. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to — I did. Except that these sales were almost always held whenever I’m on a trip, just gotten back from a trip or just plain broke. However, lately the sales seem to be happening more often, catching me unaware and scrambling to get my credit card.
When was the first time? I guess it was early this year, when I got antsy about traveling. The sales would pop up at the most opportune moment, and I would take it as a sign that I needed to travel. That’s how I ended up in Hong Kong, on a trip that I never really planned for. That’s how I also ended up in Bangkok last month.
On the surface, these sales are a great money saver for budget travelers. How can you say no to ticket prices that cost less than what you would pay your cab to the airport? It was during these sales that I was able to score tickets to and from Singapore for less than US$100? One leg of that trip was on Singapore Airlines to boot.
However, these sales have a downside. Usually, in people’s haste to get cheap fares, they get a promo fare on the flight out, but can’t get a promo fare going back on the date they wanted. They would either end up buying on regular fare (which is higher than usual) just to get tickets on that specific date. If their dates are flexible, they would end up clicking on the next day or previous day button just to find available sale tickets. Doing this, they either end up with an itinerary that’s shorter than they would have liked, or longer than they can afford to take a leave from work.
Some of those who buy tickets during these sales end up not using the tickets. Since the travel dates for these sales are several months into the future, circumstances change. This happened to me in 2007, when I bought tickets for Cambodia. I bought it around August 2006, for travel in January 2007. Little did I know when I was booking that I would be flying to Australia at the end of the year, and staying until March 2007.
Of the seven tickets that I’m holding now, two won’t be used, and depending on how the coming months progress, I might not even be able to use some of the others as well. The latest seat sale was probably my craziest yet, buying three tickets for next year, and another one booked by a friend. Less than 24 hours from my purchase, I knew I wouldn’t be able to use two of those. I just tell myself that it’s just XXX amount, but at the end of the day, those small figures add up.
So will this serve as a lesson for me? Will I be more cautious about impulsively buying tickets in the future? Probably not. I will probably end up booking a ticket or two on the next sale, and hope that I do get to use them. Hey, you never know.. by that time I might be in dire need for a break
P.S. Tiger Airways is on sale.