Confession of a seat sale addict

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.

Boarding pass
Boarding pass from 2007

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.

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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.

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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.

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 18 Comments
  1. noemi says:

    Haha learned to be an addict just recently. Today I booked 2 tickets to cebu for next year and one international flight with my husband for august 2010. For sure, I will use Cebu..not too sure with August 2010

  2. nina says:

    Noemi: That’s the risk talaga. At least with the two fights I’m forced to give up, the cost is just very minimal. But sayang pa rin :( I hope matuloy yung August 2010 trip niyo :)

  3. AudMraz says:

    Hi Nina

    Haha, I thought I was the only one with this ‘affliction’ :P.

    Between now and July 2010 I’m holding 19 tickets including 5 international flights. I login everyday and can memorise my cc details offhand. It’s scares me sometimes how easy I give in to seat sales, and I know I need to manage it.

    p.s. There must be a name for this addiction :)

  4. nina says:

    AudMraz: 19! You must be planning some major trip :) And yes, I’ve memorized my card’s details to heart too.

  5. Cat says:

    …goodness, I’ve heard of different kinds of addiction, but never one for collecting tickets! lol.

    Wait, out of the 7, you said you might not use 2??? No refunds on tickets? Or do you have the option of re-booking? It sounds like a steal, and it’d be a shame to let the tickets go to waste.

  6. jesy says:

    Good for you to catch that sale… I missed it :( I sat for six hours in front of the laptop and it turned up nothing. Whenever i find something the site freezes until finally the seats ran out. I guess it’s not a very bad addiction, is it? Cause you’ll never know when you get the itch to travel, and you got them cheap naman.

    Hehehe I guess I’m trying to cheer us up :) Find time to use your tickets sis, many tried to buy them but failed ;)

  7. freeze says:

    this is a pandemic! Haha i threw away a couple of flights to/fr manila on pal promo flights. It has become too affordable to risk it being “disposable”. But you’re right in saying, sayang din. I have one last ticket for this year, hopefully none will spoil the trip.

    good thing, i didn’t give in to this sale, layo pa ng 2010 hehe but if Pal throws in another real deal, do let me know! :)

  8. dyanie says:

    wow! 7 nakuha mo? etong recent sale lang? ako napudpud daliri ko lagi error kaya nag give up nako haha. teka bakit di mo magagamit yung 2?

  9. aLiNe says:

    Wow… adik ka nga.. ako nagpigil kasi dami ko pang babayarin

  10. Dea says:

    Hi Nina! I love seat sales as well, all flights I’ve taken that I paid for myself were on sale. I’ve had to give up flight tickets booked in advance, as well, I understand how you feel.

    We weren’t able to do anything with the last seat sale, our trips next year are for specific dates, we don’t know when exactly. Hay, I felt so helpless.

  11. Sinta says:

    OMG, I want to be an addict too! At the moment I have 0 tickets and 0 travel budget :(

  12. nina says:

    Cat: Okay, maybe not an addiction.. just unable to quench my impulsiveness ;)

    Jesy: That seat sale was crazy! The 100,000 allocated seats were gone in 24 hours! I guess me and my friend were lucky because we were up all night. We booked them right before dawn, when there weren’t that many people trying to book.

    Freeze: Did you buy from PAL’s latest promo? Di ko napigilan!

    Dyanie: Hehe, I only got 4 tickets from this sale (2 one-way tickets, 1 roundtrip, 1 one-way ticket brought by my friend). The three are bought as early as February!

    Aline: Actually ako din XD Di lang talaga ako marunong magpigil!

    Dea: Okay lang yan, there are other sales coming up pa naman :) And you just got back from an epic adventure, so it’s okay to just sit back and relax for a bit before the travel bug bites again ;)

    Sinta: Ah, but you have one Mr. H ;)

  13. chyng says:

    You’re a travel addict! Im wondering why do you have a lot of time alloted for travelling? I also asked this to Doms (Dong Ho) and Oman (Lawstude). Travel galore talaga! Kainggit!

  14. erin says:

    I love this. I have to say I never pay any attention to ticket sales at all, I just go with the first thing I see when I need something,

  15. Ehehehe, 100,000 tickets gone in less than 24 hours!! Hard to believe but come to think of it, a lot of us booked multiply tickets. I for one got 20 seats. Cheapest MNL-SIN ticket ever at 27 SGD!! Throw in a roundtrip MNL-CDO and Manila-Busuanga would make this one hell of a week!! Sana June na… Ehehehe!!

  16. flipnomad says:

    nice post!… i still have some tickets for next year and some for this year that i wasn’t able to use. sometimes it’s just hard to resist the seat sale. it’s like an addiction that is hard to stop. hehehe. keep on travelling…

  17. […] and despite my vow not to use my credit card this month, I ended up abusing it. My last tally of 7 tickets have now risen to 13 tickets. Total damage to my credit card: Php 2,335.80 for 6 one-way tickets to […]

  18. […] 2010 started, I didn’t really have a concrete goal. I had ticket that I hoarded during airline seat sales, so I knew I was going to those places. What I never expected was that […]

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