Home > Travel > Is Airfare About to Get More Expensive?

Comments 0 Comments

Earlier this month, Alaska Airlines purchased Virgin America for $2.6 billion, making it America’s fifth-largest airline. The merger comes right in time for summer travel, so concerns about what effect this will have on ticket costs is at the front of traveler’s minds.

The airlines addressed this by confirming they have no plans to raise airfares, saying both airlines are “known for excellent service and fares that are lower than legacy carriers…” on its website.

And travel experts agree.

“I don’t think there will be any significant fare increases this summer,” George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com, said via email. “But I do think we will see more airlines merge as a result of this … and that will lead to higher fares.”

The Virgin deal is expected to close at the end of this year at the earliest, and reports say the airlines won’t begin operating as a single entity until early 2018.

“Continue flying Alaska and Virgin as you normally would,” Matthew Ma, a co-founder of The Flight Deal, a travel deals site, advised in an email to Credit.com. “When the merger is fully complete, Virgin flyers will have access to a larger network of partners to use their points with, so that will be a net positive.”

If you’re looking to soak up some rays on a beach or take the kids to Disneyland this summer, here are three tips to help you save on flights no matter what airline you choose.

1. Consider Weekday Flights

Flights on Friday and Sunday are often the most convenient, which means they’re the most coveted — and often most expensive — days to fly. If you can take extra days off work, you may be able to save several hundred dollars just by flying on a weekday. Experts recommend Tuesday and Wednesday for the best weekday fares.

2. Use Travel Points

If you’re a member of any airline’s reward program or have a credit card that offers airline miles, consider cashing in the points you’ve accumulated. You can also see what alliances or partnerships your airline of choice has to help you shop for the best deal. (You can view the best credit cards for airline miles here.)

3. Be Smart About Booking

Airlines frequently change prices for flights, and certain days and times have the best deals. According to a report from Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corporation, ticket prices yield 10% savings when you book about 57 days prior to vacation (the number of days varies for international flights). The study also found weekends are the best time to buy, with Tuesday being the next best day of the week and Friday being the worst.

The thrill of packing your bags and exploring someplace new shouldn’t set you back financially. So if you find yourself under a mountain of bills, here are some tips for dealing with summer travel debt. Also be sure to keep an eye on your credit score to see how debt may affect it. You can do this by viewing two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: Purestock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team