Living in Minneapolis, I am well aware of the monopoly factor when it comes to airlines. Delta has us locked down, the same way other airlines lock down Chicago, Denver, Dallas/Ft. Worth, etc. And then when I think about how the airline industry as a whole has us locked down in general — from time on the tarmac to baggage costs to seating choices (within coach, mind you) — well, you know what happens: I POST ABOUT IT! Today is no different… After fasting, praying, visiting psychics, paying bookies, and yes, even throwing in a donation or two to the Humane Society in the hopes that Delta would actually offer a reasonable fare for a round-trip ticket for Chris to see his mom for the holidays (you remember her last experience with Delta and air travel? she won’t be visiting us for years, thank you very much, Delta), and STILL not finding anything under $65o for the measly one-hour flight, I called my buddy, Dan (buddy? god, I just had a straight moment) to commiserate and discovered he had found a way to beat the system.
He has some time off between gigs, and decided he wanted to spend it with friends, but was constantly frustrated with the cost of round-trip air travel. So he altered his plans a bit, added a few lay-overs rather than directs, and SURPRISE! Affordable air travel! Check it out:
- NYC – Palm Springs = $130 (1-stop)
- Palm Springs – Seattle = $120 (1-stop)
- Seattle – Sacramento = $129 (direct)
- Sacramento – Palm Springs = $84 (direct)
- PSP – Orlando = $129 (1-stop)
- Orlando – Minneapolis = $109 (direct)
- Minneapolis – Cincinnati = $199 (1-stop)
- Baggage Fee on 4 flights = $25 per flight
GRAND TOTAL: $1,000 in air transportation costs (tax included)
Now can you beat that? Really? $900 in air fare to 7 cities? So I started to think about the friends I had in cities close enough to one another for a quick drive between them or the cities with multiple airports within 20 miles, and I realized that while not necessarily convenient (and really, is air travel convenient anyway?), there was a method to Dan’s madness. Now, it helps that he is cheap. Really cheap. Cheaper than my sister-in-law, Gail (love you both. mean it.)… And on certain occasions, the last thing I want to do is spend that much time working out my travel schedule. But why not? Am I that addicted to immediate gratification? Apparently so. But New Year’s is just around the corner, and I’ll deal with that resolution then. In the mean time, I’ll celebrate Dan’s ingenuity and good fortune. I do get a visit out of it, after all!