The Car Rental Industry

Market Overview

The car rental industry is a multi-billion dollar sector of the US economy. The US segment of the industry averages about $ 18.5 billion in revenue a year. Today, there are approximately 1.9 million rental vehicles that service the US segment of the market. In addition, there are many rental agencies along the industry leaders that subdivide the total revenue, sometimes Dollar Thrifty, Budget and Vanguard. Unlike other mature service industries, the rental car industry is highly consolidated which naturally puts potential new comers at a cost-disadvantage since since they face high input costs with reduced probability of economies of scale. Moreover, most of the profit is generated by a few firms including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis. For the fiscal year of 2004, Enterprise generated $ 7.4 billion in total revenue. Hertz came in second position with about $ 5.2 billion and Avis with $ 2.97 in revenue.

Level of Integration

The rental car industry faces a completely different environment than it did five years ago. According to Business Travel News, vehicles are being rented until they have accrued 20,000 to 30,000 miles until they are relegated to the used car industry whereas the turn-around mileage was 12,000 to 15,000 miles five years ago. Because of slow industry growth and narrow profit margin, there is no imminent threat to backward integration within the industry. In fact, among the industry players only Hertz is vertically integrated through Ford.

Scope of Competition

There are many factors that shape the competitive landscape of the car rental industry. Competition comes from two main sources through the chain. On the vacation consumer's end of the spectrum, competition is fierce not only because the market is arranged and well guarded by industry leader Enterprise, but competitors operate at a cost disadvantage along with smaller market shares since Enterprise has established a network of dealers over 90 percent the leisure segment. On the corporate segment, on the other hand, competition is very strong at the airports since that segment is under tight supervision by Hertz. Because the industry underwent a massive economic downfall in recent years, it has upgraded the scale of competition within most of the companies that survived. Competitively speaking, the rental car industry is a war-zone as most rental agencies including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis among the major players engaged in a battle of the fittest.

Growth

Over the past five years, most firms have been working towards enhancing their fleet sizes and increasing the level of profitability. Enterprise currently the company with the largest fleet in the US has added 75,000 vehicles to its fleet since 2002 which help increase its number of facilities to 170 at the airports. Hertz, on the other hand, has added 25,000 vehicles and expanded its international presence in 150 counties as opposed to 140 in 2002. In addition, Avis has increased its fleet from 210,000 in 2002 to 220,000 despite recent economic adversities. Over the years following the economic downturn, although most companies throughout the industry were struggling, Enterprise among the industry leaders had been growing steadily. For example, annual sales reached $ 6.3 in 2001, $ 6.5 in 2002, $ 6.9 in 2003 and $ 7.4 billion in 2004 which translates into a growth rate of 7.2 percent a year for the past four years. Since 2002, the industry has started to regain its feet in the sector as overall sales grow from $ 17.9 billion to $ 18.2 billion in 2003. According to industry analysts, the better days of the rental car industry have yet to come. Over the course of the next several years, the industry is expected to experience accelerated growth valued at $ 20.89 billion each year following 2008 "which equates to a CAGR of 2.7% [increase] in the 2003-2008 period."

Distribution

Over the past few years the rental car industry has made a great deal of progress to facilitate it distribution processes. Today, there are approximately 19,000 rental locations yielding about 1.9 million rental cars in the US. Because of the increasingly abundant number of car rental locations in the US, strategic and tactical approaches are taken into account in order to insure proper distribution throughout the industry. Distribution takes place within two interrelated segments. On the corporate market, the cars are distributed to airports and hotel surroundings. On the leisure segment, on the other hand, cars are distributed to agency owned facilities that are conveniently located within most major roads and metropolitan areas.

In the past, managers of rental car companies used to rely on gut-feelings or intuitive guesses to make decisions about how many cars to have in a particular fleet or the utilization level and performance standards of keeping certain cars in one fleet. With that methodology, it was very difficult to maintain a level of balance that would satisfy consumer demand and the desired level of profitability. The distribution process is fairly simple through the industry. To begin with, managers must determine the number of cars that must be on inventory on a daily basis. Because a very noticeable problem arises when too many or not enough cars are available, most car rental companies including Hertz, Enterprise and Avis, use a "pool" which is a group of independent rental facilities that share a fleet of vehicles. the pools in place, rental locations operate more efficiently since since they reduce the risk of low inventory if not eliminate rental car shortages.

Market Segmentation

Most companies throughout the chain make a profit based on the type of cars that are rented. The rental cars are categorized into economy, compact, intermediate, premium and luxury. Among the five categories, the economy sector yields the most profit. For instance, the economy segment by itself is responsible for 37.7 percent of the total market revenue in 2004. In addition, the compact segment accounted for 32.3 percent of overall revenue. The rest of the other categories covers the remaining 30 percent for the US segment.

Historical Levels of Profitability

The overall profitability of the car rental industry has been shrinking in recent years. Over the past five years, the industry has been struggling just like the rest of the travel industry. In fact, between the years 2001 and 2003 the US market has experienced a moderate reduction in the level of profitability. Specifically, revenue fell from $ 19.4 billion in 2000 to $ 18.2 billion in 2001. Subsequently, the overall industry revenue eroded further to $ 17.9 billion in 2002; an amount that is minimal higher than $ 17.7 billion which is the overall revenue for the year 1999. In 2003, the industry experienced a barely noticeable increase which earned profit to $ 18.2 billion. As a result of the economic downturn in recent years, some of the smaller players that were highly dependent on the airline industry have done a great deal of strategy realignments as a way of preparing their companies to cope with economic economic adversities that may surround the industry . For the year 2004, on the other hand, the economic situation of most firms have gradually improved through the industry since most rental agencies have returned far greater profits relative to the anterior years. For instance, Enterprise realized revenues of $ 7.4 billion; Hertz returned revenues of $ 5.2 billion and Avis with $ 2.9 billion in revenue for the fiscal year of 2004. According to industry analysts, the rental car industry is expected to experience steady growth of 2.6 percent in revenue over the next several years which translates into an increase in profit.

Competitive Rivalry Among Sellers

There are many factors that drive competition within the car rental industry. Over the past few years, broadening fleet sizes and increasing profitability has been the focus of most companies within the car rental industry. Enterprise, Hertz and Avis among the leaders have been growing both in sales and fleet sizes. In addition, competition intensifies as firms are constantly trying to improve their current conditions and offer more to consumers. Enterprise has almost doubled its fleet size since 1993 to approximately 600,000 cars today. Because the industry operates on such narrow profit margins, price competition is not a factor; however, most companies are actively involved in creating values ​​and providing a range of amenities from technological gadgets to even free rental to satisfy customers. Hertz, for example, integrates its Never-Lost GPS system within its cars. Enterprise, on the other hand, uses sophisticated yield management software to manage its fleets.

Finally, Avis uses its OnStar and Skynet system to better serve the consumer base and offers free weekend rental if a customer rents a car for five consecutive days Moreover, the consumer base of the rental car industry has relatively low to no switching cost. Conversely, rental agencies face high fixed operating costs including property rental, insurance and maintenance. Consequently, rental agencies are sensitively pricing there rental cars just to recover operating costs and adequately meet their customers demands. Furthermore, because the industry experienced slow growth in recent years due to economic stagnation that resulted in a massive decline in both corporate travel and the leisure sector, most companies including the industry leaders are aggressively trying to reposition their firms by gradually lessening the dependency level on the airline industry and regaining their footing in the leisure competitive arena.

The Potential Entry of new Competitors

Entering the car rental industry puts new comers at a serious disadvantage. Over the past few years following the economic downturn of 2001, most major rental companies have started increasing their market shares in the vacation sector of the industry as a way of insuring stability and lowering the level of dependency between the airline and the car rental industry. While this trend has engended long term success for the existing firms, it has heightened the competitive landscape for new comers. Because of the severity of competition, existing firms such as Enterprise, Hertz and Avis carefully monitor their competitive radars to expect Sharpe retaliatory strikes against new entrants. Another barrier to entry is created because of the saturation level of the industry.

For example, Enterprise has taken the first mover advantage with its 6000 facilities by saturating the leisure segment thereby placing not only high restrictions on the most common distribution channels, but also high resource requirements for new firms. Today, Enterprise has a rental location within 15 miles of 90 percent of the US population. Because of the network of dealers Enterprise has established around the nation, it has become reliably stable, more recession proof and most importantly, less reliant on the airline industry compared to its competitors. Hertz, on the other hand, is utilizing the full spectrum of its 7200 stores to secure its position in the marketplace. Basically, the emergence of most of the industry leaders into the leisure market not only drives rivalry, but also it varies directly with the level of complexity of entering the car rental industry.

The Threat of Substitute

There are many substitutes available for the car rental industry. From a technological standpoint, renting a car to go the distance for a meeting is a less attractive alternative as opposed to video conferencing, virtual teams and collaboration software with which a company can immediately setup a meeting with its employees from anywhere around the world at a cheaper cost. In addition, there are other alternatives including taking a cab which is a satisfactory substitute relative to quality and switching cost, but it may not be as attractively priced as a rental car for the course of a day or more. While public transportation is the most cost efficient of the alternatives, it is more expensive in terms of the process and time it takes to reach one's destination. Finally, because flying offers convenience, speed and performance, it is a very enticing substitution; however, it is an unattractive alternative in terms of price relative to renting a car. On the business segment, car rental agencies have more protection against substitutes since many companies have implemented travel policies that establish the parameters of when renting a car or using a substitution is the best course of action.

According to Tracy Esch, an Advantage director of marketing operations, her company rents cars up to a 200-mile trip before considering an alternative. Basically, the threat of substitute is reasonably low in the car rental industry since the effects the substitution products have do not pose a significant threat of profit erosion through the industry.

The Bargaining Power of Suppliers

Supplier power is low in the car rental industry. Because of the availability of substitutes and the level of competition, suppliers do not have a great deal of influence in the terms and conditions of supplying the rental cars. Because the rental cars are usually purchased in bulk, rental car agents have significant influence over the terms of the sale since they possess the ability to play one supplier against another to lower the sales price. Another factor that reduces supplier power is the absence of switching cost. That is, buyers are not affected from purchasing from one supplier over another and most importantly, changing to different supplier's products is strictly noticeable and does not affect consumer's rental choices.

The Bargaining Power of Buyers

While the leisure sector has little or no power, the business segment possesses a significant amount of influence in the car rental industry. An interesting trend that is currently underway through the industry is forcing car rental companies to adapt to the needs of corporate travelers. This trend significantly reduces supplier power or the rental firms' power and increases corporate buyer power since the business segment is excruciatingly price sensitive, well informed about the industry's price structure, purchase in larger quantities and they use the internet to force lower prices. Vacation buyers, on the other hand, have less influence over the rental terms. Because vacationers are usually less price sensitive, purchase in lesser amounts or purchase more infrequently, they have weak bargaining power.

Five Forces

Today the car rental industry is facing a completely different environment than it did five years ago. Competitively speaking, the revolution of the five forces around the car rental industry exports some strong economic pressure that has significantly tarnished the competitive attractiveness of the industry. As a result of the economic downturn in recent years, many companies went under nominal Budget and the Vanguard Group because their business infrastructure succumbed to the untenability of the competitive environment. Today, very few firms including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis return a slightly above-average revenue compared to the rest of the industry. Realistically speaking, the car rental sector is not a very attractive industry because of the level of competition, the barriers to entry and the competitive pressure from the substitution firms.

Strategic Group Mapping

As a moderately concentrated sector, there is a clear hierarchy in the car rental industry. From an economic standpoint, disparities exist from a number of dimensions including revenue, fleet size and the market size each firm holds in the market place. For instance, Enterprise dominates the industry with a fleet size of approximately 600,000 vehicles along with its market size and its level of profitability. Hertz comes in second position with its number of market shares and fleet volume. In addition, Avis ranks third on the map. Avis is one of the companies that is having issues recovering its revenue margins from prior to the economic downturn. For instance, in 2000 Avis returned revenues of approximately $ 4.23 billion. Over the course of the next several years following 2000, the revenue of Avis has been significantly lower than that of 2000. As a way of reducing uncertainty most companies are gradually lessening the level of dependency on the airline industry and emerging the leisure market. This trend may not be in the best interest of Hertz since its business strategy is intricately linked to the airports.

Key Success Factors

There are many key success factors that drive profitability through the car rental industry. Capacity utilization is one of the factors that determinates success in the industry. Because rental firms experience loss of revenue when there are either too few or too many cars sitting in their lots, it is of paramount importance to efficiently manage the fleets. This success factor represents a big strength for the industry since it lowers if not completely eliminates the possibly running short on rental cars. Efficient distribution is another factor that keeps the industry profitable. Despite the positive relationship between fleet sizes and the level of profitability, firms are constantly growing their fleet sizes because of the competitive forces that surround the industry. In addition, convenience is one of the critical attributes by which consumers select rental firms. That is, car rental consumers are more prone to renting cars from firms that have convenient rental and drop off locations. Another key success factor that is common among competitive firms is the integration of technology in their business processes. Through technology, for instance, the car rental companies create ways to meet consumer demand by making renting a car a very agreeable ordinal by adding the convenience of online rental amongst other alternatives. Furthermore, firms have integrated navigation systems along with roadside assistance to offer customers the piece of mind when renting cars.

Industry Attractiveness

There are many factors that affect the attractiveness of the car rental industry. Because the industry is moderately concentrated, it puts new market entrants at a disadvantage. That is, its low concentration represents a natural barrier to entering the industry as it allows existing firm to expect sharp retaliations against new entrants. Because of the risks associated with entering the industry among other factors, it is not a very attractive sector of the marketplace. From a competitive standpoint, the leisure market is 90 percent planned because of the active efforts of Enterprise to dominate this sector of the market. On the other hand, the airport terminals are heavily guarded by Hertz. Realistically speaking, entry in the industry offers low profitability relative to the costs and risks associated. For most consumers, the main determining factors of choosing one company over another are price and convenience. Because of this reason, rental firms are very circumspect about setting their rates and that generally force even the industry major players in the position of offering more to the consumers for less just to remain competitive. Hertz, for example, offers wireless internet to its customers just to add more convenience to their travel plans. Avis on the other hand, offers free weekend specials if a customer returns a car for five consecutive weekdays. Based on the impact of the five forces, the car rental sector is not a very attractive industry to potential new market entrants.

Conclusion

The rental car industry is in a state of recovery. Although it may seem like the industry is performing well financially, it is nonetheless gradually regaining its footing relative to its actual economic position within the last five years. As a way of insuring profitability, including seeking market shares and stability, most companies throughout the chain have a common goal that deals with lowering the level of dependency on the airline industry and moving towards the leisure segment. This state of motion has engendered some fiercely competition among industry competitors as they attempted to defend their market shares. From a futuristic perspective, the better days of the car rental industry have yet to come. As the level of profitability increases, I believe that most of the industry leaders including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis will be bounded by the economic and competitive barriers of mobility of their strategic groups and new comers will have a better chance of infiltrating and realizing success in the car rental industry.

Sources

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Source by Rodrigue Monestime

Top Notch Quality on Cheap Miami flights

Are you planning on a vacation to Miami? Well, that must be a specially-anticipated for experience. Many cheap Miami flights are very much so 'in' for several reasons. As winter approaches and fall comes to an end, we all know that there are thousands of travelers all over the United States of America looking for cheap deals to reach the city of warmth and sea-shore fun. Low airfare and easily-affordable tickets is one thing while being cheated on at such offers is another. Many cheap Miami flights are easy to find but hard to differentiate on basis of quality. This helpful and concise guide will assist you through your choice of airlines and other requirements.

Miami is famous for its summery beauty and beach entertainment. Citizens of comparatively colder states will always jump in Miami for a warm dip in the sea. However to let these special people to the state is identical another ordeal. We know how hard it is to spend money on flights that offer inferior service and terrible journey. Here are several airlines that offer cheap Miami flights. Do not worry; these offers come along with impressive services.

America West is an airline that proudly offers the cheapest deals with the best offers made. Ticket prices range from $ 180 to $ 210. Travelers are promised healthy food, friendly staff and a smooth journey, for certain. Departures usually take place on the Western Coast of United States of America. Travelers care allowed bringing bulk of luggage for their convenience. The air hostesses of American West continue to gain respect and admiration from the eyes of the world for their helpful and kind manner of making their passengers feel at home.

Air Canada is famous for its premium quality and affordable rates. Canadian travelers, certainly tired of the cold at home, love to experience Miami heat and exciting fun when it is the winters in their own country. To keep them deprived of such fun would be almost criminal. Therefore Air Canada offers the cheapest rates for Miami flights. They start from a small amount of $ 190 to an affordable $ 280. Helpful staff is always present at your service. If you are in the mood, you can even play board games in the plane. Air Canada promises to make you feel at home.

Air Jamaica offers cheap Miami tickets. If you are looking for affordable tickets that will not go heavy on your wallet then Air Jamaica offers Jamaican fun and cheap rates all in one ticket. At a low price like $ 170, you can fly from Jamaica to Miami in a few hours. The non-stop flights are not as uncomfortable as other flights are. Special discounts are made on special occasions. Who thought Jamaican fun and Miami heat could have been combined in one go?

Air Transat offers premium deals at the lowest rates for Miami. On special occasions like festivals or Easter, it slashes the zeros off your ticket and makes it less than ever. That means the price goes lower for your sake but never the quality of the airline. All cheap Miami tickets by this airline come along top notch packages for future use. Tickets range from $ 190 to $ 250. Healthy and fresh food is offered at all three times. Desserts and other delicacies are provided to the travelers for the sake of their entertainment. Air Transat proudly claims to come up to the expectations of travelers.

American Eagle sticks to first class quality at lowest prices. With its swift service and smooth journey, you are bound to feel as if you are riding an eagle to Miami. Premium deals are made at the price of $ 185 for business and leisure travelers. First class quality is not barred by the low price. That is precisely why American Eagle takes pride in being hailed as America's soaring eagle on the international front. Christmas and Easter offers are made during the festive season. Travelers are informed well in-time. Friendly and helpful staff is always present at your service. Pampering could not have been priced less than this.

It is safe to remember that enjoying your journey to Miami is what matters the most but always consult local travel guides for more information and accuracy on cheap Miami flights. Your money and time is well-valued.



Source by Lucille Jewett

Guide to Car Rental Companies in Costa Rica 2015

Guide to Car Rental Companies in Costa Rica

Rate Comparisons for 2015

Car rental in Costa Rica is an opportunity to explore the remote beaches and quiet corners of this breathtakingly beautiful country. Travel without the restrictions set by public transport timetables and with freedom over group tours. For the unprepared traveler; however, car rental costs and services can be a rude shock and a blow to that vacation budget.

Renting a vehicle for your vacation will probably be the most expensive part of your budget, so understanding the terms and managing expectations is very important. The information below is not meant to be an exhaustive manual, but it should set you on the path towards an informed decision for your car rental needs in Costa Rica.

Why is car rental so expensive?

Visitors from outside Costa Rica are often surprised by the cost of car rental. While hotel rooms, restaurant bills and tours are lower than the prices paid at home, it may appear strange that car rental should be more costly.

There are two simple reasons for this high cost:

  1. All vehicles in Costa Rica are imported and a tax is imposed. Due to this heavy taxation, the cost of purchasing a vehicle is higher than it would be in other industrialized countries. There are some car rental operators who rent older vehicles in order to reduce their costs.
  2. The cost of mandatory insurance (see below).

Factors that Affect Car Rental Costs

Mandatory Insurance

Third-party insurance, which may be known as TPI, PDW (Partial Damage Waiver), SLI (Supplementary Liability Insurance) and other acronyms, is a legal requirement. Car rental operators must charge the customer for this coverage which may or may not be clear in the quotation received by the customer.

The insurance itself is not the issue. After all, many other countries require car renters to pay a mandatory insurance; including: New Zealand, Italy and Mexico, as well as a number of the US states, like California. The issue that causes contention in Costa Rica is that this cost is not always displayed clearly on the car rental operator's website or in a quote. Customers then discover the additional cost of their rental upon arrival.

The cost of mandatory insurance variants from company to company and will depend on the car category that is being rented as well. The cost for a small sedan may be as little as $ 12 per day, whereas a premium 4×4 vehicle could be as much as $ 25 for insurance per day. This is in addition to the rental cost.

Credit cards in North America usually offer car insurance as an additional perk to the credit card holder and so North Americans in particular, are unused to having to pay for insurance on top of rental costs. However, no credit card will cover this insurance requirement.

Do ask if the given quote includes third-party insurance and check the prices on the car rental operator's website.

Collision Damage Waiver

This is not insurance, but a waiver. The basic level will come with a deductible that varies, but could be as much as $ 1,500. For a higher daily rate, a zero deductible CDW may be purchased to relate the renter of any financial liability in case of damage to, or theft thereof, the vehicle.

Many renters will obtain their CDW through their credit card. However, it is worth noting that the responsibility for making any insurance claim is on the customer and not with the car rental operator. Some renters may choose to purchase additional in-house coverage to avoid having this responsibility.

There will be car rental agencies which hard sell their own coverage plans through guaranteeing peace of mind, but extremely, this is the renter's decision. It is worth remembering that car rental company employees, like in other parts of the world, will sometimes earn commission for insurance sales.

If the customer's credit card does not provide CDW, the customer will be required to purchase this in-house coverage.

Car rental operators require written proof that the customer's credit card provides CDW. Ask the car rental operator for the exact details of what they require and in what form. Some may accept a forwarded email from the credit card company, but others may ask for a printed copy to be presented at the time of rental.

Deposit

The deposit amount required will depend on whether the customer chooses to use the car rental operator's in-house CDW or takes this coverage through a credit card. Expect to pay a much higher deposit if the in-house CDW is declined. The deposit may also depend on car model rented. This amount, which will be held on the renter's credit card until the end of the rental period, can be from $ 750 up to as much as $ 3,500. The deposit should take no more than five days to be refunded to the credit card on the vehicle's return. Some car rental agencies will accept debit cards for deposit hold, but the return time for this amount can take weeks.

Do ensure that the deposit is calculated in the vacation budget as an unexpected hold of a few thousands dollars on a credit card could otherwise severly cut into vacation spending.

Airport Taxes

Customers that rent from a car rental operator's counter within an airport building are obliged to pay the airport tax.

Those car rental operators with a counter at San Jose's Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) are: Alamo / National, Budget, Dollar, Economy and Hertz. These companies will add an additional 12% tax to the rental cost.

Those car rental operators with a counter at Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) are: Avis, Budget and Economy. These companies will add an additional 3% tax to the rental cost.

To avoid this tax, take an airport shuttle with the car rental operator to an office located outside of the airport grounds.

Surcharges and Other Taxes

There are a number of other obligatory fees that car rental operators may add into the rental cost, display on-screen or show in the quote, or leave undisclosed until the customer's arrival. These potentially hidden costs may seem small when viewed individually, but these are typically daily rates, so they will add up fast!

These may include:

License Plate Fee : Less than $ 2 daily, but differs from company to company.

Environmental Tax : Less than $ 1 daily.

Sales Tax : All sales transactions in Costa Rica are subordinated to a 12% government-imposed sales tax.

Car Washing Fee : Bring back an exceptionally dirty car and the cleaning fee may be added onto the final payment. One car rental operator charges $ 20 for this additional service.

Fuel Charges : If the fuel tank is not filled to the same level as it was at the start of the rental period, then the car rental company will charge (usually to the nearest eighth of a tank). This charge is dictated by the car rental operator and it is not subject to the governmentally set fuel price that would have been found at any gas station.

Where Should I Reserve the Vehicle?

A common confusion for travelers booking a rental car is the discrepancy between international websites for car rental operators and the Costa Rican website for the same brand. Frequently the international websites are unaware of, or fail to disclose, insurances, taxes and surcharges that will be charged at the counter. This may be due to the fact that many recognized car rental operator brands in Costa Rica are not a foreign branch of the branded car rental operator, but instead are a franchise operation. This factor is also worth considering in terms of expectations relating to customer service and other finer details. The Costa Rican franchise office may have their own style of operating, apart from the same policies and guidelines that the customer may have experienced in other parts of the world.

Understandably then, an online reservation is best made through the local website and not the international site, wherever possible. A number of companies do not have a local website. In this case, do check the details with a local staff member via the telephone and ask for written confirmation of the quote. Experience with live chat on the international websites suggests that where staff is trained on terms and conditions governing the main office (usually USA); they understand little of the policies that must be adhered to in Costa Rica.

Car Rental Comparisons

In May / June of 2013, I compared the pricing and services of a number of car rental operators in Costa Rica and published the findings. To my surprise, the article is still being plagiarized regularly throughout the Internet which suggests that it is still useful and so an update was required. The prices for this comparison were obtained in December 2014 and January 2015.

The ICT (Costa Rican Institute of Tourism) states that there are thirty registered car rental operators with eight others pending approval. However, there are many more agencies that rent cars to visitors. The car rental operators selected are those which are most frequently used by travelers:

Adobe

Alamo

Avis

Budget

Dollar

Economy

Fox

Hertz

National

Payless

Service

Thrifty

Toyota

USave

Vamos

Wild Rider

Exclusion of Companies from Final Comparison

Budget, Economy, Payless, and Toyota were contacted, but these four companies did not provide accurate online rates. Economy and Budget's websites have one price, regardless of the dates entered and customers need to reserve a vehicle in order for them to honor the price shown. Toyota's website was unfortunately only working up until March. Beyond that, the pricing shown $ 0 for the reminder of the year. Payless has this disclaimer on their website: "Taxes and surcharges are not within our control and may change without notice."

Sending individual inquiries for each time period reflected in inconsistent results: Budget offered the same price for all three investigated time periods when receiving an email request, which is highly unilaterally; Economy responded with different quotes for the same dates from different members of staff; and Toyota's emailed quotes for time periods past March's prices indicated online did not correspond to the March rates quoted (possibly the emailed quotes contained taxes that were not shown online). Payless can provide quotes via email and telephone, but were not consistent with pricing for different seasons.

Avis is only excluded from the price comparison, as they do not have an intermediate SUV category in their fleet.

Comparison Information

Car rental rate, all taxes and surcharges, and third-party insurance costs are (supposedly) calculated and ranked accordingly below based on the week's rental of a BeGo or similar intermediate 4×4 from a San Jose / Alajuela location (not from the airport).

Rates are calculated on a weekly basis and divided by seven to provide a daily cost which is more easily comparable. As not all pricing is completely transparent, the prices are as accurate as possible based on the information provided from the car rental operators' websites, phone calls, and / or emails. Airport taxes are not included in these figures.

Shoulder Season (Quote for July 13 through 20)

1. USave $ 43.37

2. Service $ 54.92

3. Fox $ 55.64

4. Hertz $ 58.17

5. Adobe $ 60.13

6. Alamo $ 60.99

7. Wild Rider $ 62.86

8. Dollar $ 63.35

9. Vamos $ 64.15

10. National $ 67.04

11. Thrifty $ 74.39

Low Season (Quote for May 13 through 20)

1. National $ 37.04

2. USave $ 43.37

3. Dollar $ 46.49

4. Adobe $ 52.57

5. Vamos $ 53.15

6. Service $ 53.49

7. Hertz $ 54.59

8. Fox $ 55.64

9. Wild Rider $ 55.71

10. Alamo $ 60.99

11. Thrifty $ 74.39

High Season (Quote for March 13 through 20)

1. Dollar $ 55.92

2. USave $ 56.22

3. Hertz $ 56.37

4. Fox $ 59.36

5. Thrifty $ 64.69

6. Service $ 66.63

7. Vamos $ 67.14

8. Alamo $ 69.56

9. Wild Rider $ 70.00

10. Adobe $ 70.63

11. National $ 73.90

Summary of Comparison

Interestingly, there is not one clear expensive or cheap company from those compared. The variation in ranking between seasons is marked and customers should consider their vacation dates when choosing the car rental operator. For example, Thrifty appears as the most costly for both low and shoulder season, but are only in fourth position in the rankings for High Season.

It is also significant that pricing is not consistent with ranking with car rental operators in other car categories. For example, Vamos' pricing is the cheapest for a premium vehicle in the shoulder season; although they are not first in any rankings for the intermediate category and Adobe which appears competitive are the most expensive for this time period and car category.

Information on Car Rental Operators

Adobe Rent-A-Car is a local car rental operator that has eleven offices across the country. The website is simple and easy to use with no invisible hidden costs. The mandatory insurance cost is displayed as part of the online quote. The company receives mixed reviews online, but more positive than negative comments are made. Emails receive a reply within 24 hours, but may not fully answer the questions asked.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-855-861-1250

Child Seat: $ 3 / day

Booster: $ 1 / day

Additional Driver: $ 3 / day

GPS System: $ 9 / day

Alamo works in partnership with National and has thirteen offices across the country. As with many big names, Alamo Costa Rica is a franchise and not a branch of Alamo itself. Third-party insurance and basic CDW are included in the online quotation, although the CDW may be denied upon presentation of proof of coverage through the customer's credit card. This makes the pricing seem high on first glance, especially when, unlike other car rental operators, Alamo includes airport taxes in their online quote and so their pricing is honest, but appears much higher than other companies as a result. Pricing is different on the international website of the company, although the terms and conditions do state the fees that will be paid on arrival. This pricing discrepancy is the lead cause of negative reviews for this company. Emails are responded to within 24 hours.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-855-533-1196

Child Seat: $ 3 / day

Additional Driver: $ 6 / day

GPS System: $ 12 / day

Avis' website obliges one to select a car protection option, but it fails to display a final quote total or price for the coverage selected online until an emailed quote is sent. Cover costs may be obtained by clicking on the option 'Protection Explained' at the bottom of the screen.

No Toll-Free Phone Number

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 5 / day

GPS System: $ 9.99 / day

Budget has a website that is easy to use, but the pricing given is as the same for all seasons, suggesting that it is not correct. Email responses were typically fast, but some were left unanswered. Emailed quotes showed the same pricing for all seasons as the website did. Mandatory insurance is not included on the online quote, but the small print states that this is payable at the counter. Budget receives mixed online reviews.

No Toll-Free Phone Number, but Live Chat is offered

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 5 / day

GPS System: $ 14.99 / day

Dollar appears to have very competitive rates, but airport taxes will be applied if the vehicle is being collected from the airport's counters. One may find this in their terms and conditions, but not in their online quotes. Car washing charge is enforced for very dirty vehicles. There are four offices in Liberia and San Jose. Email response is within 24 hours. Dollar receives mixed reviews from online travel forums.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-877-767-8651

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 5 / day

GPS System: $ 9 / day

Economy has twelve offices around the country. They have no Costa Rican website. Scroll down on their page to find and click on insurance costs. Airport taxes are not included in the quote. Emails receive either a quick response or no response at all. Economy has the worst online reputation of any big name car rental operator in Costa Rica.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-877-326-7368

Child Seat: $ 10 / day

Additional Driver: $ 10 / day

GPS System: $ 15 / day

Fox works in partnership with USave. Offices are located at both international airports. Emails receive a response within 24 hours. Online reviews are generally poor.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-225-4369

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 10 / day (unless spouse)

GPS System: $ 9.99 / day

Hertz has six offices in the country. Reservations may be made through a Costa Rican website. Initial online quote does not include sales taxes, but it does include the CDW – although CDW may be waived with proof of credit card coverage. Emails receive a response within 24 hours. Mediocre reviews on travel forums.

No Toll-Free Phone Number

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 13 / day

GPS System: $ 12 / day

National works in partnership with Alamo and has thirty offices in operation across the country. The company has a Central American website, as well as the international site, which clearly shows the breakdown of pricing. CDW is included in the online quote, but it may be unchecked to get a quote with just the mandatory insurance. Note that the airport tax is included in the online quote as well. Instant responses to questions are available through Live Chat on their website. Reviews are mixed, but there are more positive than negative.

Free Phone Call Option Via Website

Child Seat: $ 6 / day

Booster: $ 6 / day

Additional Driver: $ 5 / day

GPS System: $ 12 / day

Payless is part of the international car rental company and has no Costa Rican website. Online quotes do not include third-party insurance, although the information on this may be found by reading the policies for the San Jose location. Emails receive a response in less than 24 hours, but tend to refer back to the website, rather than new information. Reviews are more negative than positive.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-PAYLESS

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Booster: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 10 / day

GPS System: $ 9.95 / day

Service is a local company with five offices in the country. On an otherwise clear website, click on 'Reserve Now' and not 'Get a Quote' for an online price check. Rember is the staff member mentioned in reviews on travel forum for his helpful customer service and the company generally gets good reviews. Emails are answered within 24 hours and normally provide requested information.

US Phone Number: 1-305-897-3718

Child Seat: $ 3.50 / day

Additional Driver: $ 3 / day

GPS System: $ 7.50 / day

Thrifty does not have a local website, so information is through the international website. Coverage options or information regarding third-party insurance is not provided on the reservation webpage until one clicks 'Protection Information'. Emails receive a response within 24 hours, but may not answer location-specific questions. Reviews are frequently negative due to pricing complaints.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-344-1705

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Booster: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 12 / day

GPS System: $ 11.99 / day

Toyota is a big name; however, even though their website appears professional at first glance, it simply does not work, or at least it was not functioning in order to obtain quotations later than March 2015. Their online quotes do not include sales taxes. Emails receive fast responses, but quotes for different seasons appeared to be contradictory. However, Toyota has a good reputation on travel forums. Eight offices are located across the country.

Free Phone Call Option Via Website

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Cooler: $ 1.50 / day

Additional Driver: $ 3 / day

GPS System: $ 10 / day

USave works in partnership with Fox and has three office locations. Insurance options are shown for the online quote, but it must be selected and 'recalculate' pressed, before it is included in the pricing. Emails receive a response within 24 hours. The company receive overall poor reviews, although there are some positive comments made on travel forums.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-467-3659

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 10 / day

GPS System: $ 9.95 / day

Vamos is a local company that is a popular choice for Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet experts because of their customer service and pricing. The website is easy to use with itemized charges clearly displayed. The Live Chat option enables instant personalized quotes and answers from English-speaking staff. The company has three offices.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-950-8426

Child Seat: free

Booster: free

Additional Driver: free

GPS System: $ 8 / day

Wild Rider is a small, local company located only in San Jose. The website is simple with third-party insurance included in the pricing. At the start of this research, the pricing was not up to date, but this has since been remedied. This car rental operator stands out by having only positive reviews and so is highly recommended by travel forum users. Owner, Thorsten, replies within the hour to inquiries during office hours.

US Phone Number: 1-917-477-7712

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

GPS System: $ 8 / day

Overall Summary

Clarity

Adobe, Alamo, National, Service, Vamos, and Wild Rider provide clear and complete rates on their websites. The other car rental operators were less transparent with surcharges or taxes, such as airport taxes or sales taxes. Pricing on additional extras were not always easy to find, and Avis, Thrifty and Toyota had to be contacted for these details.

Communication

Levels of communication have improved since the first comparison, although it would seem wise to request a local number and confirm answers with the Costa Rica office of the international car rental operators, as international chat operators or those answering to emails, do not always seem 100 % confidence about local policies and may even give incorrect information.

Be prepared to exchange a number of emails in order to get full answers to questions with a number of companies: Budget and Economy were particularly recent to this – requesting a lot of information in order to give a quotation. It is not unreasonable that members of staff working in a second language may miss aspects of an email, so present questions in clear and simple language.

Live Chat on both the Budget and Vamos websites mean information can be provided instantly and is still documented, unlike a phone call.

Pricing

The comparison above shows that the pricing between companies depends heavily on the season and car category being considered, rather than a clear cut choice between more or less expensive rental rates.

Customers need to consider the pricing of other items, such as additional drivers or GPS system, and families will want to compare car seat rental pricing. Wild Rider offers the first additional driver for free, Vamos do not charge for any extras, except the GPS, and in general, the international firms have higher charges for these extras than the local companies.

So Who Do I Rent From?

It is clear that the local car rental operators are still trumping the big names in their transparency and customer service when comparing their websites and online reviews. The difference from the previous rate comparison from a couple of years ago is that the pricing has become more difficult to equate.

Adobe, Alamo, and National seem to rate well as international car rental operators. It is worth noting that National is the most expensive in high season for the intermediate category, yet the cheapest in low season. Adobe and Alamo are middle-ranked for pricing.

Wild Rider is exceptional in having zero bad reviews, but is only based in San Jose and has a much smaller fleet of vehicles. Of the other local firms, Service and Vamos come out well and Vamos' free additional extras will appeal to budget-minded travelers and families with young children. Service also offers these extras at low daily rates.

Last but Certainly not Least …

If you have made it all the way through this article, then you are prepared to begin your research into your vacation car rental, armed with facts and ready to recognize those prices that are just too good to be true! Have a wonderful (and affordable) vacation in beautiful Costa Rica!



Source by Sara P Ford

How To Choose The Right Airport Transportation Service

Having a long flight can be overly boring and strenuous. It can be even more tiring if you have to stand and wait in long queues to get a cab to reach your destination from the airport. During these times, it can be overly comfortable and relaxing to have a luxurious vehicle waiting to pick you up at the airport. There are various companies offering airport transportation services, and all claiming to be the best. However, you have to be extremely careful while choosing the right service to avoid any kind of trouble in the future. Let us discuss some of the aspects that you must keep in mind while hiring a transport service.

Safety: The most important factor that must be considered is your safety. There's probably nothing that matters more than safety, and since it is important not to make any kind of compromises with that. Before hiring a service, make sure that they maintain the following safety norms:

  • They are appropriately insured.
  • The vehicles they use are in good condition.
  • They employ highly trained and expert chauffeurs having a driver's license.

To make sure that you can follow the right course of action in case anything goes wrong during your journey, always remember to know the details of the terms and conditions of the insurance of the service you are hiring.

Expertise and Dedication: It is important to hire a company that has the ability to portray high levels of expertise and sincerity in their services. They should offer a wide range of vehicles to choose from based on your affordability, requirements and liking. They should be able to keep track of the flight timings to pick you and drop you at the right time without delays. The chauffeurs should have great knowledge of the roads to avoid any kind of inconveniences on the way. Moreover, they should take good care of your luggage and transport them in good condition.

Ask Questions: Never hesitate to ask questions to clear all your concerns. No two companies work exactly in the same way. Different services have their own set of rules and policies. It is important to find out the things that are included in their services and the ones that are not. Ask thorough questions about the details of their services. Remember, it is more important to find a service that would cater to your needs rather than finding the best in the market.

Flexibility: Often there can be a problem with the flight timing. It can either arrive before time or get postponed. In such situations the transportation service you hire should not have any problem adjusting their time with the flight timing. It can be overly irritating not to find your hired vehicle to pick you up after a tiring flight. Here, the transport service should use appropriate software to track the time and make sure to pick you or drop you at the airport absolutely on time. Without this flexibility, an airport transportation service is no good.



Source by Donald Finch

Looking at Private Aircraft For Business

The expense of traveling by private jet keeps it out of reach for most. Many times businesses get in trouble or get criticized for using private aircraft. Still, a business argument can be made for flying aboard private aircraft.

The first aspect a business should look at is its form of aircraft ownership. There are many alternatives when flying aboard corporate aircraft. A business does not need the high cost of full ownership. The high purchase cost and high cost of ownership raises eyebrows of auditors and shareholders. Yet, with fractional ownership and chartering options, private jet travel can be less expensive and not burdened a business with ownership costs.

Another aspect to using private aircraft for business is the productivity gains. When expensive executives or technicians could cover as much ground in a day that would take a week with commercial travel, that is a strong argument for private aircraft. In addition, getting executives out of the commercial travel rat race, can itself improve productivity. When tough negotiations are happening, having sharp people fully prepared is a necessity. This is gained by private jet travel as opposed to sticking the same people on a commercial aircraft. It is conceivable that a private flight would take only two hours from point to point. Commercial travel with arriving early for security, flight delays, flight time, connections, etc. could take half a day or more at a minimum. Private jets are productivity gained.

The last aspect to examine is the fiscal case. Comparing private aircraft to commercial travel on a spreadsheet can be enlightening. Total the cost of first class tickets, hotels, and the hourly cost of C-level executives spend traveling versus the cost of flying aboard private executive aircraft, and the costs can become equal. As the group of executives grows, so can the savings.

As one can see, looking more closely at private jets, there are business events that can be made for the use of corporate jets.



Source by Amarath Pfeiffer

Cheap Airplane Tickets – How to Find Them

Finding a cheap airplane ticket is something of an art, one that you can learn in a very short space of time, but can spend the rest of your life trying to master. Being able to buy cheap airplane tickets is a very handy skill, and it's surprising they do not teach it in school. Spending a whole year learning calculus in college did not provide me with anything that I have since used in real life. Maybe if I'd rather learn how to get cheap airplane tickets, I'd be an expert by now, quite apart from all the money I'd have saved in my lifetime.

Okay, so my school never taught me how to get a cheap airplane ticket, but I've found out quite a lot just by stumbling blindly through the airline industry. Probably the best way to get really cheap airplane tickets is to own your own airline. It's amazing how easy it is to get a cheap airplane ticket when there's a bunch of your own airplanes just waiting to head off wherever you want to go.

All joking aside, owning an airline is probably a bit expensive for most of us, so you'll have to find simpler ways to get your cheap airplane ticket. One of the best and most overlooked ideas is to travel during the 'off' season. What time of the year is actually the "off" season will vary a lot, depending on your destination, but basically it just means the time of year when less people want to go there.

The funny thing is that the place you're going will be basically same even if it is in the off season. Those words conjure up an image of something being bad or "off" about the destination, but it could simply be that the timing does not fit in with when most people can get the time off work to travel there. For example, there's definitely a place in the world with an "off" season over Christmas – simply because that's when an enormous number of people are available to travel. Having said that, there are parts of the world where the weather at certain times of the year is very definitely off, and a good reason why so few people want to visit. While it may make it easier to get cheap airplane tickets by traveling at that time, you're probably going to have a miserable holiday if you're stuck in hurricans or snowstorms.

Another thing that many people do not know is that the earlier you book, the cheaper the plane ticket is likely to be. Buying a plane ticket at the last minute is almost a guarantee that you'll pay top dollar for it. Whereas airlines often begin selling a flight with a whole range of ticket prices – and typically the cheap plane tickets go first. So it's always a good idea to take a look at prices as far ahead as possible, circumstances permitting, to give yourself a great chance of finding some really cheap airplane tickets.



Source by Felicity Walker

Aviation Sights of Long Island

1. Long Island’s Aviation Seed

The aviation seed planted on Long Island’s Hempstead Plains in 1909, when Glenn Curtiss had first flown above it in his Golden Flyer biplane, had sprouted and grown over a six-decade period until it had ultimately connected its own soil with that of its moon.

Its many aerospace sights, depicting its general aviation, commercial, military, and space branches, and geographically spread between Garden City and Calverton, recount this journey.

2. Cradle of Aviation Museum

The Cradle of Aviation Museum, located on Museum Row in Garden City near the Coliseum, Nassau Community College, and Hofstra University, tells most of Long Island’s aerospace story.

Tracing its origin to 1979, when then-County Executive Francis T. Purcell designated funds to restore two aircraft hangars at former Mitchel Field, it displayed several dozen aircraft until it closed for renovation in 1995. The 130,000-square-foot, $40 million facility, opening on the 75th anniversary of Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight in 2002, showcases more than 70 air- and spacecraft, 11 of which are one-of-a-kind designs, associated with or constructed on Long Island and uncovered during a 20-year search which had stretched from the bottom of Lake Michigan to Guadalcanal. They had then been restored and preserved by retired airline and defense aircraft manufacturer volunteers who collectively contributed some 650,000 man-hours to the project. The result had been Long Island’s largest, year-round, educational, recreational, and cultural institution.

According to New York State Governor George E. Pataki, museum visitors “can see the brief span of years that brought Long Island from hosting the fragile biplanes of 1911 to building the Lunar Module that took mankind to the moon in the sixties. Through these displays, the Cradle becomes a powerful mirror that reflects our own skills, intellect, and ability to conquer time and space and pays tribute to American innovation and pioneering spirit.”

The Cradle of Aviation Museum, dominated by its impressive, four-story, glass atrium Reckson Center, greets visitors with a ceiling-suspended Grumman F-11A Tiger supersonic fighter in Blue Angels livery and a 1929 Fleet 2 biplane trainer, symbolically representing the soaring ascent of Long Island’s aviation heritage.

The main exhibits, located in eight galleries in the two restored Army Air Corps Hangars 3 and 4 which still bear the words “Mitchel Field. Elev 90 Feet” on their facades, and now designated the Donald Everett Axinn Air and Space Hall, are accessed by a second floor skywalk at whose entrance a third ceiling-suspended replica of a 1922 Sperry Messenger biplane designed by the Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Company of Farmingdale hangs.

According to the skywalk’s plaque, “Long Island has been at the forefront of American’s aviation and space adventure for the past one hundred years…It all started here on Long Island’s Hempstead Plains.”

A one-flight descent leads to the first of the museum’s galleries, “Dream of Wings.” Depicting the triumph of flight with lighter-than-air craft, it demonstrates how balloon, kite, glider, and airship experimentations turned the dream of flight into reality and led to its heavier-than-air successors, displaying aerostatic lift generation, Alexander Graham Bell’s tetrahedral kite, an Otto Lilienthal glider, and a 1906 Timmons kite built in Queens, the museum’s oldest flying exhibit. A 20-hp Glenn Curtiss airship engine, designed two years later, and a Mineola Bike Shop, demonstrating, in the Wright Brothers’ vein, the technology transfer from the bicycle to the aircraft with propellers and wings, round out the exhibits.

The “Hempstead Plains” gallery, the next encountered, represents a 1910 air meet. Amid recordings of turning propellers and accelerating aircraft, a collection of early designs graces the grass-carpeted field and includes an original Bleriot XI of 1909, the world’s fourth-oldest, still-operational airframe; a spruce-and-bamboo replica of Glenn Curtiss’s Golden Flyer, the first heavier-than-air airplane to fly over Long Island; a replica of a Wright Brothers’ Vin Fiz; a Hanriot monoplane; a Farman biplane, a 1911 Anzani engine; and a 1913 Studebaker “motor car.”

During World War I, as evidenced by the succeeding gallery, the triumph of flight was transferred into the destruction of man, as the airplane assumed the reciprocal role of a weapon, and Long Island had become the center of military aircraft design, testing, and production during this time. On display is the first airplane acquired by Charles Lindbergh, a Curtiss JN-4 Jenny purchased in 1923 for $500; along with a 1918 Breese Penguin trainer, the only one of the 250 originally produced remaining; an airworthy Thomas-Morse S4C Scout biplane with its original Marlin machine gun; and the F. Trubee Davison World War One wooden hangar, which sports the ribbed, uncovered airframe of a Curtiss Jenny with its engine, propeller, and fuel tank; and a 160-hp Gnome Monosoupope, 1916 engine from France.

During the Golden Age of Aviation, which spanned the 20-year period from 1919 to 1938, aviation matured, evolving from a dangerous sport to a viable commercial industry. The motley collection of aircraft in this gallery includes the sister ship to the original Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis and used during the filming of the epic tale; an Aircraft Engineering Corporation “Ace,” which became America’s first sport plane; a replica of a Curtiss/Sperry Aerial Torpedo; a 1932 Grumman F3F-2 Navy Scout fighter; a Brunner Winkle Model A Byrd biplane built in Glendale, Queens; an American Aeronautical Corporation/Savoia Marchetti S-56 amphibian made in Port Washington; and a Grumman G-21 Goose in blue, Pan American Airways System livery.

During World War II, as reflected by its respective gallery, the aircraft produced by Repubic and Grumman had been crucial to US victory, and within the six-year period from 1939 to 1945 depicted, some 45,000 airframes had rolled off the production line. On display are a powerless Waco CG-4 Troop Glider, which had been used to deliver soldiers behind enemy lines; a Republic P-47N Thunderbolt; a Grumman F6F Hellcat, a Grumman TBM Avenger, a Grumman F6F Hellcat, a Douglas C-47 cockpit and nose section, and the Sperry Type A-2 lower gun turret which had protected the undersides of B-17 and B-24 long-range bombers.

The pure-jet engine, as evidenced by the Jet Age Gallery, revolutionized military aviation by endowing aircraft with unprecedented speed, range, maneuverability, and attack capability, and Grumman Aircraft Corporation had been instrumental in this development, having designed more than 40 civilian and military types which totaled some 33,000 airframes and provided employment for 200,000 Long Island residents. Its military aircraft, particularly, had played crucial roles in numerous conflicts, including those in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq. On display are several Grumman designs, inclusive of an E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning/command-and-control aircraft, an F9F-7 Cougar, the forward fuselage of an F-14 Tomcat, and an A-6 Intruder cockpit simulator, while Republic Aviation is represented by an F-84B Thunderjet, an F-105B supersonic fighter, and an A-10A Thunderbolt cockpit section. A Boeing 727 nose and cockpit section and a Westinghouse J-34 turbine engine round out the exhibits.

The “Contemporary Aviation” gallery features air traffic control radar screens which emphasize the congested JFK, La Guardia, and Newark airport triplex, along with their secondary airports of Long Island MacArthur and Westchester County’s White Plains, and Farmingdale’s Republic Airport, the states’ busiest general aviation/reliever field.

The “Exploring Space” gallery, the last of the eight, depicts the dramatic transition from atmospheric flight to vacuumless space and emphasizes Long Island’s rich contribution to this aerospace sector. Its exhibits include a Goddard A-series rocket; a Grumman orbiting astronomical observatory; a Grumman echo adapter; a life-size model of the Sputnik satellite which had been presented by the Soviet Union and whose original hardware had launched the Space Race; a Grumman Rigel ramjet missile from 1953; a Grumman Lunar Module simulator; and a Rockwell Command Module which had been used during a 25,000-mph earth reentry test in 1966 prior to the manned Apollo flights.

A “Clean Room,” representing the environment in which all Lunar Modules had been hand-made, leads to the gallery’s-and the museum’s-most precious exhibit, an actual, 22.9-foot-high, gold foil-covered LM-13, the thirteenth and last Lunar Module built, dramatically lit with its legs nestled on a simulated moonscape. Designated an historic mechanical landmark, the Lunar Module had been the first-and thus far, only-spacecraft to have ever transported human beings from earth to another planet or its moons.

The Museum Annex Jet Gallery, which shares facilities with the Long Island Firefighter’s Museum, features a Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, the forward fuselage of a Grumman F-14A, a full F-14A Tomcat airframe, a Grumman A-6F Intruder, and the forward nose section and cockpit of an El Al Boeing 707.

Other museum facilities include the seven-story-high, 300-seat, 76-foot-wide Leroy R. and Rose W. Grumman IMAX Theater, New York state’s largest domed venue and Long Island’s only IMAX screen; the Martian-themed Red Planet Café, which displays a 1961 Grumman “Molab” Mobile Lunar Laboratory designed for lunar surface travel, habitation, and testing; a balcony-located Aerospace Honor Roll; and the Mitchel Field Outpost gift and bookstore.

The Cradle of Aviation Museum is a world-class facility which preserves, showcases, and interprets Long Island’s rich aerospace heritage.

3. American Airpower Museum

The American Airpower Museum, located at Farmingdale’s Republic Airport, oozes with history. It is housed in an historic hangar, where historic World War II aircraft had been built, and these had then been tested at this historic airfield.

Republic Airport itself, founded in 1928 as Fairchild Flying Field when Sherman Fairchild’s existing facility had become too small to support continued FC-2 and Model 71 production, had passed the torch to Grumman for a five-year period, from 1932 to 1937, when the Fairchild Engine and Aircraft Manufacturing Company itself had relocated to Maryland.

Seversky, establishing its presence on the field in 1935, continued its tradition of aircraft building and testing, redesignating itself “Republic Aviation” and considerably expanding its facilities with three new hangars, a control tower, and a longer runway. A major supplier of military designs, it churned out more than 9,000 P-47 Thunderbolts during the Second World War and 800 F-105 Thunderchiefs during the Vietnam conflict.

After acquiring the airport in 1965, Fairchild-Hiller sold it to Farmingdale Corporation, which turned it into a public facility the following year, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), purchasing it for $25 million in 1969, renamed it Republic Airport, lengthening existing Runway 14-32, constructing a 100-foot FAA control tower, and building a small passenger terminal.

The 526-acre general aviation/reliever airport, whose ownership once again changed to the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) in April of 1983, exerts some $139 million of economic impact on Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Its 546 based and transient aircraft record 190,723 annual movements, of which 93 percent encompass general aviation, six percent air taxi, and one percent military, in a full spectrum of aircraft types, including single-engine, multi-engine, piston, turboprop, pure-jet, and rotary wing, and these utilize its two runways: 5,516-foot Runway 1-19 and 6,827-foot Runway 14-32. As New York’s third largest airport in terms of take offs and landings after JFK and La Guardia, and its largest general aviation field, it handled 1,634 enplanements, mostly due to charter flight activity, in 2005.

Amidst this atmosphere, off of New Highway, is the American Airpower Museum. Hangar 3, its location, had been completed in 1927, along with other structures at a $500,000 cost and had served as the incubation point of some 9,000 Republic P-47 Thunderbolts during the Second World War. As a result, it had once been considered part of the “arsenal of democracy.” The museum, launched after a $250,000 grant from Governor George E. Pataki and dedicated during the airport’s annual Pearl Harbor Day Commemorative Service in 2000, had been built to serve as a living tribute to Long Island’s veteran population by honoring the past with the present, and to create a regional tourist destination, along with the Cradle of Aviation Museum.

Colonel Francis Gabreski, who scored most of his World War II victories in Republic P-47s, had been the highest ranking ace on Long Island and had initially served as the museum’s honorary commander.

Complementing the static displays at the Cradle of Aviation Museum itself, the American Airpower Museum features the sights, sounds, and experiences of operational World War II fighters and bombers, the first time in 54 years that the New York metropolitan area can boast of such an accomplishment. As the Williamsburg of military aviation, the facility accurately proclaims its mission as “where history flies.”

Its varied collection of pristinely restored aircraft encompass trainers, fighters, carrier-based Navy, ocean reconnaissance, bombers, and post-World War II jet types.

The North American T-6 Texan, for instance, first flew in 1935 and was one of the most widely used advanced fighter pilot trainers during the war.

Of the fighters, the Curtiss-Wright P-40 Warhawk, which also first flew that year, attains 363-mph speeds and currently wears Flying Tiger livery. No aircraft could be more at home in the American Airpower Museum’s Hangar 3, however, than the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, the very design which was assembled here in the thousands. First taking to the skies from the runway only yards away in 1940, it was the largest, heaviest, single-engine, single-pilot piston fighter ever produced, attaining 467-mph speeds. The P-51 Mustang, whose maximum speed had been 30 mph lower than the Thunderbolt’s, flew high-altitude escort missions of B-17 and B-24 long-range bombers, shooting down more enemy aircraft than any other World War II European theater fighter.

Of the Navy aircraft, the Grumman TBM Avenger, a carrier-based torpedo bomber, had hunted German U-boats off the coast of Long Island, while the Vought FG-1D Corsair had been used by both the Navy and the Marines and had achieved 446-mph airspeeds.

The Consolidated PBY Catalina, a high-wing, amphibious ocean reconnaissance aircraft flown by a crew of eight, searched for enemy submarines. It had a 2,545-mile range, a 15,748-foot service ceiling, and a 178-mph speed.

The museum’s twin-engined, medium-range North American B-25 Mitchell bomber, designated “Miss Hap,” had been General Hap Arnold’s personal aircraft, while the type in general had been made famous by the Doolittle Raid.

The collection also includes several jet fighters. The L-39 Albatross, for example, is a 570-mph Soviet trainer which first flew in 1968 and is still in service with 16 countries. The Republic F-84 Thunderjet, one of the first pure-jet fighters, attained 620-mph speeds and served from 1948 to the Korean War. The RF-84 Thunderflash, also designed by Republic, is a 720-mph photoreconnaissance aircraft with horizon-to-horizon photograph capability, and served between 1953 and 1971. The Republic F-105 Thunderchief, a supersonic fighter and attack bomber, had been most extensively deployed in Vietnam in its F-105D guise, carrying more than 12,000 pounds of ordnance and achieving 1,390-mph speeds. It served for a quarter of a century, from 1955 to 1980. The General Dynamics F-111, a supersonic, March 1.2, variable-geometry strike aircraft, first flew in 1967, and had seen service in Vietnam, Libya, and Iraq.

Aside from the aircraft themselves, there are nose and cockpit sections, including those of a Fairchild-Republic A-10, a Mig-21, a Beech 18/C-45, and a Douglas C-47, as well as engines, such as a General Electric J-47 and an Allison V-1710.

World War II’s aviation story is also told by means of films, period scenes and dioramas, an extensive model and memorabilia collection, vintage vehicles, a “Ready Room,” a “Briefing Room,” a “Canteen,” a gift shop, and era-related music.

Tours are periodically provided to the historic, five-story, 1943 control tower located in Hangar 4. The view from the cab, amid vintage radio and radar equipment overlooking Republic airport’s two runways, provides insight into the controllers’ functions, which often included coordinating vectors from P-47s, A-10s, F-84s, and F-105s enroute to the region’s dense air base network comprised of Zahns Airport, then virtually across the road, Grumman in Bethpage, Mitchel Field in Garden City, the Floyd Bennett Field Naval Air Station in Brooklyn, and the Vought factory across Long Island Sound in Connecticut, a network emphasizing Long Island’s early nucleic role in aviation.

Because the American Airpower Museum’s collection is predominantly operational, several flight experiences are offered.

Its own, and signature, opportunity, aboard a Douglas C-47 Skytrain which had last been used by the Israeli Air Force, simulates the famed, D-Day allied invasion of Normandy during the early-morning hours of June 6, 1944.

After donning paratrooper uniforms, helmets, and modified parachutes in the Ready Room, would-be jumpers move to the Briefing Room, where, amid wooden benches and period maps, the pending mission is detailed, along with the necessary regrouping maneuver behind French hedgerows after parachuting to the ground. French francs are distributed.

The cohesive, identically clad team now climbs aboard the twin-engined, olive-green C-47, which is configured with wooden side benches and actually partook of Normandy operations.

During a recent summer flight, the aircraft taxied out to Republic Airport’s Runway 1 and initiated its piston engine-propelled acceleration roll, raising its tailwheel and surrendering to the flawlessly blue sky while retracting its undercarriage.

Climbing to 1,200 feet and maintaining a 125-mph airspeed, the Douglas twin straddled Long Island’s south shore off of Jones Beach, which simulated the similar sands of Normandy.

Upon reaching the designated “drop zone,” the jumpmaster yelled, “Stand up! Check equipment! Hook up!” and the paratroopers connected their lines to the aircraft in preparation for imminent bailout.

Parachute jumping procedures were drilled and the actual, 1944 event was recounted. Regrettably, the realism necessarily had to end there.

Nevertheless, after relanding, the sensation of the D-Day disconnection during the real jump was recreated as the temporary troopers climbed out the aft, left hatch, their Velcro-attached lines separating with gentle tares, a symbolic disconnection from machine before being gravity-induced into an exponentially accelerating tumble to French soil until the unraveling surfaces of their parachutes blossomed into arresting airfoils.

Before removing uniforms, passengers are instructed to reach into their pockets to retrieve a card which reveals the identity of their historical double-or that paratrooper they had represented during the simulated mission. The paratrooper, however, had made the actual jump. And the card indicates whether he had lived or died as a result of it.

Other than the American Airpower Museum’s own C-47 flight experience, vintage aircraft static displays and aerial opportunities are scheduled during holidays and special occasions, such as during Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, historical anniversaries, and the annual Labor Day Flight of Aces weekend, the latter created to encourage young people to write about the virtues, victories, and achievements of a World War II-age friend or relative. The winning composition is awarded a bomber flight experience. Aircraft have included the MATS C-121 Constellation; the Berlin Airlift “Spirit of Freedom” C-54; the B-17 Flying Fortress; the B-24 Liberator; the B-25 Mitchell; and the PT-17 Stearman, the last four of which were operated by the Collings Foundation.

A post-museum visit dinner at the 56th Fighter Group Restaurant located on the Route 110 side of Republic Airport, although not affiliated with the museum itself, both complements and completes a World War II living history day. Resembling a 1940 wartime English farmhouse, it further transports the diner to this era with its “Officer’s Mess” entry; rustic, timbered ceilings; fireplace-adorned dining rooms; World War II-related photographs, memorabilia, and propellers; simulated, bombed-out patio; Big Band music; and views of replica P-40, P-47, and Corsair aircraft. The steak and seafood menu is noted for its signature beer-cheese soup.

The American Airpower Museum is a living aviation time portal to World War II and Long Island’s invaluable contribution to its victory of it. A post-museum dinner at the 56th Fighter Group Restaurant provides the culinary cap to it.

4. Bayport Aerodrome Living Aviation Museum

The Bayport Aerodrome Living Aviation Museum, created by the Bayport Aerodrome Society to preserve and present early-20th century aviation at a representative turf airport, is a 24-hangar complex of privately owned antique and experimental aircraft located at Bayport Aerodrome.

The aerodrome, three miles southeast of Long Island MacArthur Airport, is a nontowered field with a single, 150-foot-wide by 2,740-foot-long grass/turf runway (18-36) and 45 based single-engine aircraft. Of its average 28 daily movements, 98 percent are local, with the remainder transient. Designated Davis Field from 1910 to 1952, it had then been renamed Edwards Airport until 1977, whereafter it had been acquired by the Town of Islip. On January 22, 2008, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a feat proudly proclaimed by its plaque, which reads: “Bayport Aerodrome. Only L.I. public airport w/ grass runways. National Historic status 2008.”

Formed in 1972 for the very purpose of preserving such an era, the Bayport Aerodrome Society conducts complementary tours on weekends between June and September of its operational aircraft collection, which includes Piper Cubs, Waco biplanes, N2S Stearmans, Fleet Model 16Bs, Byrds, and PT-22s. There is also a small museum.

5. Grand Old Airshow

The Grand Old Airshow, first held in 2006 at Brookhaven’s Calabro Airport, was created to transport spectators to earlier, biplane and World War II eras and showcase Long Island aviation.

Calabro Airport itself is a 600-acre, nontowered, municipal field which was constructed during the Second World War to provide logistical support for the Army Air Corps, but was acquired by the Town of Brookhaven in 1961, whose Division of General Aviation now operates it. The field, sporting two runways-4,200-foot Runway 6-24 and 4,224-foot Runway 15-33-is home to three fixed-base operators which offer tie-down pads, T-hangars, conventional hangars, flight instruction, and refueling, as well as Eastern Suffolk Boces, the Dowling College School of Aviation, the Long Island Soaring Association, and Island Aerial Air. There is a small terminal with a luncheonette. Of its 217 based aircraft, some 92 percent encompass single-engine types, and it averages 370 daily, or 135,100 yearly, movements.

The airshow entices the visitor by urging him to “join us this year as we go back in time to celebrate Long Island’s Golden Age of Aviation,” a time when “biplanes graced the skies decades ago.” It continues by offering the experience of “bygone days of aviation, as World War I dogfights, open-cockpit biplanes, World War II fighters, and, of course, the famous Geico Skytypers, soar through Long Island’s blue skies.”

Previous shows have featured antique vehicles and static aircraft displays, the latter encompassing TBM Avengers, Fokker Dr-1s, Nieuports, and Messerschmidt Me-109s, while aerial stunts have included comedy maneuvers performed in Piper J-3 Cubs by “randomly chosen” audience member Carl Spackle; Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome-borrowed Delsey Dives and balloon bursts targeted by Great Lakes Speedsters, Fleet 16Bs, and PT-17 Stearmans; speed races between runway-bound motorcycles and airborne, low-passing PT-17s; aerobatics by SF-260s; and skywriting by Sukhoi 29s.

A Sikorsky UH-34D Sea Horse Marine helicopter, used for combat rescue in Vietnam, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and by NASA during the Project Mercury astronaut recovery program, demonstrated search-and-rescue procedures.

Both Long Island aviation and formation flying are well represented. Past shows have featured Byrd, N3N, Fleet Model 16B, and N2S Stearman aircraft from the Bayport Aerodrome Society; P-40 Warhawks and P-51 Mustangs from Warbirds over Long Island; F4U Corsairs from the American Airpower Museum; and North American SNJ-2s from the Republic Airport-based Geico Skytypers.

Vintage vehicle and aircraft rides are available. Spectators bring their own lawn chairs and line them up next to the active runway. There is period dress and speeches are given by Tuskegee Airmen. Concession trucks sell everything from hot dogs to ice cream and souvenirs and numerous aviation-related schools and associations man booths.

The Grand Old Airshow, held in the fall, is a single-day, single-visit, outdoor glimpse toward the sky where Long Island’s multi-faceted aviation history was written and where it is now recreated.

6. Grumman Memorial Park

Grumman Memorial Park, located on a one-acre site of the former Grumman Aerospace Flight Test Facility in Calverton only one thousand feet from one of its runways, is, according to its self-description, “a volunteer effort paying tribute to the incredible advances in aviation and space flight that took place on Long Island thanks to the teamwork of the employees of the Grumman Corporation. This dedicated band of people took aviation from the fight deck of a US Navy aircraft carrier to man’s first steps on the moon.”

Leroy Randle Grumman, the man behind this company’s name, had been born on January 4, 1895 and established the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation 35 years later, according to the park’s plaque “in a small garage in Baldwin, Long Island, New York. There and later in Valley Stream, Farmingdale, Bethpage, Calverton, and locations throughout the country, the company designed and produced innovative aircraft and spacecraft for both the military forces of the United States and the civilian market.” Incorporated in all these designs had been the company’s straightforward philosophy of “keep it simple…build it strong….make it work.”

Phase One of the park, completed on October 28, 2000, had been dedicated to “preserving the legacy of the Grumman Corporation (and) to the men and women who designed, built, and flew the aircraft and spacecraft that soared into the heavens and beyond.”

Centerpiece, mounted on a pedestal in a climbing profile, is an F-14A Tomcat. Powered by two 20,900 thrust-pound, afterburner-equipped Pratt and Whitney TF30-P-414A turbofans, the swing-wing, variable-geometry fighter, whose sweepback varies from 20 degrees in the forward to 68 degrees in the aft position, was the 331st such Tomcat airframe to roll off the nearby Calverton assembly line and first flew from the almost arm’s reach runway on July 6, 1979. Delivered two months later to the US Navy’s VF-101 Fighter Squadron in Oceana, Virginia, it carried 2,385 gallons of fuel, including that accommodated in two, 267-gallon external tanks, and had a 1,191-mile nonstop range. The Mach 2 aircraft had provided 25 years of service before being decommissioned, and had been one of 712 F-14s to have been produced between 1970 and 1992.

Surrounded by inscribed bricks, which comprise the “Walk of Honor,” the display has several interactive features, including a visitor-controlled audible recording of its story, sounds of an afterburner take off, and wing and tail light activation.

The second aircraft on display, part of the park’s Phase Two expansion, is the Grumman A-6E Intruder located on the other side of the small parking lot. Tracing its origins to its initial version, the A2F-1 which had first flown in 1960, it was one of 693 all-weather attack aircraft which were powered by two Pratt and Whitney J-52 P-8B turbojets and had maximum take off weights of 58,600 pounds. Operating at 42,400-foot ceilings, the 648-mph aircraft could deliver eight 500-pound bombs with pinpoint accuracy, and it could carry an entire arsenal of weapons, striking targets more than 500 miles from the aircraft carrier on which it had been based without the need for refueling. Production ceased in 1997.

Aside from the two aircraft themselves, displays include the original Calverton Plant 7 flagpole, a Bethpage Plant 14 guard booth, and a Bethpage runway section, along with its side light, from which every Grumman F6F Hellcat had taken off.

Also viewable is a Hughes AIM-54A Phoenix long-range air-to-air missile, an integral part of the F-14 Tomcat AWG-9 Weapon System. Featuring a 13-foot length and three-foot wingspan, the device had a 1,021-pound gross weight, of which its 132-pound warhead had been propelled by a solid rocket motor. Traveling at a speed of Mach 5, it had a 96-mile range. The F-14 could carry up to six such Phoenix missiles.

Grumman Memorial Park, a work-in-progress whose nine additional acres will eventually encompass a visitor center and other aircraft displays, offers an initial glimpse into Grumman’s superior military designs only yards from the factory which had hatched them.

7. Conclusion

Long Island’s six-decade aerial journey, which had begun on its Hempstead Plains in 1909 when Glenn Curtiss had first taken off in the Golden Flyer biplane and ended when the Lunar Module had first landed on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility in 1969, is expertly recounted by its world-class aviation sights.



Source by Robert Waldvogel

The Night Before Your Flight

If you want to avoid high levels of stress, start preparing for your trip a few days before you actually leave. Whether you are flying from one country to another in Europe, or from one continent to another, it is always good to plan things out! Have everything you want to bring with you packed up. Place your luggage by the door. Some airlines allow you to check in twenty-four hours prior to your flight, if you are flying with one of these, check in and print out your boarding pass (if it is an option). Gather up all of your travel documents (i.e. passport, boarding pass, additional ID, and some cash. Put these in your carry-on and put them by your luggage. I had a small notebook that I recorded all of my travel plans in. This helped me with knowing the gate number, flight number, airline, etc. I usually kept my ticket and notebook together. It’s nice to have everything together and ready to go just in case something does no go as smoothly on your day of travel. You will not have to think to remember to do anything special because you have everything set aside and ready to go.

In addition to having your belongings prepared, you need to be ready too! Traveling will wear you out, so it is important to get at least some sleep before your flight. If your flight is early, try to adjust your schedule a few days before, so you can get to bed early and get a good night’s sleep. The night before your flight (if it’s early) set more than one alarm. I am typically good at waking up to one alarm, but it is better to be safe than sorry-you do not want to miss your flight! A practice that I started was laying out my clothes the night before. Like I said before, if something does not go smoothly, all you have to do is hop into the clothes that you have all ready!

Have your transportation lined up the day prior to your flight. If you are taking a taxi, call a taxi service and tell them what airport and what time your flight is. They may have a good idea on what time to get you-you will probably want to give yourself two hours from your starting point (you can adjust this depending on how far you live from the airport).

After you have everything planned and ready to go, you can get a good rest knowing that all you have to do the next morning is wake up and go! This should really cut down on the stress you feel before you travel. You can make sure you have everything and will not forget important things because you have given yourself plenty of time to get your affects in order.

If you do all of these things, your stress level will be cut in half!



Source by Jennifer C Liechti

Easy Ideas That Get Cheaper Air Fares

Finding cheaper air fares is a bit like looking for the Holy Grail – pretty much impossible, because the reality is that the cheapest air fare ticket does not actually exist, per se. What do I mean by this? There are so many permutations to getting cheap domestic flights or cheap international flights – such as the route, different airlines, travel class, seating, travel dates and times, etc, – especially on international flights – that no travel agency or airline could actually guarantee that you are getting the absolute cheapest air fares.

This does not mean that you should not be searching for the cheapest air fares but rather cheaper air fares that meet your own travel requirements in terms of time, convenience, comfort, etc. In other words, once you are fairly satisfied with a flight ticket, it's best to book and pay for it immediately rather than wasting time searching for something that might only save you a few dollars extra – bearing in mind that if you can not find it cheaper, your original deal might now have snapped up by someone else.

Ideally, if you regularly use a trusted travel agent for booking your travel and vacations you can give them details of what you want and trust them to show you the lowest air fare currently available for the flight criteria you specify. If you do not benefit from access to a trusted and reliable travel agent here are my Easy Ideas To Get Cheaper Air Fares:

Purchase your ticket as soon as possible – Fares often start increasing 21 days before the flight. The earlier you reserve your flight, the better chance you have of finding a cheaper air fare. Try booking on a Tuesday or Wednesday to benefit from increased pricing competition.

Buy a round-trip ticket, and travel using one airline – Round-trip tickets are usually cheaper than one-way tickets, and it is often cheaper to reserve all legs of your trip on a single airline, rather than a combination of multiple airlines .

Stay over a Saturday night – Itineraries that include a Saturday-night stay are sometimes much cheaper than mid-week trips. If you plan to return on a Saturday, think about delaying return to the Sunday and see if the fare comes down.

Choose an inconvenient flight time – Try different times of the night or day on different dates for the flight. Mid-morning and late-afternoon flights are often crowded, so try specifying flights leaving very early in the morning or very late at night to see if cheaper air fares are available. Flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday can sometimes be cheaper because these are less-popular days to fly on some routes.

Avoid traveling on or during holiday periods – It's sad but it's true that during holiday periods it's difficult to find cheaper airfares. Try to schedule flights on less-popular days, Eg avoid travel over Christmas or Thanksgiving by considering traveling on the days preferring or following these dates.

Use an alternative airport – Try using alternative airports near your intended destination to see if cheaper fares are available for another airport. Eg In the UK fares into London Stanstead are often cheaper than flying into London Heathrow or Gatwick.

Make use of promotions and sales – Get in immediately when promotions are announced online because the cheapest flights will sell quickly. Sign up for airline newsletters and travel alerts or join organizations that offer discounts on certain air lines.

Top Tip In Australia, some of the best last minute flight deals can be found on cheap domestic flights where Jetstar have a weekly "Fare Frenzy" 4pm to 8pm every Friday and Virgin Blue have their daily "Happy Hour" at noon. Whilst not an exhaustive list of tips to snare you the cheapest air fare, using the methods above will undutely save you a lot of money on your next flight.

Remember, that different airlines follow different fare rules, and so these guidelines may not apply to every itinerary but try one or more of the tips above and see if you can locate a better fare. Do not give yourself a coronary by spending hours looking for the absolute cheapest air fare bar none – it's not out there. It's far better to have an idea of ​​your budget and travel requirements and then book the cheaper air fare that comes closest to meeting them.



Source by David Chapple

Tips to Get Cheap Air Tickets

If you want to really explore a country and see its many features, you have to plan your trip two to three months in advance. Touring all over the world can be a passionate and exciting experience, but at the same time it does not need to be expensive. More and more people want to book air tickets at cheaper rates to go to any travel destination. So, while planning your trip, do not forget to compare the prices from many different airlines and websites to get the airline ticket.

There are many travel websites, airlines and online travel agents. They offer discounted and cheap air tickets. These websites and agents provide airline ticket on both domestic and international flights. And most of the domestic and international airlines today offer economy air ticket and also discounted hotels. They provide you with an extensive range of information not only on schedules and availability of flight, but also destinations, cities, airports, weather and many other things.

To get economy airline ticket for your trip, try to avoid traveling on weekends. It is because most of the travelers choose to travel on a weekend, which makes it difficult to get cheap airline tickets on those days. But, if you can plan your trip two or more months before then you will have a good chance of getting cheap air tickets even during the busy days or months.

The best discount and offers are always available online so, check the Internet regularly and make sure you book online. Also, buying tickets online will give you an option to compare prices and get the cheapest air tickets which will save you a lot of money as well as time. Thus, with a little research, you will able to find several cheap airline tickets for your trip.



Source by Mohit K Jain