May 15, 2019
It takes time and effort to find travel deals. You need to spread a wide net.
Comparison websites, such as Trivago and Kayak, are a great way to see what's available. Just remember, no site has everything.
You won't find Delta on Hipmunk or FareCompare. To see Southwest's flights and fares, you'll need to go to the Southwest website.
Book airline seats one at a time. If there's only one seat at the lowest price, the search engine will return two or more seats at the next highest price.
In addition to roundtrip searches, it might be cheaper to fly out on one airline and fly back on another.
America's favorite Airlines
When it comes to customer satisfaction, the nation's airlines are doing a little bit better than last year. The new American Customer Satisfaction Index shows a score of 74 out of 100, up 1 percent.
ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg says in general, flyers have a lot of complaints about the whole experience.
"But relatively speaking, even little tweaks that airlines can make, little things they can do around the margins – like create a better experience around booking and checking in – is enough to give it a little tiny kick," he said.
Alaska Airlines took top spot in this year's ACSI survey, scoring an 80 out of 100, up 1 percent from last year. Alaska earned high marks for its inflight service and loyalty programs.
Jet Blue and Southwest tied for second at 79. Delta came in third with an ACSI score of 75. American (73), United (70) and Allegiant (71) all scored below average (74). Frontier (64) and Spirit (63) were the lowest rated.
LISTEN TO HERB'S RADIO INTERVIEW with David VanAmburg, managing director of the ACSI
Watch out for hidden hotel fees
Don't assume that the first price you see quoted on a hotel or travel website is what you're going to pay. A growing number of hotels now have a mandatory gotcha fee that brings up the price of the daily room rate.
They call it a resort or facility or destination fee. It's typically $25 - $30 per room per day – on top of the daily rate.
These fees are not always easy to spot and are typically not on the first screen. You typically have to go part way through the booking process before you know if there's going to be that extra hidden fee tacked on to that daily rate.
Resort fees are no longer limited to resorts in Hawaii and Florida. Many hotels in Manhattan now charge them. They call them a destination fee.