Too good to be true? 4 times you should just say ‘no’ to a deal

If you found a bargain airfare, you’d book it, right?

But what if you knew the price was a mistake? Would you still do it?

In an era of too-good-to-be-true prices, gimmicky discounts and even an occasional zero fare, travelers have to make that call every day.

Sometimes they get it right. Sometimes not.
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Post-holiday travel bargains abound, but are they worth it?

Everything you’ve heard about Dead Week may be dead wrong.

Dead Week, for those of you who aren’t dyed-in-the-wool bargain hunters, takes place the first week of every year. After the New Year’s holiday, travel falls off the map, figuratively speaking, as occupancy rates and prices plunge to their lowest levels in months.

So why ignore the conventional wisdom and stay home during the first week of the year?
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Why 2010 will be the year of the travel deal

If you thought the travel bargains were unbelievable this year, just wait until 2010.

I’m fully aware that this prediction flies in the face of conventional wisdom. I mean, how many travel experts have you seen on TV lately, warning that the deals are going, going, gone?

They’re everywhere. But they’re probably wrong.
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Hotwire’s Bason: “I don’t expect these prices to last”

Clem Bason - Hotwire.comClem Bason is the president of, the discount travel Web site. I asked him about the outlook for bargains in the second half of the summer, and to address some of the consumer complaints about so-called “opaque” travel sites.

Q: Can you give me an idea of the kinds of rates you’ve seen, compared with summers past?

Bason: It’s truly an amazing time to travel if you’re a bargain-hunter. Hotel occupancy rates have plummeted along with the economy – more than 55 percent of the hotel rooms across the US were empty on any given night in July. And this translates into deep discounts for consumers. Opaque rates in New York City have dropped 32 percent. San Diego is down by 29 percent and Orlando is off by 22 percent compared to last summer, just to name a few.
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Here’s a “recovery” every bargain hunter is gonna love


Traffic to the three major online travel agencies — Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity — is trending upward, as bargain-hunters snap up discounted airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars. It helps that the agencies eliminated some of their booking fees a few months ago.

Expedia’s bounce (in blue) is the most dramatic, with traffic levels markedly higher than it was at this point a in 2008. The other two OTAs (Orbitz in yellow and Travelocity in green) are holding steady, versus last July’s levels.

You might think that rebounding traffic would translate into an upward stock price. Not necessarily.
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