With all the concern about getting the best price for that next flight, I decided to put pricing a flight from Austin to Cancun to the test. How many times do we say “Wow, I got a great deal on that flight”?
After several hours of time, energy and research, I have news for all of us. It doesn’t matter which airfare website we choose, the price will basically be the same. For this investigation, I chose a flight from Austin, TX to Cancun, Mexico with a departure of April 16, 2012 with a return of April, 22, 2012, a 7 day, six night stay.
I chose several cheap/discount airfare sites and compared their prices to the actual airline prices. The cheap/discount sites chosen were Orbitz, Kayak, Priceline, CheapOair and Expedia.
Orbitz, Kayak, Priceline and Expdia all showed pricing as:
- Delta priced at $390.00 base, total (including taxes and fees) of $511.00 connecting through Atlanta, GA. Lower price but longer flight time due to travel to Atlanta.
- Continental/United priced at $440.00 base, total (including taxes and fees) of $558.00 connecting through Houston.
- American Airlines priced at $390.00 base, total (including taxes and fees) of $561.00 connecting through Dallas.
- Expedia priced the same with one discrepancy on American Airlines that was priced with a total of $514.00. With a bit of digging, I realized the cheaper flight had a return overnight layover in Dallas.
CheapOair surprised me.
- Delta was not offered as an option.
- Continental compared to pricing above with a price of $583.00 (including taxes and fees) and a $20.00 instant credit offering, totaling $563.00. With the credit, the price is higher that the other sites or pricing directly with the airline.
- American Airlines was was priced with a price of $586.00 (including taxes and fees) and a $20.00 instant credit offering, totaling $566.00. Again, a higher price.
- American compared to pricing above with the overnight stay was priced at $546.00 (including taxes and fees) and a $20.00 instant credit offering, totaling $526.00. Again, a higher price.
- United was priced lower with a total of $529.00. After further review the United flight destination was Cozumel, Mexico (CZM) rather than Cancun (CUN). This could have been a surprise if I were not being careful.
This Austin Travel Planner has tested and confirmed that it takes a lot of time and effort to research and compare all of these cheap/discount airfare sites. Pricing a flight is no easy task or small time commitment. Airfare prices can and may change daily or even multiple times during one day. Furthermore, where are the cheap/discount airfare prices?
Based on my research and experience, prices are basically the same unless a particular airline is offering a sale or last minute weekend getaway, This may be a cheaper option if you have a flexible schedule and can travel within a few days.
Hopefully, I have provided you with some helpful information about pricing a flight for your next trip to Cancun. If you would like more information about my research, the time spent or simply don’t want to bother with the task, please call. I would love the opportunity to help you plan your next trip.