04 June 2009

Bouncey air-ticket prices

I’ve been watching air tickets this week, ’coz I need to take a trip to the ’States.

I lined up a deal I liked on Monday, but didn’t have $$$ available. On Tuesday, the flight was going to be $600 more, but by shifting it away 2 days, I could contain the increase to $100.

Money was made available, appeared in the account 9PM Tuesday — by which time the price had risen another $100 or so. So I bit. By “risen another $100,” that refers only the main drag on United. Qantas, in second place, had risen over $200. Canadiar, ex 3rd place (now 5th) had risen $350.

Was SMSed this morning to be told that the transaction had bounced. Grrr. Rang up, queried, the support girl retried the transaction. It worked. The price had not changed overnight. Yay!

Around noon today, the United price fell $280. Nih! )-:

Meanwhile, Qantas has risen another $100 (by about $300 for 3rd & 4th slots), Canadair had escalated another $500.

Skype: this has been fun, talking to people all over the planet (including Thailand, Ghana, several US states, the UK, Adelaide, Sydney, Launceston) for free. Oddly enough, I can Skype a mobile (cell) phone (Verizon, they call it “wireless” phone service) in the USA for 2.7c a minute, but my own costs 16c a minute. They can call me for (USD) 23c a minute cell-to-mobile, I can call them mobile-to-cell for 40c flagfall plus $1.80 a minute. What?

Random travel tip: if you travel on a TransWA road coach, sit in the 16th seat, as that often has a cigarette-lighter socket. Make sure your laptop’s adaptor eats 24v as well, though, not the more mundane 12v (really, 9v to 13.8v), as 24v is what the coach provides. Mobile Internet connection (Virgin, Optus-based) works well through most small towns but seldom in between. Yes, I have Skyped the USA en route up Greenmount Hill. (-:

Random money tip: if you use an Aussie credit card in the USA, you get binged a 3.6% conversion fee. ANZ have a neat debit-card kind of thing with no fee at all. A pair of cards costs $11 (so you can keep one in A Safe Place), & the initial deposit is unfeed (converted at the opening-date currency rate); top-ups are binged 1.5%. You can visit a website & instantly see what’s left, the precise conversion rates used (on top-ups), etc.

1 comment:

GregoryO said...

Ticket prices can be a real pain, glad you got a reasonable middle ground.

My Wizard Clear Advantage Mastercard allowed me to put money on it before I went away, then credit transactions and ATM withdraws were free, and reasonable exchange rate. This was in Europe, but I'm told it's anywhere in the world.

Enjoy your trip!