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In the past few weeks, My Vacation Lady has been getting a good number of requests for last minute vacations. And by last minute- we are talking about 2 weeks to 8 weeks prior to departure.
We’ve been lucky with some and booking the resort or hotels have been easy. Flights- on the other hand- not so easy.
The problem came with assigning them seats on the flights. While we could get them some seats on the return flight, there were NO seats available to assign on the outbound flight.
In the past, it had always been that the airlines saved about 20% of their seats for airport check in only, so even if you didn’t have a seat assignment, as long as you checked in online or at the airport, there was a very good chance of getting a seat. The operative words here are “very good chance.” If you didn’t have a seat assigned upon check in- you were either put on the standby list or bumped to another flight. Not a great way to start a vacation and certainly not the way we want my clients to start their vacation. We’ve been hearing more and more about bumping in the last couple of weeks and the way that the airlines oversell their flights.
Now the airlines are squeezing more seats into less room and offering Extra Legroom seats for an additional cost.
On one particular flight that I was looking at for clients, the first 21 rows were either first class, business class or “premium seats” that would cost an additional $79 per person. This is were the problem lies.
About 1/3 of the coach seats are now premium seats and it seems as though the “premium seat” category is getting larger and larger and the regular coach section is shrinking. The later you book, the less likely you will be able to assign seats if you are booking in coach.
The moral of the story-
Book your vacation early or your chances of getting seats is going to be slimmer and slimmer or plan to pay a surcharge for a premium seat.
My Vacation Lady would love to be able to do our job without dealing with airlines but unfortunately, most of our client’s vacation and honeymoon destinations involve flying. The sooner you book, the better availability you’ll usually find at hotels and flights.
Let us help you plan your next vacation or your dream honeymoon!