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Are Seat Sales Really Seat Saves?

By Kristel Silang, Brighterlife.com.ph

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BL_seat sale
Filipinos are now booking more flights than ever.

According to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the airline traffic in Manila has increased 5.2% last from 2014 to 2015. Domestic traffic growth reached 7.2% from 2014 to 2015, coming from a growth rate of 0.5% in 2013 to 2014.

We can attribute this increase in air traffic to affordable airfares or “seat sales.” Here are the projected savings on some domestic flights.

From To Regular Fare (round trip) Seat Sale Rate (round trip) Total Savings
Manila Cebu  Php4,488.76 Php 402 Php 4,086.76
Manila Davao Php4,780.76 Php 402 Php 4,738.76
Manila Kalibo Php 4,468.76 Php 402 Php 4,066,76
Manila Puerto Princesa  Php7,235.16 Php 402 Php6,833.16

Source: Air Asia and Cebu Pacific Air

BL_South CotabatoMy most recent seat sale destination: South Cotabato last Feb 26 -29

The initial thinking when booking flights through seat sales is automatically saving money since the difference between regular fares and seat sale fares is big. While this may sound very attractive, it might not be the case all the time. So what are instances when you actually DID NOT save on a seat sale?

The travel dates that you’ve taken will be non-paid leaves.

“If you are taking a non-paid leave from your full-time job for the trip, you end up losing money,” says Kristine Cenidoza, an HR professional who loves to travel. For example, with a daily rate of Php1,000.00 for an employee and booking a flight out during a Thursday morning, that could equate to Php2,000.00 if those leaves are not paid and you shelled out Php402 for the airfare.

You extended your trip to get cheaper seats.

Most seat sales are pegged on non-peak days or seasons, which usually fall on weekdays. A longer vacation due to finding slots for cheaper airfare can equate to having more expenses with a longer travel time.

It was not part of your annual budget.

I specified in one article I wrote about financial resolutions that seat sales should be a “planned” impulse buy. As much as possible, you should buy them only for destinations you already planned to go to since you’ve already budgeted for them. Unplanned trips may lead to the unnecessary borrowing of money.


Can you think of other reasons seat sales are not actually seat saves?


Image used under Creative Commons from Yuichi Kosio

Kristel Silang writes about personal finance at MoneyMax.ph. You can reach her via Twitter via @kristelsilang.

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