Visiting California Part I: Airfare driving me crazy…

Searching for cheap plane tickets drove me nuts.  I had read a variety of tips online on the best times to purchase (the general concensus was late on Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning).  I monitored a million travel sites including Expedia, Kayak, Travelocity, CheapTickets, Orbitz, and Priceline.  I know there are a million other sites out there, but I thought the rates were all the same from site to site.  Although the trend wasn’t global or obvious, I did notice tix were cheaper during the week than on the weekend.  I finally purchased Delta tix for departure because Delta doesn’t charge for your first bag.  However for my returning flight I had to use US Airways which I don’t like (they charge $15 for your first checked in bag…they also charge for all snacks and $2 for refreshments in flight).  Around the time of my purchase, the hurricanes in Texas were driving gas prices up.  About a month later, the poor economy drove gas down…however I didn’t notice a difference in the air fare (not fair!). 

My Delta departure flights went reasonably well.  I remeber 2 years ago when I flew out to Cali they gave out snack boxes and chips and pretzels.  This time you had to pay for them.  The only free snacks were a small pack of cookies or peanuts.  I was excited for my longer flight from Atlanta to LAX because I knew my plane was the one with the TV consoles on the back of each chair.  However, icy weather conditions caused me to miss that connecting flight.  Delta was great at putting me on the next flight which was only an hour later (yeah Delta!).  It was seamless!  Unfortunately, there were no TVs….just the movie Bonneville playing in front of each section ($2 for earbuds…bring your own to watch it for free!).  =(

One highlight of that substitute flight though was that I was on the same flight as Pharrell Williams.  He was covered in bling and designer clothing…

Here are some overhead shots from the flight.  L-Los Angeles, R-Sedona, Arizona

Tips:

One great thing I did was bring empty sippy cups for my kids.  However, the stewardesses were a bit perturbed to give me a whole can so I could pour it myself into the cups.  Apparently now they are advised to pour and keep whatever remains to pour for someone else.  Everyone is feeling the economy pinch.

One neat airport tip is that my sister bought a book from the Atlanta airport to read on the plane.  If she finished it during her travels she could return it for free at another airport from the same bookstore company!

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