Shopping for and buying plane tickets is one of my least favorite tasks. It's so stressful! Will the fares go up? Will they go down? SHOULD I BUY RIGHT NOW?!??!! Ugh. Kayak.com makes the process easier and I have had several fare alerts set up for months/years now. It's nice to have an idea of what a "good" fare is so that when you see something low, you know it's low, and you can buy it.
Anyway, we played the airfare game with some spring break tickets recently, and yesterday, we lost (the fares shot way up). We moped for a good part of the day.
This morning, I called Emirates to see if that magically low fare we'd lost was somehow still available even though it didn't show on their (or Kayak's) website. Of course it wasn't. The agent tried all kinds of things, like splitting us onto two different flights and fiddling with the dates, to no avail. I'm sure she could tell how disappointed I was, because she told me to keep checking back. She said the fares could still come down if there were cancellations.
Well, a few hours later, I checked again...and the magically low fare was back. You'd better believe I snatched it up. Hooray! Spring break is back on.
All this airfare drama is in addition to what we went through a week ago when a different magically low fare to a different place (summer destination) showed up and we pre-booked it. For some destinations, Emirates allows you to reserve a flight without initially paying for it. That booking is then cancelled in 24 hours unless you've paid. At about 22.5 hours, I logged in to pay for our great tickets and the system wouldn't accept our credit card (sometimes our US-issued card gives us trouble on airline websites). After a few frantic phone calls to Emirates (me) and the credit card company (Jeremy), I changed out of my pajamas and back into clothes and drove like the dickens to the physical Emirates office in the Dubai airport to pay for the tickets in person before the booking (and the magical price) expired. STRESS. But it all turned out OK.
So, who else loathes plane-ticket shopping? At least I don't have to go through a government agency to do it, I guess, and at least I'm not required to fly a US-based airline. We've had to deal with both of those in the past, and it just complicates the process.
Anyway, yay for completed travel arrangements, THE END.