Hunt for low fares

A young balikbayan indulges her love for travel with cheap fares
By Heinz Bulos

Mina Rivera, 26, has traveled all over the world. Now based in the country working for an international humanitarian organization, she satisfies her wanderlust by taking advantage of the fierce competition in the airline industry.

She signed up at Cebu Pacific’s website at cebupacificair.com for its Low Fare Alerts, where she gets notified of special fare promos via e-mail. Everyday fares to the Visayas region for instance are P568 each way, but when they go on sale, she can get them as low as P199. When Cebu Pacific introduces new routes, they can go at dirt cheap prices, such as P99 one-way from Manila to Laoag.

Now, before you say “Wow Philippines!,” please remember that these are base fares. Cebu Pacific will add fuel surcharges and other taxes to these prices. For fares that start at P199, your final price will be about P2,500. For fares that start at P99, your final price will be about P1,800. In the end, these are still quite cheap. Try booking a last-minute flight, and it can cost you as much as P8,000.

Mina says, “The key is to book early. Once you have received a Low Fare Alert, grab the calendar and find out when the next three-day weekend will be. Then, start booking your flight.”

She adds that it is also cheaper to book online. You can save at least P100 for booking your own flight instead of going to the ticket counter. She concludes, “Traveling has never been this fun because these days, it has gotten so cheap!”

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