FYI Air up on average over 11% this Summer – Key Markets with Good Rates and other Air Sales Tips
HOT – Airfare Looks to be up on Average about 11%!
Early Air Bookings Down – Still time to adjust trend
Things for us to keep in mind when counteracting the effect of higher airfares:
1) While Aviation Fuel has increased and driven Airfares up about 11% to Montrose/Telluride, Gas at the pump has also risen even more on a % basis year over year…(35%)
Today $3.88 – Last Year today $2.87 up $1 or 35% year over year (From AAA Fuel Gauge Report)
– It’s also up $.30 from just a month ago (From AAA Fuel Gauge Report)
Message: Comparatively Airfares have risen Less! Up 11% Airfare vs. 35% Auto Gas
2) People’s time is valuable so this should be explained to potential air guests who are considering not flying but driving instead
+ IE…people get only so much Vacation time…on a 5 Night trip from say Dallas a driving guest is going to lose 2 of those 5 Nights of their trip getting to the area
Average Drive Travel Time from Dallas (Per Mapquest) = 16 Hours/975 Miles each way – total roundtrip gas cost at 25 miles per gallon = $502.58 at todays $3.88 gas cost
+ On the other hand…people who fly will see a total flight time of 2 Hours into Montrose + shuttle/rental car travel time of 1 hr 30 Min + 1 Hour arrival prior to departure plus avg of 30 Min travel to airport or 5 Hours total travel time each way. This means that travel would be 10 hours (Fly) vs. 32 hours (Drive)or 8.33% of their 5 day trip being due to fly travel time vs. 26.66%
3) Wholesale rates in many (Not most but many) instances are lower…we need to continue pushing checking fares with the Telluride Air Concierge 1-866-850-5286 so that we capture as many air sales as possible…especially when lower wholesale airfares could possibly save bookings.
Why push air vs. drive?
1) While we have an air guarantee program to support is one obvious reason another is…
2) Flying guests average over a 6 Night Stay in the region / Drive guests average about 4 Nights Stay
– More nights stay means more $’s spent in the region…in our case this is about 50% more $’s spent when guests fly in vs. drive in.
– More nights stay means more local jobs in the region…you need to staff more for 6 night stays vs. 4 night stays
-More nights stays means more economic activity driven in both Telluride and Montrose
+ More employed Telluride folks doing grocery shopping, getting cars fixed, furniture and appliances purchased etc…in Montrose among other regional towns
+ More restaurant dining, retail, 2nd home repairs or remodels etc…in Telluride/Mountain Village and Montrose among other regional towns
– More Tax $’s (Sales/Lodging/Restaurant etc…) in Telluride/Mountain Village and Montrose among other regional towns
Suggestion – Focus more of resources on Markets where airfares are most reasonable:
(Sample Markets over Mountain Film below)
Houston $358 Newark $407 Austin $361 Indianapolis $402
Last Suggestion over Mountain Film…Quote prices per person including the air with the lodging!
While the cost remains the same…often the perception on a bundled presentation of air and lodging (Activities/Rental Cars etc) is better when bundled into one price than when broken out. Also…especially when working with rental homes and/or condos…presently the total bundled rate on a per-person basis also tends to create a better perception of value then quoting the whole family of four for example!