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Consumer Affairs
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Beat winter blues

With airfares and travel packages at their lowest levels in years due to the economic downturn, South Africans have the opportunity to travel to places that may otherwise have been out of their price range.

In the past three years, the cost of many international travel fares has fallen consistently. Flight Centre's spokesperson, Dave Strange, reflects on these price comparisons. "The deals that our air and land partners are currently offering are terrific value and will probably never be repeated. We're excited to bring consumers these incredibly low fares and we encourage South Africans to take advantage of these deals as we believe these fares are not sustainable even in the medium-term."
The drop in airfares comes amidst a tough economic period for South Africans too but, says Strange, prices like these are unlikely to be experienced again. South Africans looking to take a break this year and escape the pressures that the global economic crisis brings will be pleasantly surprised at the low costs. According to Strange, booking as soon as possible is essential if South Africans are to benefit fully.
"With prices so low, it's important that travellers take advantage of these deals and lock them in now in case of any unforeseen price rises, such as fuel charges and taxes, which may occur," Strange adds.
Flight Centre's data shows that in 2006, an average return ticket to London during June was R5 450. This price has since dropped as low as R4 590 with Egypt Air this year, for example. All prices quoted are ex-Johannesburg.
For South Africans wanting to visit America, pricing has dropped from an average of R8 760 return to New York in 2006 to R8 540 this year.
It is not only airfares that are more affordable; tour packages for destinations such as Trafalgar have also dropped in price. Savvy travellers can pick up excellent bargains on tours to Europe from as little as R9 056 per person sharing - a saving of over R3 000 per person - for a six night tour through Europe taking in London, Paris, Amsterdam to name a few.
The local travel retailer has also sourced a number of flights with additional benefits, offering return flights to Hong Kong with two nights' accommodation from R5 950 per person, or flights to Bangkok with a free stopover and two nights' accommodation in Hong Kong from R9 110 per person.
Travellers can opt for combination flights where two cities can be visited. For example, the Cairo -London combo is priced from R5 650 inclusive of approximate taxes.
"By using an experienced travel consultant, South Africans can rest assured they're getting the best deal and a holiday that suits their individual requirements," Strange says.
For price updates and availability you should contact Flight Centre on 0860 400747 or visit www.flightcentre.co.za

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:22.7 1st July, 2009
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