View Poll Results: If you are booking for travel within the next 6 months
- 122. You may not vote on this poll
July 12th, 2011, 07:42 AM
Asking the question a different way
Thank you to those who completed the last poll regarding how you book. Hotel only or air/hotel.
It was curious to note how many of you book hotel only within 6 months of arrival. According to the reports we receive from our tour operator partners, both online and traditional, more than 90% of their bookings including air if travel is within the next 6 months.
So, that leads me to ask the question in the different way. Theoretically, in today's environment, booking a package (including air and hotel) SHOULD reflect value vs. booking hotel only. That is the way it appears on many sites.
So... If you are booking your stay for travel within the next 6months or so AND you could clearly see that you would save $$ by booking package vs hotel only. How would you book now?
July 12th, 2011, 08:09 AM
we always try to book as a package deal, i try to find non stop service on the air part but that is available as the charters fly in the prime time, i have gotten prices from yvonne but the price was higher than my travel agent, usually by a few hundred dollars.
July 12th, 2011, 08:09 AM
We already booked for next year and book resort and airline separate based on booking during a special and then watching airline prices.
July 12th, 2011, 08:20 AM
I always book through a Tour Operator etc for packages of Air & Hotel as we fly out of Toronto. The few times I checked trying to book air and hotel separately, I did not find much, if any saving and flights were more likely to include a stop-over to change planes, vs the direct flights most package deals include. I don't like to do the stop over thing as it just increases the odds of having a delay or lost luggage, plus just takes longer to get to destination. Booking through couples website to include air was almost the same cost as we booked through another operator but had the dreaded stop-over...
July 12th, 2011, 09:14 AM
We have been coming yearly for 10 years and find that booking both seems to be a better value and we get the nonstop flight and time that works for us. Any value packed package will increase bookings and perhaps encourage multiple bookings, if savings is large enough!
July 12th, 2011, 09:52 AM
July 12th, 2011, 10:38 AM
Randymon, My wife and I have booked 2 trips to CSA, both with a travel agent. One was within 6 months of booking and the other 330 days from booking for airfare reasons. I prefer to book both resort and airfare as I have checked rates both ways and it is cheaper to book together rather than apart. I would prefer to book farther out because of the savings on the rates with Couples, but you take a big chance with airfare. I hope that you are taking this poll because Couples is looking at creating packages and combining room rates with airfare. My first trip for 6 days with airfare was about $3700.00 and my trip in August of this year for 10 days with airfare is just over $4200.00 for the same ro0m class. You can see the difference on booking out farther. I would book out even further to get the additional perks for doing so and would possibly be able to afford to come more than once a year. Please give this some thought.
July 12th, 2011, 10:54 AM
We live in Ottawa, Canada and travel to Couples once or twice every winter. We generally book directly with Couples 6 to 12 months ahead to get the best rate. However, we prefer to fly direct from Ottawa and those flights don't become available until closer to the winter season. And it is very rare that we can get a direct flight in a package deal. The direct flight is worth the extra money to us. In the past we have been stranded by a winter storm in one of the connecting cities.
July 12th, 2011, 11:20 AM
I would definitely book a hotel/air package if there was a definite price savings AND I could get a non-stop flight from my home in Orlando to MBJ. I've noticed that some packages require a stop in Miami. Even if the package was a bit cheaper, if I could get a non-stop flight, I would book hotel only.
Thanks for asking!
July 12th, 2011, 12:07 PM
We would definitely book whichever way is cheaper. Generally, the early booking specials are the cheapest, and airlines haven't posted air travel schedules or rates at that point. That's kind of where we are - to get good hotel rates, we book very early - a year out or more. Airfare comes after that due to airlines not posting it that early.
We'd love to have the whole trip nailed down all at once, but can't see a way around that.
July 12th, 2011, 12:52 PM
Well, if it's cheaper to book together then it's a no brainer. Unless you have miles to use up for the air portion.
July 12th, 2011, 01:55 PM
I voted "Hotel Only" because I like to book a particular flight that gets me on the ground and to the resort as early as possible. Early arrival is priceless for us. The immigration lines are shorter (we travel on Saturdays) and we don't feel like we lose a full day traveling. We can spend the afternoon of day one on the beach.
If Couples would work with me to get that flight and save me money to boot, I'd book my flight through them as well. I've always booked "Hotel Only" in the past because air rates aren't typically available when we book the resort. Plus frequent flyer miles tend to come into play too. Does Couples work with you to find a preferred flight schedule or airline?
Happy and Safe Travels!
July 12th, 2011, 03:45 PM
We always book separately. I find that we book the resort about 8 months ahead of time. Air prices seem to drop about two months before we travel (in the fall). Also, flight times are important to us as well as the ability to use airline miles. We would consider booking together in a package if the flights are reasonable and the times get us into Jamaica at a decent time. (Early afternoon).
July 12th, 2011, 03:51 PM
We live in Ottawa and found that by booking a package deal we were able to get a direct flight plus saved over booking hotel only. I had to wait until the fall last year to make my booking as no deals were offered until then and it's such a long wait to see what the prices will be. If a package deal was offered earlier, we'd jump at it and be able to do our countdown dance!
July 12th, 2011, 04:47 PM
Hi Randymon, Given the parameters you specified, the package "reflects value", I voted that we would book the package, however, we find that most packages are geared around vacations in some multiple of 7-days. We're odd in that we tend to book vacations longer than 7 days and less than 14 days so we just find it easier to book hotel and air separately so we don't have to fit into a "package".
July 12th, 2011, 04:59 PM
As you can imagine, with the daily price that one pays for all-inclusive, flight times and direct flights are very important. Most people don't want to arrive at a AI resort at 7 p.m. and pay a full daily price for basically dinner and a room. And the same goes for departures. Morning departures mean getting up anywhere from 3-5 a.m., grabbing a croissant, and leaving on the goodbye bus by 6 a.m. Again, that's a hefty daily price to pay for a room and a croissant. Most people I know prefer early direct flights to Jamaica so they can get there around 10 a.m., and afternoon departure flights back home so they can still enjoy some of their last day at Couples.
It would definitely be beneficial to book hotel/airfare together, so you wouldn't have to try and coordinate hotel arrival/departure dates to match the best airfare prices at a later time. But that would mean having a large matrix of airline and airfare choices available at the time of hotel booking.
If you can offer it, they will come.
July 12th, 2011, 05:43 PM
Booking Hotel Only
We always book hotel only due to the fact that from our area we can get direct (non-stop) flights from either Newark on Continental or Phila on Air jamaica or USA. Couples web-site has always been cheaper fopr flights but they always routed us on a lay-over in Charlotte NC. This August will be our 10th trip and we already reserved CSS for next August
July 12th, 2011, 08:41 PM
We've always booked the package because we can look for a direct flight. Since we too fly out of Toronto, we don't want to get delayed due to winter storms so we always book direct flight. When I've looked online I see some savings when doing at least one stop in the US but the possibility of a delay is too frightening. Booking thru Couples would be great but rarely is there the option of a direct flight.
July 12th, 2011, 08:58 PM
When I booked June 2011 I booked within 6 months and I booked separately. I would have preferred booking together but after a day of scrambling to figure out flight schedules and being really busy that day at work, I just threw up my hands and booked the hotel only and left the flight mess for another day. I had to book the hotel that day as you had announced that the prices were going up. Little quibble...really would appreciate the rates actually going up when you say they are. Turns out they didn't which did annoy me as I felt I had wasted a day with the flights and I didn't get the same deal I could have gotten on Expedia the following week if I could have booked both together. I realize I could have cancelled my hotel-only booking and rebooked but that seemed too much of a pain for $100. It is the same this year as CSS in June 2012 is still the same price with the same credit as far as I can tell as it was on June 30th. Hate to complain about rates not going up, but I would have appreciated that the scrambling and booking before I'm really ready would have some benefit even if its only $20.
I would love to book both together as I will normally get a better deal but I will book the hotel when you post that the rates are about to go up. I'm still on the fence about cancelling the Dec 2011 trip I booked last winter before the airline schedule came out and then rebooking everything together through Expedia. I think you posted that the rates were going to go up a couple of days before the airline could be booked. I have also booked the hotel portion of June 2012 and December 2012 on June 30th (when you said the rates were going to go up).
July 12th, 2011, 09:42 PM
With the new guidelines I would book hotel and air if there was a clear savings. Twice I did hotel and air together and the last two times separate because after booking the hotel I watched for the best airfare then booked the flight.
July 13th, 2011, 10:00 AM
Coming from the UK, a package is always cheaper - the only time it isnt, is when we can use airmiles. So, however far in advance, we would usually book a package.
July 13th, 2011, 03:38 PM
In the past, we normally would book hotel and air together within that six month timeframe, but now we book hotel only as we use our credit card travel credits to get free or reduced airfare. We also would book separately to get better flight times as some other posters have mentioned.
July 13th, 2011, 03:49 PM
100% agree with you! Airlines only post flights 11 months into the future, yet a lot of early booking hotel deals end way before then.
Originally Posted by ElaineChick
July 13th, 2011, 04:04 PM
I too would book both, but the direct flight is what makes the difference for me. This year we flew direct from Halifax and our flight was preceded (5 minutes ahead) by another going direct to Montego Bay. If Couples could offer these flights it would be a no brainer. The difference is arriving and having lunch by noon or dinner a little late. We prefer ht extra hours in paradise.
There are at least three airlines that fly direct during the winter. Air Canada (Departs Mondays at 06:30); Air Transat and Sunwing (Depart within minutes of each other on Sunday mornings). Get something going with them and you'll have more full bookings from us Canucks.
July 13th, 2011, 05:43 PM
I book together and get the cancel for any reason insurance almost yearly 9 to 10 months out. Airfare is always a consideration and I utilize a TA to do it. Separately has always meant two separate insurance policies.
Tags for this Thread