Earlier this morning, MarketWatch published notification that American Airlines will begin charging fifty dollars in addition to fifteen thousand miles for any frequent-flier upgrades. As fuel prices continue to rise (even though they’ve decreased a bit lately) airline prices will continue to soar.
Let’s look at a comparison. Suppose you’re flying out of LaGuardia Airport in New York for a ten day trip, and want to stay at a hotel the night before you fly. For the sake of example, suppose also that you’re flying American Airlines. Not only will you face that extra fifty dollars (and fifteen thousand miles) for any upgrades, but parking and hotel arrangements through the airline (or any airline) are pricey as well.
If you’re taking the train into Manhattan, the least expensive stay at a two star hotel in the city of Manhattan will cost $39 per night, but chances are that hotel is pretty scary, but maybe you’re up for a bit of adventure. If you take the train into the city, chances are you’ll take a cab to LaGuardia, which will cost upwards of $45 each leg of the journey, which you have to multiply by two because you’re going to have to get back to Grand Central somehow. All in all, to stay at a scary hotel (which won’t give you peace of mind) and catch a cab to the airport will cost you around $130. Granted that’s pretty inexpensive, but most people don’t stay at hotels in Manhattan for less than a hundred dollars a night and expect to rest. Even so, dealing with traffic from the Big Apple to the airport is no picnic and can be quite stressful.
Let’s look at another option. Suppose you book one night at the Clarion Hotel using Expedia for the first night in October of 2008. For a single room for one adult, you could expect to pay around $175 for the night. You drive your own car to LaGuardia, where parking averages $30 per day, which amounts to $300 for a ten day trip, bringing your total cost for hotel and parking to a whopping $475.
ParkSleepFly wants to give you another, less expensive version of this story. For around $280, you can stay at that same hotel, the Clarion, for one night, and receive ten days of parking. In addition, you’ll be driven to the airport by a complimentary shuttle that will take you directly to your terminal. Providing peace of mind where your first booking option failed, and providing significant savings where the second option failed, ParkSleepFly wants you to be able to enjoy your travel experience for a more reasonable price. Who knows, maybe that extra $50 American Airlines is asking for won’t seem so bad now that you can save almost 60% on your airport hotel and parking.