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CNN SUNDAY MORNING
Interview With Rudy Maxa
Aired November 23, 2003 - 09:26 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN ANCHOR: Have you got the itch to get out of town? Well, public radio "Savvy Traveler" has got some deals for you. Travel columnist Rudy Maxa joins us live from Washington. So, good morning, Rudy.
RUDY MAXA, "SAVVY TRAVELER": Good morning, Andrea.
KOPPEL: If we have any viewers out there who want to leave town, and I actually do know one, and they haven't made any plans, is it too late to book any flights out?
MAXA: Well, it's not. There's more than one viewer. Let me just say one thing, I'm always amazed at the number of us who actually know, like by December, where we want to be the next November for Thanksgiving. We always want to be at the same place, at the same time. We all want to fly out Wednesday afternoon and come back Sunday, yet so many of us put off, well, until like today making travel reservations.
So maybe next year our vow can be to do it better and do it ahead of time.
But I looked today, this morning at some deals, just about an hour ago. I went to Orbitz.com. And they have got Thanksgiving specials. Now, here's the deal, you have got to fly on Thanksgiving, Thursday, or Friday, and return on Thursday or Friday or the following Wednesday or Thursday for these deals. So you can certainly drop in for turkey and maybe a hello, I must be going kind of thing, unless you can stay until the following Wednesday or Thursday.
You want me to give you some sample fares?
KOPPEL: Please, go ahead.
MAXA: These are all round trip. Washington D.C.-Austin, Texas, $175. Atlanta-Miami, $137, round trip. Atlanta-Chicago, 160. New York-Ft. Lauderdale, $137, round trip. New York-Vegas, $232. New York-L.A., 232. Round trip. And you have to buy them by Wednesday. So heck, it's only Sunday. There's no rush.
KOPPEL: Absolutely. You are actually making an argument for just the opposite of what you were saying before. It sounds like people actually can do much better financially if they wait until the last minute, or is it just too much of a risk?
MAXA: Well, it's too much of a risk. You may not get the flight you want. And also, these fares may not be here by, an hour from now or certainly by Wednesday.
The other way to do it, is instead of just buying a flight is maybe do a package. That's long been a trick for savvy travelers to get around advance purchase requirements on airline tickets.
I went, again, I went to Orbitz.com. They have got what they call a matrix display, where you choose any number of hotels and any number of flights. I found six nights, leaving from D.C. on Thanksgiving Day to Los Angeles, six nights in a four-star hotel, the Wilshire Grand Hotel, $900 per person. That includes coast to coast round fare and six nights in a hotel. So two of you have to travel. That's $1800. That's not bad for six hotel nights and two round trips.
KOPPEL: Absolutely. Well, what about those people who might be a little nervous about flying or it's just not convenient for them. Are any other deals, buses or trains or anything, that they could look into for Thanksgiving?
MAXA: Unfortunately in the United States, trains don't serve a lot of this country, and I can pretty much tell you that on Wednesday, the East Coast trains are fairly well booked. I mean, you can certainly get tickets still on the slower trains, but the desirable faster trains are pretty well booked.
Rental cars are always cheaper on the weekends. But let's say buses are always cheap. But rental cars are always cheap on the weekends, because that's when business travelers aren't traveling. But perhaps none of them are cheaper than Enterprise rent-a-car's deal that comes up the weekend after Thanksgiving and goes all the way through the first of February, $9.99 a day. You can rent a car for three days for $30 at Enterprise.
KOPPEL: That is terrific. Boy, Rudy Maxa, thank you so much, and hopefully we'll have you back and we can give folks some ideas for Christmas. Have a nice Thanksgiving.
MAXA: Look, book now for Christmas. I don't want to have to tell you this three weeks from now.
KOPPEL: OK, well, people better be paying attention. Thank you, Rudy.
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