Discount airline vs. Major airline; discount carrier is better all around.
Discount hotel chain vs. Luxury hotel chain; luxury hotel is not worth extra $100.
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June 16, 2005 Issue

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Vol. 11, June 16, 2005

Here is the latest issue. Enjoy.
Editor, Rick Doble

    Do You Get What You Pay For?
    Discount carrier is better all around
    Luxury hotel is not worth extra $100
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Do You Get What You Pay For?

Do you get a better hotel room if you pay $150 instead of $45? Do you get a better flight if you pay $400 instead of $200 for an airline ticket?

In both cases I can say that the less expensive choice was just as good if not better.

The point is that paying more does not necessarily get you something better, the point is that consumer choices are based on doing a bit of research and comparison shopping. Value is not something that you will get simply because you pay more.

A couple of weeks ago I made a plan to fly to Miami to attend a conference at the Tel3Advantage long distance telephone corporate site, since those of you who get my newsletter and browse my web site have responded well to this discount prepaid long distance phone service. I had to make flight plans and stayed at two hotels. Here is what happened.

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Discount carrier is better all around

I was planning on flying with a major airline instead of the discount carrier SouthWest. Yet every time I checked the prices, the cost of the major airline ticket went up. One day it was about $215, then a couple of days later it was $265, then at the end $315 which changed in a matter of hours.

The SouthWest pricing remained the same. If I bought a ticket within a couple of weeks, it was one set price and if I bought it at the last minute, it was a bit more. This was clearly spelled out at their site and the prices did not change. When I could not get their web site to respond to my internet order at 3AM, I called their customer service line which straightened out my problem in a matter of minutes even at that early hour. When I called to confirm my flight, the company answered immediately and gave me the necessary information. I am told that with the major airline I could have been on hold for up to half an hour to get the same information

Flying SouthWest was very enjoyable and everyone was quite professional. Now if I have the choice, I will fly SouthWest every time and forget about those expensive carriers.

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Luxury hotel is not worth extra $100

During my trip I stayed at two very different hotels. Before I took my fight, I stayed at the Red Roof Inn in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This room cost me $44. The room was a bit small but other than that was perfect. It was very clean with a nice bathroom, TV, a table, a chair and plenty of space for luggage. If you simply need a comfortable bed and a clean room, the Red Roof Inn is a great deal. On the Internet I have gotten this same room for even less, as low as $38.

At Miami I stayed at a very expensive hotel that was paid for by the Tel3Advantage long distance company. I would guess that each room was about $150 a day. The main difference between this room and the Red Roof Inn was that the room was much bigger, but I really did not need the space - I was at the conference for two days. The hotel did have a roof top pool and the room had a great view which the Red Roof Inn did not.

The expensive hotel had a lot of frills such as little bottles of shampoo, a bottle of water and some tea bags that came with the automatic coffee maker. And the maid turned down the bed and the towels. But I think I could have lived without all of these.

After three days at the expensive hotel I don't think that the $100 a day difference was worth the price.

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