Airlines. If you’re at all like me, then you feel like they can be arbitrary and pricey. But they are one of the main components of travel because, well, they get you where you’re going. I happened to surf onto this website: http://rickseaney.com/ which was created by Rick Seaney, cofounder of FareCompare.com. Basically, Rick blogs about the airline industry and has some great general information about airline pricing.
Hopefully you guys find him as informative as I have!
In short, there aren’t any — at least from my research when trying to find a ticket out of Accra near the end of November. So if you manage to make it into Ghana, make sure that you budget a fair amount ($1,000+) for a plane ticket out of Accra – it likely won’t be cheap unless you know peeps in the travel industry that can get you discounted airfare. Based on my research, it’ll cost you upwards of $1,000 to get anywhere from Accra – whether that be Nairobi, Madrid, or Washington DC doesn’t much matter.
United has a non stop route to Washington DC, which is likely to be your best option for those flying to the states. The other cheapest flights I saw seem to be through Cairo or Istanbul.
When I was looking at flights from Accra to South Africa a week or so ago (which I ultimately couldn’t currently afford), I came to realize that airfare within Africa is insanely expensive. Like crazy expensive. Basically to get anywhere from Accra (where I am right now) is roughly $1,000 – whether that be to Nairobi, Madrid, or Washington DC doesn’t matter. Getting to South Africa was even worse at $1350. I’d make a big bet that if Africa as a whole took some steps to make flights between African nations more affordable (when will there be a “Southwest Airlines of Africa”), then they’d see a substantial boost in overall tourism – particularly from budget travelers who often spend all their money in Europe and Southeast Asia. Almost everyone I talk to wants to venture to Africa, but the transportation costs to and from are the primary reason for someone not pulling the trigger on a trip. Either that or, and they won’t usually say this, but they are just not ready to deal with the inconveniences of the non-Westernized world & to see the way the majority of the world lives on a daily basis. Regardless, I think cheaper airfare within Africa could lure half of those budget travelers currently on the fence about visiting Africa — by enabling budget travelers to afford to visit multiple countries in a single trip over the course of a few months rather than being limited to a single country for $2,000 in airfare.
I felt I got robbed today — by the Renfe train system.
When going to the advance ticket sales counter to buy a train ticket to Madrid either tomorrow or Sunday, I was told all train tickets during the day to Madrid were 115 Euro. Umm, it’s a two and a half hour train. My train from Valencia to Barcelona was 5 hours, and it only cost me 24.50 Euro. Something doesn’t add up here. There are no fewer than 12 trains running daily to Madrid, so I can’t imagine demand is driving these prices — it seems something else is at work here, but no clue what.
I ended up purchasing the night train to Madrid leaving at 22:00 for 43 Euro, but the prices for this route don’t make any sense to me. It was the only train to Madrid that was not 115 Euro. The ticket sales person even told me tickets are cheaper if I want to come back to Barcelona from Madrid. I didn’t say anything, but was thinking “thanks, but no thanks – I won’t be coming back to Barcelona from Madrid”
Any ideas why prices are so high for this specific train?
Update: I had lunch with Claudio Cossio from FronteraEstates.com today in Barcelona and he clued me into the fact that the 3 hours trains are all super fast trains, and the night train is an 8 hour ride. It’s now a little more understandable at least.
[photo via eHow]
A few friend and I traveled to Valencia (following our La Tomatina camping experience) to Barcelona a few days ago and I wanted to share a few details you might find valuable.
First of all, the cost of the trip — the regional express that leaves at 17:00 is the cheapest train we found for 24.50 Euro. We arrived at 22:00 at Barcelona Sants station.
Second, a quick tip for buying a ticket in the Valencia train station — if you are buying same day tickets (we had no problem getting a ticket end of August, but could be different if buying in extreme high season), then do not get a number and wait in line with everyone else. We wasted 30 minutes waiting before we figured out there is a booth at the far left of the Renfe ticket area that is labeled “Salida Hoy” (Leaving today). Go to that line and just buy your ticket; the numbers are all for people buying advance tickets.
I have to admit – my flight from Dublin to Valencia was my first Ryan Air flight I’ve ever taken. Aside from being a little cramped (I’m 6’3″), tt was actually a great flight to get from point A to B. I have generally taken trains or buses everywhere in Europe on prior trips, but that’s not really possible from Dublin – so Ryan Air it was. I anticipate I’ll be on one or two more Ryan Air flights in the future.