Our SkyAuction Experience

Jul 22nd, 2002, 10:16 PM
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Our SkyAuction Experience

There have been a couple of requests for info regarding the SkyAuction web site, so I thought I'd share our recent experience. To summarize, SkyAuction was excellent. There were no problems. All the documentation was correct, arrived via Fedex, we had a wonderful vacation, and we saved a LOT of money. The only irritation was they charged us $15 for the Fedex delivery which wasn't stated up front. Not a big deal, but irritating.

In order to get a good deal with SkyAuction, there are some things you have to know.

1) There are lots of auctions going on all the time. Hopefully you have one or more specific destinations in mind because the
web site is awkward to navigate. If you have specific destinations in mind (Aruba, St. Barths, Sandals, Grand Lido, etc.) use the
search feature to find auctions of interest to you.

2) Study the available auctions for those destinations. Read each auction carefully. Be sure you know if you are bidding per
person or for a package for two or more people. Most auctions seem to be "Bid price is per person based on double occupancy",
i.e., very couple oriented.

3) All auctions have fees on top of the winning bid and those fees vary widely. Some are per person, some are per night, and some
are per person per night. The additional fees can be high so you have to know what they are in order to know what to bid. All of the information for the auction is disclosed on the auction page, you just have to be thorough and read it. I recommend you print it just in case there is a dispute regarding the terms of the auction.

4) If the auction you are interested in includes airfare, know what the departure airport for the auction is. For Caribbean
destinations, the departure city is usually Miami. There will be additional charges to depart from a different city.

5) Some auctions have restricted departure and return dates. Most have blackout dates. Some require mid-week to mid-week flights.
Again, read the terms of the auction carefully to make sure it will work for you.

6) Most destinations have one or two auctions per week. Track the winning bids for your destinations for at least two or three weeks. Get a feel for the least amount you can bid to win. I recommend you use the Autobid feature to minimize your costs.

7) Do some research and determine what it would cost you to simply purchase a vacation to the desired destination. Subtract out the SkyAuction fees and extra airfare charges. You definitely don't want to bid more than this!

8) Keep in mind the resorts and airlines offering packages on SkyAuction are trying to sell excess capacity. The more flexible you are in terms of departure and return dates, the better your odds are of getting a bargain. You want a week in the Caribbean at Christmas? Not going to happen. You can fly
mid-week to mid-week in high season? Good chance of success. You can fly mid-week to mid-week in low season? Bid REALLY low,
your chances of success are excellent.

9) Let me put this a different way. If you have very specific dates during which you may travel, SkyAuction is probably not going to work for you. But if you are couple wishing to travel during some particular month, but you don't care if it is the first, second, third, etc. week of that month, there is
a good chance SkyAuction will work for you. If you can fly mid-week to mid-week, the odds are even better that SkyAuction will work for you.

Good luck, everyone!

Jul 23rd, 2002, 08:38 AM
Posts: n/a
Will, thank you so much for your thorough report on your experience with SkyAuction - I had wondered if there were any hidden catches or if it would really work. Glad to know it is good.
Jul 23rd, 2002, 01:18 PM
Posts: n/a
Id be interested to know how much you saved on what? Im an ex travel agent and have tried to secure a bid on SkyAuction and found that when I won what I thought was a good deal, I was told that yes, they had the deal just not for when it was advertised. If I wanted that date I could pay more....alot more. Some of the ending bids that I noticed didnt seem like a good deal to me. Wondering if some of these auction cos. are just toying with power of suggestion to make you THINK you got a great deal????
Jul 23rd, 2002, 01:42 PM
Posts: n/a
I used Skyauction for a recent trip to Antigua. You definitely have to read the rules. It can be confusing, but read carefully. You can get your specific dates, I did, but my travel was low season, mid-week to the weekend (4 nights). I bidded on a land package only. I called SkyAuction and specifically requested that they checked to see if my dates were available before I booked my dates. I guess I got lucky and was told my dates were available. Being flexible will definitely help. I got savings on my deal...I paid approximately $175/nt for 2 people all-inclusive including taxes; Not per person per night, no additional fees/taxes..read the fine print because deals vary (some have additional fees/taxes, a similar deal with additional fees/taxes because of the particular place I picked would have cost much more with no savings, go figure). In comparison, the regular rate was $175/person per night plus taxes/fees so I saved approximately 50%. I called the resort on my own 2 weeks later just to confirm, and yes they had my reservation.

I does work, but as the previous person stated, read the rules...

IF you are into auctions, you may also want to check out luxurylink.com which I don't think it is as complicated.
Jul 23rd, 2002, 03:04 PM
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Paid $650 to fly from NY to Hawaii on July 4th with skyauction. Can you beat that Dede?
Jul 23rd, 2002, 03:40 PM
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DeDe, I won a land only package. The rack rate for the room during low season was $310 per night. Including the SkyAuction fees, my cost was $84 per night. No additional taxes, fees, etc., just $84 per night.

I would like to know more about your situation. Did they offer you the exact same package for a higher price? Or perhaps it was a more expensive room? Did you print off the web page for that auction? If your auction had date restrictions, those restrictions had to be specified in the auction description. If they weren't, you should complain. As you describe the situation, it sounds like a bait & switch sales pitch.
Jul 23rd, 2002, 05:12 PM
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I bid on and won airfare on Lufthansa to Athens for $586.00 last year for August. Did I mention that it was Business Class?
I love Skyauction.

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