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The New Face of Modern India in Travel & Tour

Today, India has the potential to become the Global Super Power. Now, India is the 2nd fastest growing economy in the world after China with the growth rate 8.5%, and by 2013 we will beat China and will be on the 1st Position. India is territorially a large country, geographically a peninsula with a strategically dominating view of three major seas which could potentially provide a basis to control ship traffic from the Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean by putting toll gates at the Malacca Straits, a long continuing civilization (over ten thousand years), a large and young population(average age of 29 years as compared to of China of 38 years, and Japan of 47 years)- which is termed as Demographic Dividend, and as proven inventors of cutting edge scientific discoveries in mathematics, astronomy, surgery and recently in high quality IT software. At present India has demonstrated innovative capacity in Chip design, Thorium reactors, Biotech, and pharmaceuticals.Travel & Tour is also the fastest growing industry in India. India tourism is gradually increasing every ending year. Nowadays, Indian people are traveling all around the world. The way of traveling by Indians is slightly different, preferring the luxury travel & tour.Organizers of the recent Travel and Tourism Fair (TTF) in Ahmedabad conducted a survey among Gujarat attendees, and results showed a significant number of Indian tourists prefer luxury travel and accommodations.

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TTF found that one-third of those surveyed had an average travel budget of Rs 80,000 as reported by the Times of India. Foreign tourism departments in attendance have taken notice of this trend and are offering more options for Indian travelers seeking upscale opportunities.”Switzerland provides tourists an option of staying together in fully furnished homes or chalet with a kitchen where one can cook one’s own meals,” Swiss travel agent Puneet Sehgal told the news source. Sehgal also noted that at least 400 Indians choose Switzerland for group vacations each year.Japan has been focusing promotions towards Indian tourists, specifically for theme parks. One Japanese travel agent at the fair told the Times of India that Osaka’s Universal Studios is a major attraction for Gujarati.More than 15,000 people attended this year’s fair, including exhibitors from Egypt, China, Dubai, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and many other nations.Celebrations times for Travel Industry…Travel Magazine has been informed there has been an increase in Package Holiday bookings this year compared to last year even though we are still in a trick economic climate. High Street Travel agents such as First Choice and Thomas Cook are celebrating after people looking for Holiday Deals in September helped increase bookings this year by 75% compared to booking for holidays last September.Some of the leading travel agents like Lets Travel India have been offering value deal holidays to help increase trade after the industry predicted early this year that the travel industry could suffer due to the unstable economic growth in the UK.Some of the top selling destinations which have helped increase trade for travel agents have been Canary Islands, India Tour and Spain with people looking for cheap package holidays as a large number of families could not afford holidays last year.Wise holiday makers have been keeping an eye on travel agents such as Lets Travel India to search for cheap package holidays after the company announced they were slashing prices on a large number of their holidays, while other holiday makers have been booking their own cheap flights and booking hotels abroad via the internet reducing the cost of their holidays.It was feared that a large number of travel agents would see themselves left with thousands of unsold holidays but with holiday makers looking for cheap deals after leading travel agents were forced to reduce their package holiday prices, this fear has now been reduced and travel agents are now claiming most of their unwanted holidays for September have been sold.The Indian travel industry is doing well with Indian flights. After having suffered from a somewhat slow season in 2008-2009, once again India is leading travel industry to the front, taken lime light and is seeing a growth in its travel industry of what is expected to be between 5-6% & 1-1.5% higher than the global average.

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There are two reasons behind this boom: one is the upcoming Commonwealth Games being hosted in Delhi in October & 2nd one is the Indian government efforts to boost the travel industry through improvements to international travel services and accommodation. This includes the completion of Terminal 3 of Delhi’s International Airport. The terminal is now the sixth largest in the world with a capacity for 37 million passengers per year. For the tourist and business travelers, this means shorter queues, more comfortable lounge areas, plenty of shops and increased flight offerings from UK airports including Birmingham, Belfast International and direct from London Heathrow as airlines bolster the number of Delhi-bound flights.In anticipation for the Commonwealth Games, the Indian government has also been giving the city of Delhi itself a major facelift; to such a point that professionals within the travel industry are anticipating that Delhi is quickly becoming a top contender as a one of the major travel destinations for world tourists.Of course, with all of this attention focused on India, destination-bound airlines and hotels are offering tempting fares and fabulous budget accommodation prices for Delhi bound tourists and business travelers – both in October during the Commonwealth Games 2010 in Delhi and beyond.

Agent Tricks of the Travel Trade

I’ll be forthright: I’m not a homemaker. I feel more at ease constantly on the move, city after city, mountaintop to seaside surf, living out of my suitcase and fumbling through a foreign language phrase book, than I feel even comfy and cozy, napping on my couch on a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps I’m a little crazy, but I find it thrilling sprinting to make a connecting flight (even if it’s the red eye); I believe it convenient when the airline informs me my luggage is a flight behind, leaving unencumbered to begin sightseeing immediately; and I think myself resourceful when I arrive at a booked hotel only to realize I forgot to make reservations but still haggle a room. Of course, while I don’t mind any of the perceived headaches of traveling, I do mind the high costs often associated with it. Traveling, for me, is primarily about escaping–whether it be work, commuting, obligations, sometimes even family and friends–but how is it an escape if I’m worried about how much I’m spending the entire trip?I mention cost as something that would potentially worry me were it not for the fact that, in reality, it doesn’t worry me at all. At least not since I wised up, did the requisite research and taught myself the agent tricks of the travel trade. Travel agents’ tricks that is, because in addition to being a constant traveler and writer, I am also a licensed travel agent. Not in the sense that I work for others, booking their hotels, finding their flights, or landing them a deal on an Alaskan cruise. Truth is, I only use my license for personal escapes (well, okay, occasionally for family and friends too, but only when their remarks regarding my debonair good lucks are particularly flattering).If you’ve never heard of this travel industry loophole before, this may sound somewhat (or completely) preposterous. In fact, however, it is quite common among everyday people, both those who travel often or but once a year, both those whose work relates to travel to those whose work relates only to that which remains stationary. What I mean, plain and simple, is anyone–you, me, your second cousin Otto, or my next-door neighbor Irene–can get their travel agent’s license lickety-split, and immediately begin reaping the benefits.

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First things first: when making travel arrangements for themselves, every agent knows not to book a single step of their journey through one of their own, i.e. other travel agents. Instead, they use travel consolidators.Think about the difference those terms: agent and consolidator.An agent, in any industry where they’re principal players, obviously gets something in return for the services they provide. In sports, agents represent athletes, working off the field to win their clients lucrative contracts and commercial cameos so the athlete can in turn, without financial distractions, concentrate and win on the field. For these services, agents win themselves a percentage of every deal they broker. The same is true in showbiz, modeling, or corporations where headhunters wheel and deal multi-million dollar salaries and stock incentive plans for their CEO clients. Likewise, then, in the travel industry, agents receive discounts, courtesies and other special benefits, not from the customer for whom they book a hotel or flight, but from the vendor providing that service (i.e. the hotel chain or airline) who profits from the customer. As agents for airlines, etc., they drive customers toward vendors whom offer them the most in return.A consolidator, on the other hand, does virtually the opposite. Rather than inflate the costs of travel by collecting fees, they combine, for the sake of efficiency, the expensive and unstable parts of travel into a cheaper, more solid whole. They work to maximize vendor’s numbers, ratios and the cost per head. Think about it in terms of magazine publishing: the real cost in printing an issue is not the number of copies made, but merely arranging and setting the plates that will allow the print run in the first place. Once that is set to go, the only added costs are that of extra paper and ink. The travel industry is the same, the more spaces that fill, the cheaper tickets or rooms become per person. As in any industry, consumers (i.e. travelers in this case) benefit from the sheer volume of numbers (i.e. all travelers, yourself included).You, as a licensed travel agent would obtain special contact with these consolidators and the deals vendors must offer to maximize their costs per person. But while it’s all well and good to make arrangements through a consolidator as opposed to an agent, just because you acquire a license (available online in under an hour) doesn’t mean the consolidator will believe you’re as much a travel professional as they are. To avoid common mistakes that expose amateurs from pros, you must learn the proper lingo and travel codes. For that there are volumes of eBooks (with corresponding printed versions) that provide the requisite knowledge, which you can quickly study before contacting a consolidator and easily flip through if put on the spot. Get these references. Some of them are thick, but in reality you’ll spend less than a hundred dollars on everything you need to in turn potentially save thousands on the first trip you plan with your travel agent’s license in hand.Furthermore, instead of turning to the discount fare finders like Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity or Priceline that lay-travelers search, as a travel agent, you additionally gain access to the lesser known, but more lucrative sites travel consolidators utilize.

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Together, the benefits will materialize almost immediately. Buy plane tickets the day before the flight’s scheduled to depart, but only pay what you would have had you purchased tickets two months in advance. Get a spacious cruise ship cabin beside the captain’s quarters for the price of an ocean-level closet. Find yourself lodging in the seaside, honeymoon suite for the price you might have paid for the basement hide-a-bed beside the ice machine.Finally, the travel industry is a weird and wonderful creature, in this case, thankfully profit driven as much as other industries we often loathe. To those who present themselves as viable agents, promoting and thus earning money for the industry as a whole, it means endless perks. I get more special offers from airlines, cruise lines, and packaged tour companies than I know what to do with. For me, casinos, theme parks, and luxury resorts are not necessarily what I strive for, but if that is your cup of tea and your hocus pocus agenting appears legitimate, you’ll suddenly find yourself choosing between the best of many worlds: free weekends in the Napa Valley, first class seats to Tokyo, an all expense paid safari, a cruise down the Nile…So what are you waiting for, get started! Find a comprehensive eBook or alternate guide that takes you through the process of becoming a travel agent, step-by-step. Don’t sit on this opportunity, but rather start traveling cheaply, today…As for me, I’ve got a flight to catch…Now, where did I put my passport?Copyright 2006, Robert K. Blanc. All Rights Reserved.

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How to Find the Best Cheap Air Tickets

For the last three years or so I’ve been a nomad, in exile from my home country of England. Back in 2006 while travelling through Mongolia I met a pretty young local lady in a bar. We spent the night drinking far, far too much and speaking to each other in French (I spoke no Mongolian, and at the time she was visiting home from her masters degree course in French language somewhere in Paris).I stayed in Mongolia for a month, during which time I spent as much time as possible with Ogi, the Mongolian girl, and for the next two years I visited her in France and Mongolia several times before we eventually realised we were made for each other.Unfortunately we were at the mercy of our respective countries visa regulations. As a Mongolian Ogi would find it difficult to gain residency in the UK, and as an Englishman I can only visit Mongolia for two months at a time. While both of us are employed in good jobs, neither of us has much in the way of the sort of skills required to obtain work overseas.So, for the last three years we’ve lived as nomads around Asia, living in each country until our visas expire. We spend a month at a time in China, four months at a time in Thailand, weeks in Laos, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Macao. When we reach our visa deadline we catch a train, bus or flight to the next country and start all over again. It’s tiring, to say the least, but it’s an interesting life and, most importantly, I get to live it with the love of my life by my side.

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The only problem, though, is the high cost of flights between countries. At least five times a year we need to take a flight, and between the two of us the cost would account for more than half of our income if we couldn’t find a way to find cheap air tickets.Fortunately, in our years of travel we’ve learned a few tricks of the trade to keep the costs down. The first, of course, is to shop around as if your life depends on it. Travel agents often promote different fares throughout the year as each destination hits its peak and off-peak seasons. If you hit the sweet spot you can find some incredible deals.For thrifty shoppers the Internet is an invaluable tool. Flight comparison sites gather price data from hundreds of ticket vendors, and finding the lowest fare is as easy as clicking a mouse. I never book a flight without first checking a flight comparison site – not even if the flight I’m looking at is already marked as a ‘discount’ flight. Just because the price has been reduced doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t discounted it even further.Second, keep an eye out for travel coupon codes. Travel agents and other ticket vendors often release coupon codes to promote a destination that’s been undersold, and if you have a sharp eye you could get a whopping 10% (or more, if you’re really lucky) off the cost of your flight.Finally – and this one may seem a little mercenary – if you’re flexible as to the destination you may consider travelling to a destination that has recently suffered some sort of disaster (bear with me, it gets better).Let me give you an example. In late 2011 Thailand suffered from its worst flooding in half a century. Parts of Bangkok were submerged, my own home in Chiang Mai was knee deep in water and hundreds lost their lives. As I write this in January 2012 I’m back in Bangkok after two months of travelling. The water is long gone, but the hotels are quiet. Tourists have, for a little while at least, lost confidence in the country, and they’re staying away. They have no reason to – it’s the dry season now, and flooding is pretty much impossible – but for the next few months the flights to Thailand will be discounted and hotels will lower their rates.

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While it may seem cruel to profit from tragedy, tourism is just what the doctor ordered. After any major event such as this the economy is shaken, and the best gift you could give is a little of your tourist money.So:Check flight comparison sites
Keep an eye out for travel coupon codes
Stay flexible with your destinationIf you follow these rules you’re sure to find cheap air tickets.

Barrier-Free Travel Tips – Finding the Right Travel Agent

Do you need really need a travel agent to plan your next vacation? The answer is a qualified yes, especially if you have access needs. Although booking a flight these days is a relatively simple procedure; people who need wheelchair-accessible lodging, ground transportation or other accommodations, may benefit from working with a qualified professional. Finding the right travel agent can be a real trick though; so here are a few tips to help you along the way.· Make sure your travel agent is a true accessible travel expert. If they claim to hold some certification or professional membership, ask how many hours of training or experience it entailed. Some agents become “experts” after a quick afternoon seminar.· Although you want to find an expert, beware of any agent who claims to be an expert in everything. It’s virtually impossible for any one agent to be a true expert in every type of accessible travel. That old saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none”, applies here.

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· Ask any prospective agent if they have booked trips for other people with your same disability. Ask them how many clients they have handled with your disability, not how long they have been doing it. Remember, a travel agent could be in business for many years, yet still have not had that many clients.· Ask friends who share your same disability if they have any travel agent recommendations. Remember to also ask about the trips they booked with their recommended agent.· Ask your prospective agent for references, but don’t totally rely on them. Remember, almost anyone can pretend to be a reference.· If you have a specific destination or trip in mind, ask about the agent’s experience with it. Some agents only specialize in a few destinations, so try and find someone with an expertise in your top choices.· Some agencies advertise that they are “owned and operated by a person with a disability”. Although there’s nothing wrong with stating that fact, be wary if that’s the agent’s only qualification. Just because someone is disabled, doesn’t automatically mean they’re knowledgeable about accessible travel.· If your travel agent claims non-profit status in advertisements, then ask about the services the agency provides for the community. If the best answer the agent can come up with is, “We negotiate good deals on travel,” then you may be dealing with a non-profit in name only. Remember, operating a non-profit organization doesn’t necessarily guarantee altruistic motives.

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· Be wary of travel agents who don’t travel. Ask them how long it’s been since their last trip or ship inspection.· Ask some trial questions to test the agent’s knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act. A true specialist should be aware of basic access regulations.· Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to eliminate anyone you just don’t like. After all, this is a personal service. You don’t have to become best friends with your travel agent, but you do need to maintain a cordial working relationship.

Business Travel Secrets Revealed by a Frequent Flier

I’ve had people ask me many times for advice on airlines, hotels, traveling with children, etc and I figure its about time I share some tips and tricks I’ve learned. Some of these seem like no brainers to the experienced business traveler, and some are little tricks of the trade I’ve learned the hard way.Booking a flight:1. Unless absolutely necessary book at least two weeks in advance, preferably three. If you have elite status, the earlier you book, the better chance you’ll have of an upgrade.2. Stick to one airline and choose an airline that makes sense with regards to where your home airport is. If you’re based out of Chicago, you should make United your airline of choice. Based out of Dallas, fly American. Based out of Philly, Fly USair. I have people tell me all the time that they refuse to fly a certain airline because of a bad experience they had with one airline. Let me tell you, the good, bad, and ugly exist with all airlines and in the end likely even out. (Although the luggage handlers at PHL have successfully motivated me to avoid US Air at all costs in that city, thanks guys.)3. Save your frequent flier miles for expensive flights. Was it really worth it to fly for two years so you could cash in your miles for a $200 ticket to Denver? Frequent Flier miles should be cashed in for First Class flights, Hawaii, or International travel…enjoy your reward! Also, don’t fall victim to those up charge fees to get additional miles when you check in…the value just is not there.4. Get Elite Status anyway you can and fight to keep it. If you’re not going to be able to keep your elite status, call them up. If you’re close, some airlines will allow you to keep the status. Elite status is not just for the upgrades. For example, I fly United Airlines. With elite status, I get moved to the top of the list if I’m on standby. I don’t pay to check bags. Yes, I know Southwest doesn’t charge you to check bags…but as a business traveler, is Southwest really worth the hassle? As an Elite, you also have a separate 800 number for customer service, which greatly cuts down the “on hold” time.5. Layovers are not necessarily bad things. To get closer to elite status or the next tier, consider taking layovers to boost your flight segments. I do recommend that you limit these to return trips only. Missing your connection on your way to business meeting can throw off an entire trip. Also, its wise to choose your layover city carefully. Choose layovers in big cities, preferably the hubs for your airline. This way, if you miss your connection there is likely another flight available later. I try to book my United layovers in Denver as I know they fly to Chicago about every 90 minutes or so

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6. Get miles for other things you normally do. Make sure your credit card gets airline miles. Join their dining clubs and get miles for eating at places you normally eat at. When shopping online, especially with United Airlines, use the United Shopping Mall. Most major retailers are partners and they simply just ask you to log in and then transfer you directly to the retailers website. Popular stores such as Best Buy, Toys R Us, Target, and many others participate. This is also a great way to make sure your miles are not taken away if you do not fly much as most airlines require some sort of mileage activity each year or so.7. For the best rates and mileage benefits, book directly with the airline on their site, not through Orbitz or other bulk travel websites.8. Be polite to the gate agents, pilots, check in staff, etc. Remember, they work hard, have their benefits/pay cut often, and most importantly…it wasn’t their fault that your flight was cancelled or delayed. They didn’t make the call to have your bag pulled for inspection and they ultimately want to help you any way they can to make both of your days more pleasant.9. Be efficient going through security. Don’t make a scene or count on being singled out for a more “thorough” search. If you’re chosen to go through the new body scan machines, it’s in your best interests to make sure that your pockets are completely empty. Otherwise, count on getting a pat down. If you are chosen for a pat down, don’t give the TSA worker a hard time. Their just as thrilled about this part of their job as you are. Wear shoes that can be easily taken on and off. Always take off your jacket before going through. Learn which belts/watches/jewelry/etc will go through the x-ray machines without you taking them off. And yes, your laptop/iPad does have to go in its own container. Be aware of the carry on rule for liquids. Following these tips will get you through quicker and lower your chances of being selected for a pat down.10. Most US flights are either on Boeing 737’s or Airbus 320’s. Airbus seats are slightly wider if that is a concern. Aisle seats will give us bigger guys a little more room. When you book your flight, try selecting a seat at that time. Getting stuck in a middle seat is about as bad as it gets, especially if you’re not tiny.11. When the flight attendants ask you to turn off your computers and cell phones, do it. Your email is not important enough to the hundreds of other passengers on the plane to delay the entire flight.12. Understand that children will cry on a plane. They are likely scared to death by this new experience and the vast majority of the time, parents are doing their best.13. Be the good guy. Good Karma is a great thing to have when traveling. Offer to switch seats so that a parent can sit with their children or a couple can sit together. Speaking as a parent, I can’t tell you how much it means to me if someone switches seats with me so that I can sit with my children. It also doesn’t hurt to offer to help put a bag in the overhead bin if you see someone struggling.14. It’s your right to recline the seat, but do the person behind you a favor and do it slowly.15. Share the armrest.16. Chatting with your neighbor can make flights go by quickly, but if they don’t want to talk…don’t force them.17. Say hello to the flight attendants when you board. I can’t tell you how many times I see flight attendants say hello and people just brush them off. A smile and a kind word can brighten anyone’s day. It’s always safe to assume that someone gave them a hard time already today. If you’d really like to brighten their day, bring them a candy bar or two.18. If the pilot is saying good bye when you leave, say it back. Landing is the most difficult thing for a pilot to master. If you want to brighten his day, mention how smooth the landing was.19. Turbulence happens, but if you ever hear a pilot tell the flight attendants to take a seat…it’s going to get real rough, real quick.

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20. Don’t abuse the carry on privilege. Put one item in the overhead. And don’t act surprised if you are asked to gate check an item. Some travelers just don’t understand why they cannot bring their golf bag sized carry on with them.Hotels1. It should go without saying, but try to always stay in the same hotel or at the most, choose two brands and stick with them. Points clubs are free to join and rewards are easy to get. Some, such as Hilton Honors, gives you hotel points and airline miles. One way to choose is pick a hotel that you’d like to vacation at and book your business stays with that brand. I usually book at Hampton Inns as there are many Hilton’s that are great for vacations. La Quinta also has a decent program and in particular, there is a very nice, new facility in Scottsdale, AZ that I will be taking my family to for vacation due to my points.Rental Cars1. Go to a web based travel site, such as Orbitz or Yahoo Travel and get the rates for all of the rental car companies in the area you are going to travel and then go directly to the companies website and book direct. You’ll get the best rates and you’ll have a chance to enter your frequent flier number.General rules of thumb:1. Dress the part. I can tell you from experience, you’ll get treated better in a suit than you will wearing torn jeans and a vulgar T shirt.2. Arrive to airports early. You can always get a coffee, snack, beer, etc if things go quickly. No one is concerned that you are in a hurry because in all likelihood, they are in a hurry too.3. Do everyone a favor and don’t bring food that stinks on board. Most flights in the US are only a few hours at most and you can buy a snack on the plane or eat before/after.4. No one likes a drunk sitting next to them, exhibit self control at the bar.5. Don’t put disgusting things in the seat back cushion before you leave, I’m likely to reach in there on the next flight.6. Be patient.I hope some of these tips are helpful to everyone and happy/safe travels to my fellow frequent travelers!

Cheap Travel Websites – The Best of the Best

Over the years travel websites like Orbitz have changed the game of travel. Or so people think. The truth of the matter is, most travel agents (at least the good ones) laugh at a lot of these websites. Why? Simply put, those sites have no brains behind them. They simply show you what you request, and don’t think of different routes to try or places where it could buy a wholesale fare. That’s why I want to take a few minutes and show the travel websites that will get you cheap flights.

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Kayak.com As a travel agent, many of us would use this website as the index for what people would expect to pay for a flight. Of all the travel websites out there, Kayak was the only one we measured against. I always recommend this site to people in a rush.Vayama.com A trade secret, though not for much longer. Unlike many other travel website, this one has access to wholesale fares, and you will often find flights here cheaper than anywhere else. The catch? These special fares are usually only worthwhile on international trips.Wholesalers. While this isn’t one website, it’s worth it to search for the term “airline consolidators.” This is an age old industry trick, where you buy at wholesale and sell at retail. The secret is leaking out; many companies are getting smart and selling directly to consumers. Call them up for a quote and compare it against your travel agent’s price: this tells you how much they make if you buy with them.

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Travelocity.com/lastminutedeals. As I mentioned earlier, most of the big cheap travel websites don’t offer much value, but I have used Travelocity’s last minute deals page on several trips.Swabiz.com This gives you access to Southwest Airlines web only fares. Probably the best website for cheap travel. Seriously.