Scheduled group tours are announced through our Blog page. To avoid repeating the same discussions every time we announce a new group tour, particularly on the subject of pricing of these tours, we decided to add this page. These bits of information are important to guide you in making helpful decisions while planning to join any of these group tours.
Many of the information below are taken from the long article entitled “Hongkong tour in May 24, 2012“. Succeeding articles that announce new scheduled tours, starting with “Singapore Tour”, are now shorter as a result of this page.
Prices are difficult to fix
Package prices that include airfares are actually difficult to fix, mainly because of the short time validity of prices from the airlines. At present, Philippine airlines gives prices that are valid for 48 hours while Cebu Pacific Air gives prices that are valid only for 12 hours. Although it does not automatically follow that prices will rise after the validity period expires, the airlines reserve the right to change the price if they want to.
As a result, published prices of our group tours are only valid within two days after publication. Nevertheless, we publish them, so that you will have a price reference while making plans to join any of our group tours. The real price of the tour could be slightly different on the day you decide to book and buy your own reservation. In general, the earlier you decide the cheaper the package price you get.
Prices tend to rise as the day of departure nears, but is not always the case. sometimes prices go down. This is purely the call, or decision, of the airlines concerned.
Prices at pre-identified airports of origin
We have identified five(5) airports of origin of our international package tours, as of today (March 9, 2012), namely: 1. Cagayan de Oro City, 2. Davao City, 3. Cebu City, 4. Iloilo City (just added) and 5. MetroManila. Tour package prices vary depending on where you start your tour. We usually prepare separate sets of price tables for the pre-identified airport of origin.
Thus, our tour packages starts from any of these pre-identified airports. Cost of travel from your place of origin to these airports are not part of the package.
Travel tax for departing passengers
Take note also that the package prices that include airfares from Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines do not include the travel tax amounting to Php 1,620.00. Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines do not accept payment on this particular tax as a matter of policy. This travel tax is collected from you at the airport, usually in Cebu or Manila airport, before boarding an international flight. Prices that include airfare from Philippine airlines, however, already includes payment for this travel tax.
That means, you have to factor-in this travel tax (P1,620.00) to determine which package has the cheaper price compared to another. At times, depending on certain seasons of the year, airlines have little difference in prices after incorporating this travel tax in the computations. The main factors that usually influence a big difference in the prices are the number of days of the tour and the classification of hotel accommodation.
Although prices are affected by seasons, hotel prices are not as volatile compared to the airlines. Hotel prices are more stable. The more common problem, though, is the possibility that the rooms are no longer available (already taken out) during the time of purchase.
As much as possible, we include packages from two to three different classifications of hotels to give more options for our clients. Hotel accommodation in all group tour packages is on a twin-sharing basis (two in a room). We usually do not include packages for the more expensive 4-star and 5-star hotels in the published prices. But you can ask for these prices separately if you want them.
Regular air fares and special promo fares
Airlines has several classifications of prices applicable to each airplane that flies. Passengers in a single plane do not pay the same amount of fare. The real fare depends on what specific class was made available to a passenger during the day of purchase.
Generally, there are two classifications, namely: regular prices and special promo prices. Regular prices are further divided into around ten (10) classifications. Usually, the first lowest classification of regular prices for a specific flight are offered to the public . When the number of available seats are taken, airlines release the next higher classification, and so on.
Special promo prices are lower than the regular prices but are only offered from time to time to drum up public awareness and interest. Promo prices are generally divided into around 4 classifications, expressed in terms of percentage discounts from the regular prices. These are: 1.) 50% discount, 2.) 40% discount, 3.) 25% discount and 4.) 5-10 % discount.
The lowest price for special promos are those that comes out in the newspapers as P1 peso fare and 50% discount fare. In reality, the P1 peso fare (excluding taxes) is the same with the 50% discount fare because the tax component of the fare is around 50%. Sometimes ads quote a discount of 90%. But this is actually referring to 90% of the half of the regular fare (without the tax component). In other words, it is in reality only around 45% discount of the regular fare.
The 50 % discount promo is very rare, with very limited available seats, for obvious reasons. The 25% and 40% discount promo fare are also rare but are more often seen (around 1 to 3 months interval) in newspapers compared to the 50% discount fare. What is more common are the promos that gives 5-10% discounts from the regular fares. These promos come out with a frequency of about 1 to 4 weeks. Promo fares are also book and buy (no reservation) and are valid only for around two days, or less, when available seats are quickly taken.
The package prices we quote in our packages use the lowest regular price. We cannot use the special promo prices because they are unpredictable and are not suited for pre-scheduled tours. However, when there is an available promo at the time of your purchase, we will of course give you the special promo package price too. We will pass on to you the discount given by the airline.
Waiting for special promo fares is not advisable when the scheduled tour is getting near because, when it does not come, you may be forced to get the regular fares that are already of higher classification at the time of purchase, thus, more expensive. Besides, special promos are usually released several months before the eligible travel dates.
If you are interested to join a specific tour but would like to wait for the special airline promos, inform us by sending an email to us. Specify in your email your chosen package by specifying the product code number and the corresponding hotel. Use our email address at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will inform you every time special promos are given out by Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines until the time of deadline for acceptance of tour participants.
Mode of payment
You may choose to pay in U.S. Dollars, or in Philippine pesos, at our office or through our bank account. When you pay through the banks, especially for payments coming from overseas, you need to check the amount of bank charges and see to it that what will reach us is the correct amount. Bank charges for money transmission, that varies from bank to bank, are not included in our package prices.
Take note also that at present air tickets are usually non-refundable, unlike in the past. Make sure that when you decide to join the tour, your decision is already final. Payments are no longer refundable once we have transmitted it to airlines/hotels/tour operators concerned.