10 Questions with CheapOair.ca Senior Vice President Tom Spagnola @CheapOairCA
03 Feb 2020
There are so many discount travel options out there, yet so many travellers prefer to walk into their local travel agency instead of searching for the best deals online. Sadly, the only thing they are accomplishing by doing that is paying more for a flight they could have purchased online for less.
CheapOair is an online travel agency that specializes in providing cheap flights and great last-minute flight deals for travelers worldwide. Consumers can book online, on mobile apps for iOS and Android, by phone (1-800-566-2345) or live chat.
About Thomas Spagnola
Thomas Spagnola joined Fareportal in 2007 with over 29 years of travel industry experience. Tom was the original founder of CheapSeats, Inc., (www.cheapseats.com), which started in 1987 and was sold to a travel investment group in 2000. He continued as President of the new entity, which rebranded itself as 1800CheapSeats, Inc., from 2000-2007.
Thomas is heavily involved in leading and creating a culture of continuous business improvement, implementing and creating innovative client-centric solutions. He was an innovator in the Airline Consolidator business and started one of the first travel companies that related directly to airline consolidation. He was also very instrumental in unique supplier negotiations and creating lasting relationships with a variety of travel suppliers throughout all verticals in the travel industry, many of which still exist today.
As a seasoned business executive he is especially skilled in developing strategic plans, developing and building top-producing business relationships in the travel industry globally, and using all facets of the industry to grow successful businesses.
10 Questions with Thomas Spagnola of CheapOair.ca
1. With all of the budget travel websites out there, what sets CheapOair.ca apart from the others?
CheapOair.ca has special airline deals that most competitors do not offer. We also have the largest list of airlines that we offer for all of the latest fare structures from the Basic Economy fares into regular economy and Premium Economy. We are the leaders of being able to offer airline content to help provide a complete booking for customers to choose their preferred pricing and also ability to purchase ancillary products. We offer a toll-free number on each page of our website so that customers have the ability to buy tickets through the call-centre, have access to our call-center 24/7 should there be a need to change a flight, or get customer support when a flight is canceled. We have over 2,500 call-centre agents to assist customer.
2. What are the best ways people can save on travel?
Flexibility and seasonal travel are two key factors that determine an airline price. Fares are much lower during the ‘slow’ or ‘off’ season of travel. Most people like to travel over the summer ‘peak season’, so this is why fares are typically higher because of demand. We are seeing more and more people trying to avoid the peak season due to higher ticket costs, crowds, vacation costs and record-breaking travel, which has most popular destinations at maximum capacity of flights and hotel inventory. There is a dramatic difference in price should there be an opportunity if planning an ‘off-peak’ vacation. CheapOair.ca has incredible discounts on most airlines so we have both Canada and the rest of the world covered to provide great airfares. No need to look anywhere else.
3. What future travel hotspots can Canadians look forward to? Anything up-and-coming that is popular with CheapOair.ca?
We are seeing an increase to Europe and Asia in 2019 and going into early 2020. There has been quite a bit of new capacity and international airlines from Europe that have entered the Canadian market. Some of them have the Low-Cost Carrier model. No frills. This is great for Canadians as it drives down the price of tickets due to the low fares. Now all of the major airlines in Canada have adopted the same pricing model, which is great to have access to deals. Asia growth continues to be one of the best regions in the world due to the extremely low cost of tickets. We have seen cases where it is cheaper for someone to travel from Vancouver to Most of Asia, China and Japan, as compares to flying to Hawaii. Canadians are now able to see Asia that typically were unaffordable a few years back. The main hubs of Vancouver and Toronto have extremely competitive pricing due to all of the capacity that the Asian carriers as well as the Canadian carriers have added into main cities within Asia.
4. What times of the year are most affordable for family travel?
Without question, the ‘off-peak’ season will have great airline deals. This typically is Q1 (January-March) and Q4 (October-December). Of course, the major holiday season from mid-December into early January is an exception and will not have as great of pricing due to the demand for holiday travel.
5. Is there a sweet spot in the week or during the day when flights are less expensive?
If travelers are flexible on their travel dates there is an excellent chance of saving money on airline tickets. Typically, traveling mid-week (Tuesday-Wednesday), offer the lowest fares due to limited demand, try to avoid traveling on a Friday or Sunday if at all possible. These are the two peak days of the week to travel so prices can be a little higher.
6. How far in advance should you book your travel with CheapOair.ca?
There are several ways that CheapOair.ca benefits travellers based on when they booking their flights. Usually, the rule of booking your tickets as far in advance is the best chance to save money. There is plenty of inventory and the demand for travel really doesn’t get too aggressive until within 60 days of travel for international flights and 30-60 days for domestic travel. Keep in mind that most of the holidays are considered ‘peak’ travel periods so without question it is best to try and book those as soon as you know when you are traveling. What makes CheapOair.ca so valuable to a traveler is that on average we sell a tremendous amount of tickets within a 10-day ‘book-to-travel’ window. We have such great deals for last-minute travel so we are able to have travellers buy tickets and depart within ten days from their purchase. This is something that we are pride ourselves on with having great airline deals no matter when you are booking your flights!
7. Do prices change depending on when you book your flight / vacation?
Absolutely. The key to pricing comes down to the travel periods throughout the year based on seasonality. Canadians are ‘snowbirds’ and travel south to Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, etc. This is typical for Americans as well in the Midwest and East Coast. Get out of the cold and head to the sunshine!
8. Does the CheapOair.ca mobile app have all the functionality of the desktop website? Can you book vacations and flights etc?
The CheapOair app has the functionality of the desktop but handy for you on the go! It allows you to search and book flights, hotels, and even packages.
9. What advice do you have for potential CheapOair.ca users?
The best advice is to make sure that they are seeing all of the great deals that we offer from the airlines and the other products we offer as well. Be open-minded about flying an airline that you typically would not consider using but because the price is so good, it is a great chance to save money and experience a new airline. The CheapOair.ca brand has built its success on having incredible airline deals, being able to offer the complex fare options and having a 24/7 customer contact centre.
10. What is one destination you would like to travel to if you had a week off?
About 200 destinations! Too funny! In all seriousness, I have never traveled to South America so it would be fascinating to me to be able to see Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and then also Colombia. But you’ll love this one the most – Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. Without question, the most beautiful place I have ever been to in the world. It will always be my favourite.
Part of Fareportal’s family of travel brands, CheapOair bridges the gap between an online travel agency and a traditional agency with certified travel agents available 24/7 to help find discount flight tickets to global destinations on over 600 airlines, a million hotels, and 100s of car rental companies.
CheapOair’s mission is to educate and aid consumers and travel professionals in both planning their travel accommodations and staying current on the most popular destinations. Thanks to its unique comprehensive travel trend monitoring, the online travel agency does just that.
The next time you need to travel, give CheapOair.ca a try. You may be surprised at how much money you save.