SOURCE: 1st-Air.Net

February 08, 2010 15:12 ET

1st-Air.net Reports Currency Movements Deliver Additional Savings for International Travelers

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 8, 2010) - 1st-Air.net reports that the sovereign debt concerns have pushed both the Euro and Pound Sterling down against the U.S. dollar, creating short term savings opportunities for select international travel purchases. While the Forex market operates in a real time environment, the airline industry uses static exchange rates that are updated just once a week. As real time currency movements are continuous, compared to the static airline exchange rates (known as the IATA rate of exchange or IROE), buyers of international travel may be able to use the spread between the actual rate and the IATA rate of exchange to their advantage.

The IATA rate of exchange is used by most travel reservation systems, including those that power on-line travel giants Expedia, Orbitz, priceline.com and Travelocity, to convert transactions from the currency in the country of origin to the currency in the country of sale. As of February 5th, 2010 the USD/GBP exchange was 1.56782 to 1 and the USD/EURO exchange was 1.3691/1. However, the IATA rate of exchange was 1.5959 for GBP to USD and 1.3931 for EUR to USD. While real time exchange rates will continue to move on February 8th-9th, the IATA rate of exchange will not be updated until Wednesday, February 10th, 2010.

The nearly 3% differential between the true exchange rate and the IATA exchange rate can be used by savvy traveler's to lower their travel costs. Travelers based in the Euro zone or U.K. would benefit by using U.S. based booking sites (i.e. Travelocity, Expedia) to secure pending travel requirements by Tuesday evening February 9th, 2010 to take advantage of the more favorable GBP to USD of 1.5959 or the EUR to USD of 1.3931., Global travel booking sites will continue to utilize the IATA rate of exchange, which relies on the Forex exchange rate as of February 2nd, 2010. The spread between Forex exchange rates and the IATA rate of exchange will give Euro/U.K. buyers a 3% advantage through February 9th, 2010. On the contrary, U.S. based travelers seeking international travel to the U.K/Eurozone should try and delay their purchases until Wednesday February 10th, 2010 when the IATA rate of exchange is next updated and matched to the Forex exchange rate. International travel purchased prior to Wednesday, originated in the Euro zone but paid in USD, would be exchanged at the less favorable IATA rate of 1.3931 rather than the Forex rate of 1.3691 as of February 5th, 2010. U.S. based travelers should only attempt to use the currency spread to their advantage when purchasing flexible/higher priced ticket types where fares are less volatile

1st-Air.net (www.1st-air.net) offers premium class international travel at savings of 20% for travelers that are not able to comply with the traditional rules associated with lower priced premium class fares. Since 1998, the company has serviced high net worth and self managed travelers worldwide.

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