Categories
Life Tips Travel

Bought air ticket to PVG China

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Friday evening I was checking out the air fare for the planned China trip later this year. And I found aa.com price irresistible: $1000 from STL to PVG. So I jumped on it. With sky high gas price (and jet fuel), this price seems cheap to me. I remember last year I paid close to $1100 for similar air ticket.

So why is the price relatively cheaper? I think one reason is AA needs cash (unearned revenue in this case) badly. Another less likely reason is AA thinks oil price will go down. Separately, I read from news the airline executives wrote an open letter to ask congress to clamp down on the oil speculators, because according to the airlines “oil speculators drove up the oil price”. I see two problems in this argument: 1) Airlines also hedge their jet fuel positions, i.e., they are speculators too; 2) Speculators can cause short term price volatility, but in longer term, it’s the supply and demand determine the price. It seems the airlines executives forgot the Econ 101 here 🙂

Odds and Ends
Here in St. Louis, some churchs are organizing prayers for “lower oil price”. Reminds me in ancient China the farmers praying for “good weather/havest season”. In modern days I have seen people praying for “stock prices going up”.

Categories
401k and Personal Finance Life Tips

Gas saving tips

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Finally St. Louis gas price is exceeding $3 a gallon. Today marks the first day my gas bill exceeded $40 ($3.179 * 13.105 gallons = $41.66).

I am not complaining, as I know people around the world are paying a much higher price for gas, or paying a higher percentage of their disposal income for gas. But I still want to do something to contain the gas cost, before sending my pay check directly to the Exxon-Mobile and the likes.

1) In the past, I tried to fill up gas at the proper time: there are two gas stations near my home, whenever I saw one gas station raised the price (the other has not), I will rush to the other one (usually it’s the Shell).

2) Also, I used the gas rebate credit cards, they are Citi Dividend (5% rebate in the past, this has been changed lately); Chase Freedom (3% rebate); and AAA MBNA card (5% rebate subject to the up limit of 2% of the monthly balance).

3) Last week, I tried another approach. I paid pretty dollars for car maitenance: engine tune up (replace spark plug and wires); fuel injection cleaning; replace engine gasket. Hopefully my investment will pay off over time (from saving in gas).

Categories
Fun Stocks

When to Fill up Gas?

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So $3 gas is back. Last time it was Katrina, this time I heard it was because some of the refineries were taken offline for maintainence. For us average consumers, since we can not trade in current (regular) car for hybrid, nor can we buy cheaper gas and store it somewhere. We have to fill up when the gas price is cheap (relatively). I found a good sign of gas price going up. There are two gas stations near my house: Shell and Exxon. Usually they don’t raise the price at the same time. So…when I saw one gas station already changed the price (up), I would go to the other one and fill up.