Money & Company

Tracking the market and economic trends
that shape your finances.

« Previous Post | Money & Company Home | Next Post »

Consumer Confidential: Cheaper fares, Rolaids recall, priciest holiday presents

December 10, 2010 | 10:07 am

Travelpic Here's your do-the-fandango Friday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- If you're traveling for the holidays, it's likely your airfare is a little cheaper than it would have been last year. Our friends at Priceline, the online travel agency, say the average plane ticket this year is $422. Priceline bases its estimate on tickets purchased between Nov. 3 and Dec. 2. At this time last year, the average Christmas fare booked by the site's customers was $431. If you're shopping for a last-minute ticket, Priceline recommends targeting times that are less busy, such as early in the morning or late at night. The priciest seats will be found during peak business travel hours -- 8 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.

-- It's enough to give you heartburn: Johnson & Johnson is withdrawing 13 million packages of Rolaids soft chews after consumers reported finding metal and wood particles (!) in the products. While the company says risk of serious health effects is "remote," consumers who have purchased Rolaids Extra Strength Softchews, Rolaids Extra Strength plus Gas Softchews or Rolaids Multi-Symptom plus Anti-Gas Softchews should stop using the products. It's been a tough year for J&J. The world’s largest health products company has recalled more than 40 medicines this year amid complaints of contamination.

-- If you're really in the mood to bust your budget this holiday season, the website 24/7 Wall St. went looking for the most expensive gifts out there. They came up with a mega-bucks shopping spree that includes a $12-million Tiffany necklace, a $400,000 Breguet watch and the floor piano featured in the movie "Big," which will only set you back $250,000. That $700 iPhone at Radio Shack seems like a mere stocking stuffer by comparison.

-- David Lazarus

Photo: Cheaper fares make the friendly skies a little friendlier. Credit: Andrew Cooper / DreamWorks Pictures