If you don't want to put in the leg work, you can let the deals come to you. Condé Nast Traveler shares many of the best flight deals on social media, but for those even more obsessed, it's hard to beat the convenience of flight deal blogs like Scott's Cheap Flights, Airfarewatchdog, SecretFlying, and TheFlightDeal, which are constantly posting deals from around the world. Follow them on social media or sign up for their newsletters.
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While many theories exist around booking specifically on a Tuesday to save money, the reality is there is no consistent truth to exactly which days are cheapest to fly. Most of the time it is cheaper to leave on a weekday, though this isn’t always the case. Your best strategy is to get a quick visual of prices for a whole month to see what days are cheapest for your specific route. Here’s how:
The cheapest flights are often basic economy fares, especially on domestic carriers. They offer travelers the chance to skip out on things usually included in a traditional fare, like access to the overhead bins, the cost to carry on, seat assignments, and even printing your boarding pass at the airport; each of those counts as an add-on, and comes with a fee attached. Each airline has a very different system, so read the fine print (or our guide to basic economy before booking. Google Flights will let you know whether or not you flight is basic economy, but not until you're right about to book, so keep an eye out for the gray label when you get to the pricing page.
Whether sports or events, a key factor is buying tickets that stand out or are different in some way. You’re right on about being as careful and aware as possible about supply factors, such as promoters discounting tickets or announcing additional showings/concerts. You also make a very good and fair point about having capital tied up in inventory.
All information published here is personal opinion and comes from personal experience. The information published on this site/page should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal financial or professional advice. ESR Media, LLC, Miles to Memories and the author strongly recommend that you seek independent advice before you apply for any product or service, which is described on the site/page.
RAFI MOHAMMED: Well, Amazon. In my experience with Amazon, they do change prices. So by the day, for instance, I see that my book price goes from $18 to $20. And so they definitely change prices. Several years ago, they did get caught up in a pricing scandal, where they were offering different prices to different consumers at the same time. So people are like, gee, I just bought this DVD, and I paid this. And someone else would say, I bought it at the same time. I paid a very different price.
What I do is show up like 6:50 or 6:55 after doing happy hour at Ember (2 for 1 domestics) for a 7pm game even show up at 7pm. Because, at this point Scalpers are desperate. Last game I went to back in March I got 9th row lower bowl behind the Magic bench for $50 a pop for two tickets. Basically, they asked me what I would be willing to pay and I just said I would pay $100 for 2 tickets, dude said sold.
So let’s go back to the San Francisco Giants. If they have an experimental section and they drop the price, why would I buy a ticket in the next section over that’s at a much higher price? So if I were going to buy that ticket, I would say, well, gee, I can save $10 by going to the experimental section. Why not? So my hunch is that there was a lot of cannibalization going on, and that 20% figure really didn’t represent new revenue, getting people price sensitive, in the door. My hunch is that the majority of this increased 20% came from people who would have actually paid a higher price. That’s a negative of dynamic pricing that I don’t think has been satisfactorily accounted for.
I’m curious if these tips work for business class? My travel is transatlantic – USA to The UK – and I’ve found that the so-called brokers who can save 50-70% can’t do any better than I can myself using Kayak or a similar search engine. It’s more expensive but as a big guy the extra comfort on a long flight is worth it in my opinion. Still, I like to save where I can as that is the most expensive part of my trips.
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What you need in order to score premium seats consistently is a systematic approach to purchasing tickets and the right infrastructure to get the job done. All this will come with enough experience combined with trial and error. There is no holy grail—just perseverance and know-how. The book mentioned above offers some excellent techniques and insights on pulling tickets that the average fan will probably not have thought of.
When I moved back to Texas after Grad School my parents were absolutely hounding me about getting a full time job. I swear, all I heard from them was “You have to get a job with a 401k and health insurance!” I finally dropped the bomb on them that I was going to use my college degree and MBA to be a ticket broker. I would not be getting any 401K nor would I have any health insurance…they were not pleased to say the least.
Some low-cost airlines do not allow their prices to be included among the meta-search results because they prefer you to buy directly on their website due to already low prices. Information about their campaigns and discounts are usually communicated directly through their e-news and social channels. Therefore, it makes sense to subscribe to their e-newsletter (if you use Gmail, you can create a filter that allows you to collect all low-cost mail in one folder. Here it is explained how to do it).