Airline rewards programs are a great way to get free flights, free upgrades, and free companion tickets. No matter how often you fly, you should be signed up for the airline’s reward program. I stick to US-based airlines since they are involved in all the major alliances and you can earn miles on their partner flights. For example, if I fly Singapore Airlines, I can earn United Airlines miles because they are partners. Likewise, if I fly Air France, it’s credited to my Delta rewards account.
[…] Over time I have tried to cover just about every type of manufactured spending on this blog. I don’t advocate all methods for all people, however I do think it is good to diversify your knowledge so you can jump on the best deals. For that reason I have covered gift card reselling, traditional MS and PDX Deals Guy even wrote about ticket reselling. […] 

I’ve used this method to fulfill minimum spend the past few years but I don’t make any profits from it since I myself am not a fan of ticket scalping. However, I’ve noticed that if you do resell them at a place at stubhub for no profit (selling them for face value + stubhub fee) and you did your research, you’ll sell them 99.99% of the time. For me, I’ve always used stubhub & Ticketmaster ticketexchange and never craigslist (too much hassle, in my opinion.)

So buyer, beware. People have been ripped off by scalpers even before the internet was invented, and many states have laws against them. Even though these laws are haphazardly enforced, scalping tickets carries some risk. But if you really want to get into the building and it’s only an hour before showtime, you’re going to have to go nose to nose with some of the best negotiators in the business world. Make sure you follow the steps below to get the best deal.
The professional ticket scalpers you encounter in the parking lot are brokers or middlemen looking to capitalize on an arbitrage opportunity. Arbitrage is the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two markets. In scalping, it’s the difference between what a fan looking to unload an extra ticket asks for versus the price you, a fan without a ticket, will pay to get into the arena.  
Search sites occasionally beat the fares on the airline's official site, sometimes by using "mix and match" journeys to connect the legs of a single trip on multiple airlines. (However, these trips can be difficult to rebook in case of a delay or missed leg — review the schedule carefully, watching out for very tight connections or extremely long layovers.)
Some think that aggregators such as Skyscanner or Kayak always lead to an online travel agent (OTA) with the cheapest flight price. But while they can help with some airlines, others are better booked directly. These include low-cost carriers such as Norwegian, and charter airlines such as Thomas Cook. Anything but a standard full-service international carrier will often have cheaper prices if you book through the airline itself.
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.

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.


This is because they structure their business around package holidays and, often left with undersold capacity, will offload their last-minute seats for low fares. If you’re keen on a last-minute one- or two-week getaway somewhere exotic but where the specific destination is not that important to you, I’d look there to score the biggest savings. Here is an example of how to spot them on Tui, showing fares such as Cancun at £229 return.
Since Low Cost Carriers only sell their tickets through their web sites and not through large travel sites it’s difficult to compare costs and find routes for budget airlines. (Kayak, Vayama, Travelocity, Expedia and the other big travel sites don’t always have information on the low cost carriers.) That’s where web sites like Skyscanner and Which Budget come in handy. Find the best route and price from these web sites then make your way to that airline’s site to purchase the tickets.
I'd like to add this to your whole approach: You can usually get tickets for free or next to free at any sporting event (im in the US not sure about the rest of the world but its probably much the same). All you have to do is be loud, exuberant about wanting to get in, and preferably wearing the home teams colors (don't wear opposing teams colors). So many people have an extra ticket, and many don't even bother/want to sell it to scalpers.

If you’re flying somewhere that involves a transfer, say from Canada to Australia which typically involves Canada to LA, then LA to Australia, consider that it may be cheaper to book these two legs separately on your own by adding another destination to your trip. It should go without saying that in doing this, you should not book tight layovers. I repeat: do not book layovers that are hours apart! This approach is for those who want to create an additional destination of a few days or more, before catching their next flight. The one exception is when booking with Kiwi.com, who offer their own guarantee on making connecting flights even when not with the same partner airlines.
If you have to travel to a specific place on specific dates (e.g. a family wedding, you got an Oscar nomination) then booking early is the best way to go. But for everything else, the book early advice is nonsense — or at least potentially nonsense. Flight prices go up, flight prices go down. It’s all about supply and demand. If a flight from London to Rome for next month is half full then you’re going to get a great deal (much better than the price you would have gotten booking 6 months in advance). If there’s one ticket left it will cost a fortune.

The first thing to know about finding a cheap flight is that there is no magic bullet or one secret ninja trick to doing so. There are a lot of myths online about how to find cheap flights. In fact, you’ve probably come across a ton of them on your search to find the best flight deal! They are all lies. They will lead you astray. Most websites hire terrible reporters who recycle common and outdated myths. Here are the most common that are 100% not true: 

Some sites offer the option to purchase a discounted ticket without knowing full details about your airline and flight times. For example, Priceline allows you to suggest a price for your itinerary if you're flexible about your airline and flight schedule. Hotwire offers discount "hot rates" that provide details of your airline and flight time after you have purchased the ticket. Just keep in mind that you're just as likely to stumble upon deals on the airlines' own websites — particularly if you sign up for their email alerts.
StubHub tries to say that it is a 15% seller fee and 10% buyer fee, but since all buyers see the final price, the reality is that the full burden effectively falls on the seller.  But selling via StubHub is very easy, safe, and efficient.  So if you have enough profit potential in your tickets, you can still do well selling at StubHub despite the fees.
I never give out my phone number in a Craigslist ad for selling tickets and always try to strike up a conversation via email with a potential buyer.  Usually pretty quickly you can determine if the person communicates clearly and feels like the type of person you want to “do business” with.  If they aren’t, just move on (unless you’re desperate to sell at the last minute – which happens sometimes!).
Finally, in many cities, legit ticket resellers have store fronts close to the venue. They are always a worth a visit before you turn to a scalper as they often have deals on last minute tickets. The rule with them is never take the price they first offer unless it is within $10-15 of face value. If it is more, being willing to walk away never hurt anyone and usually net’s a price cut.
Despite persistent (and conflicting!) myths, there really is no one magic day to book plane tickets. But reliable studies show that one of the best days to buy tickets is Sunday, especially if it's more than 21 days before your trip, and prices on domestic flights dip mid-week, around Tuesday or Wednesday, because there's less demand for business travel.
Finally, in many cities, legit ticket resellers have store fronts close to the venue. They are always a worth a visit before you turn to a scalper as they often have deals on last minute tickets. The rule with them is never take the price they first offer unless it is within $10-15 of face value. If it is more, being willing to walk away never hurt anyone and usually net’s a price cut.
I never even considered the VPN bit. I’ve noticed a large difference between prices I can get here in South Africa and those a friend who lives in the States is able to get. It seems so unfair but it’s understandable. I think there’s actually a site that you can go to that gets you low prices by skipping middle layover routes, but cannot recall what it was called. 

Even if you think an airline's safe as houses, it's important to protect yourself as fully as possible. The easiest way is to book on a credit card, as when a flight costs more than £100, Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act means the card company's equally liable if something goes wrong (see the full Section 75 Refunds guide, or the Chargeback guide for protection on debit card purchases).
10. Don't do what I do: This DailyFinance reporter has dabbled in scalping. I thought I could be a dynasty. Instead I performed like the '62 Mets. A few things I learned in trying to conduct Internet commerce for baseball and college basketball: Don't buy singles. (Duh, right?) Study what buyers are actually paying instead of what fellow sellers are asking. Keep in mind the size of the venue, because some monster stadiums and arenas can create a surplus. And compute the purchase fees into your profit forecast. You'll fork over 15% to StubHub for selling and a $5 service charge plus $4.95 email delivery on the buying. That's a lot to overcome if you're working both ends.
Always check, and be discerning. Sometimes OTAs won’t include all of their fees upfront. Also, if you think you might need to change or cancel your flight, it’s better to book through the airline as aggregators add cancelation fees. Only book with an OTA if you are certain of your flight dates – and only if you’re getting a significantly lower fare. For example, on long-haul KLM flights there is only £15-£20 off if booked with an aggregator. With BA, aggregators could offer a discount of up to £60 on a long-haul economy ticket – a more significant saving. And most short-haul European flights are best booked directly with the airline as the price is often roughly the same.
United Airlines' MileagePlus: You can earn and spend points on flights with 28 airlines to and from more than 1,100 destinations, thanks to United's StarAlliace partnership. The huge route network, in and out of the U.S., is key here, and makes the complicated MileagePlus redemption plan worth it. Your best bet is to use the points calculator tool to work out how many points you need to get a free flight, and work backwards from there.
Few products are so underpriced that an entire subsidiary industry exists to take advantage of the discrepancy. When there is excess demand for a new car or phone, some people might sell theirs at a markup on eBay, but there’s nobody across the street from the dealership or Best Buy offering it right away for double the sticker price; there certainly isn’t an entire corporation built on exploiting companies’ failure to properly price items initially. Yet concerts and sporting events consistently price their tickets low enough that street scalpers risk jail time to hawk marked-up tickets, and StubHub makes hundreds of millions a year in revenue.
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