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. 

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. 

Who likes ticket scalpers? Pose that question to a room full of average Joe’s and the showing of hands will be few. Call them mean, sharks, cheaters, or the lowest of the low, the reality is, they have little issue with their reputation. And name calling will not get you the tickets they have for the event you want to see. The fact is, most scalpers are very shrewd business people with excellent negotiating skills. Like a stock broker they buy low and sell high. So here is a quick list of five do’s and don’ts when seeking to buy tickets from a street scalper (in places where such activity is legal, of course!).
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).
A couple of sites are better for flights to Europe than flights within Europe, and some nice features make their results easier to navigate. Expedia is easy to use and consistent at finding good fares. CheapoAir offers pricing tables for mixed-airline flights to and from Europe. Vayama specializes in international flights, with cheaper fares that might not show up elsewhere — but beware that its customer service doesn't have a stellar reputation for handling cancellations and changes. (For cheap flights within Europe, I prefer Skyscanner.)

As with many companies, sales reps and executives are their most frequent travelers. Many times a sales rep will know exactly when they are leaving on a trip but are uncertain as to when they will actually return and have a need for an open-ended ticket. This means the purchase of a full fare ticket or at the very least, changing an existing ticket with a penalty of $75 or more. Each fare bucket offered by an airline comes with its own set of restrictions and many times purchasing a ticket that is not the lowest fare available (but not full fare), will allow flight changes without penalty and provide maximum frequent flyer points.
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. 

It's often cheaper to buy two fares rather than one. Let's say you're flying from New York to Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Check on one of the big sites like Expedia or Orbitz for a single fare (for example, JFK to Governor's Harbor, Bahamas) and then do two separate searches (JFK to Nassau and Nassau to Governor's Harbor). Chances are the two-fare strategy will save you a lot of cash. This fare trick also works for flights to Europe (fly into London or Manchester, UK on one fare and then hop on a discount European airline to reach your final destination) and Asia. To search route possibilities on these discounters, check out the Airfarewatchdog route maps page.
“A lot of hotel chains have a ‘best rate guarantee’ policy; if you’ve booked a room and find a cheaper rate for it on a hotel aggregation site like Hotels.com, Expedia.com, or Priceline.com, the hotel might credit you the difference, give you cash, give you points, or offer you a discount on your stay. Every hotel is different, so familiarize yourself with the policy. Typically, you only have 24 hours to find and present them with the better rate.” —Mona Molayem
Our detailed how-to guide spells out how to find mistake fares easily on your own. Basically, AirFare Watchdog and Secret Flying are great resources to stalk for finding mistake and sale pricing as they conglomerate slashed ticket rates all in one spot. Another great approach is to search for flights for an entire month using Skyscanner (Tip #3 in this article). This will allow you to easily spot a significantly reduced fare against what’s displayed that month, and has twice helped us stumble on error fares ourselves.
Hello. Nice article. Lots of great tips. I am going to be flying into Orlando in February, 2/11-2/18/2017 and have some concerns in the flight cost. Right now spirit is the cheapest well under $200 but all of the other airlines are well over $200. We want to stay as close to $200 as possible but DO NOT want to fly spirit. Do you think that the other airlines will be dropped down at least closer to $200 mark within the next month or so?
Nonstop flights, although convenient, are expensive. To save money, book a flight with at least one stop. Also, search for flight deals at airports close to your destination. Sometimes it's cheaper to fly into Oakland than San Francisco, say, or Newark instead of JFK. Of course, be sure to factor in any additional ground-transportation costs involved in reaching your final destination.
I find it interesting that you sell somewhat intentionally to break-even. I don’t think I could do that, because I know that there will be losses that need to be offset with gains (and they better be offset enough to make it worth my time and effort!). But if it works for you, I think that’s great. If you are VERY careful about only buying tickets that you have reason to believe are very safe (for and extreme example – front row seats to a clearly under-priced event, with no threat of a second show being added!), then your approach could work for meeting minimum spends. My experience (like some of the others) says that it’s tough to pull off. But the faster and bigger you go, the more likely you are to make mistakes. Again, I really appreciate your comment.
To help, the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) website has a useful airline charges comparison table which shows extra fees for a host of big airlines, as well as luggage allowances, seat selection charges and even whether a meal's included with your ticket. While you should always double-check these with the airline before you book, it's handy to see the real cost of your ticket so you can make a more accurate comparison.
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.
Book seven weeks in advance. Passengers pay the lowest price, nearly 10 percent below the average fare, if they buy 50 days before their flight, according to data from the Airlines Reporting Corporation. The data was compiled by examining 2017 ticket sales from online and corporate travel agencies in the U.S. for the top 500 origin-and-destination markets. But the seven-week rule isn't necessarily a surefire strategy for snagging the cheapest fare. "This is just a trend," explains Chuck Thackston, ARC's managing director of data science and research. "Airlines will make valuable deals available all the time. But, on average, we see this [50-day] approach works."
And so the new way of thinking about pricing for these events is dynamic pricing. So much like an airline or a hotel, you fluctuate price based on how demand is going. And so it makes intuitive sense, but I think what most people miss on this is demand is very different. So for instance, demand for a flight from Boston to LA, there’s actually nine non-stops a day. And in fact, I looked for Thursday. The prices for these non-stops range from $369 to $2,278.
Swiss Air Lines Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air France, Air Malta, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Edelweiss Air, Egyptair, El Al, Germanwings, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAP Portugal, Thai Airways, Ukraine International, United Airlines.
Not only does it help to be flexible with dates and destinations but being flexible with the route you take is another way to get a cheap flight. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly to London and take a budget airline to Amsterdam than to fly direct to Amsterdam. There are so many budget carriers around the world that taking advantage of a good deal to another city and then hopping on a budget flight to your destination is sometimes the best way to go. I had to go to Paris once; the flight was $900 USD, but I could fly to Dublin for $600 and get a $60 flight to Paris. It meant more flying time, but the $240 I saved was worth it.
The single best way to know a good deal is to periodically search a specific route, getting a feel for what a readily, widely available price often looks like. By putting in this little bit of legwork, you'll recognize an excellent fare when one (inevitably) pops up. Many deals last fewer than 24 hours, so booking quickly is essential. Be that annoying friend who calls persistently until someone can confirm their dates and get it booked—you may never see a fare that low again.
Unless you want to travel at the height of a peak travel season or over a holiday, you don't have to book months in advance.About one month from departure, prices tend to either drop or shoot up significantly, so you take some risk booking 6 to 8 weeks out, but you can also avoid paying more should fares go up 4 weeks from departure. There's no specific best day of the week to book, but booking Tuesday through Thursday tends to help you avoid the weekend rush and find more deals.
Buy your tickets at the right time (to the extent possible). Airfares flex like crazy, but in general it's wise to start looking for international flights at least four months before your trip, especially for travel in spring, summer, or fall. Good deals on winter travel (November through March) can usually be purchased a month or so in advance, with the exception of winter breaks and holidays, which require even earlier booking. Year-round, it's generally cheaper to book midweek.
This works for your arrival airport, too, but a note of caution – if you’re unsure where the airports are and how to get to and from them, do your research before booking. Sometimes the cheaper airport can cost you more in transportation costs, eliminating any savings you might have made on the fare. The fixed-fare price for a taxi into the city centre from Rome Fiumicino Airport is €48 (per vehicle, not per passenger), compared to just €30 from Rome Ciampino Airport, so bear this in mind when deciding on which flight to book.
Not only does it help to be flexible with dates and destinations but being flexible with the route you take is another way to get a cheap flight. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly to London and take a budget airline to Amsterdam than to fly direct to Amsterdam. There are so many budget carriers around the world that taking advantage of a good deal to another city and then hopping on a budget flight to your destination is sometimes the best way to go. I had to go to Paris once; the flight was $900 USD, but I could fly to Dublin for $600 and get a $60 flight to Paris. It meant more flying time, but the $240 I saved was worth it.

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.


Good sites for planning your trip: Star Alliance Fare Planner for planning a trip on the largest airline alliance of them all. OneWorld Explorer isn’t quite as big as Star but has better coverage of South and Central America. AirTreks is a popular trip planner based in San Francisco. Trailfinders is good at tailoring budget trips to specific needs and destinations.
If you wait until the last minute to book, airfare can be outrageously expensive. You might be able to save up to 60% by booking a Priceline Express Deal. You won't know the exact the flight times or carrier, but, if there are only a few available flights, you might be able to make an educated guess based on the travel windows Priceline provides before you book. 

In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito is enabled by hitting Command (or “Control” if using PC), Shift, “N”. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or “Control” if using a PC), Shift, “P”. This will open a new browser window where your information is not tracked, thus not inflating prices as you search. Note: if you’re using an older version of OS X, open Safari then click “Safari” in the menu bar, and select “Private Browsing”. 

First, sign up for airfare price drop alerts. Many websites now offer these at no charge, sending out lists of unusually cheap fares (some of them "fat finger" mistake fares), that while valid for travel over several months, usually expire quickly. Take a look at theflightdeal.com, hitlistapp.com, secretflying.com, exitfares.com and Fly4free.com. They often have the same deals but I suggest signing up for all of them and to follow them on Twitter if you use it. Other sites, such as Kayak.com, Yapta.com and GoogleFlights.com, will track fares on specific flights and dates and alert you to price drops. When you see a great deal buy it (you can always change your mind and cancel within 24 hours, per U.S. D.O.T. regulations).
This list wouldn't be complete without the mention of social media. The best way to stay on top of the latest in just about anything these days is social media. Find out what the best deals are right now in real time by following your preferred airlines on social media. Additionally, following #airfare on Twitter will provide you with the latest in flight deals from all of the major airlines and airfare sites.
My husband and I are big concert goers and we are are always buying tickets. We have recently had our first child and are now realizing that we won’t always be able to make it to the concerts we buy tickets for. Because of this, we have been looking for concert ticket services, or other ways that we can re sell some of our tickets. I didn’t realize it was illegal to use certain third parties, I will have to keep doing research on what our best options will be.
The investigation, whose findings experts say are indicative of ticketing practices nationwide, revealed that 54 percent of tickets are reserved for the artists, production companies, venues, promoters, radio stations, and presale customers such as fan club members or people who carry a particular credit card. Schneiderman’s probe found that when the remaining tickets are finally released to the general public, profiteering can be rampant.
I just came across your post, very useful :-) for booking separate flights, I found a site called Tripcombi some weeks ago. I hadn’t bought with them yet, but I found a flight from Costa Rica to Amsterdam for $400 ($80 less than the one I already had). The downside? They don’t offer yet any kind of guarantee in case you miss a leg of the flight, but still worth checking it ;-)
We have lots of thoughts about airlines like Norwegian, Spirit, RyanAir, and Wow Air. But sometimes, those $69 transatlantic flights are just too good to pass up. The key here is to keep an eye out for fees, since most of these airlines run unbundled fares that tack on fees quicker than basic economy, where everything from meals to seat selection to carry-on luggage costs extra. Those fees can add up—and make the budget flight cost more than a traditional flight—so read the fine print (again), think through what you're willing to sacrifice to save, and do the math before you book. If it's still a deal, and you're comfortable with the experience you've selected (or not), go ahead and book it. It won't be first class, but it'll get you where you want to go.
Kiwi.com, on the other hand, will mix and match airlines (including budget airlines) in order to find you the very cheapest route. For long-haul flights especially, this can make a huge difference. The same search on Kiwi.com returns a route at $459.80 USD via JetBlue, Norwegian Air, and Vueling. That’s a savings of $171.40 USD, and the travel time is even shorter!
I find it interesting that you sell somewhat intentionally to break-even. I don’t think I could do that, because I know that there will be losses that need to be offset with gains (and they better be offset enough to make it worth my time and effort!). But if it works for you, I think that’s great. If you are VERY careful about only buying tickets that you have reason to believe are very safe (for and extreme example – front row seats to a clearly under-priced event, with no threat of a second show being added!), then your approach could work for meeting minimum spends. My experience (like some of the others) says that it’s tough to pull off. But the faster and bigger you go, the more likely you are to make mistakes. Again, I really appreciate your comment.

And the third sort of interesting thing is that demand comes in waves. So when tickets go on sale, there’s a lot of demand initially, but there’s also more demand over time. So, for instance, in the music market, the sort of rule of thumb is whatever you sell in the first five days, you double that, and that’s going to be your total attendance. So there’s this disconnect between selling and when the demand arrives. So a lot of times people just speculate and buy tickets, and they buy it up when tickets go on sale and later sell them to people who want tickets at a later date.


So I began the slow grind of making a living from selling tickets on the internet. For years my only purchases were concert tickets, and there is no secret to getting concert tickets even though many people think that all ticket brokers have some kind of inside connection. To get good concert ticket you would have to figure out the event onsale time, and ideally the first presale time and buy the tickets the second they went onsale. I became an expert on how to buy tickets online for all sorts of concerts. The only problem with this is that you had to be near a computer at a specific time nearly everyday to buy these tickets, and I did not feel great about competing for tickets with the common fan and then marking them up and selling them to them 10 minutes after the Ticketmaster sale. I felt there had to be a better way to make a living from being a ticket broker and that is when I stumbled upon the world of sports tickets, and oh what a glorious world.
Qantas American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Japan Airlines and LAN, and has additional commercial agreements with Aer Lingus, Aircalin, Air Niugini, Air North, Air Tahiti Nui, Air Vanuatu, Alaska Airlines, Alitalia, Asiana Airlines, Bangkok Airways, China Eastern, China Southern, El Al, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Jet Airways, Jetstar, and Vietnam Airlines.
General question for anyone in the know about this. So I'm trying to get tix from StubHub (as usual) for opening night vs. DC but I'm not paying $27 a seat for my wife and I to sit at the very top. I guess I'm considering "doing business" with the gentlemen outside of the arena next to the police and the bucket drummers. This is my first time doing this. 

“When traveling abroad, I usually fly out of a different airport than my ‘home’ one. I live in Indianapolis, but I’ve discovered that flights to Asia and Europe are way less expensive from Chicago. It's about a three-hour drive, but I save almost $2,000 by flying out of Chicago, instead.” —Lori LeRoy, 45, a travel blogger who takes at least six trips a year
Choose a strategy that suites you and your trading hours. Write it on paper and stick to it. With time you will perfect it but at the beginning this will help you be disciplined to stick to rules. Ensure that the trading strategy you adopt at the beginning of your scalping or spread betting career has a high probability and positive expectancy. Even if at the beginning this means more sitting on the side lines, well being more patient and taking fewer trades. If you trade in the evening you might end up trading only 3 to 4 times.
Monitor price fluctuations.The lowest fare for a given flight changes an average of 71 times between the time the flight is announced and the day it departs, according to the CheapAir study. Each change (up or down) averages $33. Before holidays, prices can fluctuate wildly, says George Hobica, president of Airfarewatchdog.com. So set price alerts for your destination with several tracker websites. Sites like Airfarewatchdog and Kayak let you monitor flights by airline and will send text or email alerts when prices for your desired time frame drop.
In July 2015, Government of Ontario declared Ticket Scalping legal as an attempt to regulate online ticketing industry. Similarly in the US, each state has its own ticket reselling law. Some of the states prohibit the reselling of tickets, while some of them regulate it to an extent by mandating a license to resell the tickets. Hence, it is up to the Governments to decide if ticket scalping should be banned, based on the extent of vulnerability and business urgency.
If you’re traveling within the United States, flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday will get you the lowest airfare because there are fewer fliers on these days, Mr. Seaney said. “You can save between 10 and 40 percent per ticket, if not more, compared to a Monday, Friday and Sunday, when air traffic is heavier,” he said. (Thursday falls between the two categories.)
Hi! I was looking at flying to Hawaii and I decided to sign up for the United CC to save on luggage etc. well last Thursday when it was supposed to arrive…it didn’t, so I stupidly decided to wait another day, my flight round trip was still $671 4/16-4/24 Thursday night. Friday my card finally arrived and the flights jumped to $1032. I logged into my United account in expert mode and every flight still had plenty of T and L fares but it’s trying to sell me W fare on every flight, even if I change days, and even weeks, all are trying to sell W fares. Oh and of course lots of S fares available but not letting me book them. I won’t go if the flights are that much. Do you think they will come back down? Why would they not sell the remaining S and T and L fares? I tried calling United too, and the agent transferred me to the website support who told me they are all sold out, for the next several months (I don’t buy it). Input?
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.

Stopovers can range from a mere hour to even a full day (or more), so it's really up to you whether you would prefer paying less for your flights in exchange for doing some time at the connecting airport. The biggest issue is that time spent in airports eats into the "free" time you would otherwise enjoy at your final destination. If you do settle for a trip with a long layover, check into sights to see or activities to do near your layover airport. A 10-hour layover might provide the perfect opportunity to visit a famous landmark or explore a new city. To each, his own.
Stick to the major players. In addition to StubHub and TicketsNow, established resellers include Razorgator, Vivid Seats, and ScoreBig, which all offer money-back guarantees in the unlikely event a ticket is a counterfeit. (Fake tickets are a potentially bigger problem if you buy from individuals on sites such as eBay or Craigs­list.) You can shop on individual websites or use SeatGeek, a search engine that scours dozens of resale sites. When shopping, you should also:
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