“I make sure to use incognito mode on Google Chrome when searching for flights to keep my computer from tracking my history. Sites like Kayak, Expedia, and Priceline can raise the price of the same flight every time you search for it, and incognito mode keeps this from happening.” —Mona Molayem, 28, a travel blogger who takes five international trips a year

Years ago, if you wanted to fly between continents, you were mostly stuck with traditional expensive airlines. That’s no longer true. Budget airlines now service many long-haul routes, making it possible to fly around the world for very little money. Norwegian Airlines allows you to fly between Europe and Bangkok for about $250 each way. WOW air has cheap flights to Iceland and Europe from the United States for as little as $99. AirAsia offers crazy-cheap deals around Asia and Australia for as little as $100 each way. Indian and Middle Eastern airlines offer cheap flights throughout the subcontinent and Africa. You can fly most of the way around the world on a budget airline!
Don’t go lugging an oversized suitcase filled with a whole semester’s worth of clothes (or weird contraband) through TSA, but if you’ve got a small- or medium-sized bag you’re willing to part with for a few hours, taking it to the gate and volunteering to gate check it can save you a bag fee. It also earns you goodwill with the flight crew, as you appear to be sacrificing something for the good of the plane, even though you’re just being cheap. Of course, this doesn’t apply to airlines that charge for carry-ons to begin with, and you’re probably out of luck (meaning, there’d be an administrative fee of around $50) if you’re flying Economy Plus on a legacy carrier, too.
SARAH GREEN: So as companies like that start experimenting, I think part of the reason it’s useful, for instance, to talk about ticket scalping is that it becomes obvious when you’re leaving money on the table, because, well, either people are willing to pay more or they’re not, or, as you mentioned at the beginning, they’ll pay less. So it’s sort of easy to see how close you are to the mark by how close you are to that secondary market. But if you are in a business where your product or service doesn’t get quote, unquote “scalped,” how do you know if you’ve got it right?

Scalping tickets refers to the advance purchase and resale of tickets once an event has sold out. Depending on the supply-and-demand for a given ticket, there is a lot of money to be potentially made in ticket scalping. It is illegal most places, you can easily fund your personal ticket purchases by learning the craft of scalping and selling a few at each sold-out show you attend.[1]

The fact is that sometimes the cancellation and all the administrative costs caused by the cancellation of a booking are just not worth it for the airline (administrative costs, labor costs and poor marketing impact on social channels and forums). However in case of higher amounts (business class, first class tickets), they are more likely to put their time at risk and make the cancellation.
If it looks like the delay is going to cost you more than the airline is offering -- like if you had a non-refundable hotel reservation, or miss a private helicopter ride (look at you!) -- you’ve got 30 days to try and get as much money out of them as you can. But once you put a check into your bank account, you’ve essentially agreed to accept whatever you were offered.
For example, if you’re flying to Malaysia, it might be much cheaper to fly into neighbouring Singapore instead of Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur. If you’re going to Albania, you’ll have better luck flying into Curfu in northern Greece than to Tirana, which has only a very small airport. And if you’re going to the Netherlands, it might be much cheaper to fly into Eindhoven and then taking a train than flying into Amsterdam.

For the sake of convenience, we’d all like to live near a major hub like New York or Toronto, but the fact is that river cruisers come from different parts of the world – and chances are your hometown airport doesn’t have direct service to places like Budapest or Prague. But it’s equally likely that you have more options than you know about. Wikipedia can be a great resource for researching your airport, as most have a complete listing of airlines that serve each airport along with their respective destinations (check out this page on Vancouver International Airport to see what I mean.)

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.

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.


Also Cassie Blaza L wrote, “When I do buy tickets off someone at the venue I gauge the persons’ validity by whether they look like they belong in that scene fashion and conversation wise. You can tell pretty quickly, at least in NYC, who the guys are that showed up outside exclusively to make money and leave. They aren’t dressed for a show, can’t name a song by the artist, don’t have friends with them, and generally don’t look like they belong.”

Hello, i’m buying tickets for a sold twenty one pilots show in Tulsa. The tickets were all sold out on the site originally where you he the tickets from, but I found some other tickets on vivid seats and some other cites. I haven’t bought a ticket yet I’m planning to, it’s just I’m scared the tickets are fake and they won’t be able to let me on the show I really want to go.
Think flexibly about airports and dates. If you are flying into a city with several airports, select either "all airports" or simply the city name ("LON" for London) rather than a specific airport name ("LHR" for London Heathrow). If offered, select "include nearby airports" — doing so will return more flight options (for example, Pisa for Florence or Bratislava for Vienna). Choosing "flexible dates" lets you see what you might save by flying a few days before or after your ideal time frame.
Also Cassie Blaza L wrote, “When I do buy tickets off someone at the venue I gauge the persons’ validity by whether they look like they belong in that scene fashion and conversation wise. You can tell pretty quickly, at least in NYC, who the guys are that showed up outside exclusively to make money and leave. They aren’t dressed for a show, can’t name a song by the artist, don’t have friends with them, and generally don’t look like they belong.”
Realistically, it may be difficult to fight your corner if an airline does cancel your flight. If you've already booked other aspects of your trip such as accommodation, you can try to claim it as 'consequential loss' from the airline you booked with – but there are no guarantees this will work. Ultimately you'd likely need to go to the small claims court to try to get back any additional costs incurred (but again there are no guarantees).
Brilliant advice, although people should make sure if they are using multiple airlines ticketed separately that they have good travel insurance. Airlines ticketed separately have no obligation if, say, the first flight is delayed and you miss your second flight. I have also had issues with lost luggage before, when airline one booked it straight through when I was ticketed separately on to airline two: both point the finger at the other and you don’t get anywhere fast! Good insurance is a must and good practice anyway!
Cheapest days to fly: Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. According to a FareCompare.com study, the cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday for domestic travel. "If you can’t book cheap days for your entire flight, do it for one leg of the trip and you’ll still see some savings," according to the website. For international travel, weekdays are usually cheaper than weekends, says FareCompare. Friday and Sunday are the most expensive days for domestic travel.
Let me be right up front.  Ticket reselling is not for everyone.  There is a risk of losing money and the potential for wasted time and frustration.  Also, you will find that some people (maybe even you!) simply view ticket reselling as some sort of horrible or inexcusable activity (“how dare you sell a ticket for more than face value you scalper!?!”).
Two of the best travel rewards cards are the Chase Sapphire Preferred and American Express Platinum Card. Both cards earn let you redeem your purchase rewards points through their respective credit card travel portal, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards, for award travel. Or, you can also transfer your points to an airline travel partner on a 1:1 basis for an even better deal and to also give you those last few points that you need to book a flight directly through the airline.
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.)
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.
One time I bought lower bowl center court just one ticket since my friends already had 3 tickets for themselves and I tagged along last minute. I bought for $40 from a scalper. I get to the lady telling you where your seat is at near center court and she looks up at me and says,"This ticket says your disabled!" I immediate grabbed the railing fallin to one knee yelling aloud,"Ooohhhh my leg, it hurts, get me to a seat quick" as everyone in the vicinity just died laughing including the ticket lady. She gave me a good seat for the game.
My go-to sites when I arrange personal travel are Kayak.com (I love using its flexible month and flexible weekend options) and two Google offerings: Google.com/flights/explore and Google.com/flights. The "explore" site allows you to choose a trip length, departure city and an arrival city or region (such as "United States," "Europe" or "Boston") and then displays a selection of the lowest fares available over the next few months. It's perfect for anyone with flexible travel dates and destinations. The "flights" site asks you to choose origin city and destination along with specific travel dates so it's more geared to those with less flexibility. However, none of these sites include Southwest Airlines, so you also need to compare at Southwest.com. If you're date-flexible, use Southwest's low-fare calendar option.
If you have status with an airline -- or even if you don’t -- ask for exit-row seats when you arrive at the gate.  Those seats cost extra, and are most frequently the only ones left empty, even on so-called “extremely full” flights; they’re often filled by traveling flight attendants and pilots (known as Dead Heads or Non-Revs) assigned available seats at the last minute. If you ask nicely and are super polite (which, frequent flyers will tell you, is a big factor in getting free stuff) the gate agent has the power to give them to you.
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.
Lots of us research our holiday plans during the week, then discuss the options with our travelling companions at the weekend. But if you go online on a Saturday to buy your tickets, you could be paying over the odds. Airline pricing models are fluid, so a price you see one day (or even minute!) might increase or decrease the next. The airlines keep their pricing model data close to their chests, so there’s no set rule about when is the best time to whip out your plastic.

Fly out early. The cheapest flight is typically the first flight of the morning. "Yes, that means you have to get up at 4 a.m.," says Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare.com. The next-cheapest flight times are during or after lunch or at the dinner hour. "There's a general rule of thumb, which is 'fly hungry,'" Seaney says. That's because flyers tend to not want to travel at inconvenient or uncomfortable times, he says.
Ticket scalping (aka ticket reselling) is an illegitimate practice of buying tickets to an event and reselling them at inflated rates in the secondary market. In the pre-internet era, ticket touts bought the tickets physically and sold them for a huge profit. Today, bots are programmed by attackers to scalp a maximum number of tickets from a portal as soon as a sale or booking opens.
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."
In a world filled with more options than ever, it's your job as a consumer to stay informed. Luckily, the businesses that want you to choose them have made it easier than ever to stay up to date. Whether you have a trip coming up soon, or simply know that you'll be planning a vacation sometime next year, take some time to prepare. When the time comes, you'll have all the information you need to get the best deal.
FareCompare's Seaney says not to make the mistake of booking too far in advance — this is when fares are usually higher. A study by CheapAir.com found that the prime booking window for a domestic flight is 21 to 112 days out; 54 days in advance, on average, is a good time to buy. Seaney says to start shopping three months in advance for domestic travel and five months out for international travel so that you'll be prepared to pounce when the price is right. Sales tend to show up online on Tuesdays, he says.
RAFI MOHAMMED: I always ask people on the front line, because they deal with customers. And oftentimes people on the front line can tell you a lot of people would have paid a lot more, or we’re getting a lot of people who are very interested, they take the product off the shelf. They’re interested, but once they see the price, they put the product back.

In fact, when we checked, we found that a family of four flying to Tenerife could save £160 if they switched from London Luton to Gatwick, and a family flying to Malaga could save £188 flying from Gatwick instead of Southend. But the reverse can also be true, and our data doesn’t give any solid answers as to whether you’ll typically save by booking at a smaller airport or a larger one.

Lufthansa Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air Malta, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, BMI Regional, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Germanwings, Latam Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Luxair, Privatair, Singapore Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, United.
For domestic travel, buy your ticket three months before your departure date; for trans-Atlantic travel, buy five months beforehand. Any further in advance has no benefit, according to Mr. Seaney, because airlines have not yet included cheap seats as part of their inventory. But be sure to buy 30 days before departure because prices increase substantially thereafter. The exception to this rule is if you plan to travel over a busy holiday period, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. Airlines don’t offer discounts during the holidays, so it’s best to buy your ticket as soon as possible.
After experiencing an economic setback during in the late 2000s, the live entertainment industry now looks stronger than it ever has before. Just last week, World Series ticket prices on StubHub and eBay soared to new heights, with some tickets fetching over $20,000 a pop. For an eye-popping example in the music industry, Adele’s world tour is rumored by some industry insiders to have grossed over $200 million.
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.

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.
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.
Let’s say you’re bumped from a flight, but the airline still manages to get you where you’re going within an hour of the original arrival time. You’ve got no cause to complain, really, other than just being a dick, and you’re not going to see any compensation. BUT, if you arrive between one and two hours past your original arrival time on a domestic flight (or between one and four hours for international), they owe you compensation of 200% of the one-way fare to your destination -- up to a maximum of $675. And for domestic flights arriving more than two hours later, you are entitled to 400% of your one-way fare -- the US Department of Transportation (DOT) requires they compensate you in cash, up to $1,350.
Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards: Southwest's rewards program is strong, especially if you make frequent domestic trips. Your reward comes from dollars spent, based on fare class—that's six points per dollar on "Wanna Get Away" tickets; 10 points per dollar on "Anytime" tickets; and 12 points per dollar on "Business Select” tickets. When it comes to redeeming there are no blackout dates, not even holidays, and no change fees or cancellation fees, either.
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