If you are loyal to a specific carrier that's big at your preferred airport, it might make financial sense to carry an airline-branded Visa or MasterCard, says frequent-flier expert Jay Sorensen, president of Wisconsin-based IdeaWorksCompany. You may get a bonus of 50,000 miles plus benefits such as free checked bags, priority boarding and free foreign currency conversion — but you may have to spend a certain amount to get those bonuses.
Orbitz.com is now the leader in international searches, with two caveats: you can only search by 30-day windows, and for reasons only known to themselves, they have been playing a cat and mouse game with their flexible search function, hiding it one week, and displaying it on their home page the next (if you can't find it, try looking on their site map). Orbitz's flexible search is powered by ITASoftware (www.itasoftware.com), which has its own problems, frequently sending back undecipherable error messages (be patient, it eventually will work). Increasingly, individual airline sites are improving their flexible date search functions. American, AerLingus, Air New Zealand, Spirit, Southwest, and USA3000 all have decent ones.
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.
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!
We’ve all experienced the tiresome, repeated searching when trying to book the cheapest possible flights to any given destination. With endless search engines and continually fluctuating prices, the approach to frugal flight booking is overwhelming. Here’s some key tips that will save you time, frustration and most importantly money when booking your next flight.
Spotting fake tickets can be difficult, especially if the fake ticket is printed on the same material as that real tickets. This can happen when material is stolen from the company that prints the real tickets. The best way to ensure that a ticket is real, is to purchase it yourself from a legitimate ticket agency, such as Ticketmaster, or to take it to the venue before the event and ask the staff to scan it to see if it is real. Beyond that, there may not be a great way to tell until you get ejected from the event. If you have received a suspicious looking ticket, it is best to check into it before the night of the event.
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.
Airline fares will keep rising the closer you get to departure, but there is a sweet spot when the airlines begin to either lower or increase fares based on demand. Don’t wait until the last second but don’t book far, far in advance either. The best time to book your flight is around 6–8 weeks before your departure, or around three months before if you are going to your destination during their peak season.
Thanks for your reply, Mike. You make some very fair points. To be fair to me, I think I at least alluded to a number of them. And this is not intended to be a deep dive on ticket reselling (although recall that there is a Part 2 coming Saturday). I can’t imagine anyone would stick with any reselling activity (tickets or otherwise) if it had a less than 50/50 profit/loss rate. Of course, overall profit margin is the more important factor. When I first got started doing this, it was tough to get over the losses (and they will happen – as I highlight more in Part 2).
If your country’s currency is currently strong compared to others around the world, search airfare in a country where the currency is weaker. For example, the US dollar is strong and the New Zealand currency is weak. I found a one-way flight from Australia to NYC for $1,000 USD but when I searched on the NZ version of the airline, I found the same ticket for $600 USD. It’s the same airline, same flight, and same booking class. It was just booked in a different currency. This tip does not always work, but it works often enough that it’s something worth trying if your currency is currently doing well.
“I always set alarms on Skyscanner to places where I need or want to visit in the near future. It lets me know when prices go down, so I can take advantage of great deals and save money on flights. It also lets me know when prices go up, so I can either catch them before they increase any further or put that trip on the back-burner for now.” —Inma Gregario, 34, a travel blogger who takes at least one trip a month
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.
Secret Flying can be a winner, if you're flexible about when you travel. There's no need to sign up – simply visit its (free) site to view cheap flights. You can filter by destination and month. It will direct you to the airline's website to book. Some deals may be in euros or dollars – make sure you pay with a specialist card to avoid hefty conversion fees.
[…] If tickets sell out, which is likely, fans can still buy them through another vendor. Browse resale tickets on a third-party site like StubHub or search Craigslist for fans looking to unload extra tickets. But be wary of scalpers with marked up prices and make sure you’re spending your money wisely by looking on Facebook fan groups for tickets, prioritizing physical tickets over PDFs and negotiating prices, according to Showbams.com. […]
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.
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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.
Whenever I Google flights the tickets for Lufthansa come out to around $1,700 so since we want Lufthansa for sure for all of these flights I went on the Lufthansa website directly and searched for the last two weeks the price for all of these 4 flights came out to $1,383 and went up/down until it hit $1,393 a few days ago for one adult ticket and the child ticket was $1,176 and went up a few dollars as well; and yesterday when I checked it was Tuesday, October 17, 2017 and the price went up to $1,418 for each adult and $1,198 for a child ticket (we are traveling with 2 adults and 1 child age 4). So I noticed the price is slowly going up by a few dollars until it jumped from last week to this week by around $20-$30.