Reservation systems at airlines and travel sites sell tickets at the same price to all the fliers on one reservation. If you’re buying airfare for your family of four, for example, it does not matter if the airline has three seats for sale in a lower price category and the fourth at a higher one. “All the travelers under the reservation will automatically get the higher price, and you won’t know that there are cheaper tickets available,” Mr. Seaney said.
Many airline websites allow customers to purchase one fare and "up fare" the purchase to a higher fare by the calling the Web Services phone number for that airline. This allows travelers to avoid penalties incurred by booking the ticket through a reservation agent while also giving them credit for any "online booking mileage bonus points" the airline may be offering.
SMTWTFS? The flexibility to travel on another day can result in dramatically lower fares. So next time you search on KAYAK, select the flexible dates option. You'll probably find that flying Saturday is cheaper (though not so much for international). Likewise, traveling mid-week (Tuesday or Wednesday) is usually cheaper than Monday or Thursday/Friday: consultants love to travel on Monday mornings and fly back Thursday (of course, they still bill you for Friday but that's another story).
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.
“Hostelworld.com is my go-to site for finding somewhere to stay. It has a huge inventory of hostels, bed and breakfasts, and hotels, giving travelers tons of affordable options to choose from. The site also includes reviews from other travelers, so you can see which options are the safest, cleanest, and most welcoming.” —Trang Pham-Nguyen, 29, a travel blogger who used to live abroad and now takes full advantage of her vacation days
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.
"Cheap" is always relative, depending on your budget and needs, but we have a few guidelines in the Traveler office for what counts as a good deal from the U.S. Flights to Europe at or under $400 round-trip are a go. Getting to Northern Africa for less than $500 is a steal. Round-trips to South America at or under $500 are also great, a number that applies to flights to Asia, too. Going farther afield, anything under $1,000 is a stellar deal for southern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. That said, if you see a flight that's cheap enough to make you want to book, go for it. The "grass is greener, flight is cheaper" mentality of waiting for the least expensive flight will make you miss out on some great (and yes, cheap) flights.
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.
That unused ticket for the delayed or canceled flight? It’s still good to use another time; think of it like an airline credit you got for your aggravation. If you’ve had it with that (expletive) airline and vowed never to fly them again, even for free -- you have principles, dammit! -- you can also request an “involuntary refund” for the flight from which you were bumped.
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.
What they may not have known was why. They weren’t just competing with one another: They were also facing a more formidable foe in the form of ticket brokers and unscrupulous speculators who would grab up most of the 300,000 or so available seats that Billboard reported sold out in less than an hour. After that, fans could purchase tickets only from brokers and other scalpers (those who resell tickets for a profit) on the resale market—at astronomical markups.
The goal of reselling any product is maximizing profit. Thus, you want to buy the product as inexpensively as possible, and be as certain as you can that a market exists for that product at a reasonable profit margin. The nice thing about sports (and some theater) tickets is that season ticket holders usually get a nice discount off of face value. The amount of the discount can vary significantly, so this requires some research. More importantly, in today’s world of secondary ticket markets, you should be far more concerned with the discount (if any) you are able to buy the season tickets at relative to prices found on StubHub.com, Craigslist, and elsewhere.
The airline departments that create fare sales usually do so on Monday afternoons. These sales are then distributed to travel sites such as Expedia.com and also posted on the airline’s own site. Competing airlines see these sales the next morning and adjust their fares accordingly, and final sale pricing hits reservations systems at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. “This is when you get the maximum number of cheap seats,” Mr. Seaney said. Most of these sales last only for three days so don’t procrastinate.
For the Major airlines and for most long haul routes (e.g. across the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans or between any 2 continents) search first in Vayama.com, Kayak.com, travlocity.com, or Expedia.com then take the best 3 or 4 prices from the cheapest airlines and search those individual sites for similar dates. Occasionally they will have better prices than the consolidators.
Once you find the 'error fare', you must quickly decide whether to buy it or not. Often, it happens that they eliminate the error within a few hours. Also, this kind of information is spreading around very quickly, so the key is to react promptly and never ever call the airline to obtain a confirmation of whether the price is valid. Of course they will say no and correct the mistake in the very next minute.
Known for cheap — often ridiculously cheap — ticket prices. Some of the European LCCs have offered flight promotions with tickets across the continent for as little as €1. But even non-promotion ticket prices are regularly in the €10-30 range. (These ticket prices however, often don’t include the high taxes and fees that LCCs usually charge. Be sure to compare the total ticket cost not just the initial quoted price when booking.)
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.
Hi, Great article. A question please. We are planning on going to Orlando from the Uk on the 20th October 2017 for 2 weeks (3 adults and 1 child). I have booked the flights out already to Miami for £759 for all of us from Manchester airport which is a great deal with Thomas Cook Airlines, then will drive to Orlando, but the return flights aren’t out yet. However the return flights are from Orlando International airport to Manchester are out for £1800. Which would mean we wouldn’t have the drive back to Miami. Should I wait for the return flights back from Miami to come out and risk the other going up or do you think the £1800 might go down in price? Thanks, Nicki Johnson
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.
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.
If your flight is canceled because of something the airline did (as opposed to the weather), they are required by law to feed you and put you up in a hotel. You also receive a full refund for a canceled flight within seven days. The EU has its own set of delay compensation guidelines as well, ranging from 250 euros for short flights delayed under three hours up to 600 euros for flights between EU and non-EU airports that originate in Europe. That means if your flight home to the US is delayed, you’re still entitled to compensation. These rules still apply for many European-held islands in the Caribbean, like Martinique and Guadeloupe.
It’s rarer to find cheap last-minute flights with non-charter airlines. With those airlines the best time to book is around 6 to 12 weeks in advance – which is based on statistics garnered from tracking all flights. However, it varies heavily by airline, route and season, making it difficult to predict these. It’s all based on supply and demand, so if a certain route has a lot of demand this year it won’t fall in price.
Whether you know exactly where you’re going or you just want to find to the cheapest possible country to fly into, Kiwi.com is a great tool to get the wanderlust going and save some big bucks. Hop on their site and enter your departure city, then select a date range to fly. Approximate costs then appear over hundreds of countries around the globe from your departure point, while the list of destinations is sorted by price, allowing you to see the most cost-effective place you can fly.
But there are ways for the passengers to save on increasingly pricey air travel. You can do the obvious stuff, like book flights that are on a weekday, at an odd hour, or headed to a non-hub airport. You can be diligent in comparing prices through sites like Priceline and CheapAir. And then, of course, there's the well-worn Tuesday trick, which is, simply: Book your flights on a Tuesday. (Airlines typically release sales on Tuesdays, and then end up competing against each other to offer the most enticing price. It's a rare moment where the consumer actually wins, for a change, in this cutthroat market.)
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.
In my experience, the easiest tickets to buy and resell are in your local market. You probably have some local knowledge of what is in demand in your city. In fact, the VERY best tickets to resell are for shows you plan to attend yourself (buy 4 tickets and sell 2 – and you will often times pay for your own 2 tickets that you use!). It is also easiest to sell via Craigslist if you are selling in your local market. Some sports teams frown upon people buying simply (or primarily) for the purpose of reselling, but if you live locally it’s tough for them to identify you as a “broker.” And, if the tickets you have are local, the worst case scenario is that you can use them yourself or find a friend to go to the game or show.
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.