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“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
Sometimes the best bargains are made through the traveler's own improvisation. The budget airlines in Southeast Asia and Europe are famously cheap, but Americans can only rarely directly connect to them through major airline flights through the United States, as the budget airlines often operate at secondary airports that are rarely serviced by major airlines. Accessing those cheap flights requires some improvisation, such as transferring from London's Gatwick or Heathrow to Stansted. However, when doing this, it is important to factor all costs into the bill. Budget airlines like Ryanair are notorious for their nickel-and-dime approach to fees, and those airport-to-airport buses and trains aren't free. Also, the hassle of switching airports might not be worth it for travelers encumbered with heavy luggage. This strategy works, but it requires thorough research and careful consideration.
Moreover, it’s always cheaper to fly during the middle of the week than on a weekend, because most people travel on the weekends and airlines hike their prices then. Prices are also cheaper if you fly after a major holiday as are early-morning or late-night flights are cheaper because fewer people want to travel then (who wants to wake up early?!).
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.

Let's say you've done your best to find the lowest fare, and then the day after purchase your non-refundable fare goes down $100. Sure, if you ask for it you can get a refund for the difference, but it's a little-known fact that some airlines will charge you a "service" or "administrative" fee as high as $100 for domestic fares or from $200-$300 on international ones, wiping out any savings. United, however, will give you the entire fare difference without extracting a fee, as will U.S. Airways (which prominently displays this policy on its site) and JetBlue as long as you accept the reimbursement in the form of a voucher good for future travel. Northwest charges just $25, for both domestic and international fares. American and Delta extract the $100-$300 fees; Southwest gives you a credit for a future flight without charging a fee. Even on these less generous airlines, however, we've heard of plenty of instances where a polite entreaty will get you a full fare difference refund without the penalties, so it's worth try.
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.
If it's happened to you, contact the airline or booking site straight away to see if you can get it amended (see How to Complain for help). Let them know it's a known fault others have reported too. Yet sadly you've few rights if the airline refuses to correct it, as it'd be difficult to prove it's their error, and it may charge you fees to amend or cancel.
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. 

Aim to buy higher quality tickets. Unlike selling online, you are probably not going to be able to sell to a large amount of buyers while scalping in person. Realistically, a dedicated scalper may only sell to a few parties in one night, so it's important to make those sales count with higher quality tickets. Buy your tickets early, and make sure the tickets themselves are part of a tier that's bound to sell out fast.
Consider Another Departure Airport: If you live near more than one airport, make sure you look at all available flights from each airport. Chances are one will be much cheaper than the other, or offer better times and aircraft. A good example of this is the New York area, which plays host to three major international airports: John F. Kennedy (JFK), La Guardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR).

If you're excited about seeing an adored artist or important game, it might be easier to miss red flags when buying tickets online. Scalpers generally have real tickets to sell while scammers do not, said Katherine Hutt, a national spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau. Both are financially motivated and use a combination of scarcity and immediacy to lure consumers.

Take advantage of presales. Presales allow select consumers (such as members of a fan club or people who carry a certain credit card) to buy tickets—usually by using a special password on the ticket sales website—before they’re offered to the general public. You can also get passwords and alerts to presales free of charge at ticketcrusader.com or by paying a small fee at presalepasswordinfo.com. Watch for credit card promotions, too. American Express, Visa Signature, and MasterCard offer some cardholders first dibs, preferred seats and unique access, and discounts to various events.


Nevertheless, it is entirely up to you whether you prefer to splash out on regular air tickets or put in the effort to score some of the amazing deals out there! But even if you're a very busy person and don't feel the savings are worth your time, you can still use a concierge service like those you get with good credit cards to do all the grueling work for you. You can never be too rich to save money.
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.
No matter how good it sounds, you should never book the first fare you see. Start your search by checking a few of the major online travel providers such as Travelocity, TripAdvisor Flights or Kayak. SmarterTravel’s sister site, Airfarewatchdog, is another good source of cheap airfare. Checking these sites will give you a preliminary idea of which airlines fly your particular itinerary, what the going rate is and which restrictions might apply. Armed with this information, you can head directly to the airline website to see if the same flights are any cheaper (some airlines guarantee to offer the lowest possible fares on their own websites). While you’re there, check to see if the airline is running any sales or promotions to your destination.
Best of all, you can tailor your ticket brokering venture to suit whatever schedule you happen to be on. Need to make a few extra bucks on the side while working a full time job? Ticket brokering can provide that. Want to earn six figures buying and selling tickets full time? You can do that too. It’s all completely open ended, and you’ll get out of it however much you put in.

Owing to the benefits of blockchain technology, when a smart ticket is issued, its origin and pricing can be tracked from the very moment of issue that is registered in a smart-contract, up to the redemption at the door. Even if a ticket is resold, there is no way to copy and resell a duplicate, or override resale rules specified by the promoter, unlike it often happens with conventional forms of tickets.


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.


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.


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.
[…] 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. […]
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.
Let's get one thing clear from the start: airfares are volatile. While it's true that flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday is cheaper than on a Friday or Sunday, there is no magic time of day, day of week or month of year to book a low airfare. Airfares can change in a heartbeat, high one minute and low the next, and the trick is to buy when a fare on your route becomes a bargain.

When the pre-sale tickets for The Tragically Hip’s final tour went on a sale, many of the fans were shattered after realizing that the tickets, which were sold out instantly, appeared on reseller sites like StubHub at up to 10 times the original price. Similarly, in December 2015, the tickets for Adele’s US tour on Ticketmaster got sold out in a few minutes. Many of those tickets were up for sale on resale sites such as eBay, StubHub, etc., where even the floor tickets cost about $4000. These are just the tip of the iceberg as many such ticketing websites have fallen prey to ticket scalping attack.
A. The sweet spot is between 6 weeks and 3 months prior to your flight for domestic flights, 2 months to 4 months for Caribbean destinations, and 4 to 5 months for Europe. Any farther before and the airlines haven’t started to actively manage fares on the route. The pricing is still on auto-pilot, if you will. Any closer to your flight than these ranges and most cheap seats will be sold out. Within 2 or 3 weeks of a flight airlines assume you’re a business traveler (or a desperate one) that will pay whatever the fare is.
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.
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).
Remember that it’s all in the timing. SeatGeek’s Flaherty said that no matter the event, a better deal is likely to emerge the longer you delay your purchase (see “Patience Pays Off,” below). Optimally, the time to act is within 48 hours of showtime, according to SeatGeek’s statistics. “Tickets are perishable goods,” Flaherty explained. “On the resale market, the price typically decreases the closer you get to the event, though you might lose some flexibility, like the ability to get five seats together.”
When the pre-sale tickets for The Tragically Hip’s final tour went on a sale, many of the fans were shattered after realizing that the tickets, which were sold out instantly, appeared on reseller sites like StubHub at up to 10 times the original price. Similarly, in December 2015, the tickets for Adele’s US tour on Ticketmaster got sold out in a few minutes. Many of those tickets were up for sale on resale sites such as eBay, StubHub, etc., where even the floor tickets cost about $4000. These are just the tip of the iceberg as many such ticketing websites have fallen prey to ticket scalping attack.
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.
Best time to buy: Tuesdays at 3 p.m. EST. If you don't find the discounts you're looking for in the early morning, a study by FareCompare.com says the best time to buy airline tickets and shop for travel (domestically) is on Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST. However, George Hobica, travel expert and journalist, argues that the best deals vary frequently, so there's not one specific day or time of the week to buy.
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. 

This is your first step, and it’s probably the most important. Ticket brokering can be fun and extremely lucrative, but it’s not for everyone. There are a lot of unpredictables, a lot of tough decisions, and a ton of organizational work that goes into this business. If you’re just learning about ticket brokering and you need an introduction on how it all works, this is not the career where you can simply “learn on the job.” What will end up happening is you’ll buy thousands of dollars worth of tickets that you can’t sell and you’ll just get discouraged.
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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.
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.
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.

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?
Rarely ever do airline tickets get cheaper as your departure date approaches, especially if you need to fly on a certain date. Budget airlines typically offer low rates as a baseline price, and as these tickets sell, the remaining ones increase in cost. This is very typical in Europe and Australia. If you know when and where you’re going, don’t wait on an unknown sale. More often than not, your biggest savings come from booking far ahead when you can.
If you consistently fly with one airline you can fly any partner airline or airline that's in the same alliance with the same miles. For example, you can fly any SkyTeam partner with Delta Skymiles. You can search for award flights on the airline website by clicking the "Pay With Award Miles" button. Compare the actual cash value of the ticket to make sure you are getting a good deal. Even if you can only buy one ticket with your miles, that can still be a savings of a few hundred dollars.

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.
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