I am planning to book an open jaw ticket San Francisco-Paris, Mykonos-San Francisco leaving in late May, returning in mid June. The cheapest I have found using every site I know are around $1800. I was thinking a good price would be around $1300 – $1500, but it may be too late to get these fares. Do you think prices could drop some? Should I wait until January to book? Kayak is not able to give me a buy/wait recommendation.
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 you find an airline with the best fares for your needs, go directly to that airline's website and compare costs. Quite often you'll be offered the same fare you got through an aggregator, and occasionally it may even be lower. The benefits of booking directly through the airline include easier changes and cancellations, avoidance of third-party booking fees, and the possibility of compensation (on some airlines) should fares drop further.
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.
Besides season tickets, the other common reselling opportunity is for big events, most notably music concerts, comedians, and shows.  These are obviously less consistent in nature than season tickets, but are also potentially more lucrative, given that many events are for one night only and sometimes in very high demand.  Selling tickets for individual shows is also obviously less of a time and financial commitment.
However, past trends do tell us a little about when the right time to book a flight is. The website CheapAir.com completed a study that determined 47 days in advance was the cheapest time to book domestic fares. And as for international fares, they concluded that the time frames varied wildly based on where you are flying to with the number of days ranging from 46 to 318 days in advance.
Comparison-shop "air plus hotel" promotional deals. Some airfare aggregators and airlines offer "getaway" deals. For one low price, you get a round-trip flight to a European city as well as a few nights' lodging. Given Europe's high accommodation costs — especially in big cities — these can be a good value, though you can expect to be put up in a soulless business hotel.
Now, there are caveats, so don't go booking out an entire planeful of tickets just for shits and giggles. First, with most airlines, you can cancel/change your ticket up to seven days before you’re scheduled to travel and still get a full refund. (The notable exception is American Airlines, which instead allows you to hold a ticket up to 24 hours at the price you see.) Second, you need to book directly with the airline's website, and not through a third-party booking site, although big ones like Expedia or Travelocity offer policies similar to those of airlines. But the big takeaway: You can have buyer's remorse for up to a full day. And some airlines -- like Southwest -- have even more generous refund policies that let you change plans up until right before you take off.
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 you are uncertain about the routes that these low-cost carriers fly, check them out online. For instance, JetBlue serves many of the major U.S. cities, particularly on the East Coast. It also has numerous vacation destinations in Central and South America and the Caribbean; Southwest serves most major U.S. cities as well as a few in Central America and Puerto Rico; Frontier serves most major U.S. cities as well as vacation spots in Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic; Allegiant Air's focus is transporting leisure travelers to warm vacation destinations like Punta Gorda, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles and Phoenix.
New York State lawmakers in May renewed the current ticket-selling law, which expires annually; new pending legislation would stiffen civil penalties and impose criminal ones for bot usage. Meanwhile, there are two ticketing bills under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would prohibit the use of bots and give the Federal Trade Commission enforcement authority. With significant reform unlikely to happen soon, how do you avoid getting gouged on ticket prices the next time you want to go to a ball game or take in a show?
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.)
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. 

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’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.)

This doesn’t seem to bother fans. Barry Arakelian told me that he had a great time at the Petty show, regardless of the fact that he paid $825 to see a show that should have cost about $200. He would have paid even more, he said, if he knew the money was going to an artist he admired. “And if I paid the higher price,” he said proudly, “you’d shut out the scalpers.”


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?
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.)
RAFI MOHAMMED: Right. Sure. Well, the classic example is that the San Francisco Giants did a test market for dynamic pricing a couple of years ago. And what they did is, in certain sections, they would lower and increase price. And what they found is that, in these sections, the revenue increased by 20%. So that sounds like a really great figure, doesn’t it?
Delta Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, AeroMexico, AirEuropa, Air France, Alaska Airlines, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, GOL Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Jet Wirways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle Eastern Airlines, Seabourne Airlines, Transavia, Tarom, Vietnam Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Westjet, Xiamen Air.

But by leaving money on the table, Springsteen and his ilk might be doing their fans an inadvertent disservice. Jared Smith, the president of Ticketmaster North America, told me that the artists who charge the least tend to see the most scalping. Springsteen and others have angrily denounced scalping at their shows, but their prices are guaranteeing the very existence of that secondary market, which has become ever more sophisticated over the years. Many scalpers now use computer programs to monopolize ticket buying when seats go on sale, which forces many fans to buy from resellers. One of the surest ways to eliminate scalping, Smith told me, is to charge a more accurate price in the first place.
The price of domestic flights were, on average, 11 percent lower on Sunday than the average for all other days. The Sunday bargains were even greater on flights from the U.S. to Europe, with tickets averaging 16 percent lower when compared with other days. And flights within Europe averaged a whopping 30 percent less on Sundays, making it an ideal day to book several legs of a multicity tour. 

Whether sports or events, a key factor is buying tickets that stand out or are different in some way. You’re right on about being as careful and aware as possible about supply factors, such as promoters discounting tickets or announcing additional showings/concerts. You also make a very good and fair point about having capital tied up in inventory. 

This flight search option is legal, but, there is a catch. You book a fare with a connecting flight and hop off at the connecting airport instead of continuing to the final destination instead of booking a more expensive direct flight. Since the airlines might not appreciate this gesture, be sure you don't check a bag or link your loyalty rewards number. Skiplagged is probably the best site to engage in this endeavor.
Typically, I start all my searches with Momondo because it searches all major AND budget airlines, non-English websites, English websites, and everything in between. I’ve been using them since 2008 and they vet all the sites they link to as they have strict criteria on who the operate with. Momondo is one of the most comprehensive booking sites out there, they have the lowest price 99% of the time, and it’s the search engine all the other travel experts I know use too.
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.
SARAH GREEN: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard Business Review. I’m Sarah Green. Today we’re talking about something that affects every business, pricing. But we’re looking to the fringes of ticket scalping for some advice. I’m talking with Rafi Mohammed, who is a pricing strategy consultant and author of The 1% Windfall: How Successful Companies Use Price to Profit and Grow. He also blogs for HBR.org, and, so I hear, gets a lot of great tickets on the secondary market. Rafi, thanks so much for joining us today.
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.”

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.)
First of all when Scalping, it is important that you keep costs under control. Scalping is all about taking or giving small profits. If you start letting your costs run these could eat up your profits. What I mean by costs, is not being decisive or convinced on a certain about a trade and you enter a trade to quickly close it. In this situation you have paid the spread. These little costs can add up.
The professional ticket scalpers you encounter in the parking lot are brokers or middlemen looking to capitalize on an arbitrage opportunity. Arbitrage is the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two markets. In scalping, it’s the difference between what a fan looking to unload an extra ticket asks for versus the price you, a fan without a ticket, will pay to get into the arena.  
This is the hardest part in scalping but also applies to all styles of trading. Do not over trade. Many traders that start off and maybe never make it, is because they overtrade in the beginning and they start making a lot of little losses to soon find their account so low or in the red that they cannot be impartial in their trading. Therefore it is essential that from the beginning you take control of your trading urges. When you start off scalping you can also play it safe, that is, even if you miss a couple of trades do not feel you are missing out, but see it as market experience. You are currently learning. The market won’t go anywhere.
“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
Especially during peak travel periods, making reservations late in the game can cost you a lot of money. Airline ticket prices typically go up in the last two weeks before flying, so if you’re planning ahead, try to make the call before this deadline. And if you’re traveling internationally, you’ll want to book even earlier — from three to six months in advance — for the best deals. For more on specific booking deadlines and recommendations, see Want the Lowest Fare? Here’s When to Book.
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.
Editorial Disclosure: Any personal views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of GET.com. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
The Kim Komando Show ® and all material pertaining thereto is a Registered Trademark / Servicemark: No. 2,281,044. America's Digital Goddess ® and all material pertaining thereto is a Registered Trademark / Servicemark: No. 3,727,509. Digital Diva ® and all material pertaining thereto is a Registered Trademark / Servicemark: No, 2,463,516. Any and all other material herein is protected by Copyright © 1995 - 2019 WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
I'd like to add this to your whole approach: You can usually get tickets for free or next to free at any sporting event (im in the US not sure about the rest of the world but its probably much the same). All you have to do is be loud, exuberant about wanting to get in, and preferably wearing the home teams colors (don't wear opposing teams colors). So many people have an extra ticket, and many don't even bother/want to sell it to scalpers.
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.
Here is a breakdown of how original sellers calculate the cost of face value tickets: face value tickets are the cost of the ticket, plus any service charge plus tax. This is all printed clearly on the ticket. Face value tickets are sold by the original ticket provider. When you buy tickets from a ticket broker or scalper, you will likely be buying them for more than face value so they can make a profit.
Airline rewards programs are a great way to get free flights, free upgrades, and free companion tickets. No matter how often you fly, you should be signed up for the airline’s reward program. I stick to US-based airlines since they are involved in all the major alliances and you can earn miles on their partner flights. For example, if I fly Singapore Airlines, I can earn United Airlines miles because they are partners. Likewise, if I fly Air France, it’s credited to my Delta rewards account.
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.
Be loud. You don't exactly need to have a brilliant marketing scheme when it comes to scalping tickets, but you do need to make people aware that you're selling them. Be loud, and shout what you're selling. including the type and number of seats. You can repeat this information loudly. If there is a demand for what you're selling, people will eventually come up to you and ask.
Here is a breakdown of how original sellers calculate the cost of face value tickets: face value tickets are the cost of the ticket, plus any service charge plus tax. This is all printed clearly on the ticket. Face value tickets are sold by the original ticket provider. When you buy tickets from a ticket broker or scalper, you will likely be buying them for more than face value so they can make a profit.
Search for flight deals a month in advance, and, unless you can fly at a moment's notice and find a last-minute sale, book 21 days out. Avoid flying on Monday, Friday and Sunday, which are generally the most expensive days. You can also save a lot by flying at night (yes, the dreaded red-eye) or early in the morning (like when it's still dark). Try to stay over at least one Saturday to save even more. And travel off-season: everyone wants to fly to Hawaii in winter when it's cold or in summer when school is out, but in spring or fall, those seats are cheaper. Finally, research when to buy airline tickets for holiday travel carefully. In general, the closer to a holiday you fly, the higher the prices — unless, perhaps, you travel on the holiday itself.

While it's possible to book your flights on most search sites (they certainly hope you will, to garner their commission), I use these sites only as a first step. Once I've zeroed in on which airline has the best deal for my trip, I check the airline's own site to compare fares. You can often avoid added costs by booking direct (the commissions are charged either as higher prices or in the form of fees for booking through a third party). And airlines may offer bonuses (such as extra frequent-flier miles) to those who book direct.

Be loud. You don't exactly need to have a brilliant marketing scheme when it comes to scalping tickets, but you do need to make people aware that you're selling them. Be loud, and shout what you're selling. including the type and number of seats. You can repeat this information loudly. If there is a demand for what you're selling, people will eventually come up to you and ask.
So that goes back to the notion of value. So I value the certainty of having great tickets to the Rolling Stones or the Red Sox versus the Yankees. So I’m willing to pay a premium just to get that certainty. But much like what you see in life, and in pricing in general, if you’re willing to wait it out and deal with the uncertainty, you can get the best tickets at face value, if not lower, if you wait until the very last minute.
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.)
Typically, I start all my searches with Momondo because it searches all major AND budget airlines, non-English websites, English websites, and everything in between. I’ve been using them since 2008 and they vet all the sites they link to as they have strict criteria on who the operate with. Momondo is one of the most comprehensive booking sites out there, they have the lowest price 99% of the time, and it’s the search engine all the other travel experts I know use too.
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.
One of these sites is Jack's Flight Club* (JFC), which is independently run and sends its members email alerts with details of cheap flights. If you're flexible about when and where you go, this can be a good way to grab a bargain – its basic service is free, though right now we've blagged a free 30-day trial of its premium service which spots more deals.
Momondo primarily compares the prices of third-party booking sites, including some international ones you have probably never heard of before, to find the lowest price! Even though many airlines require you to book directly through their website to score the best deal (as they keep the best prices for themselves), these two search engines can help you find the best flight options as they access the metadata from each carrier so you can save time as well.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to save money on flights and lodging that don’t involve eschewing them altogether—life hacks I didn’t even realize existed until I began reporting this story. Like, did you know you can download apps that will alert you the moment the price goes down on that flight you had your eye on? Or that hotels will often offer you better deals on rooms you’ve already booked if you find that room available for a cheaper price after the fact on some other site? The list goes on. And here it is:
Step 3: Watch and wait. This is the nerve-wracking bit. You'll need to wait at least 24 hours until you switch your Flexifare tickets to the dates you want. You'll be able to move each ticket by up to one week before or three weeks after, if there's space on a flight. You can change the dates as many times as you like – but if there's no availability, you won't be able to switch.
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.

However, you can earn a lot of miles through credit card sign up bonus, online shopping, surveys, special offers, and more. I earn over a million miles a year – without flying or spending extra money. That translates into dozens of free flights (often in business class) for myself and my family. If you are smart with your money and collect points and miles (the art of “travel hacking”), you can travel around the world for very little (and often free). Here are some articles on travel hacking that can help:
On your way to a game/tailgate/car park/on the highway, you'll probably hear people yelling "need tickets." He's not asking for one—he wants to sell them. More often than not, the tickets you buy are copies of an original ticket—which means that as soon as you get into the stadium, you're screwed. I've heard the story a number of times. It's not fun.
“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
The price of domestic flights were, on average, 11 percent lower on Sunday than the average for all other days. The Sunday bargains were even greater on flights from the U.S. to Europe, with tickets averaging 16 percent lower when compared with other days. And flights within Europe averaged a whopping 30 percent less on Sundays, making it an ideal day to book several legs of a multicity tour.

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.
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.
×