Writer, Editor, and Photography enthusiast, Ana Pereira is a California native, who left the corporate world to get out and explore the world. Recently, she spent several months exploring Africa and South Asia. Her goal is to explore Earth's farthest and deepest corners, with cultures and landscapes far different from her own. She spends most of her "down-time" out in the wilderness, climbing, hiking, and beyond, and is feverishly passionate about travel and health. Check her out on her blog or Instagram.
Embrace Connections: Unless you’re lucky, chances are you’ll have at least one connection on your way to Europe or Asia, but there’s good news here too: Connecting flights are can be cheaper than direct flights, and in some cases, they work well with schedules that get you to your destination earlier. Connecting flights are also an excellent way to build up your frequent flier points, and those can come in handy down the road for upgrades to Business Class or entry into airline lounges at airports around the world.
From Vancouver to Puerto Vallarta, the best deal was found on Kayak: $1720.96 for four travellers. The most expensive was found on Air Canada’s website with a grand total of $5,250, a difference in savings of $3,529.04. Kayak’s website gave a “hacker’s deal.” The company has trademarked the phrase, which are roundtrip fares pieced together from one-way flights on a number of airlines. Typically consumers are not able to purchase that on most booking sites.
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.
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.
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.
So buyer, beware. People have been ripped off by scalpers even before the internet was invented, and many states have laws against them. Even though these laws are haphazardly enforced, scalping tickets carries some risk. But if you really want to get into the building and it’s only an hour before showtime, you’re going to have to go nose to nose with some of the best negotiators in the business world. Make sure you follow the steps below to get the best deal.
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.
7. Research the going ticket rates: It's kind of like telling a student to brush up on reading and math. But Menard and others believe this advice is worth repeating. Study the secondary platforms where you'll buy and sell your tickets -- StubHub, eBay,Craigslist, RazorGator and the like. You need to know the ceiling and floor prices. They're the basis for doing solid business in cyberspace and in the parking lot. Clark Howard, author of Living Large in Lean Times (Avery Penguin $18), recommends SeatGeek.com, a one-stop shop to help buyers compare different vendors. While it's targeted at buyers, scalpers also can benefit from the information.
Finally, in many cities, legit ticket resellers have store fronts close to the venue. They are always a worth a visit before you turn to a scalper as they often have deals on last minute tickets. The rule with them is never take the price they first offer unless it is within $10-15 of face value. If it is more, being willing to walk away never hurt anyone and usually net’s a price cut.
Flight search websites compare fares available at multiple airlines, online travel agencies, or both, and then sort them by price. I've tested a number of them on a variety of journeys, both transatlantic and within Europe. Overall, Kayak has the best results for both intercontinental and intra-European flights on a combination of mainstream and budget carriers. An alternative is Google Flights, which has an easy-to-use system to track prices and lets you see how much you'd save by departing a day earlier or later.
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.
The impact is already being felt on the street. Outside the Petty show, one scalper told me that, back in the ’80s and ’90s, he made more than $70,000 a year reselling tickets. But now he is lucky to clear $30,000. “A $300 night is a home run now,” he said. His business has suffered tremendously since 2007, when New York State legalized ticket reselling and helped supply meet demand. “StubHub is killing us,” he said. Indeed, Internet-based ticket reselling has doubled in the past five years and is now projected to be a roughly $4.5 billion business. After fighting the secondary market for years, some have surrendered. The Mets, like 27 other baseball teams, have signed a deal with StubHub, and the Yankees recently signed one with Ticketmaster, to create a formal secondary market. The organizations might as well get a piece of the action.
While most business (and frequent) travelers feel good about doing their part by booking the lowest possible fare, they may be doing themselves and their company a disservice. The first disservice would be to themselves because the lowest fares often do not give the most elite qualifying points for their frequent flyer program. In fact, some of the lowest fares may not qualify for frequent flyer miles at all, depending on a flight's specific route.
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.
When you do find small airlines, even if they are listed in a search engine results, it often pays to check the company site which may reveal exclusive online offers not found in a regular search engine. For example, when flying in Western Canada, I found that Hawk Air, a small and local company offers weekly deals on certain days. Be sure to double check!
There is no federal law prohibiting the use of bots, but 13 states have outlawed them and federal legislation to ban their use is pending in Congress. Though reselling tickets was once largely illegal, most states relaxed or eliminated their anti-scalping laws within the last decade or so for assorted reasons. Among them: the rise of internet ticket sales, the inability to enforce resale regulations, and the chance to collect taxes on sales.
During a lengthy tarmac delay in the US (upon either arrival or departure), the DOT says an airline can’t keep you on a plane for more than three hours (on a domestic flight) or four hours (on an international flight) without allowing you to get off if you wish. Even listening in on what your pilot is saying to air traffic control probably won’t keep you entertained for that length of time. Also, the airline is obligated to get that food and water cart running down the aisle after two hours of delay.
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.
Any more time and you might want to consider a more unplanned trip that utilises budget airlines and cheap off-season one way tickets. It’s not unreasonable to be able to do an around the world trip using the buy-as-you-go method for half the price of a true RTW ticket. And the freedom you get from having an unplanned itinerary is fun and liberating.
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.
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.)
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.
10. Don't do what I do: This DailyFinance reporter has dabbled in scalping. I thought I could be a dynasty. Instead I performed like the '62 Mets. A few things I learned in trying to conduct Internet commerce for baseball and college basketball: Don't buy singles. (Duh, right?) Study what buyers are actually paying instead of what fellow sellers are asking. Keep in mind the size of the venue, because some monster stadiums and arenas can create a surplus. And compute the purchase fees into your profit forecast. You'll fork over 15% to StubHub for selling and a $5 service charge plus $4.95 email delivery on the buying. That's a lot to overcome if you're working both ends.
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?
For many of us, airfare can be a struggle, both in terms of cost and availability. But when it comes to planning your river cruise vacation, there are some simple research precautions you can take early on in the process to ensure you don’t end up on the wrong side of the airfare game. The first step starts with doing some research on your hometown airport.