I just came across your post, very useful :-) for booking separate flights, I found a site called Tripcombi some weeks ago. I hadn’t bought with them yet, but I found a flight from Costa Rica to Amsterdam for $400 ($80 less than the one I already had). The downside? They don’t offer yet any kind of guarantee in case you miss a leg of the flight, but still worth checking it ;-)
If your bag is delayed, not lost, airlines will try to placate you with $25 or $50 each day. But the DOT says that’s not enough to salvage a wedding, a ski trip, or an important business trip. These companies can owe you up to $3,500 in liability for a domestic US trip, so long as you've got receipts -- you’ve gotta prove to the airline the relative value of what you had in the bag, and why you needed it before the luggage could be delivered. That’s not to say this isn’t your big chance to upgrade your suit collection. It’s just that if there wasn’t an event you needed the suit for before your bag showed up, you might not get full reimbursement.

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.

It looks like both scalpers and ticket brokers are here to stay because neither show any signs of slowing down. About 30 percent of concert tickets are sold on the second hand market, according to USA Today, who says scalpers and ticket brokers take in more than $1.5 billion a year reselling concert tickets. So make educated decisions when dealing with scalpers and ticket brokers.
To maximise savings, book well in advance and shop around. Just as with flights, comparison sites are the best place to start, but it's also worth trying booking direct, combining parking with a hotel room or renting a personal space near the airport. Our Cheap Airport Parking guide has full step-by-step help, plus we've blagged extra discounts on top to help bring costs down further. 

My husband and I are flying from San Francisco to Paris on August 31 and returning October 4. In the last several months, ticket prices have risen from $1400 – $1700 for economy seats. We fly every year and never pay anywhere near this for this much. Do you have any advice as to when we should book? We’d rather fly nonstop, but could do it with one short layover.

My husband and I are flying from San Francisco to Paris on August 31 and returning October 4. In the last several months, ticket prices have risen from $1400 – $1700 for economy seats. We fly every year and never pay anywhere near this for this much. Do you have any advice as to when we should book? We’d rather fly nonstop, but could do it with one short layover.
Compare ticket prices at different venues. When Bruce Springsteen played in the New York metropolitan area, seats on the resale market were far cheaper at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., than at either Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center in Brooklyn, said Will Flaherty, SeatGeek’s vice president of growth marketing. When Beyoncé was on tour, the cheapest ticket to see her at Citi Field in Queens, N.Y., was $140, and that was for a lousy seat. Compare that with the cost of seeing Queen Bey at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh a week earlier, where tickets on the resale market could be had for as little as $28; $140 bought a seat close to the stage, Flaherty said.
You probably already get bombarded with emails from every store, website, and vacation spot you’ve ever so much as looked at, but when you’re cleaning out your inbox don’t be so quick to unsubscribe from airline or travel site emails. While they might seem like just another empty marketing tool, airline emails can tip you off to flash sales or special deals you might otherwise miss. I recently scored half price tickets to Thailand because of a flash sale e-mail notice, true story!
After drawing up a list of two to five top possibilities, the next step is to check with those airlines on the airlines' own websites. Sometimes an airline undersells the travel agencies, and since checking each airline takes only a few minutes, that is a possibility worth investigating. Because of the misconception that the airline price will always be higher than that of the travel agent, this step is often overlooked.
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.

I’m an oddity in the miles/points game. I’ve been in it a few years now and I still don’t have a business card! I don’t mind flying any alliance though at the moment I am an elite for a skyteam airline… and I don’t have any hotel loyalty. Anyways, the only time I resell on stubhub is whenever I have to fulfill a minimum spend for the bonus points (most of the time it ranges $1500-$3000 for a period of 3 months) but I really utilized my reselling skills a year ago when I had to meet $10k minimum spends for the the citi AAexec cards!
It can be difficult to know at what point your error fare is confirmed, as airlines' terms and conditions don't always clearly spell out at what point your contract with them is legally binding, and therefore your ticket is guaranteed. For an example of an airline refusing to honour an error fare, see our BA cancels cheap tickets to Middle East MSE News story.
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.

When searching for airfare, most travel sites (Travelocity, Kayak, Priceline, etc.) allow you to make travel dates flexible by one to three days in order to guarantee the cheapest options. Some sites also have a calendar tool that highlights which days in that month or the upcoming months have the lowest fares. Switching your plans by a few days or to a different weekend might be inconvenient, but it can end up saving you hundreds in the long run. I’m a huge fan of Google’s Flight Explorer.  Staying flexible is one of my top travel tips!


To see how ticket prices change as an event nears, we shopped for the best-priced tickets to two events on May 23: a Cincinnati Reds–Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game in Los Angeles and a Beyoncé concert in Minneapolis. For the ball game we started at the box office, then tracked ticket prices on the secondary market. For the concert we looked only on resale sites because the box office was sold out. We shopped for one seat, in the same general location, using seatgeek.com. Prices include all fees except for delivery. 

When I moved back to Texas after Grad School my parents were absolutely hounding me about getting a full time job. I swear, all I heard from them was “You have to get a job with a 401k and health insurance!” I finally dropped the bomb on them that I was going to use my college degree and MBA to be a ticket broker. I would not be getting any 401K nor would I have any health insurance…they were not pleased to say the least.

Springsteen’s style might seem more altruistic, but performers who undercharge their fans can paradoxically reap higher profits than those who maximize each ticket price. It’s a strategy similar to the one employed by ventures like casinos and cruise ships, which take a hit on admission prices but make their money once the customers are inside. Concert promoters can overcharge on everything from beer sales to T-shirts, and the benefits of low-priced tickets can accrue significantly over the years as loyal fans return. In part, this explains why artists like Springsteen and Petty are content to undercharge at the gate while others, perhaps wary of their own staying power, are eager to capitalize while they can.
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.
Airlines play games with airfares -- sometimes, it seems, merely to annoy their competitors. If you check a New York to Seattle fare before going to bed one night it might be $228 round-trip, but check at 8am the following day and it could be $108. But that sneak sale, which could be valid for travel up to 330 days in the future, will probably last only a few hours, and seats will sell quickly. And for reasons that we can only speculate on, airlines lower fares on Saturday mornings and during the weekend (this is also when those "fat finger" airfare mistakes seem to happen). The aforementioned peak summer deals on Virgin to London popped up on a Saturday afternoon, and those now famous 88¢ USAir round-trips on a Saturday morning.
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.
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.”
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.
Your flight to Europe will likely be your biggest trip expense — it pays to be on your toes to get the best deal. And keep in mind that there's no such thing as a free lunch in the airline industry. (In fact, these days there's usually no lunch at all.) Before grabbing the cheapest ticket you can find, make sure it meets your travel needs with the best combination of schedule, economy, and convenience.
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?!).

Savings are available on last-minute flights from the UK if you look into charter airlines. Most airlines, even budget ones, will typically raise fares for nearly all routes a couple of weeks prior to departure, purely because they know that last-minute travellers are less budget-conscious, as they are often travelling for business or due to an emergency. However, specifically in the UK, there are two charter airlines that are an exception to this: Thomas Cook and Tui (formerly Thomson).
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So let’s go back to the San Francisco Giants. If they have an experimental section and they drop the price, why would I buy a ticket in the next section over that’s at a much higher price? So if I were going to buy that ticket, I would say, well, gee, I can save $10 by going to the experimental section. Why not? So my hunch is that there was a lot of cannibalization going on, and that 20% figure really didn’t represent new revenue, getting people price sensitive, in the door. My hunch is that the majority of this increased 20% came from people who would have actually paid a higher price. That’s a negative of dynamic pricing that I don’t think has been satisfactorily accounted for.


How far in advance should I book flights? – The best time to buy a ticket for flights within North America is 60 days in advance. For international travel to Asia and the South Pacific the best time to buy is 5 months in advance. For flights between North America and Europe the best time is 6 months in advance. And for flights within Europe the best time to buy is as soon as the tickets become available (usually 6 to 10 months in advance).
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.
The airfare for your family vacation to Orlando, Fla., cost you $500 a person. Your friend snagged tickets there during the same week for nearly half the price. What gives? It may not be pure luck, according to Rick Seaney, the founder of farecompare.com, an airline ticket comparison site. “There are ways to save on airfare, but you have to know the tricks,” he said. Here, he shares his top ones.
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.”

Want to increase your odds of booking at the right time? Check out the Best Time to Book tool, which gives an indication of the best time to book your tickets between set routes for hundreds of destinations – and the cheapest months to travel, too. So whether you want to book a dream trip to Tokyo or a citybreak to Krakow, it’ll tell you how far ahead to book – and which months to travel – to maximise your chances of the lowest fares.


If you travel a lot, try to travel on the same airline. Even if you pay a few dollars more, it’s wiser to accumulate miles so you can enjoy a free flight sooner than later. Also, most airlines partner with other airlines and form “alliances” and you can earn miles and redeem miles by flying on one of their partners. Google Flights allows you to search for flights by alliances, narrowing down your options to airlines that partner. American Airlines is part of the OneWorld alliance, Delta is part of SkyTeam, and United is with Star Alliance.

Conor Boyland explains this concept in further detail: “What I usually do if I’m forced to buy a ticket on the street, is ask to see all of the tickets. check the numbercode (numbers above the barcode), if all of the numbers, or even a few pairs, match; they are fakes.” Also, know the the original cost of the ticket and be sure to check the one you’re buying to make sure it’s correct.

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