5. Know your laws: There's no federal law against scalping, but you'll need to find out what's in play where you live. In New York, for instance, the state let its sky's-the-limit scalping permission lapse in June 2010. Now somewhat strict, but cloudy, rules supposedly govern both online and onsite transactions there. Whether the activity is being rigorously monitored is anyone's guess.
Increasingly, airlines are launching "private" sales, reserving their very best fares for their own sites. With the exception of Southwest (www.southwest.com), now the second largest carrier by passengers flown, most of the airlines that do this are smaller domestic airlines or large international carriers, but we've even seen Delta do it, and we're not talking here just about last-minute weekend fares. Air New Zealand, Aloha, Malaysia, Frontier, Qantas, Singapore, SAS, Spirit, and others are using this strategy. Alaska Airlines has almost-weekly 20 percent off sales that you won't find anywhere but Alaska's site (www.alaskaairlines.com). Niche carriers like USA3000 (www.usa3000.com) and Allegiant Air (www.allegiantair.com) usually don't share their fare data with third-party sites at all, and although USA3000 fares are included in Sidestep.com searches, that airline has frequent $10 off sales that are only valid only on its website.

If you already have a credit card, or if you are planning to open one in the near future, consider switching or starting with an airline rewards card. You’ll be able to rack up frequent flier points when you’re not flying and cash in on free flights and member discounts/benefits as you spend! Check out the great community at /r/Churning for ideas on how to up your points game!

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.


I strongly recommend buying what’s referred to as an open-jaw ticket. This means you arrive-at and depart-from different cities. For example fly New York to London on your outbound trip, but return Paris to New York on your inbound trip. You save time and money by not having to return to your arrival city (where you’ve already been). The main downside to this is that the very cheapest deals in the airline industry are often tied to the same city (e.g. a return Los Angeles-Hong Kong ticket) but excluding the very cheapest deals – which most people don’t get anyways – the cost of an open jaw ticket can be fairly similar to a more standard ticket. Be sure to check this out.
Airlines, in general, rarely share all the possible fares or "fare buckets" that are available on any given flight on any given day. Many times travelers are faced with choosing between a full fare ticket and the lowest fare ticket, not knowing that there can sometimes be as many as 20 additional fare buckets available for that flight. At best, only the lowest fare in each fare category will be presented to the business traveler as options.
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.
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!
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.
We traveled on Air New Zealand from SFO to BNE and return from SYD, with premium economy space seats, outbound September and return October. Price was USD 3935 for 2 persons, purchased June. Now price per person for similar flight Sept 2016 seems to be 50% greater, USD 3,000. I would appreciate any comment you have as to this increase and later pricing. Thanks. David Anderson
Unfortunately my main scalper that I used (before stubhub days) retired--he even gave me his phone number. I'll still scalp at A's games sometimes, but it's pretty rare that I do it for the Giants. Unless I'm downtown and I suddenly need to see the Giants (it happens....)--I use stubhub. That said, here are some general tips that take into account personal safety--
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!
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.

If it doesn't really matter when you fly (Aunt Mary will be just as happy to see you in August as in September), you can sometimes save hundreds by adjusting your travel dates, often by just a day or two. Travelocity used to have the best flexible date search option in the industry for two reasons: it searched 330 days ahead, and it included international flights both between the U.S. and international destinations, and also flights between international cities. Thanks to an edict from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Travelocity no longer lists fares internationally (because they neglected to include all the fuel surcharges and other add-ons), but they're still a valuable source for domestic flights. And if you really like Travelocity and miss its full flexible search functions, visit its Asian affiliate Zuji.com (www.zuji.com) where you can search flights in U.S. dollars (apparently the U.S. DOT's reach doesn't extend to Asia).
And the first is, there’s just a great deal of uncertainty when a ticket price is set, whether it’s for a baseball game that the Red Sox are doing well or not, or even a rock concert. The Rolling Stones can be very hot in some cities and not so hot in other cities. And so one of the key reasons is due to this uncertainty, many sports teams and musicians tend to be conservative, and set a low price. The second key reason is there’s generally a hesitancy to set prices too high, because there’s a brand or goodwill associated with these entities, and they don’t want to set prices too high to damage that.

We traveled on Air New Zealand from SFO to BNE and return from SYD, with premium economy space seats, outbound September and return October. Price was USD 3935 for 2 persons, purchased June. Now price per person for similar flight Sept 2016 seems to be 50% greater, USD 3,000. I would appreciate any comment you have as to this increase and later pricing. Thanks. David Anderson
I never even considered the VPN bit. I’ve noticed a large difference between prices I can get here in South Africa and those a friend who lives in the States is able to get. It seems so unfair but it’s understandable. I think there’s actually a site that you can go to that gets you low prices by skipping middle layover routes, but cannot recall what it was called.
Many of these budget airlines have their own airline rewards credit cards, and most of them offer a major signup points bonus. For example, Southwest has a credit card associated with Chase offering 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in your first three months. However, a general travel rewards credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best option for most people, as you have the flexibility to redeem your points towards a wide variety of airlines and hotels. You’ll receive 50,000 bonus points worth $625 through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of your account opening. Compare this card to other travel cards here.
Scalping tickets refers to the advance purchase and resale of tickets once an event has sold out. Depending on the supply-and-demand for a given ticket, there is a lot of money to be potentially made in ticket scalping. It is illegal most places, you can easily fund your personal ticket purchases by learning the craft of scalping and selling a few at each sold-out show you attend.[1] 

I agree that ticket reselling is probably not the most efficient form of MS. But it can be a profitable reselling endeavor, not unlike other reselling approaches. As with any business venture or MS strategy, clearly one needs to become educated and decide what works best for them. And as Shawn always advocates on this blog, start small. If it works for you, do more. If it doesn’t, stop.

Good sites for planning your trip: Star Alliance Fare Planner for planning a trip on the largest airline alliance of them all. OneWorld Explorer isn’t quite as big as Star but has better coverage of South and Central America. AirTreks is a popular trip planner based in San Francisco. Trailfinders is good at tailoring budget trips to specific needs and destinations.

Domestic airfares can change up to three times a day during the week, and once a day on weekends. Because airfares fluctuate like the stock market, you need to check them every day, sometimes two or three times a day, if you're serious about saving money. And another little tip: be sure to clear the "cookies" on your Internet browser (on Explorer you do this under the "tools" menu and "Internet options" sub menu). Why? If a fare changes between two separate searches done over time on the same route, some fare search engines may return the results you viewed earlier rather than the new results.
Unfortunately for weary travelers, there’s no single best way to find cheap flights. As with any purchase, you need to shop around to get the best deal — by trying different booking sites, altering your dates and waiting until just the right time to purchase. But if you’re willing to put in a little time and effort, you could save big on your next flight.
I would look for a couple more days then buy as tickets generally don’t come down, they go up (though there can be exceptions over the short term). For the cheaper Monday fares I’d be more inclined to book soon. For the more expensive Sunday fares, you probably have less to lose as you’ve already lost the discount so waiting on those has at least the chance of a cut.
If you still need to book the whole kit and kaboodle, a flight and hotel package can save you cash. Airlines and third-party booking sites all offer travel packages. Some of the best options are Costco Travel or through your airline or hotel loyalty program (i.e. Marriott Flights and Nights) so you can get some bonus points and book a cheap flight simultaneously.
Good sites for planning your trip: Star Alliance Fare Planner for planning a trip on the largest airline alliance of them all. OneWorld Explorer isn’t quite as big as Star but has better coverage of South and Central America. AirTreks is a popular trip planner based in San Francisco. Trailfinders is good at tailoring budget trips to specific needs and destinations.
Turkish Airlines Adria Airways, Air Algerie, Air Astana, Air Canada, Air China, AEGEAN, Air India, Air Malta, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Azerbaijan Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Egyptair, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hawaiian Blue Airlines, Iran Air, JetBlue, Kuwait Airways, Lufthansa, Luxair, Pakistan International, Philippine Airlines, Oman Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Brunei Airlines, Royal Jordanian, RwandAir, UIA, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, Tap Portugal, Thai Airways, United and UT Air.
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.)

You need to use more than one flight search engine for every flight search. Two of my favorites are Google Flights and Momondo. They are both extremely to use and consistently find some of the lowest prices. Google Flights will comb through the listings directly from the airline websites, although they will also list the prices of a few third-party booking sites as well.
Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) canceled his first scheduled show in 35 years over insane ticket scalping last week, taking a stand against the state of New York for not allowing paperless ticket shows — that’s when everyone has to pick up their tickets at the box office before the event. So it got us thinking — what is the best methodology for acquiring tickets to sold-out shows?

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!
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