As soon as you have decided on travel plans, make the reservations . Most airlines discount early bookings of 21 days or more in advance. Rates are usually lower if they include a Saturday night stay.
Surf the Internet for a quick way to compare different airlines rates. Always check the individual airline's web site for the very lowest fare.
Be flexible if possible with your travel dates. It can mean considerable savings. Different flight times on the same day may affect the rate. Less popular very early morning and late evening (Red Eye) flights often have lower prices.
Better fares usually can be found in the "off season" or at times when an airline is booked at less than capacity.
Consider splitting a long trip into multple roundtrips. Often a stop along the way (direct) will save money versus a non-stop route. Always check the savings against convenience. Be sure it's enough to make up for any hassles of a stop or connection.
Think about booking a package. Usually, you will save by combining your airline tickets along with a hotel, rental car or other related service.
Always ask if it is the best rate available when booking a reservation. You won't know if you don't ask!
If you qualify, or think that you might qualify for any special discounts, make certain you ask. Many travellers are eligible for some discount without knowing!
At airport check-in, always politely inquire about possible upgrade deals. Again, if you don't ask.
Allow enough time in advance to look for the best price. Research can mean big savings. Airline ticket prices vary constantly and inconsistently ! Don't be sitting next to someone that paid $200.00 for the same ticket that cost you $500.00. That's your fault for not doing your homework.
Go directly to your airline’s web site. They will list other vendors that they have partnerships or alliances with. Combining their services will reward you with bonus points, mileage, discounts and special offers. Usually these other companies are found in a "travel partners" section or "membership program" section as participating partners.
Consider alternate airports and nearby cities. You may be able to fly to a "neighbour" city for a lower price. Check for other costs when you consider this possibility. Airport shuttle, rental car prices, gas, etc., probably will be different. Total elapsed time may be more. Is the savings worth it ?
No... If it seems too good to be true, it usually is ! There are too many ways to get burned doing this. Most airline programs do not allow this practice and you’ll be probably be denied boarding. Today's computer checking systems, security checks and rules requiring proper I.D., make the chance of getting caught and losing big time, a very definite probability ! Often, these items, which are easy to duplicate, aren't even the real deal. You could be the victim of fraud, or worse.
Go to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report web page. It contains information on flight delays, mishandled baggage, over-sales or overbooking of flights, consumer complaints and disability complaints for the ten largest U.S. Airlines. Each section provides valuable information to assist travelers in evaluating which airline will provide the best service.
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