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The Cheapest Times to Fly and other Tips from Air Travel Insiders

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Cheapest Times to Fly and other Tips from Air Travel Insiders

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August 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Deals, Flight Deals, Kris' Tips

Farecompare’s Rick Seaney wrote this great article on tips for flight tickets, and I thought of sharing it with you. He points out, for example, the ‘bereavement’  rates, which few people know about, and the best times to fly cheaper.

The link below the text has the original page where they also have a video with tips from CNN.com

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The Cheapest Times to Fly and other Tips from Air Travel Insiders

Let’s take some of the mystery out of shopping for air travel. I have boiled down dozens of my tips from years of research airfares — these tips will help you make the best buying decisions.  And that’s what it’s all about.

1 – Fly the Cheapest Days and Times to Fly

Generally, the cheapest day of the week is Wednesday. After Wednesday, the cheapest days to book departures/arrivals are Tuesday and Saturday. Airlines often file cheaper airfares that are only good on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The cheapest time to fly is typically the first flight out in the morning – yes, that means you have to get up at 4am. Next best times are flights during/after lunch and flights at the dinner hour.

2 – Fly Cheap Airlines

The proper term is, “lower-cost carriers” or “no-frills”.

Check with Southwest, AirTran, JetBlue, Virgin America, and others – their prices are often (not always, but often) cheaper than the legacy carriers. Always check airfare prices with all carriers, but neglect to check the “cheap” airlines at your peril.

3 – Fly Cheap Foreign Airlines

Especially, once you’re on foreign soil.

There are cheap European airlines that fly all over the EU an example is Dublin-based Ryanair. Fly to Ireland

on the cheapest carrier you can find, then use an inexpensive European-based airline to travel throughout Europe. Warning: beware of fees on foreign, low-cost carriers – they add up quickly (especially if you check any baggage).

4 – Fly First Class at Economy Class Prices

Buy discount Domestic U.S./Canada First Class Airfare.

Come to FareCompare and we’ll show you how to buy these airfares — sometimes these discounted first class fares are as cheap as coach, sometimes not. They will always be a great bargain compared to full first class.

Be Flexible.

5 – Ask For Vacation Days After You Find Cheap Flights

If you are willing to be flexible (rather than shoe-horning yourself into a particular vacation week), you can save big. Use email alerts, find a great fare, and then ask for the time off. Fly to off-the-beaten-path destinations or out-of-season resorts and save.

6 – Fly the Big Hubs – Usually

A bigger airport can mean bigger savings.

If you’re in a medium to small sized city, it usually pays to drive to the nearest big-city and depart from there – LAX, for example, is usually cheaper than Burbank.

WARNING: this isn’t true everywhere; if you live in Cincinnati, for example, it can be cheaper to fly out of Dayton, Columbus or even Indianapolis.

7 – Save on Last Minute Emergency Flights

Always ask. Traveling to a funeral? Check to see if the airline has a “bereavement” rate. If they don’t, call and ask. Some airlines will work with you on this.

Look for “package” deals: some airlines’ have last minute deals that include hotels/car – but the entire package may be cheaper than last-minute airfare alone.

8 – Yes, You Can Get Refunds – Sometimes

Persistence and patience pays off.

Check your airline’s Contract of Carriage for complete details; some savvy travels carry a print-out of these rules with them every time they travel.

9 – Forget Rule 240.

All the experts fall for this one.

Some “travel gurus” suggest “Rule 240? will somehow force airlines to immediately get you on the next available plane in the event of delays/cancellations; there is also a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to show you.

The truth: there is no Rule 240 – though some “old timers” still refer to sections of an airline’s Contract of Carriage as “the 240?. However, 240 disappeared with deregulation in the 70’s. Today, information about an airline’s obligation to you is in their Contract (or Conditions) of Carriage and most of these “contracts” guarantee you very little. But know what’s in them – knowledge is power.

Best advice in the face of cancellations/delays? Be nice. The harried airline rep at the counter is having just as lousy a time as you are, and you’d be surprised how far some kind words can go.

10 – Educate Yourself.

The more you know, the smarter you’ll shop.

Use all the technology you can get your hands on: email alerts, historical data, information on trends, and more. An educated consumer is going to be a happy consumer.

 

Source:  Farecompare – Trips from Air Travel Insiders

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