Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tips On Tickets

Recommended links for getting cheap plane tickets:

* Airtran Airways
* Alaska Airlines
* Aloha Airlines
* American Airlines
* ATA Airlines
* Continental Airlines
* Delta Air Lines
* Frontier Airlines
* Hawaiian Airlines
* JetBlue Airways
* Midwest Airlines
* Northwest Airlines
* Southwest Airlines
* Spirit Airlines
* United Airlines
* US Airways

* Expedia
* Orbitz
* Priceline
* Travelocity
* Yahoo! Farechase

Here are tips on getting cheap plane tickets:

If you see a good fare to your destination, book it right away. Do not expect good fares to stay the same. Sale fare price in the beginning of the sale may not be the same as the one toward the end of that sale. Let's say you came to our site and saw your favorite airline having a big holiday sale. You found a good deal to your destination and the deadline is weeks away. At this point, you may think the price will stay the same all the way until the offer ends, right? You're probably thinking, it's a sale so the price will stay the same. Well, our experience tells the story that the price you saw is not guaranteed to stay the same. Let's hear a real testimony from one of our site visitors.

# Use off-peak flights and travel on week days. Lowest fares are usually found in mid-week days such as Tuesday or Wednesday when the traffic is light.

Michael Bluejay - Cheap Fares Expert

Michael Bluejay has a great post comparing travel search engines for cheap airfares.

Michael Bluejay has great tips for cheap airfares (domestic U.S.).

Here are some tips for cheap airfares:

How does $169 one-way to Europe sound? You can get ridiculously cheap airfares like this when you agree to carry a package as a courier. In fact, couriers sometimes fly for free. This requires a flexible travel schedule, but if that's you then you can score an incredible deal this way. Courier flights are usually only available for international travel.
  • AirTech. Offers fantastic rates to Europe, Mexico, and Hawaii.
  • AirCourier. They charge a membership fee but offer more services than AirTech. Unfortunately they sold our test email address to spammers.

There's a third site, AirHitch.org, but it's so incredibly user-hostile I wouldn't wish it on anyone. If you have a lot of patience you might be able to figure out how to get a good deal there, but when you have other alternatives I see no reason to bother.

U.S. to Bermuda, Cancun, etc.

USA3000 offers service between select U.S. cities and Bermuda, Cancun, La Romana, Puerto Plata, and Punta Cana. In Sept. 2004 we checked and found a roundtrip fare between Baltimore and Bermuda for $160 (!), while the best Orbitz could find was closer to $400.

Other international sites

Other sites we found which have good international fares are:
  • U.S. to/from Canada: Air Canada
  • Canada to everywhere: Sears Travel
  • Australia to Australia: Fare Hunter
  • Europe to Europe: Momondo.
    • Momondo's flexible dates feature is awesome. It gives you a GRAPH showing the price for every single day in any month you choose. Sweet!

Tip for flying into Europe

Kelly Fine writes: "We found that it was much cheaper to fly to London on one airline and fly from London to the Continent on another airline. This seemed to be true no matter what city in Europe we wanted to go to. And it was impossible to find a cheap flight from anywhere to Bratislava, so we found a flight to Vienna, which is only a little over an hour by bus from Bratislava. Flying into central and eastern Europe is much more expensive than flying to western Europe."

Tips For Getting Cheap Airfare

Michael Bluejay writes:

#1 Be flexible with your travel dates.

If you insist on traveling on specific dates you'll pay a lot more. If you can leave or return even a day earlier or later you'll often save you a lot of money. Use Travelocity to find airfares for flexible travel dates. (Click "flexible dates".) Orbitz also has a flexible date finder but it's not quite as easy to use.

This is our #1 tip for getting the best airfare! Ignore it at your peril.

Sample fares we just checked1:

  • $444 - Insist on leaving on the 5th and returning on the 7th
  • $333 -Willing to leave on the 5th and return on the 8th

If you're super-flexible and don't need to book right away, then try a fare watcher like My Yahoo to monitor prices on a daily basis, or sign up to get the airline's weekly email of discounted fares for unsold flights.


#2 Book at least two weeks ahead, preferably three.

When you buy early you save. Book at least two weeks before your flight (preferably three), and at least 30 days for international flights.

Sample fares we just checked2:

  • $444 - Booked 5 days in advance
  • $261 - Booked 19 days in advance
  • $192 - Booked 26 days in advance


#3 Staying over Saturday no longer necessary.

So far as I can tell, the old conventional wisdom of staying over a Saturday night before returning is no longer necessary. I tried several searches and the return flight was never any cheaper if I set it for Sunday or later.


#4 Fly mid-week if you can.

Weekend flights are usually more expensive because that's when most people fly. Flying midweek usually means a cheaper fare.

Sample fares we just checked3:

  • $412 - Leave Sunday, return next Sunday
  • $337 - Leave Monday, return next Monday
  • $337 - Leave Friday, return next Friday
  • $314 - Leave Tue/Wed/or Thu, return next Tue/Wed/Thu

Best Travel News Websites

More tips for cheap airfare here.

Here's a video about finding cheap airfares from cute CNETnews reporter Kara Tsuboi.

Here are the best travel news websites:

CNN Travel - http://www.cnn.com/travel/

BBC Travel News - http://www.bbc.co.uk/travelnews

USA Today - http://www.usatoday.com/travel/

New York Times - http://www.travel.nytimes.com

International Herald Tribune - http://www.iht.com/pages/travel/index.php

The Times - http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/

Guardian - http://travel.guardian.co.uk/

Top Airfare Deals

From CheapoAir:

Fly on Northwest Airlines from Philadelphia to Orlando starting at $130 Special Fares on United Airlines from Los Angeles to Dallas Ft Worth starting at $156 Cheap Airfare Deal on US Airways from Chicago to Las Vegas starting at $165 Save on Sun Country Airlines from Minneapolis to San Francisco starting at $163 Fly on United Airlines from Los Angeles to Montreal starting at $333 Cheap Airfare Deal on Northwest Airlines from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale at $144 Special Deal on Aeromexico from Los Angeles to Guadalajara starting at $238 Exclusive Deal on Spirit Airlines from Atlanta to Cancun starting at $223 Fly on Delta Airlines from Denver to Puerto Vallarta starting at $192

Disneyland on the Cheap

Brett writes:

Cheap airfare. Discounts on lodging and park admission. Short lines. No crowds. Sunny weather that's not too hot.

Those are just some of the reasons to consider taking your trip to the Magical Kingdom in the winter instead of during summer or spring break, like most people do.

I recently returned from a five-day trip to Disneyland with my three children, all younger than 6. Many of the important decisions about this excursion were made before we left, starting with the question of when to go.

Bob Deuel, public relations director for Disneyland, declined to release specific attendance figures, but he acknowledged that after the New Year's Day festivities wind down, the park is at its slowest until spring break.

Give The Gift Of Free Travel

CheapFlights.com:

* Fund all - or part - of a getaway: U.S. airlines offer gift certificates or cards that let you pay for some or all of a giftee"s trip. Check the individual airlines to see how they can be purchased (Some must be ordered by phone or mail.), and in what denominations, and how they will be delivered (e-mail or snail mail). Most important, read the fine print about how they must be used and redeemed. And don"t forget to check for expiration dates. Some must be used within a year, which could limit their usefulness for some giftees, while others never expire.

Airlines offering gift certificates or cards include: American Airlines; Alaska Airlines; Continental Airlines; Delta Air Lines; Hawaiian Airlines; jetBlue; Midwest Airlines; Northwest Airlines; Southwest Airlines; US Airways.

Do you have a lot of miles in an airline"s mileage program? Check whether you can transfer those miles to someone else. Just be sure your giftee lives in a city where the airline flies. In some cases, you can also buy miles to help a giftee rack up enough miles for free award travel.

* Accommodate them: You can also spring for a traveler"s lodgings, from more affordable B&Bs to posh 5-star venues: The Getaway Gift Card from BedandBreakfast.com can be used at over 4,000 B&Bs nationwide. Bonus: There are no blackout or expiration dates… Travelocity"s Hotel Gift Cards can be redeemed at over 30,000 hotels all over the world. (A nice touch, you can personalize the cards with your own photo.) … Hyatt Hotels" Gift Cards and Gift Checks can be used for restaurant dining, in-room services, golf fees and spa services, as well as room charges. Bonus: Gift cards can be used by non-guests at Hyatt-operated restaurants or lounges.

If you want to treat someone to a taste of the luxe life, opt for a gift certificate from upscale hoteliers such as Ritz-Carlton; the Four Seasons Hotels or the Small Luxury Hotels of the World (available in dollars, pounds and Euros), which can be used at its 440 independently run luxury hotels in 70 countries.

Puerto Rico entices as winter's cheapest tropical getaway around

Anne Banas writes:

It seems I write about Puerto Rico every winter. But how could I pass up an opportunity to tell you about a great, consistent bargain destination, with downright cheap airfare from many cities and a sizable hotel promotion? Plus, when it's below zero, what could be more attractive than warm sand and sunshine? Short flights, no passport required, and overall affordability also contribute to making Puerto Rico an ideal last-minute getaway, all for under $500.

Finding airfare to Puerto Rico

When I searched for airfare to San Juan from a handful of departure cities, I was a bit stunned—in a good way—at how the same basic low price was offered all-around for round-trips in January and February.

  • New York to San Juan: $240
  • Boston to San Juan: $243
  • Chicago to San Juan: $243
  • Washington, D.C., to San Juan: $243
  • Atlanta to San Juan: $245

From past experience, these prices are representative of what you'll find throughout most of the year. They also include all taxes and fees, too. Who knew it could be so easy?

Finding a hotel in Puerto Rico

Often, finding a hotel deal for the same dates as the airfare isn't so easy. However, for Puerto Rico this winter, the stars have aligned and both types of deals have converged, thanks primarily to the Puerto Rico Tourism Company's Puerto Rico Now promotion. If you book a four-night stay for travel though April 30, you'll receive up to a $250 food-and-beverage credit at participating hotels, most of which are upscale properties. You just have to book by January 21 through either GoToPuertoRico.com, Expedia, Orbitz, or GoGo Worldwide Vacations. The only drawback is you'll get the $250 as cash back after checkout, and you'll only get back however much you spend on food and drinks at the hotel.