Scared of Money

This is about getting the most out of life for the least amount of money. And doing it with a bit of style.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Rock Star Lifestyle on a Dime - Flights

Everyone knows about the good travel Web sites such as Kayak, Priceline and Travelocity for Web fare. But what many people don't realize that what truly matters is the day you buy your flight. Wednesday is the ideal day to purchase a ticket and if that doesn't work, purchase your ticket on a Tuesday or Thursday. Why? Airlines recognize that most business trips are purchased on a Monday and most personal trips are purchased on weekends. Once you find the flight you want on Kayak or Travelocity, visit the airline directly to purchase your flight so you cut out the fees from the middleman (usually $5 a ticket). I also adore TravelZoo, which is a weekly e-newsletter that sends you the top 20 travel deals of the week. Phenomenal bargains.

Some other good tips I have heard:
  • If you're just looking to get away for a weekend and you are flexible on timing and where you are going, check airline's Web sites on Wednesdays for that weekend where most will have drastically reduced weekend fares available.
  • Take advantage of overbooking. Volunteer to give up your seat if needed when you check in. Monday morning and Friday afternoon afternoon flights have the most potential to be overbooked.
  • If traveling to Europe, fly into London and take a low-fare airline to your final destination. London tickets are by far the cheapest and always have the best sales.

My best deal to date? A friend found flights from Chicago to Madrid for $89 dollars on British Airways, which is where we went for spring break senior year. They accidentally left off a zero off the end : ) The best part is that they were overbooked on the way back and they put us into business class. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen but Travelocity lets you create fare alerts in case that should happen again.


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