When it comes to planning a vacation, one of the biggest costs can be airfares. So if you can find a way to get discount airfares, it’s worth pursuing. Most of us know that we can book a long way ahead and usually get a better fare, but that’s not the only way to get a discount airfare. Here are three great ways to cut the cost of flying to your holiday destination.
Pick A Different Airport
If you’re traveling to an airport that’s not a major hub, you might actually be better off flying to a nearby major airport if you want to save some dollars. Even with the extra cost of getting from the major airport to your final destination by car or other transport, it can still be substantially cheaper. For example, if you want to travel to Montreal, consider flying to New York instead. It will take you a couple of hours longer to drive to Montreal once you land, but it can be worthwhile. New York is a major international airport, and it’s a lot more likely that flights to New York will be discounted, simply because of the sheer volume of flights available.
If you’ve flown recently, particularly on a cheap airfare, then you’re probably familiar with overbooking. It can be an incredibly frustrating experience, but if you want to save yourself some cash, turn the situation to your advantage. Do you want to know how? Start by calling the day before you’re due to fly, and find out if your flight has been overbooked. If it has, make sure you arrive at the airport at least more than 90 minutes before you would normally need to arrive. It’s important to be first in line! Legally, airlines are not allowed to bump people without asking for volunteers first. So offer to be bumped, but make sure you do some serious negotiating to get everything you possibly can in return. Quote Rule number 240, which the airline workers know well, so that you must be placed on the next available flight, no matter which airline operates it.
If it looks like you’re going to be stuck in the airport for a while, make sure you’re given vouchers or freebies to compensate you for that time. You should get a meal voucher if you have to wait more than two hours, and it’s certainly worth asking for an airfare discount as well. If things really work out, you may even be able to negotiate a couple of extra free flights while you wait, if you’re kept waiting for a really long time. Just be prepared to spend a long time in the airport – bring a good book.
When you go online to check out airfares, make sure you look at each airline’s ‘special offers’ page. Quite often the flights offered on these pages are at a substantial discount, and may actually give you a better deal than some of the websites that specialize in offering discount airfares. Make sure you read the fine print on these offers though, in case there are any hidden charges or restrictions, then act quickly. Most of the time these special offers don’t last very long.