AIRLINE TICKETS: TIPS ON HOW TO GET A DISCOUNT
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13.1 AIRLINE TICKETS: TIPS ON HOW TO GET A DISCOUNT
==1. Read the latest Sunday travel section of a nearby large city newspaper for the lowest prices. Realize, however, that you probably will not get that price. For many complicated reasons, you'll need to accept that rate as a benchmark only. If you actually do get that price, consider yourself very lucky.
==2. Check out one of the low-cost, no-frills carriers, if they fly where you want to go. Besides being much cheaper, they may have fewer restrictions to their tickets.
You may have to call the airline directly, or go to their particular web site. They may not be listed at big web sites. Still, these airlines have a simple price structure and fly to a limited number of destinations, so the job is fairly easy.
==3. Look for a range of dates when you can leave and a range when you can return. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday are usually the slowest days.
==4. Look for a range of departure times. Around noon and late at night are slow times.
==5. If possible, stay over Saturday before returning. Rates are typically much higher if you don't.
==6. Make sure you check departures from several airports that are close-by. A friend of mine saved $1000s flying from Greensboro, NC, to the west coast instead of flying from the Raleigh-Durham airport. It only took half an hour more in drive time.
==7. In addition check arrivals at various airports close to your destination. For example, my mother, who worked for a New York City travel bureau, showed me how to fly from Raleigh-Durham to Newark to get to New York City, instead of flying to Kennedy or LaGuardia. I saved a ton of money, and found that I could get into the city faster and cheaper.
==8. Always read about a fare's restrictions. Never purchase a ticket without understanding whether it is refundable (is there a charge?), switchable, etc.
==9. After you've made a reservation, keep checking for a lower rate (remember all those daily price changes). Even though you might have to pay a fee to exchange your ticket, you can save a considerable amount of money if the airlines decide to have a sale.