|1. “What is the lowest fare available on this route on any day of travel?” It’s cheaper to fly on some days than others, and it varies between airlines and destinations, so if your schedule is flexible, ask this question and see if it helps. For instance, you might save money by switching your four-day Friday-through-Monday trip to a Saturdaythrough-Tuesday trip.
2. “Is this a code-share flight?” Many U.S. airlines have foreign partners, and both are selling seats on the same flight. They call this code sharing. Often, one might be hundreds of dollars cheaper, especially for business class. If you can find out this information you can check with both airlines and book on the cheapest.
3. “What is the one-way fare for the return?” Sometimes airfares, especially those that are unrestricted, are calculated simply by doubling the outbound portion. But the return could cost several hundred less. Purchasing two one-way tickets might shave a few hundred dollars off the cost.
4. “Do you have any of those day-of-travel standby upgrades available?” Want to travel first- or business-class cheap? Try asking this question. If not all of these seats have been purchased, airlines sometimes sell them for as low as $25 to $75.
5. “Do you need volunteers to be bumped?” If it looks like the plane might be overbooked, and you don’t have to be at your destination at a certain time, don’t wait until you hear the call for volunteers; offer yourself the minute you arrive at the gate, so your name is first on the agent’s list. If you’re bumped you might receive some cash, or a voucher for a free flight at a later time. But there is one caution when using this trick. If your name is called, be sure to ask “Will you provide a confirmed seat on the next flight?” so you don’t end up a stranded standby.
Source: the Perrin Report by Wendy Perrin, in Conde Nast Traveler’s Insider Secrets magazine.
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Taste the rain…
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