Holiday travel is the the peak travel season of the year, and even though many of the cheap seats are already booked, there are still ways to get cheap seats. Here are five ways to save money on your airline tickets and stretch your travel dollar.
Plan Twice, Book Once – Airlines now charge $150 or more if you change your ticket after it’s been booked, and many hotels now charge “no show” fees of $50 or more. Double-checking the details before booking can help you avoid these potential added charges.
Pack Light – Minimize checked baggage fees by packing and checking less. For longer trips, the cost of dry cleaning may be cheaper than checking extra luggage for clean shirts. Look into overnight delivery and luggage forwarding services such as Luggage Forward for business trip samples, or your skis, snowboard or golf clubs for a leisure trip. And remember that JetBlue and Southwest are the last airlines left which do not charge for checked baggage on domestic flights.
Be Flexible To Find Savings – Search alternate airports. For example, in New York City, fares are may be less expensive at LaGuardia or Newark than at JFK. When flights to Jackson Hole are booked or too costly, they are often available and less expensive into Idaho Springs, two hours away. You get the idea.
Big Ticket Items Can Mean Big Savings – If you are planning a complex international or multi-city US itinerary, use a travel agent, preferably one certified by the American Society of Travel Agents, or ASTA. It will save you time, stress and money, because a travel professional is better equipped to find the best airfare deals to ensure you get the lowest fare, with or without a land package.
Doing the Bump – If you are bumped, you may be owed $400 to $800 thanks to new rules on over-booking. Be be sure to get a voucher, and remember to use it. Most vouchers expire in one year’s time, and most vouchers get put in a drawer and forgotten, which is just throwing away money. The group Flyer’s Rights is an excellent resource for finding out about your rights as an airline passenger.
And because this is the holiday season, you are entitled to a gift — check the website Free Holiday Wi-Fi to find out which airports are giving travellers free connections through the holiday travel season.