5 Tips for Buying Airline Tickets

Save Money and Get the Itinerary You Want

Author: The Traveling Professor/Thursday, July 21, 2016/Categories: Save on Airfare

Rate this article:

Here are 5 of The Traveling Professor's best tips for purchasing airline tickets:

Purchase Directly from the Airline:  Forget Expedia, Orbitz, and all those other online sites.  The reason is, If you have an issue with a ticket (changes, refunds, re-bookings, cancellations, etc.) the airline may refer you back to the place where the ticket was purchased.  That's going to further complicate the situation and add another layer of bureaucracy and red tape.  

Always Buy a Trip on a Single Itinerary:  Let me illustrate with an example.   Let’s say I want to travel from Cusco, Peru (airport code CUZ) to Lima (LIM) to New York (JFK).   Instead of buying a separate ticket from CUZ to LIM then another ticket from LIM to JFK, I book a single multi-segment ticket from CUZ to JFK with a stop in LIM.  So, on a single ticket it will say CUZ to LIM to JFK.   Why would I do that? Because if my flight from CUZ to LIM was delayed or cancelled (believe me, it happens) causing me to miss my flight from LIM to JFK, and  the flights were purchased under separate tickets, I might be on my own to re-book (and pay for) a new ticket from the missed LIM to JFK flight.   However, if all segments are purchased under one ticket, it is up to the airline, and at their expense, to book me back to JFK.

Insurance:  Going overseas without health insurance or emergency medical evacuation insurance is pure insanity.   If making over one trip per year overseas, it might be worthwhile to purchase an annual insurance policy.  Some credit cards (AAdvantage Aviator, for example) offer good insurance coverage.  Form more info check out www.safeguardtravel.com.

Check Alternative Airports:  Instead of flying into Rome or Venice for instance, Milan or Bologna can be significantly cheaper.   On a recent trip I found it cheaper (by $535) to fly into Bologna and take the train to Rome.

Buy One at a Time:  I recently checked into a one-way ticket from JFK to Dallas DFW for 2 people.  The airline website quoted me $149 each when I tried to book for 2.  But when I checked the price for just one passenger, it was $101.  Why?  Well it seems there was only one ticket left at $101.  But when you request 2 tickets at the same time, it quotes the higher price ticket for both people.  So, I wound up buying one ticket at $101 and the other at $149.

Sign Up for The Professor's Mailing List for More Free Travel Tips

* indicates required

Number of views (1256)/Comments ()

«June 2019»

How to Deal with London's LHR Airport

Getting Through LHR securityWhile we appreciate the concern for tight security at airport screening stations at every airport, London's Heathrow Airport has a particularly thorough procedure.  Along with lengthy times to transfer between any of its 4 passenger terminals (terminals 2-5), passing through LHR to transfer to another flight can be a particularly stressful exercise in making a connection on time.  For instance, on a recent trip from Glasgow to LHR to Dallas, we had a 2 1/2 hour layover.  We needed almost every minute on that layover in London to make that connection.  In this blog post, I give tips on what to consider, and how to deal with transferring through London's Heathrow airport.

Read more

4 Ways to Save on Airfare that Make No Sense

crazy ways to find low airfaresNo one can figure out how airlines price fares. There are a lot of theories like always fly on a Tuesday or Saturday, buy airfares on a Tuesday, and many other ideas.  The Traveling Professor prices out airfares for hundreds of travelers each year, and although it is difficult to find any consistency to how airfares are prices, check out some of the techniques The Professor uses to find the best fares.

Read more

5 of the Best Markets in Paris

best markets in ParisOn The Traveling Professor's small group tours to Paris, we always find time to visit at least two or three of the best markets in Paris. Every market has its own distinctive features and characteristics.  Some may feature food, some may feature only organic products.  Some may feature clothes and accessories.  Some of the best markets in Paris feature a combination of all of the above. In any case, there are few things as authentic as strolling through a market in Paris. Check out The Professor's blog post and find out about the best markets in Paris.
Read more

Top 10 Traits of the Experienced Traveler

Experienced Traveler TraitsThere was a time where The Traveling Professor was an inexperienced traveler.  He packed too much, spent much more money than he should have, wasted a lot of time, and missed out on great local culture and food.  But after years on the road, The Professor has learned much and is happy to pass his wisdom on to you.  Here are his Top Ten Traits of the Experienced Traveler.

Read more