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

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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.

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