Search For Flights on Google Flights: You really need to check out what this tool can do. Whenever The Professor gives presentations to organziations on how to book flights, they are surprised how this can not only save money, but find the best flights. Look at these two short videos (made by The Professor) on using the power of Google Flights
- Google Flights Basics: https://youtu.be/bjdAeDspimQ
- An Easy and Powerful Google Flights Tool for Finding Cheap Flights to Europe: https://youtu.be/lnpIWnCTXNk
Make a Connection: For instance, in looking at a R/T flight between Charlotte (CLT) and DUB (Dublin) departing on June 1 and returning June 8, we see a coach fare of $1417. However, you might want to take that 2 hour drive to Raleigh-Durham (RDU) to save $467 per person to get on an AA flight that connects with the SAME $1417 flight from CLT. That's right, the R/T fare from RDU is $950 and from CLT it is $1417 and the RDU connect in CLT.
Buy Directly from the Airline: This might not save money, but it could save lots of headaches. When buying airfare from a third-party like Expedia, Orbitz, etc., if there is a problem with the flight (cancellation, change, seats, etc.), the airline may tell you to go back to the place where you bought the ticket, adding another layer of bureacracy (and maybe expense) in solving the issue.
Watch those Codeshare Flights: What is a codeshare? Let's say you are an American Airlines customer and you want to fly between JFK and Madrid (MAD). On the www.aa.com website, a flight departing on AA 8566 (June 1) and returning June 8 on AA 8837 is listed as $1428. On the AA website, it will say this flight is operated by Iberia but sold on AA. That is a codeshare flight. But if you go to the Iberia website and buy it directly from them, the flight is $984. That is a substantial difference in pricing for the same flight.
Play the Credit Card Game: Lots of people I know hate to hassle with this, but there are truly some great airfare savings with cards like the Capital One, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citibank and Barclay Aviator Card. Some benefits they may offer are mileage bonuses, lounge access, and preferred seating. Here are some examples how The Professor saves money by using an airline or travel credit card:
- Dining: To get lunch at the airport for two people is going to run about $30-$40. With lounge access (CSR, Citibank Executive World MasterCard) there is a place to relax, get something to eat, and when using airline lounges, get help with reservations and ticketing.
- Preferred Boarding, Seating and Waived Baggage Fees: Depending upon cards, these benefits apply and can be money savers.
- Mileage/Points Bonuses: Believe The Professor when he says that sign-up and mileage accrual bonuses are well worth the cost of any fees.
Subscribe to The Professor's newsletter and learn more of the best tips to save money on airfare and travel.