7 Ways to Pay Less and Get a Better Flight
Why do you never find those cheap tickets? Why do you never get upgraded? This is how you arrive at your next destination with a smile on your face.
1. Book early
Check prices at 5 different websites and search engines, and order as soon that you have found the price you’re willing to pay.
Don’t wait, prices might change tomorrow.
2. Check the charter flights
If you’re flexible and like to gamble a little, “odd” airlines might have the right deal for you.
Normally, going from London to Istanbul would make you look at ba.com, lastminute.com or expedia.com, but what about checking a few charter websites?
A company like Thomson might just have a flight that suits you, and often they sell tickets at prices way below normal airlines, as they need to fill up the flight.
They already paid for it, and as the departure day gets closer… prices drop.
3. Everything comes to those who wait
Waiting might save a lot of money.
When going to Asia, companies like the Russian Aeroflot, Hungarian Malev or Austrian Austrian Airlines might have really good deals, if you are prepared to stay for a few hours or maybe waiting until the next morning.
The story goes: normally a flight to Budapest is more popular in the morning both for tourists and business people.
Grab the late flight to Budapest and the cheapest flight out of Budapest to your destination (for example Bangkok) the next day. Or stay a day or two in Budapest – if you have the time for it.
4. Travel when others don’t
Avoid flying when other people travel.
A long weekend break in Barcelona will cost you the most money if you travel out Thursday evening and home Sunday evening.
Reverse it: travel out Saturday morning and back Monday evening. Both trips give you 3 full days in Barcelona, but the ticket will be much cheaper.
And you still just have to be out of the office for a day. And trading Monday for Friday sounds nicer, right?
5. Become a member of the bonus programmes
Become a member of all the airline bonus programmes you can manage to handle.
All that plastic might feel stupid and you will get a lot of mail, but still: every time you fly, you will earn something. A little something, that very often can be used to get an upgrade when you have booked a flight in economy class.
It might involve a little cash as well, but it anyway be cheaper.
And hey, all those programmes are free to apply for. You have nothing to loose.
6. How to get upgraded
If you’re looking for an upgrade make sure that you arrive just before the check-in closes.
At that time, the most of the passengers have checked in, and if you present that airlines bonus program card, if you’re wearing a tie, if you smell good, and if you manage to establish some sort of contact to the man or woman sitting behind the counter, maybe saying “I had a rough day, I’m looking forward to relax during the flight…
Your odds are now at their best, if your flight is overbooked and there are seats left in business class or first class. Good luck!
7. Know your rights
If something goes wrong, use your pen. If you had a bad experience whilst flying, if you had a delay or if the food or service was bad, complain in writing. Don’t bother to complain about stupid details.
The people handling your complaint are just people, and if your arguments are good enough, you will be taken seriously.
They might just give you a free flight or reimburse a percentage of your flight cost. And stating that you are a member of their bonus programme will definitely improve your chances.
If you’re interested in the environmental impact of flying, consider reading more about How to Fly With a Greener Conscience by Carbon Offsetting at Northabroad.
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