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How to get cheap airfare - Page 2

post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by northeasterner View Post
IMO priceline is not a good choice for airfare deals unless you do not care about anything but cost. They can route you through Timbuktu to go somewhere 2 hours away and the savings are not that great to justify the uncertainty of your flight time.
There is a great web-site for getting deals on priceline called biddingfortravel.com. Years ago there were many daily posts regarding airfare, but now there are very few.
Yep. I'd second that. If you are flying with skis you want to make sure your gear gets on the plane with you. That's why I usually use curbside check in and fly direct. The more times you change planes, the more likely it is that your skis will go AWOL.
post #32 of 54
Great advice from all. Another way to frequent flyer miles is with an airline credit card. You usually have to pay a yearly fee,and the interest is sky high (pun intended), but use it like cash and pay the balance every month and you will get miles for money you needed to spend anyway. I have one from United and I get several free trips a year using it. I never buy anything with cash and use it to buy everything- even a carton of orange juice- and pay it off in full at the end of the month. For a while (when they allowed it) I was even paying my kid's tuition with it. The miles add up pretty quickly.
post #33 of 54
this is what I do with Delta. They also give me a companion ticket per year and I always have free tickets.

Then again I have a wife who likes to use her plastic for everything (but we do pay it off
post #34 of 54
One more cheap idea...

Fly to a nearby destination airport, instead of the primary one (ie- Colorado Springs vs. Denver).

COS is only about 15 minute longer drive to Summit County than from DIA... Smaller airport, easier to negotiate... etc....
post #35 of 54
Plenty of good suggestions here. I've spent a lot of time shopping travel in the U.S.

Airfares: Kayak is my primary tool. Once I see where the best prices are I go to the airlines web site and work up some price quotes. Generally, the airlines are offering the best fares direct through their web sites. This all changes year-to-year, but right now that seems to be the way it's working. You definately need to try quotes for all airports in your proximity. Days of the week matter a lot. Travel on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays is tough. Too much business travel going on and the airlines don't discount much. Airtran offers a good deal for college aged people to fly standby. Check it out if you are young (don't get me going on that reminiscent chunk of funk!).

Hotels: Priceline is king. Companion website biddingfortravel.com makes Priceline 'come alive'. This takes some homework but is well worth it. Don't accept their offered prices. Bid for the best rates.

Car Rentals: These have become EXPENSIVE! Seems like, not all that long ago, hundred and change would get you a decent car. Now - more like 300. Doesn't matter whether you want it for 2 days or 7. Anyways, I've found Hotwire to have cosistantly the best deals on car rentals. Going direct through the companies is expensive.

Food and Beer: Who cares - eat good food, drink good beer, meet good women (or men - whichever suits you best). Enjoy your travel. Ski like you mean it!
post #36 of 54
Check out the prices on Ukraine Air. One of their planes was stopped in Bergen Norway yesterday. Seven of the seventeen crew were found to be drunk before takeoff.

A fun bunch .... the captain, first officer (co-pilot), flight engineer, navagator and radio operator were hammered.



Actually, when you look at the size of the crew it's amazing .... it sounds like a typcal US crew from 1959. They were flying .... or ... going to fly an Antanov 22.
post #37 of 54
Not to generalize but the worst flight I was ever on was a Soviet airliner from Luxor to Cairo. We were delayed an hour on the runway at 80 degrees (AC malfunction), everyone smoking (not banned over there) terrible BO, people started throwing up ... all because Mubarek and some UN dignitaries were flying in for the latest ME diplomacy of the time.
post #38 of 54
Over the past year I've found that just going through the airlines websites often yields the cheapest flight.

I scored a $208 RT to Denver just last week for this coming 3-day weekend via Frontier's website. On Travelocity and Orbitz the cheapest flights started at $300 with multiple stops.
post #39 of 54
Date or marry someone who works for an airline.Family passes are awesome.We did Calgary to Honolulu a few years ago for $50 each/return.Also got bumped to first class and made sure we drank our moneys worth,to ensure that we broke even.
post #40 of 54
I'm actually trying to find the cheapest airfare into Telluride at the moment.

So far I have a SW flight outta Oakland to Phoenix for $160rt and an Americ West outta Phoenix to Telluride for $378rt.

Anybody have any other "tricks" on getting to Telluride for cheaper?
post #41 of 54
Another vote for Frontier. Detroit to Denver r/t for $183 per person. It only hurts when you have to pay for the little ones to fly too! That's 3 of us!
post #42 of 54
site59.com.
We scored round trip airfare and hotel to SLC 3 nights, 4 days for $627.00 for both of us. Direct there but lousy connecting flight home.
post #43 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by cspsskiguy View Post
Date or marry someone who works for an airline.Family passes are awesome.We did Calgary to Honolulu a few years ago for $50 each/return.Also got bumped to first class and made sure we drank our moneys worth,to ensure that we broke even.
My wife works for the airlines so we should point out that dating is usually not enough, you have to be an immediate family member to be eligible for the discounts. Different airlines define this differently, but usually you have to be the parent, spouse or child of an airline employee to get the discount.

Also, you are generally flying standby if you are on an id ticket, which means that if load factors are high (ie flights are overbooked) you may not get on the flight you want. Worse still, you may have to stay and extra night or two on busy weekends or holidays before you will be able to get a flight out or back. MLKjr day is a perfect example of this, load factors this Friday and Monday to Denver from NYC are extremely high. Employees are usually pretty savvy about checking the load factors when planning a trip. For this reason if you really need to get there at a specific time and date you may want to book a regular ticket.

If you want the upgrade to first or business class make sure that you dress appropriately (this is a good tip generally if you want an upgrade). When flying on an employee ticket I usually travel in a blazer, chinos and loafers. If you are in shorts and flip flops they don't have to seat you in first class, and if the flight is full in back you could end up waiting again. Also, make sure you behave yourself since any in flight crankiness can result in problems for your spouse with their work. On the bright side, the flight crews generally treat you well, a little like extended family, if they know your status.

In general, the flight benefits are one of the best parts of having someone in your family work for the airlines. Of course this needs to be balanced against poor pay, late and early hours, dealing with crabby people and losing your benefits and retirement in a bankruptcy.
post #44 of 54
I scored super cheap tickets on AA.com for a trip in March... My flight cost me $100.80 roundtrip and is nonstop from ORD to DEN.

I was just looking around to see what was out there in terms of price with no real intention on buying a ticket, but once I saw the $100 price tag it was kind of a no-brainer.

To find these deals, if you use the flexible dates search on their website it will give you all of the price points they have available. Some of the days and times aren't ideal, but for a hundred bucks who cares.
post #45 of 54

Great score!

Wow, what a deal! That's way cheaper than driving even in an economical car. Nice catch!
post #46 of 54
Go to Travelocity and check the "flexible dates" box . This will list the lowest
published fares on most major airlines. Now pick various airlines and play with
the dates to find availability. Usually you need to fly Tues or Wed non-holiday
for lowest price. If you find a fare try the site for that
airline for price often 5 or 10 lower.

Go to Southwest.com and do the same. (they are not on Travelocity)

Check alternate airports. eg in wash DC area BWI is often much cheaper.
I'm guessing for Boston that Manchester or Providence is cheapest.

NYC -you are probably out of luck! Islip?

Cheapest airports in an area are usually ones Southwest flies from.
Note you don't have to fly SW - other airlines usually match SW prices
(sometimes lower) at these airports.

I've flown to SLC and Reno every year for 10 years -usually twice a year
from BWI and never paid over $280 round trip tax included.
Untill this year Denver was always much higher
hth when this ends I'll drive to VT again.
post #47 of 54
I'd be interested to know how airfares effect skier visits, particularly with respect to Denver, SLC, and Tahoe. It's pretty widely known by mid-Atlantic skiers that Baltimore to Denver is a big bargain this winter among that trio of destinations. As Mdskier says, in the past SLC and Tahoe/Bay area fares were often lower than Denver. With the good early snow publicity surrounding the Denver snow storms I bet we see a big upswing in skier visits to CO vs UT and Tahoe this season. Hard to say if lower airfares play in that, but it would be interesting to know how many people make their choice of a multi-thousand dollar ski vacation based on an airfare that is $50 lower than other competitive destinations? Or maybe ski vacationers are mostly using frequent flyer miles to drive their choices?
post #48 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
...it would be interesting to know how many people make their choice of a multi-thousand dollar ski vacation based on an airfare that is $50 lower than other competitive destinations? ...
That $50 could very well be the difference when you start to talk about airfare for a family of 4 or five people. Thats about the range where I'll seriously begin to reconsider my destination based on lower airfare.

If I'm just going with the guys though, I'll pay extra air $$ to go for snow and terrain of my choice.
post #49 of 54
I've noticed several Co areas (Steamboat, Crested Butte) are advertising when they add additional flights on airlines now. It must be a significant issue. Why do you think SLC is soooooo popular.
post #50 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
but it would be interesting to know how many people make their choice of a multi-thousand dollar ski vacation based on an airfare that is $50 lower than other competitive destinations? Or maybe ski vacationers are mostly using frequent flyer miles to drive their choices?
Personally I do make my decision based on airfare. I now have to pay for both of my kids and myself so $50 can make a difference on having to cut the trip shorter or not being able to stay at the resort. Although the "multi-thousand" figure is highly inflated when talking about my ski trips. Last year we went to Steamboat for 4 days of skiing. We stayed in a 3 bedroom condo there. With lift tickets, condo (we shared with my brother and his family), airfare (kids fly free into Steamboat - HUGE discount!), etc. the trip cost me less than $1000.00. :

This year we're headed out on Wednesday for a week. The kids don't fly free this year cause we're headed into Denver. We'll stay at my brother's for part of the time and at Winter Park part of the time. The airfare was less than $600 for the three of us. Had it been $50-$100 more that was a big chunk out of our budget. I figure even with the airfare I'm going to be right around $1000.00 again this year.

Yes, I am a cheapskate, but if it gets me out there once or twice a year I'm completely happy.
post #51 of 54
marge you're doing good - $1000 for 3 is not bad for a week. Condos are the way to go if you can find em and split it with someone ....
post #52 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
I'd be interested to know how airfares effect skier visits, particularly with respect to Denver, SLC, and Tahoe. It's pretty widely known by mid-Atlantic skiers that Baltimore to Denver is a big bargain this winter among that trio of destinations. As Mdskier says, in the past SLC and Tahoe/Bay area fares were often lower than Denver. With the good early snow publicity surrounding the Denver snow storms I bet we see a big upswing in skier visits to CO vs UT and Tahoe this season. Hard to say if lower airfares play in that, but it would be interesting to know how many people make their choice of a multi-thousand dollar ski vacation based on an airfare that is $50 lower than other competitive destinations? Or maybe ski vacationers are mostly using frequent flyer miles to drive their choices?
Given the utter and complete lack of snow in the east this year from North Carolina to Maine, I expect that most eastern skiers will be heading anywhere west this year if they want to ski at all. Utah and Denver are popular because they are hubs and generally have more flights than most other places (New Mexico, Idaho, California). Caliornia and Washington State take 6 hours to get to from the East Coast which also has to be factored in. So I think both time (and money if you are going with a family) are factors.
post #53 of 54
Recent article from CNN on this subject:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/TRAVEL/ADVIS...ons/index.html
post #54 of 54
wow - farecast is an interesting tool
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