Top Ten Secrets to Saving Big Money in the Airline Flights

Do you know that some people travel around the country and abroad, for both business and pleasure, and save bundles of money in the process?

They do that by using little known ways of really taking advantage of the most popular form of transportation - airline flights.

They don't rely on the ever-famous "airfare price-wars". They don't rely on their travel agents to save money while flying.

Certainly, you should not dismiss these two methods. The price-wars can work to your advantage. But depending on them too much is a big mistake.

1. Call the airlines.

Call the airlines between midnight and 1 a.m. Monday through Friday to get cheaper tickets.

Most people never realize that at midnight, airline agents revise and load new fares into their computers. The best fares are just after they have done the updating!

2. Check into other airports other than the main one you use.

Many major cities have two airports. Check into surrounding towns and cities so you can compare airfares. You may save hundreds of dollars on your flights.

3. The early bird catches the plane.

The earlier you book your flight the more you save. Most special fares have restrictions of 7 to 30 day advance purchase. Usually non-refundable but they can offer deep discounts.

On the other hand, there are "last minute" deals too. Visit www.smartliving.com to get emails for last minute deals.

4. Get out of town on Wednesday.

Mid-week travel is usually less expensive. If you leave on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and stay over a Saturday night, you can garner terrific savings compared to Friday through Monday when most people fly.

Start taking your vacations Wednesday-to-Wednesday or Tuesday-to-Tuesday. You'll save a lot by choosing your departure and arrival dates this way!

5. Buying a one way or split ticket.

Let's say you travel from Boston to Dallas. It may be cheaper to get two separate tickets. You could buy one ticket from Boston to Nashville and one from Nashville to Dallas.

It all depends on the connecting cities and your airlines hubs. Just tell your agent you are willing to travel out of other airports and connect using regional airports to save money.

6. Open wide.

You should look into what is called an "Open-Jaw" ticket. These are used when a traveler is arriving and departing from different cities.

One ticket is purchased to cover both cities. Check with your travel agent or airline representative to see if this trick is available instead of two one-way tickets. Compare the price of each.

7. An excellent online service www.sidestep.com

You enter destinations and dates and SideStep quickly searches a couple of dozen affiliated regional and international airlines to find the best rates.

8. "Code share".

Ask your agent if this flight is a "code-share" flight. That means the same flight is offered by two different airlines. Just copy down the name of the other airline and check into what they are charging.

Only one of the airlines is actually operating the flight. The actual operator always offers this flight for less, so book with them.

9. Sign up for the airline newsletters.

From weekend getaways to international flight packages the newsletter saves you money on travel and doesn't require that you constantly visit the airline website for the latest offering.

10. The airlines often slash their fares during sluggish travel times.

Scan your travel sections in the newspapers and talk to your agent about these low fares.

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