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Flying High Without High-Flying Prices


Everyone loves a sale, but when discounted prices are associated with air travel, frugal vacationers’ hopes begin to soar a bit higher.  Unfortunately, not all sales equate to rock-bottom prices.

The trick to getting the most bang for your buck is to examine the fine print.  Just because you see an advertisement by a major airline regarding an airfare sale, it doesn’t mean you will saving a ton of cash.  In most cases, airfare sales come with a long list of restrictions, including specific dates, times and destinations.

Airline insiders are quick to point out that most commercial carriers offer the biggest savings on fares on specific routes.  However, even then you are not guaranteed a radically reduced ticket.  For example, if an airline is advertising a sale on New York to Chicago flights, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the seats on the plane are discounted.  Typically, sale seats are extremely limited and are often an airline’s attempt to fill up empty middle seats.

Timing is also a factor when taking advantage of airline sales.  The quicker you act, the more likely you are to save big bucks.  This is especially true when you are dealing with multi-day sales.  For instance, if an airline advertises a 5-day sale, it doesn’t always mean you will be able to score savings on day 5.  When the inventory is gone the sale is over, regardless of how many days the carrier said it would last.  Cheap seats are limited and sell out quickly.  The faster you can commit to a bargain, the better deal you will able to snag.

Flexibility is another way to get a bargain.  Be sure to review all points of an advertised sale before purchasing.  More often than not discounted airfares are reserved for those flying on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during off-peak periods such as fall and spring.  It is very rare that you will see a sale offered during the holiday season or busy summer months.


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About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.