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Christina
Baltimore

Christina from Baltimore asked

How to get super affordable travel (airplane tickets)?

I am looking for very affordable travels in the US (plane tickets) in the two digit price range $$ flying from Baltimore, MD. Or suggestions on how to hack affordable travels?

9 Answers
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answered by
Stephanie from Los Angeles

Sign up online for various airlines that you know fly to and from your destination. I signed up for frequent flyer programs for Virgin, Southwest & American Airlines and they frequently (no pun intended) have sales and deals on flights. They will send emails when the flights go on sale. For example, Virgin had sales every few months and sometimes they are only $49 each way. Good luck!


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Lyn
Thanks for the tip. I'm in Vancouver Canada so anything in expensive is welcomed
 
 
 
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answered by
Emily from Chicago

Hi Christina-

I recently asked a similar question about airline/airfare hacks and got some great answers! Here's the link: http://www.trippy.com/question/Airfare-and-Airline-Hacks


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answered by
Jake from Los Angeles

Hey Christina,

I answered very similar questions here and here. (I've also copy and pasted one of them below.)

But specifically from Baltimore, I would set up flight alerts departing from Baltimore at airfarewatchdog.com and hopper.com Explore (and click on "Never Miss A Deal").

As for general airfare sales, mistake fares, and hacking, see below:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. The best way I know to find the cheapest flights every time(especially when flying domestically) is to use the Google ITA matrix.

If you want to learn how to use the ITA Matrix (its fantastic and not that hard to use), check out this video we created. It's helped a lot of people already!

You can always double check what you find against:
Kayak.com
Hipmunk.com
Skycanner.com

and a host of others...
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2. Sometimes the best deals are airfare sales. You can sign up for email alerts for the sales at:
Airfarewatchdog.com
TheFlightDeal.com
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3. And sometimes, there are "mistake fares" that come and go in a flash. Sometimes they're honored, sometimes they're not. But as an example, I'm flying round trip to Abu Dhabi in April for $178 round-trip thanks to a mistake fare and it IS being honored!

To catch them right when they happen, it's best to follow these guys on twitter and keep their SMS notifications on, so you will see when they find one!

Twitter handles (with that *at* symbol in front):
(at)MileValueAlerts
(at)TPG_Alerts

Or, subscribe to their websites and they will email it too. Unfortunately, by the time the email arrives at their given broadcast time each day, it may already be too late.

--

4. Hacking/Frequent Flyer Points:

I haven't paid full airfare for a flight in over 3 years, while saving over $40,000+ for myself and $30,000+ for others by hustling the miles and points game. I've also been able to fly business and first class for just the price of taxes and fees. This last year alone I flew to 31 destinations around the world. The retail cost would have been $22,000+, but I only paid $497 out-of-pocket

It's way too much to explain here, but you can sign up for free training (or the full training package) over at our website. So that I'm not biased, you can also check out blogs like Million Mile Secrets or MileValue who will give you the same information, but broken up and scattered into tons of different blog posts. Either way, if you want to travel hack, any of these places are a good place to start!


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answered first by
Tony from Connecticut

BWI? Most probably search for hidden city fares on USAirways and Southwest.
Since skiplagged is down and out, learn how to use ITA Matrix to do it for (maybe) USAirways. Instructions: http://airfareiq.com/freeResult

For Southwest, you need to experiment and see fares that are routed VIA BWI.


Remember that you must find an airport BEYOND BWI so you can hop off BWI on the connection.

Good luck.


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answered by
Alexander from Fort Walton Beach

Hey Christina,

Besides looking on sites that aggregate airfare from different carriers, you can also find coupons online for specific carriers: http://www.couponbox.com/travel

They can be applied when booking a ticket online.

Sometimes you can also save by checking the price for tickets one way rather than round trip. It's rare but sometimes it can be cheaper...usually when a carrier like Southwest is running a special.

Hope this is helpful!


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answered by
Hazel from Port St. Lucie

Go directly to Spirit or Allegiant or Frontier. Book others online right after midnight. Have credit card handy!


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answered by
Rafael from Antwerp, Belgium

There are a lot of ways to hack flight prices. Let me spill out a few:

  • Use the flight aggregators that offer the cheapest flights. From my experience, the top 5 are:
  1. Momondo
  2. Skyscanner
  3. TripAdvisor Flights
  4. Kayak
  5. Hipmunk

To be honest i don't even bother checking all 5 anymore. I usually check the top 2-3 and call it a day. Momondo/Skyscanner yield the cheapest (non-budget) flights 95% of the times. 

  • I added non-budget flights in parentheses for a reason. It's true that the cheapest flights tend to come up in the popular flight aggregators. But it usually doesn't include budget (low-cost) airlines. Low cost airlines (Southwest, Jetblue, Allegiant & others) usually don't show up in any of the flight search engines, so you have to manually book the tickets on their website.

    You can end up saving huge amounts of cash by choosing a low-cost flight over a "normal" one. But there is a catch. Flight prices are low, but the rest of the flight services (luggage, food etc') are not incorporated in the flight price, and require additional fees (sometimes pretty hefty fees). So make sure you take this under consideration when booking your flight. This brings me to:

  • Don't check in any luggage. If you're flying low cost, you might as well try to pack EXTREMELY light. Budget airlines have very strict carry-on guidelines, so try to keep the weight down to a minimum (this is true not just because of flight tickets. It's a general rule of thumb when traveling)

  • Fly indirect. This is mainly for international flights. A layover is a relatively small price to pay compared to the amount of money you can (usually) save.

  • Don't rule out alternative airports - I once had to fly from NYC to Iceland, and I was on a particularly tight budget. I found a budget airline (WOW air) flying from Boston to Iceland directly, that was considerably cheaper than any NYC alternative. I booked the flight, took a bus to Boston, and ended up saving about $200. This was a no brainer.

  • Get a travel credit card - If you're a frequent flyer. Credit card companies sometimes offer HUGE signup bonuses. Wait for an attractive deal to come along and get one.

  • Join frequent flyer alliance programs - again pretty obvious. Even if you're not a frequent flyer... Flying without a frequent flyer is a waste. Every mile you earn is worth something.


This is just a partial list. I'll stop here since it's becoming a little overwhelming :)

If you're interested in more ways (31 to be exact) to get cheap flights - i wrote a very in-depth guide about booking the cheapest flights on my blog.

I also added a PDF version of the guide, just in case you'd want to access it offline (when you're traveling and stuff).


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answered by
Cleon from Thessaloníki

Here are 3 sources which I've found great:

  1. Fly.com - cheapest rates in the market.
  2. Skyscanner.com - another aggregator website, such as Kayak, but most frequently cheaper.
  3. Travelzoo.com - a travel deals/coupons website, which frequently posts airline sales.
  4. Airfarewatchdog.com - alerts on cheap flights or airline sales based on your desired itinerary.

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Brenda
That about covers it. Plus smarter travel has a fare watcher app
 
 
 
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answered by
Aaron

Hi Dealbase.com has great prices Thursdays on Throwback Thursday  out of Baltimore to many places.


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