If you’re someone who frequently travels for business, you know all too well that the expenses can add up pretty quickly. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to score a better deal -- and you can use the money you saved to buy yourself something from the SkyMall.
1. Book Two One-Way Flights
Sometimes you’ll find that booking two separate, one-way flights is actually cheaper than booking one, round-trip. Unless you’re trying to rack up rewards points, look at different airlines to maximize your savings. Sites like Kayak do this for you, but it never hurts to check the airline websites yourself in case they missed something.
2. Book an Economy Ticket with a Y or B Booking Code
Why, you ask? Because these codes indicate that you’re looking for an upgrade. You will pay full price for your economy ticket, but if there are any open seats in business class or first class available, you will be the first in line to get one -- for free. This strategy works best if you are a loyal customer of the airline, but even if you aren’t you should still give it a shot.
3. Fake Your Country of Residence
If an airline is trying to break into a new country or if a country has a lower standard of living, they’ll offer the same tickets at lower prices for those residents. Although, you don’t actually have to be from that country to take advantage of those deals! You can simply look up that country’s version of Expedia, Kayak, etc, go to that site, and pretend you are from there. Be sure to have a currency conversion calculator handy, though, so you know exactly how much you’re paying.
4. Keep the 24-Hour Refund Window in Mind
Even for non-refundable flights, there is always a 24-hour window to cancel your flight without having to pay a fee. So, if you’re having trouble deciding whether or not to buy a ticket, just go for it. Then, over the next 24 hours, you can periodically check the website to make sure the price hasn’t dropped, and if it did you can easily cancel your original ticket and book another one at the new price.
5. Give Up Your Seat
Airlines frequently overbook planes to ensure that flights are full, so if you aren’t in a rush, you should consider giving up your seat in return for compensation. Ask the airline attendants for cash, and if they are offering flight vouchers make sure there aren’t a lot of restrictions or blackout dates. The compensation usually increases as the airline gets more desperate, so you may want to wait a while to see what they’re willing to give.