Transportation is a big hunk of your vacation budget. USA Today travel correspondent Josh Roberts gives us these 5 tips on how to avoid costly errors in booking your airline travel. After all, with ticket costs already high, you don’t want to pay more than you need to.
1. Don’t Shop at Night. Airlines generally release a limited number of inexpensive coach-class seats in the morning or early afternoon. If you're booking late at night, you stand a greater chance of finding only the leftover, more expensive seats. Search early in the day for the best prices.
2. Don’t Fly on a Weekend. The least expensive days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. That means that if either your departure or return flight falls on one of the other four days in the week, you're paying more than you need to. See if you can arrange your vacation time from Tuesday to Tuesday rather than Sunday to Sunday, for example, for significant savings.
3. Don’t Depart in the Afternoon. You’ll pay more if you select an afternoon departure since this is prime flying time and consequently is when the airlines increase their fares. On top of that, the afternoon is the travel industry's version of rush hour. With the skies most congested this is the time when you’ll also experience the most delays.
4. Don’t Ignore Bag Fees. Not all base prices are created equal. For example, a $200 round-trip flight on American will cost you $250 if you check a bag. That same $200 flight on Southwest or JetBlue will cost you $200. Always remember to calculate the cost of bag fees when comparing prices.
5. Don’t Delay. If you keep putting off booking your flight until the last minute you’ll pay dearly for your procrastination. Finding a good deal at the last minute is the exception rather than the rule. In most cases the longer you wait, the more you pay. The sweet spot for finding a good fare is about six weeks ahead of departure.
Photo Credit: boeing.com
Source: USA Today/Josh Roberts