5 More Best Airline Tips

5 Ways to Make Flying Easier

Author: The Traveling Professor/Wednesday, March 2, 2016/Categories: Save on Airfare

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Become an Elite Status Member:  Be loyal to an airline and they will be loyal back, at least most of the time.   With my Platinum elite status with American Airlines I get preferred seating, waived fees, and if I ask the right person, special treatment.  For instance, this week I was flying from Chattanooga to New York LaGuardia.  I really needed an earlier flight and I wanted to go into JFK.  I went into the Admiral’s Club, politely introduced myself to the booking agent as a Platinum member, asked for what I wanted, and they went out of their way to accommodate me.  As the agent explained, “I realize you have been an AAdvantage member for 32 years and we should go out of our way for you”.

Get the Right Credit Card:  I fly a lot, so club access is important to me and it might be to you if you fly with lots of connections or through cities that might encounter more than their share of weather delays.  My credit card gives me access to Admiral’s Club as well as a few other perks.  My MC Aviator card gives me excellent flight cancellation/delay insurance.  For instance, I was traveling from Philly to Dallas, we were delayed overnight by weather.   It was up to me to pay for hotel and meals to the tune of about $175.  My credit card covered me with the insurance.  Now, was that card worth the $89 annual fee?

Always Carry-On Bags:  Nothing ruins a vacation like lost or delayed bags.  I see it happen all the time.  I pack light with a carry-on and a small backpack.  If it is absolutely necessary to check bags, carry important items like meds, documents, credit cards, etc. with you and check everything you could live without for a few days.

The Shortest Flight is Not Always the Best Flight:  I live equidistant from New York and Boston.  To fly from JFK to Paris is a direct flight.  However, if I originate in Boston, connect with the same flight through JFK to Paris, the fare is about 20% less.  Don’t ask me to explain it, but that’s the way it is, however I think the key is that non-stop flights are more expensive than connecting flights.

Find “Competitive” Airports:  For instance, flights into Milan, Italy are much less expensive than those going into Pisa or Florence.  Why?  There is more competition for international flights through Milan.  The same applies for Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and London.  To confuse us, airlines throw in an airport like Bologna with dirt-cheap fares every now and then.

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