Cheap Air Fares FAQVersion 1.1 – August 5, 2003• What's new in this version?• How to get the most from this page• International vs. domestic fares• TMFKojo's article• General travel info• Consolidator info• Bid for tickets• Travel portals• Airfare search engine• “Space available” flights• Courier flights• Discount airfare sites• Youth travel sites• Frequent flyer resources• Airline alliances• Airlines: U.S.• Airlines: Canada• Airlines: Europe• Airlines: Central/South America• Airlines: Africa/Middle East• Airlines: Asia• Airlines: South Pacific• Airline quality• Practical matters• Other online foraWhat's new in this version?The travel industry is constantly in flux, with airlines, travel companies and websites starting up and shutting down regularly. All the links have been checked, with quite a few new sites added and those that no longer work removed. As well, the FAQ now fits on the screen without side-to-side scrolling thanks to TinyURL. How to get the most from this pageWelcome, Fool! If you're looking for great investment ideas, well – this isn't the board for you. We're here to help you save money the next time you take to the skies. You'll have the best chance of success if you do some homework first before posting a request for help, and the links you'll find below will give you a great head start.First, there are two articles that I think everyone should read. Not coincidentally, they're the first two links you'll find below. One is TMFKojo's article from October 2000 detailing the air fare search procedure she uses, which is an excellent starting point. The other is the Bucket Shops FAQ, which gives great insight into the strange, warped world of air fares.Start by snooping around various sites to see what you find. At each site you visit, make sure you read the “fine print”. Some sites' prices don't include taxes or fees, others do. Some show only tickets that are actually available, while others will “bait and switch” you with low, albeit sold out, fares. Some sites have poor reputations for customer service – check previous posts on this board (or post a new one) to see if anyone has any opinions on a ticket vendor, good or bad.Don't overlook airline web sites, as they sometimes have Internet-only specials. Others may offer a nominal discount for buying a ticket online. If you want, many airlines will e-mail you their latest specials each week (Icelandair's Lucky Fares are a shining example). Some airlines hold online auctions (TAP Air Portugal comes to mind) that can be a great source of bargains. And some airlines (Icelandair, SAS, Virgin Atlantic) are known for having good prices for tickets.There are also those “no-frills” airlines that are simply cheaper than the rest. Europe is bursting at the seams with them – easyJet and Ryanair are the two biggies. Most fly in and out of London, so a cheap option may be to find the most inexpensive flight to London that you can, then complete your journey with the no-frills carrier (However, note that this may require a time-consuming transfer between airports). In the U.S. Southwest is the king, but others seem to be popping up every day. And in Canada, WestJet provides welcome relief from Air Canada's stranglehold.Smarter Living (www.smarterliving.com) offers an excellent e-mail newsletter full of travel deals. Also, check out FatWallet (www.fatwallet.com), which offers online coupons which could save you money at some travel sites (including Delta, OneTravel, Orbitz and Priceline).If you can be a little flexible in your travel dates, you may have better luck finding cheap tickets. Play around with different combinations of dates – some sites will do this for you automatically. You may also find better deals by flying out of or into alternate airports. You may want to look into “open-jaw” tickets, where you fly into one city and return from another – these are usually no more expensive than ordinary return tickets, but can come in very handy. However, not all online ticket sites offer open-jaws as an option.Don't limit yourself to the Internet. Sometimes, a professional travel agent can find better deals than you can, so don't hesitate to ask. Call a few travel agents and see what they can find. If you're in a larger city it can be useful to check travel agencies in ethnic neighbourhoods, as they'll likely specialize in cheap fares back to the “mother country”.Finally, when you post your request for assistance on this board, be specific. Tell us where you're flying from and where you'd like to go. Give us as specific dates as possible, both outbound and return. And tell us what cheap fares you've found so far. We'll do our best to try and save you some cash.Happy travels!International vs. domestic faresIf you're thinking about travelling overseas, this section of the Bucket Shops FAQ is a must read:http://www.hasbrouck.org/faq/#Section_3In a nutshell, air fares within North America are deregulated, and the airlines can charge pretty much whatever they want whenever they want. However, international airfares are fixed by a cartel. This means that (from the aforementioned FAQ) “Much of the confusion about airfares comes from the fact that there are completely different systems of airfares for domestic flights within any given country and for international flights. Domestic and international airfares, and the optimum consumer strategies for dealing with them, have nothing in common.”As a result, sites that have excellent deals on domestic air fares may not necessarily be the places to go for cheap international tickets, and vice-versa. Expedia and Travelocity, for example, are quite strong in the domestic realm but usually cannot beat a good consolidator for international tickets.TMFKojo's article:http://www.fool.com/Specials/2000/sp001011.htmConsolidator info:Airline Ticket Consolidators and Bucket Shops FAQhttp://www.hasbrouck.org/faq/General travel info:Budget Travelhttp://www.budgettravel.com/Finding Hotel Bargainshttp://www.fool.com/specials/2000/sp000629.htmFodor'shttp://www.fodors.com/Frommer'shttp://www.frommers.com/In Your Pocket (city guides)http://www.inyourpocket.com/Lonely Planethttp://www.lonelyplanet.com/Practical Nomadhttp://hasbrouck.org/Rick Steves Europehttp://www.ricksteves.com/Savvy Travelerhttp://www.savtrav.com/Travel Libraryhttp://www.travel-library.com/ViaMichelinhttp://www.viamichelin.com/Bid for tickets:Daily Auctionhttp://www.thedailyauction.com/Pricelinehttp://www.priceline.com/Sky Auctionhttp://www.skyauction.com/Travel portals:American Express (ITN)http://travel.americanexpress.com/Ebookers.com (Europe)http://www.ebookers.com/Expediahttp://www.expedia.com/InfoHubhttp://www.infohub.com/Orbitzhttp://www.orbitz.com/Sears Travel (Canada)http://www.searstravel.ca/Travelocityhttp://www.travelocity.com/Yahoo!http://travel.yahoo.com/Airfare search engines:Apple Fares (Europe)http://www.applefares.com/easyValue (Europe)http://www.easyvalue.com/Gooflight (Europe)http://www.gooflight.com/SideStephttp://www.sidestep.com/QIXOhttp://www.qixo.com/“Space available” flights:Airhitchhttp://www.airhitch.org/Air Techhttp://www.airtech.com/Courier flights:Air Courier Associationhttp://www.aircourier.org/Air Courier Directoryhttp://www.courierlist.com/Global Courier Travelhttp://www.couriertravel.org/International Association of Air Travel Couriershttp://www.courier.org/Discount airfare sites:Note: sites that only offer international tickets are noted with [I]1-800-FlyEurope [I]http://www.1800flyeurope.com/1-877-Femtrip [I]http://www.1877femtrip.com/11th Hour Vacationshttp://www.11thhourvacations.com/4Airlineshttp://www.4airlines.com/Adventure Bound [I]http://www.adventure-bound.com/AESU [I]http://www.aesu.com/Air4Lesshttp://www.air4less.com/Airfare.comhttp://www.airfare.com/Airfare Planethttp://www.airfareplanet.com/Airline Consolidator [I]http://www.airlineconsolidator.com/Air Tickets Directhttp://www.airticketsdirect.com/Air Treks (multi-stop & round-the-world specialists) [I]http://www.airtreks.com/AOW!http://www.flyaow.com/BestFares.comhttp://www.bestfares.com/Cheap Flightshttp://www.cheapflights.com/Cheap Seats Travelhttp://www.cheapseatstravel.com/Cheap Ticketshttp://www.cheaptickets.com/Destination Europe [I]http://www.der.com/Discount Flightshttp://www.discountflights.com/Dr. Cheapshttp://www.drcheaps.com/Economy Travelhttp://www.economytravel.com/ELT Express [I]http://www.eltexpress.com/ETN [I]http://www.etn.nl/Europe By Air (cheap flights and air passes) [I]http://www.europebyair.com/FareBase (U.K.) [I]http://www.farebase.net/Farnley Flights (U.K.) [I]http://www.farnleyflights.com/Flight Centrehttp://www.flightcentre.us/Fly Cheaphttp://www.flycheap.com/Go Today [I]http://www.gotoday.com/Herman's (Canada)http://www.herman.on.ca/Hotwirehttp://www.hotwire.com/JustFares.com [I]http://www.justfares.com/LastMinute.com (U.K.) [I]http://www.lastminute.com/Last Minute Travelhttp://www.lastminutetravel.com/Lowest Farehttp://www.lowestfare.com/Moments Noticehttp://www.moments-notice.com/My Travelhttp://www.mytravelco.com/New Frontiers [I]http://www.newfrontiers.com/One Travelhttp://www.onetravel.com/Rock Bottom Fares [I]http://www.rockbottomfares.com/Smarter Livinghttp://www.smarterliving.com/Sophisticated Traveler [I]http://www.s-traveler.com/TFI Tourshttp://www.lowestairprice.com/TravelHUBhttp://www.travelhub.com/Travel Nowhttp://www.travelnow.com/Travel Secretshttp://www.travelsecrets.com/Travel Selecthttp://www.travelselect.com/Travel Team [I]http://www.travelteam.com/TravelZoohttp://www.travelzoo.com/UK Air [I]http://www.ukair.com/World Wide Air [I]http://www.worldwideair.com/Youth travel sites:Kilroy Travels (European)http://www.kilroytravels.com/STA Travelhttp://www.statravel.com/Student Universehttp://www.studentuniverse.com/Frequent flyer resources:Flyer Talkhttp://www.flyertalk.com/Mileage Workshophttp://www.mileageworkshop.com/Web Flyerhttp://www.webflyer.com/AirlinesNote: there are literally hundreds of airlines operating around the world – far more than possible to list here. As well, there are constantly new start-ups, mergers and bankruptcies. For a more comprehensive list, try Yahoo:http://tinyurl.com/iuquAirline alliancesOneWorldhttp://www.oneworldalliance.com/SkyTeamhttp://www.skyteam.com/Star Alliancehttp://www.staralliance.com/Airlines: U.S.AirTran (mostly to/from Atlanta)http://www.airtran.com/Alaska Airlineshttp://www.alaskaair.com/Alohahttp://www.alohaairlines.com/America Westhttp://www.americawest.com/American Airlineshttp://www.aa.com/ATA (hubs in Chicago and Indianapolis)http://www.ata.com/Atlantic Airlines (Southeast states)http://www.atlanticairlines.com/Big Sky (hub in Billings)http://www.bigskyair.com/Continentalhttp://www.continental.com/Deltahttp://www.delta.com/Frontierhttp://www.frontierairlines.com/Hawaiian Airlineshttp://www.hawaiianair.com/Hooters (to/from Myrtle Beach)http://www.hootersair.com/Horizon Airhttp://www.horizonair.com/JetBlue (Around the U.S. to/from New York)http://www.jetblue.com/Midwesthttp://www.midwestexpress.com/Northwesthttp://www.nwa.com/Pan American (New England & Florida)http://www.flypanam.com/Songhttp://www.flysong.com/Southwesthttp://www.southwest.com/Spirit Airlineshttp://www.spiritair.com/Sun Country (mostly to/from Minneapolis)http://www.suncountry.com/Unitedhttp://www.united.com/U.S. Airwayshttp://www.usairways.com/Airlines: CanadaAir Canadahttp://www.aircanada.ca/Air North (to/from Yukon)http://www.flyairnorth.com/Air Transathttp://www.airtransat.com/Calm Air (Manitoba/Nunavut)http://www.calmair.com/Canadian North (NWT/Nunavut)http://www.cdn-north.com/CanJethttp://www.canjet.com/ First Air (across the Arctic)http://www.firstair.ca/JetsGohttp://www.jetsgo.net/WestJethttp://www.westjet.com/Airlines: EuropeAer Lingushttp://www.aerlingus.com/Aeroflothttp://www.aeroflot.com/Aero Lloydhttp://www.aerolloyd.de/Air Berlinhttp://www.airberlin.com/Air Europahttp://www.aireuropa.com/Air Francehttp://www.airfrance.com/Alitaliahttp://www.alitalia.it/Austrian Airlineshttp://www.austrianair.com/Basiq Airhttp://www.basiqair.com/BMI Babyhttp://www.bmibaby.com/British Airwayshttp://www.britishairways.com/British Europeanhttp://www.flybe.com/British Midlandhttp://www.flybmi.com/Croatia Airlineshttp://www.croatiaairlines.hr/Czech Airlineshttp://www.csa.cz/Deutsche BAhttp://www.flydba.com/easyJethttp://www.easyjet.com/Finnairhttp://www.finnair.fi/Germanwingshttp://www.germanwings.com/Globespanhttp://www.flyglobespan.com/Hapag-Lloyd Expresshttp://www.hlx.com/Iberiahttp://www.iberia.com/Icelandairhttp://www.icelandair.com/Interskyhttp://www.intersky.biz/Jet2http://www.jet2.com/KLM Royal Dutch Airlineshttp://www.klm.com/LOT Polish Airlineshttp://www.lot.com/LTUhttp://www.ltu-airways.com/Lufthansahttp://www.lufthansa.com/Malevhttp://www.malev.hu/Martinairhttp://www.martinair.com/Olympic Airwayshttp://www.olympic-airways.gr/Ryanairhttp://www.ryanair.com/SAS Scandinavian Airlineshttp://www.scandinavian.net/SkyEuropehttp://www.skyeurope.com/SN Brussels Airlineshttp://www.flysn.com/SpanAirhttp://www.spanair.com/Sterlinghttp://www.sterlingticket.com/Swiss Internationalhttp://www.swiss.com/TAP Air Portugalhttp://www.tap-airportugal.pt/Virgin Atlantichttp://www.virgin-atlantic.com/Virgin Expresshttp://www.virgin-express.com/Airlines: Central/South AmericaAerolineas Argentinashttp://www.aerolineas.com.ar/Aeromexicohttp://www.aeromexico.com/Cubanahttp://www.cubana.cu/LanChilehttp://www.lanchile.com/Mexicanahttp://www.mexicana.com/Varighttp://www.varig.com.br/Airlines: Africa/Middle EastEgyptAirhttp://www.egyptair.com.eg/El Alhttp://www.elal.co.il/Kenya Airwayshttp://www.kenya-airways.com/Royal Jordanianhttp://www.rja.com.jo/Saudi Arabian Airlineshttp://www.saudiairlines.com/South African Airwayshttp://www.flysaa.com/Turkish Airlineshttp://www.turkishairlines.com/Airlines: AsiaAir Chinahttp://www.airchina.com.cn/Air Indiahttp://www.airindia.com/All Nippon Airways (ANA)http://www.fly-ana.com/Asianahttp://us.flyasiana.com/Cathay Pacifichttp://www.cathaypacific.com/China Airlineshttp://www.china-airlines.com/Japan Air Lineshttp://www.jal.co.jp/en/Korean Airhttp://www.koreanair.com/Pakistan International Airlineshttp://www.piac.com.pk/Philippine Airlineshttp://www.philippineair.com/Singapore Airlineshttp://www.singaporeair.com/Thai Airways Internationalhttp://www.thaiair.com/Airlines: South PacificAustralian Airlineshttp://www.australianairlines.com.au/Air New Zealandhttp://www.airnewzealand.com/Malaysia Airlineshttp://www.malaysiaairlines.com/Qantashttp://www.qantas.com.au/Virgin Bluehttp://www.virginblue.com.au/Airline Quality:Air Traveler's Handbookhttp://www.faqs.org/faqs/travel/air/handbook/part1/Airline Mealshttp://www.airlinemeals.net/Airline Quality Ratingshttp://www.unomaha.edu/~unoai/aqr/Epinions: Travelhttp://www.epinions.com/trvlSeat Guruhttp://www.seatguru.com/Seat pitch and legroomhttp://www.cheapflights.co.uk/misc/legroom_report.htmlSkytraxhttp://www.airlinequality.com/Practical matters:AirDisaster.comhttp://www.airdisaster.com/Airline On-Time Statisticshttp://www.bts.gov/ntda/oai/SummaryStatistics/index.shtmlAirline & Airport Linkshttp://www.airlineandairportlinks.com/Airports of the Worldhttp://www.hotelstravel.com/airports.htmlAirports (U.S.)http://www.airports.com/AirSafe.comhttp://www.airsafe.com/CIA World Factbookhttp://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/Come Back Alive – The World's Most Dangerous Placeshttp://www.comebackalive.com/Deep vein thrombosishttp://www.cheapflights.co.uk/misc/flyersguide_bc.htmlDelayed flights and Rule 240http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15025379Electronic tickets and ticketless travelhttp://hasbrouck.org/excerpts/index_2_4.htmlFinding the 'least worst' coach seatshttp://www.smarterliving.com/columns/ed/column.php?id=4227Flight tracking:http://www.flightview.com/TravelTools/default.asphttp://www.flytecomm.com/cgi-bin/trackflightFly-Rights: A Consumer Guide to Air Travelhttp://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/travel/flyrights/flyrghts.htmInflight Safety Pagehttp://www.warman.demon.co.uk/anna/inflight.htmlOne Bag: The Art & Science of Travelling Lighthttp://www.oratory.com/onebag/Practical Nomad: Advice to air travelershttp://hasbrouck.org/articles/airportclosings.htmlTravel Advisories:U.S. State Department: http://travel.state.gov/travel_warnings.htmlGovernment of Canada: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/dest/intro-en.aspTravel Agent Listings:American Society of Travel Agents: http://www.astanet.com/travel/agentsearch.aspInternational Airlines Travel Agent Network: http://www.locateatravelagency.com/Travelers tips & prohibited itemshttp://www.tsa.dot.gov/public/theme_home1.jspU.S. airport status & delay infohttp://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jspOther online fora:EuroTrip Cheap Flights Forumhttp://www.eurotrip.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=7Flyer Talkhttp://www.flyertalk.com/TMF: Best Travel Spots/Tipshttp://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=112908Thanks to all those who have contributed to this board, and especially to the following Fools from whom I've gotten links and/or suggestions for this FAQ: LQueiros, robearpa, LiamMore, AcmeFool, Beaver1956 and JPLenny.Cody
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