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Author: hlupak Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 2323  
Subject: Cheap Air Fares FAQ 2.0 Date: 12/31/2004 3:22 PM
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Cheap Air Fares FAQ
Version 2.0 – December 31, 2004


What's new in this version?

Previous versions of the FAQ were extremely long; this one has been shortened somewhat. You can look at the old FAQ here:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=19417083

Where can I learn more about air fares?

In order to dig up the best possible air fare, it helps to be an informed traveller. First, check out Airfare 101, provided by budget travel experts Smarter Travel:

Part 1: Back to basics
http://www.smartertravel.com/air/resource.php?id=6680

Part 2: Naming your price
http://www.smartertravel.com/air/resource.php?id=6793

Part 3: Last-minute flights
http://www.smartertravel.com/air/resource.php?id=7013

Part 4: Discounted fares
http://www.smartertravel.com/air/resource.php?id=7178

There are also a wealth of handy airfare (and other travel-related) tips on the following sites:

Smarter Travel:
http://www.smartertravel.com/advice/

The Travel Insider:
http://www.thetravelinsider.info/

Frommer's:
http://www.frommers.com/activities/air/article.cfm?destid=AIRFARE

The Practical Nomad:
http://hasbrouck.org/

Rick Steves
http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/tips_menu.htm

In particular, I'd like to point out the Airline Ticket Consolidators and Bucket Shops FAQ, located at the Practical Nomad. It does an excellent job of explaining how air fares work, and the difference between domestic and international tickets.
http://hasbrouck.org/faq/index.html

There are so many websites out there. Is there a way to search them all at once?

The following websites enable you to do just that, including most major airlines and other discount travel sites.

Mobissimo:
http://www.mobissimo.com/

Qixo:
http://www.qixo.com/

FareChase:
http://www.farechase.com/

ITA:
http://matrix.itasoftware.com/cvg/dispatch/

If you're willing to download software that will search for airfares, try:

SideStep:
http://www.sidestep.com/

Is there a listing of current fare sales anywhere?

There are usually plenty of air fare sales going on at any given time. Here are a couple of sites that keep track of them. You can also sign up for free e-mail alerts.

Smarter Travel:
http://www.smartertravel.com/

Travelzoo:
http://www.travelzoo.com/

What other websites should I check?

There are dozens and dozens and dozens of online travel sites. Just take a look at this Yahoo list:
http://tinyurl.com/2zqye

So, here's a brief list of some you may want to check out.

1-800-FlyEurope
http://www.1800flyeurope.com/

Airline Consolidator
http://www.airlineconsolidator.com/

Cheap Tickets
http://www.cheaptickets.com/

Expedia
http://www.expedia.com/

Flight Centre
http://www.flightcentre.us/

Flights.com
http://www.flights.com/

Hotwire
http://www.hotwire.com/

OneTravel
http://www.onetravel.com/

Orbitz
http://www.orbitz.com/

Priceline
http://www.priceline.com/

TravelHUB
http://www.travelhub.com/

Travelocity
http://www.travelocity.com/

Travel Secrets
http://www.travelsecrets.com/

You may also want to check out these sites, where you earn discounts by shopping online:

Ebates
http://www.ebates.com/

MyPoints
http://www.mypoints.com/

And if you're young or a student:

STA Travel
http://www.statravel.com/

Student Universe
http://www.studentuniverse.com/

What about flying as a courier?

It can still be done, although I think post-9/11 security changes may have had an impct on being a courier. Check out these sites:

Air Courier Association
http://www.aircourier.org/

Air Courier List
http://www.courierlist.com/

Courier Travel
http://www.couriertravel.org/

International Association of Air Travel Couriers
http://www.courier.org/

There are also two other sites to mention, Airhitch and AirTech. They sometimes get lumped in with courier companies but they're not, they offer what are known as "space available" flights.

Airhitch
http://www.airhitch.org/

AirTech
http://www.airtech.com/

I'm travelling at the last minute. What do I do?

Try these:

11th Hour
http://www.11thhourvacations.com/

Last Minute Travel
http://www.lastminutetravel.com/

Site 59
http://www.site59.com/

Do you have any frequent flyer info?

A little.

Flyer Talk
http://www.flyertalk.com/

Mileage Workshop
http://www.mileageworkshop.com/

Web Flyer
http://www.webflyer.com/

Where can I go for general travel info?

CIA World Factbook
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/

Fodor's
http://www.fodors.com/

Frommer's
http://www.frommers.com/

In Your Pocket (city guides)
http://www.inyourpocket.com/

Lonely Planet
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/

Should I be worried?

Air travel is extremely safe. That said, it pays to be informed.

AirDisaster.com
http://www.airdisaster.com/

AirSafe.com
http://www.airsafe.com/

Come Back Alive – The World's Most Dangerous Places
http://www.comebackalive.com/

Deep vein thrombosis
http://www.cheapflights.co.uk/misc/flyersguide_bc.html

Inflight Safety Page
http://www.warman.demon.co.uk/anna/inflight.html

Travel Advisories:
U.S. State Department: http://travel.state.gov/
Government of Canada: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/consular_home-en.asp

Anything else?

Sure, here are some other useful sites.

Airline and airport links
http://www.airlineandairportlinks.com/

Airline information online
http://www.airinfo.aero/

Airline meals
http://www.airlinemeals.net/

Airports of the World
http://www.hotelstravel.com/airports.html

Airports (U.S.)
http://www.airports.com/

Delayed flights and Rule 240
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15025379

Epinions: Travel
http://www.epinions.com/trvl

EuroTrip Cheap Flights Forum
http://www.eurotrip.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=7

One Bag: The Art & Science of Travelling Light
http://www.oratory.com/onebag/

Seat Guru
http://www.seatguru.com/

TMF: Best Travel Spots/Tips
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=112908

TSA air travel tips
http://www.tsa.dot.gov/public/display?theme=175

U.S. airport status & delay info
http://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp

And...

Thanks 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 the various incarnations of this FAQ: AcmeFool, Beaver1956, JPLenny, LiamMore, LQueiros, reallyalldone, robearpa, and wintbill.

Cody
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