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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:

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

Part 2: Naming your price

Part 3: Last-minute flights

Part 4: Discounted fares

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

Smarter Travel:

The Travel Insider:


The Practical Nomad:

Rick Steves

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.

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.





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


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:


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:

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


Airline Consolidator

Cheap Tickets


Flight Centre







Travel Secrets

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



And if you're young or a student:

STA Travel

Student Universe

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

Air Courier List

Courier Travel

International Association of Air Travel Couriers

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.



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

Try these:

11th Hour

Last Minute Travel

Site 59

Do you have any frequent flyer info?

A little.

Flyer Talk

Mileage Workshop

Web Flyer

Where can I go for general travel info?

CIA World Factbook



In Your Pocket (city guides)

Lonely Planet

Should I be worried?

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

Come Back Alive – The World's Most Dangerous Places

Deep vein thrombosis

Inflight Safety Page

Travel Advisories:
U.S. State Department:
Government of Canada:

Anything else?

Sure, here are some other useful sites.

Airline and airport links

Airline information online

Airline meals

Airports of the World

Airports (U.S.)

Delayed flights and Rule 240

Epinions: Travel

EuroTrip Cheap Flights Forum

One Bag: The Art & Science of Travelling Light

Seat Guru

TMF: Best Travel Spots/Tips

TSA air travel tips

U.S. airport status & delay info


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.

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