1. Search solo even for a group
Airline search engines mess with your head a little when it comes to booking your family’s travel. The truth is, sometimes you’ll get a cheaper rate by booking seats individually, because single seats can easily go unsold (especially middle seats in the back of the plane).
Airlines jump at the chance to get rid of them. See what happens when you book seats individually.
2. Trash your cookies
You’re shopping for a flight on the Web and the flight prices seem to keep going up, not down. Why is that? Many Internet sites install “cookies” on your computer when you visit.
A “cookie” is a collection of information that will almost certainly include your user name and the date and time you visited the site. Sometimes travel websites use this information to increase their prices if you repeatedly run the same searches for airlines or hotels.
If you price a flight, and go back to the site a few hours later only to find that the price has increased, it’s probably a cookie at work.Before you buy a ticket, erase the cookies from your computer. This is easy — methods vary by browser, but you can usually do it by going to “Tools” at the top of your browser and selecting “Internet Options.”
3. Check out this website for travel pros
So you’ve checked the airline for price quotes, done the requisite Internet searches at Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity and the rest, but still you remain unsatisfied with the selection and price. Out of luck?
Not just yet. Check out www.itasoftware.com, a website used by travel agents, travel websites and the airlines themselves. While you can’t book your tickets through this site, it does offer lots of other benefits. You’re allowed to choose where you fly from and where you’re flying to just like the other sites, but you can also search airports up to 300 miles away from your destinations.
In addition, you can see available flights on the days before or after your target dates. It’s an awesome tool, too, if you’re flying to three or more destinations. Here’s an example: New York to Miami to Bangkok, Thailand, and back to New York. Within a minute, we found more than a dozen airline combos, ranging from $1,982 to $8,722.Once you find the flights you need, booking is a snap. You simply click the “details” icon, which then gives you the flight numbers, booking codes and fare codes for each flight on your itinerary. At this point, you simply call a travel agent — or call the airlines directly — with the information.
Sit where you wantDon’t let those sneaky airlines put you in the middle seat of a three-seat row. You want to know where the good more-legroom, exit-row seats are?
Several travel websites list virtually all planes and their seating charts. What’s more, with input from fellow travellers, the site tells you where not to sit — in other words, which ones have little legroom and are close to the bathroom. The site is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to fly.