You can sign up for an airline rewards card that earns points with a particular airline, or a more general travel rewards card that lets you redeem points across a variety of airlines. As a beginner card, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You can earn up to 60,000 in bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after your account opening. That's worth $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and more than enough for a domestic flight. There's also no foreign transaction fees, so it's the perfect all-rounder travel credit card. You can compare this card with other top credit cards.
Typically, booking a whole trip with different airlines would be risky. For example, let's say your first flight with JetBlue was delayed, and you missed your connecting flight with Norwegian Air. Because the airlines have no association with each other, Norwegian Air has no obligation to reschedule your flight for free, so you would just lose your money. Kiwi.com instead offers their own guarantee, which covers schedule changes, flight delays, and cancellations. As long as you contact Kiwi.com as soon as you're aware of the delay, they will provide you with an alternate connecting flight, or a full refund, at your discretion. We haven't used this guarantee ourselves, but it certainly sounds like an appealing way to take the risk out of a thrifty flight hack!
Don’t be afraid of the little guy. It’s easy, and sometimes perceived as safer, to rely on large airlines as the sole means of air transportation. Instead of only considering large airlines, consider using small budget carriers. These small, area-specific airlines may offer lower prices as an incentive to choose them over the big guys. Do a search of budget carriers in your area or destination and see if they also offer lower prices.
While the above search engines are great, they do not always include small airlines, especially in less popularly booked routes and/or in remote regions. If you're flying somewhere obscure, Google search and ask around if there exists a local airline. While in South America we learnt that the LADE Air in Argentina (run by the military) has cheap flights to Patagonia, which is of course not listed in mass search engines online.
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Look into alternative routes. Slightly different than flying indirectly with layovers, if you aren’t in a time crunch consider taking alternative routes to your destination. If you can get a cheaper flight flying from Seattle to Boston, and then from Boston to London, then book two separate flights. Breaking up your travel will lengthen the amount of time you have to spend journeying to your destination, but it could be one of the best ways to manage saving money.
Whether you know exactly where you're going or you just want to find to the cheapest possible country to fly into, Kiwi.com is a great tool to get the wanderlust going and save some big bucks. Hop on their site and enter your departure city, then select a date range to fly. Approximate costs then appear over hundreds of countries around the globe from your departure point, while the list of destinations is sorted by price, allowing you to see the most cost-effective place you can fly.
The best time to book your flights to the USA will vary drastically depending on where you are planning to visit. Once you’ve decided on a few locations it’s worth researching any festivals or events that might be taking place and then securing your flight tickets early. Make sure to book them in advance to find the cheapest flights to the USA and try to avoid the peak seasons if you want to save money. If you are flexible or have no preference in where you want to go then you will find cheap flights to the USA with little trouble.
Why it's awesome: Norwegian Air is one of the most aggressive and controversial airlines in the world. The low-cost carrier had drawn the ire of its US competitors by proposing a plan to operate trans-Atlantic flights using an Ireland-based subsidiary. The airline's critics claim that such a move would allow Norwegian to flaunt Norway's strict labor laws and use Ireland as a flag of convenience. Norwegian has denied these accusations. Regardless, Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos has won US government approval to launch ultra-low-cost trans-Atlantic flights from smaller airports in the Northeastern part of the country.
Before booking any tickets, be sure to compare flights on flight comparison websites like Skyscanner. Don’t assume that low-cost airlines will always have the cheapest tickets. With low-cost airlines, you need to pay for checked baggage, and any extra comfort like a possibility to choose your seat, airport check-in, food, drinks etc. So if you actually want to enjoy all these things, sometimes you might be able to find tickets from a regular airline for almost the same price as low-cost but with all the extras included.
Nobody wants to pay $800 for an airline ticket when they
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First, do your research: are there budget airlines unique to the country you're flying out of and where you're headed to? Booking with a budget Australian airline (Jetstar) from Sydney to Honolulu, then an American one from Honolulu to Montreal saved us over $400 each when flying back from Australia to Canada earlier this year. This allowed us to create a thrifty five-day stopover in Hawaii on our way back, which was less exhausting and a lot cheaper! Kiwi.com and AirWander are both great search engine for revealing cheaper routes like this that involve multiple airlines.