30 Sep Airfare Searching Tip – Search One Traveler at a Time!
Airfare searching is an art… akin to the finger-painting you hung on the fridge. It will never appear in any museum exhibit, but it requires some time and effort (as well as skill and imagination) to create. Just like an efficient and wallet-friendly – air travel itinerary!
Ok, so perhaps relating airfare searching to art is a stretch, but I think that many people will agree that there is a variety of techniques and a handful of tips & tricks that you can employ in order to achieve your ideal air itinerary at the cheapest price – or at the very least, one that you are willing to pay!
These tips, tricks and techniques are simple and easy, and if you build them into your airfare searching you can end up with some very nice savings!
Today’s Airfare Search Tip – Search for airfare one traveler at a time, regardless of how many travelers you are attempting to book!
If you are saying to yourself – “Duh, I knew that! This AcCounting Your Points guy is such a newbie…”
Cool your jets man! Take a moment to revisit the basics to ensure that you’re doing the small things right to save where you can, no matter how advanced you are in the travel game!
I re-discovered this airfare search tip during my last airfare booking for a return flight home to Tampa from Boston – capping off a weekend trip that my wife and I will be taking with some friends of ours.
I know what you are thinking – traveling with friends can be a stressful strain an otherwise joyous friendship…
Do not fret! This trek to Boston will be our third trip together as a group of 4 (the first two were quite successful, I might add) and by now we have all but mastered my “5 Things to Consider When Traveling with Friends“!
Back to the airfare search!
I began my airfare search like I begin most all of my airfare searches – on Google Flights!
One-Way BOS-TPA Economy Class for 1 –
Our desire to fly non-stop and avoid the possibility of a missed connection on a Sunday evening (it has happened to us before on this same route!) left us with one airline option – jetBlue!
The price is higher than I would like at $181 per person ($362 total). Luckily for me, I was recently approved in-branch for the Chase Sapphire Reserve – which comes with an annual $300 travel credit – that will reduce my out of pocket cost to just over $60 total!
I head to the jetBlue website, search my date for 2 one-way tickets…
Huh!? Now the price is up to $204 per person?
Did I search the wrong dates? Was Google Flights pulling incorrect information?
No to all of the above – Turns out that the flight I was searching only had “1 seat remaining” at the $181 price point… bummer!
The Bad News
It looks like my one-way trip is going to cost me even more than the already overpriced $362 total…
I tried the two-browser trick: I opened two separate incognito/private browsers (Internet Explorer & Google Chrome) and attempted to book the 1 seat at the $181 price point through both browser windows at the same time…
I tried calling the airline’s bluff: I have heard others claim that the “1 seat remaining” text is a marketing ploy to prompt you to purchase the last ticket. In my case, I purchased that ticket then attempted to rebook the same seat at $181 but the price had risen…
Neither of my tricks worked and ultimately, I was stuck with the one ticket booked at the $181 price and the next ticket booked at $204 – for a total cost of $385.
The Good News
Because I started my airfare search with 1 traveler instead of 2, I was aware of the “1 seat remaining” priced at $181. Had I began my search with 2 passengers, Google Flights would have provided me BOTH tickets at the higher price point of $204 per ticket, with a total trip cost of $408.
I saved an easy $23 by searching 1 traveler at a time – not huge, but I will take any savings I can get!
If $23 just fell from the sky you would catch it… right!?
Exception to the Rule
Like any good rule, there is an exception! At times, airlines will offer limited time promotions when booking airfare tickets for 2 [or more] people… In this specific case, an airfare search for 1 traveler would not result in the cheapest price!
Emirates offers this type of sales pretty frequently, so if you are interested in any of their route offerings I would suggest waiting to book until another promo comes along!
Search for airfare one at a time. It’s a simple and easy step to ensure that you don’t pay more than you should when traveling with a companion (or multiple companions)!
Some of you may have already known this little factoid, but it’s always good to refresh on the basics!
Do you have any other tips and trick you employ while searching for airfare?