Tips and advice
Lyndsey Fish

Travel Secrets Airlines Won't Tell You

Do you love taking trips but hate the thought of taking an airplane to get to your final destination? It could be the fact that it's a time-consuming hassle, not to mention costly, or that you are one of those people who just fears flying in general. Whether you're a person who loves flying or are someone who loathes it, there are secrets to making this travel experience more enjoyable than it's often percieved to be. As a company in the discount travel space, we have picked up a lot of tips and tricks throughout our travels. In order to help you, we've gotten together to uncover the secrets we've learned along the way that the airlines don't tell you.

1. Pack Less!

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Ok, this is probably not the first time you've heard this, but how much you pack can really affect your travel experience. This may sound crazy to all of you over-packers out there, but the best option is to always try to travel with a carry-on sized bag. Doing this can save you tons of money (and time). Most checking fees are $25-$50 per bag! which can add up quickly if you're traveling with your family. Carrying everything with you allows you to skip the time it takes to check your bag, plus, you'll have extra cash for spending on your trip. Everyone is allowed one carry-on sized bag and one "personal bag". I bring the largest carry on sized bag allowed as well as a large tote bag that can fit underneath the seat in front of me. Worried about liquids? Just make sure they are not more than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters and are in a gallon sized zip lock bag. I bought my carry-on bag from Target at a super affordable price.

2. You Don't Actually Have to Pay to Check Your Bag

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Yes, airlines are not going to tell you this, but if there is not enough space for your bag to fit on the plane, they check it for you (for free). This doesn't mean all of you over-packers can rejoice just yet; you still need to get your appropriately sized bag through security. But, if your bag is too big to fit in the overhead compartment or the plane is already full, the airline will check your bag at the gate for you, no fee added. This still means that you have to watch what you carry-on to make sure it meets the TSA regulations. It also means you can save hundreds of dollars in checked bag fees.

3. The Day You Fly Matters

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Flexibility = savings when it comes to travel. Flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday will land you the cheapest tickets. This is because the other days of the week are peak travel times for business travelers and vacationers. If you're taking a whole week for your trip, why not fly out on an "off-peak" day for added savings. We often find that purchasing your tickets on a Tuesday evening offers up the best prices of the week, this is due to the fact that airline ticket sites carefully track the demand for fares, raising and lowering them as demand shifts.

4. The Cheapest Tickets Are Not Advertised

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Ever notice that the same websites always pop up first when you google flights for your next trip? Well, those websites pay to show up first, which means they have to offer competetive rates in order to make money off of your purchases. With that said, there are other websites out there selling airline tickets that you might not be aware of because they're not paying to be seen. For this reason, they are able to offer cheaper flight options to those who are savvy enough to find them. In my experience, these are the best websites to book your next flight with. OneTravel- This site is my go-to whenever i'm traveling because they often have the best rates no matter where you're going. They specialize in one- way and international flight options which are good if you want to visit multiple cities on your trip. If you sign up for their email, you'll get up to $50 towards your next booking. FareCompare- When you know you're going to travel, sign up for flight deal alerts in advance. Farecompare will keep watch of your flight and send you an email alert when the price has dropped. This is an amazing tool to ensure you get the best deal possible. WOWAir- This airline specializes in flights from the U.S to 9 European cities. If you plan to travel internationally, it's the cheapest way to go. SpiritAir- Spirit Airlines has some incredible deals if you are flying to and from one of their hubs. You might have heard of this airline before because they offer ridiculously cheap fares. Be aware though, that there are many hidden fees within this pricetag, such as a $50 fee per pag (even if it's a carry-on) and another fee for your seat (even if you don't choose it). Many times these hidden fees add up, making this "deal" not so sweet afterall. FlightDeal- This is a weekly newsletter you can sign up for that will send you an email with a list of the best flight deals around the world. They might not be where you are flying from/to right now, but if you live in a city, the chances are high that you will see something in your area. This is a great option if you want to take a spontaneous vacation somewhere new.

5. You Can Get Upgraded For Free

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Ok, not always, but it's possible, escpecially if the flight is full. Yes- you read that right. If the flight has empty seats, your chances of being upgraded are slim because airlines don't usually upgrade passengers for no reason. This is because airlines carefully plan how much they oversell flights, and their inventory departments are not upset if people need to be upgraded to accommodate everybody on the flight. Therefore, on a full flight the airlines sometimes are forced to upgrade people. In this scenario, if you have a good story, you may be lucky. Remember, of course, that business or first class may already be full from prebooked "platinum"-level upgrades.

6. You Can Get Free Snacks

Again, this is not all the time, but in my experience, if you are kind and courteous to your flight attendants they will go above and beyond for you. Think about it, most of the time they are dealing with cranky people who are scared or annoyed to fly. Most flight attendants are more than happy to have a conversation with a passenger who is friendly towards them. If there is something wrong with your seat or televison, instead of complaining about it, ask for a snack or drink instead. Many times, they will offer one up just because you are a likeable passenger. Airlines want to keep customers happy, and more often than not, it pays to be nice.

7. Don't Choose Your Seat in Advance

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If you're flexible on where you sit and who you sit next to, don't pay to pick your seat. Unless you're sitting in first class or are extremely tall, where you sit on the plane really does not make much difference, honestly. So you might get a middle seat or be in the back of the plane, but is it worth the extra money to sit a few rows up? All of the savings adds up, and just think of all the fun things you'll be able to do with the extra cash you saved from your secret flying tips! To save even more on your next trip, don't forget to grab a Go City Card.

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