How to Find & Book Fare Deals & Error Fares

The better the airfare deal, the shorter it seems to last. These deals can save you hundrends (or even thousands!), but you have to be quick and decisive when it comes to fare deals – which some of you may have experienced firsthand earlier this week…

Some lucky few were able to take advantage of the AMAZING Los Angeles/San Francisco to Auckland, New Zealand $225 round-trip fares that came and went this past Tuesday morning – congratulations to you – but I suspect that there were some who tried, but just missed out on booking the deal. While that deal is dead and gone, here are some tips on how you can get in on the next “deal of the (insert exaggeration here – day, week, month, year, century!?)” and have the trip of your dreams!

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Were you lucky enough to get in on this!?

Tip #1 – Have Deal Awareness

You can only book the deal if you know about the deal! The quickest way to spread information is through social media, so make sure to follow the following people/sites on social media in order to get alerted next time a fare deal arises:

AcCounting Your PointsInstagramTwitter  or on Facebook  

The Points GuyInstagram & Twitter  (and @TPG_Alerts) or on Facebook 

One Mile At A Time: Instagram & Twitter  

Additionally, here are some sites I visit in order to check out current airfare deals:

TheFlightDeal.com – which I detailed out here! Follow on twitter 

SecretFlying.com – Follow on twitter 

Tip #2 – ACT FAST & With Purpose

By the time that you see an alert for an airfare deal, chances are that hundreds or thousands of others have seen the same deal and are flocking to the booking site in order to secure their tickets! Once you get to the site offering the airfare deal, the site will most likely be bogged down with traffic, so make sure to click around as little as possible in order to avoid unnecessary buffering – BE EFFICIENT!

Tip #3 – Know Your Travel Dates

Always have some travel dates in mind for your next trip, that way you can spend less time searching around a site with heavy traffic! Personally, I have some trips planned for this spring and summer and knew that the November/December months would be the soonest that I had any availability for a big trip like this! Also, since most people have limited time-off from work, try to encompass holidays and multiple weekends in order to cut down on how much vacation time you will need to take!

Tip #4 – Book Now, Ask Later

BOOK IT! Do not hesitate or the fare will most likely disappear. Not travelling alone? DO NOT call your husband, wife, sister, brother, mom, dad, friend, cousin, neighbor – they will only slow you down! Book the trip and then talk with your companion to see if they want to join you once you have the tickets in-hand/email (as long as the ticket is cancellable within a certain period of time). In order to do this, it is important to know your travel companion’s schedule, and personal info (name, DOB, gender) in order to book his/her ticket.

With all of that said, make sure you know the cancellation policies prior to booking. While most airlines and booking sites offer free cancellation within 24-hours, that is not always the case! For example, Priceline offers free cancellation within 24-hours, while this deal with Cheap-O-Air only offered free cancellation within 4 hours! Pay attention and even take screenshots if you have to so you have proof of the booking and cancellation policies!

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CheapOAir 4 Hour Free Cancellation window…

Tip #5 – Cross Your Fingers

While some airfare deals are “fare sales”, some of these deals are “error fares” – meaning that the airline or booking agency made a mistake, and may not honor the ticket(s) that you booked at a crazy low rate. This really varies depending on the circumstances, but it is always best to wait until your ticket has been ticketed and confirmed prior to booking any other non-refundable travel (i.e. hotel stays or other air transportation). Until then, cross your fingers, your toes, your legs and arms and just hope that your travel dreams come true!

United Error Fare - AYP
Here is an error fare I booked last year – 2 One-way First-Class tickets from London to Tampa… Unfortunately, United subsequently cancelled the booking…

Final Thought

To take advantage of fare deals you have to be informed, decisive and quick… and a bit of luck doesn’t hurt either! I hope that these tips help you take advantage of the next great fare deal and allow you to achieve your travel dreams!

Did any of you grab this fare deal!?

As always, hit me up at accountingyourpoints@yahoo.com with any questions or comments!

Happy Fare Searching!

DW


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