- 7 years ago
hi ladies! so while writing another thread this thought came to me.
What is the worst thing about being in an LDR? Being apart from my love. What is the second worst thing? Shopping for airfare so we can see each other again!
AGGHH!! I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE IT! Yes, I do!
What kind of tips about airfare shopping do you have? Background – Boyfriend or Best Friend and I live on opposite sides of the country. He lives in an area served by regional air that connects to other major airports – it is ALWAYS expensive to fly there and there is always at least one connecting flight.
Here are a few of mine (I fly domestic only):
1) Of all of the smartphone apps, I find that Google ON THE FLY and Kayak are the most useful since they allow you to search nearby airports and include smaller carriers in their searches. I have preloaded searches so I have the ability to check at random times during the day with a minimum of taps (I was startled awake by a dream last night and I checked..oooh the flights went down! very convenient)
The web version of Google ON THE FLY is http://matrix.itasoftware.com/
Matrix/Onthefly shows flights in a matrix format and you can do flex searches so if you are a visual person you can easily see what days and what length of trip (if you have a range) will give you the best price. However, you cannot buy from this site, it only directs you to the airline carrier’s site.
Kayak allows you to see flights to nearby airports and also allows you to mix and match where your arrival and departing flights are (sometimes Boyfriend or Best Friend can drive 30 minutes more to pick me up and we can save 350 dollars! the injustice! but at least I know!) Kayak, however does not allow you to have mix n match airline carriers
If you find the cheapest price is a mish mash of different airports from these search engines, you book by going directly to the airline website and selecting the multi-city option (let me know if this doesn’t make sense).
Another mildly useful app (but doesn’t use all of the plane carriers) is Hipmunk.com. It pictorally shows you what flights exist for a given trip in bar graph form eliminating flights with longer layovers and the such – this allows you to graphically see which flight may fit best in your schedule. It is not as great but the mascot is very amusing at least.
2) Standard broker websites all seem pretty similar in price. Orbitz and Expedia allow you to purchase mix n’ match airline tickets to get the best schedule.
Priceline.com allows you to attempt to bid on your own price which often finds a low price. I’ve done it once or twice but I find my schedule is too tricky to buy in this way most of the time.
3) Yapta.com is a site that tracks the price of flights you have already purchased. It notifies you if the cost goes down such that *maybe* you can ask the airline for a price adjustment. Most airlines set up policies that try to avoid this by stating a very large price change before they consider an adjustment but in case you wanted another way to drive yourself crazy.
This works best if you buy tickets directly from the airline company itself as they are easier to work with.
Hope this helps a little! Please share! Shopping for airfare = pain!!!!