delta one

With some wines at $50 a bottle, you can do quite well here…

What if you could save tons of money, potentially make someones day by creating open space on sold out flights and fly in flat beds for economy prices? You can, it’s just a bit “naughty”. There’s an extremely compelling way to save on transcontinental business class fares, offering flat beds on even the biggest and best legacy airlines, and it just requires a little bit of “bad luck” or plans that tend to change. You want to save on transcontinental business class, so here’s how…

a dock on a beachHidden City Ticketing

The New York Times ethicist once said this is fair play, so we’ll go with that. Hidden city ticketing is based on the concept of booking two separate one way tickets for a round trip, or just traveling one way. Another key component: not checking luggage in. What happens is airlines tend to sell tickets to places you don’t actually need to go, via places you do need to go, and if you just hop off the plane in that middle point, you can save quite a bit of money. Of course, sometimes, the extra stop is a place you may want to go, and it’s even more worthwhile…

Real Life Example

Let’s say you want to fly from Los Angeles to New York in flat business class. We don’t blame you, it’s really nice. If you search either one way or round trip from LA to NY, you’ll find crazy high prices, almost all well over $1000. But… if you search one way at a time from LAX to… perhaps a popular Caribbean vacation destination, and find a one way flight that goes via NYC, the price may suddenly drop by $100’s, even as low as $325 one way. That’s lower than any other fare you’ll find. Hey, we didn’t make these prices, they did…

a woman lying in a bed in an airplaneSearching Flights

The most elementary way to search is by playing with the five destination option on Google Flights. You plug in your starting point, and up to five potential cities where the deals may exist. You then look for one that flies via the place you actually want to go, like New York. The other way to search, especially once you’ve found something that works, is by searching multi city. You search for direct flights from the departure point, to the place you really want to go. Then for the second flight, you search from the place you’ll likely terminate, to the place which makes the deal cheap. Here are examples of both a normal one way search, and a multi city one way search

Expand The Thought

This is a top notch way to save on airline tickets all over the world. The key is finding the place where the low fares are offered, and then finding a ticket which offers the place you actually want to go in between. If you need to go round trip, you simply book two separate one way tickets. Once you miss a segment, regardless of order, the rest of that specific ticket is cancelled. Read that over and over again until you fully comprehend this concept. If prices don’t seem to stick with the airline directly, you can always try online travel agents, like Expedia, Orbitz and co…

a city with many buildings and a body of waterSafety, Never, Thoughts

First things first – you never tell someone you have no intention of taking the flight to the onward destination, after your lovely transcontinental business class flight. Why would you? You may end up deciding you plan to! Second, you never ever tell someone you’re not taking a flight. Sorry, we just needed to make that doubly clear. Is it safe? People do this every day, fly all around the world and miss flights for 1,000,000 different reasons. Work plans change, family issues arise and in the words of Forrest Gump “it happens”.

Airline View

They set the prices and they’re the ones that decide on these wacky examples. And at the end of the day, you may create space for an upgrade or oversold flight, which can end up helping them. Airlines tend to take a blind eye to this issue, because it’s too time consuming and costly to prove anything otherwise. Do you really want to antagonize a good customer over something which ma genuinely involve a family emergency? Obviously, if you do this weekly, it may raise flags, but even the most frequent travelers use their primary frequent flyer accounts, without even a shred of issue. Generally speaking, you don’t earn miles for the flights you don’t take, but you do for the ones you do. Sure, there can be risks, but this author hasn’t experienced them…

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. don’t forget to mention a couple obvious points:
    1. don’t check bags
    2. if there’s an irr-op, you could be routed differently (ie: delta can route you via ATL instead of JFK)

  2. Agreed with JL – also while this destination shouldn’t need it, most Caribbean destinations would require a passport, so if stumbling upon a flight like LAX-JFK-CUN/PUJ/etc, make sure you bring your passport to prevent any unexpected issues, even if it is technically just a domestic flight.

  3. A variation on this, when one-way flights are very expensive, to book a round trip and throw away the return ticket. Especially on international business class, this can save thousands if you book the flight you want in business, and get the return in the very cheapest economy class you can find on any day, like a Wednesday. But I would not do it very much.

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