a plane on the runway
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On the surface this may sound like madness, but the reason is very simple. You should consider booking flights from cities or countries you’re not presently in, because the potential for savings is astronomical. There are places where flights are half the cost, or business class is the same price you would’ve paid for economy in another location. There are a few ideas and mechanisms that make this magic, so we’ll touch on each one…

30 Rockefeller Plaza skyline at sunsetExample A: Hub And Attack Cities

Backstory: This works just about anywhere in the world. Let’s say you wanted to go from your city that is not a “hub” city, or is a city with only one real major airline- and you want to go to… Paris. About 90% of the time, it’s going to be far cheaper, even when factoring getting to another city, to leave from a “hub city” instead of yours. Let’s take a look. For the sake of this example, you live in Mobile, Alabama.

Mobile To Paris  in February: $1025 lowest price, with stops.

Miami To Paris In February: $350 lowest price, with stops. $610 non stop.

Chicago to Paris Flight Prices January 8-16th (Hub): $699 lowest price with stops.

Result: By venturing to a “hub”, prices are quite literally one third what you’d pay from Alabama. A round trip ticket to Miami on these dates costs $220, representing a savings of roughly $500, even with flights to Miami factored in. Plus- it makes for a nice side trip before Paris!

an airplane with seats and windowsExample B: Nesting Countries

Backstory: This is one of the best tricks for flying business class at borderline economy prices. The idea is that some countries price things far lower than others. If you have plans to venture to (or just near) that country multiple times, why not buy a deal from that country. You’d just need to use miles or a cheap deal to get there. :et’s say you’re in New York, but you plan to visit Sweden a couple times this year, or Europe in general. We suggest booking a business deal from Sweden to New York, even though you’re in New York.

New York to Sweden Business Class In February Round Trip: Lowest price $2200.

Sweden to New York Business Class In February Round Trip: Lowest price $1100.

New York to Sweden Business Class One Way In February: 39,000 Amex Points.

Result: By using points for one way business class; or finding one of the numerous $99 one way economy deals to Sweden, you’re able to get the same exact amount of flying for half the price. You’re also setting up your second return trip. Instead of blowing extra miles or money, you earn miles and save money, even when factoring in the first and last flight to start and end the deals.

a bridge over water with a building and a bridgeExample C: Around The World

Backstory: We all have goals of seeing the world, but it’s a hard thing to accomplish by just flying one place at a time and coming home. By building once in a lifetime(ish) deals into the pre existing frameworks of a trip, you’re able to squeeze in much more travel while saving an absolute fortune. It works in all cabins, and is all about timing. Here’s a wonderful, real world example from earlier this year, when we’d already booked a trip from Europe to Los Angeles, when the business class deal of a lifetime popped up from a city we did not intend to visit.

Oslo to Los Angeles Premium Economy Deal: $625 round trip.

Vancouver to Sydney Business Class Deal: $686 round trip.

Flight from LA to Vancouver round trip: $200.

Change fee to move back return date of Oslo to Los Angeles ticket: $200

Oslo to Los Angeles To Sydney Standard Price (we didn’t pay): $6,000 minimum.

Result: By piecing together two incredibly cheap deals, we were able to pay roughly $1300 round trip for a trip which retails for 6X the price. By simply paying $200 to move back our return, we were able to add in enough time to pick up the deal to Sydney and get back in time to return from Los Angeles. Oh, and we used points to upgrade the premium flights to business

HT: ViewFromTheWing

Any questions? Have you made this work for you? Let us know!


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 Comment

  1. The only issue with buying a ticket from another country is that if you have any problem that needs to be sorted out with the airline, the US/UK airline office will be unable to help you. They will redirect you to the originally purchased country’s office which may or may not be helpful. I am currently having a problem with an Egypt Air ticket purchased on the Egyptian MS website. The US office won’t touch it and I keep getting redirected to an Egyptian number that doesn’t work.

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