a passport and boarding pass

50% of the time, this works every time. While that number is a total farce, and no research has been conducted- this crucial tip works, it really can save you money. There’s a simple, yet crucial error which many travelers make when booking travel for more than one person, and it’s easy to fix. Here’s how…

a group of palm trees

First Mistake

The excitement of travel gets the best of us. When it’s time to book, we race to the airline website or online travel agency and enter however many travelers are flying and press search. Can you guess the first potential mistake, you’ve already made?

It’s Complicated

Airline pricing and fares are more complicated than the X-Factor voting process. Tickets are not as simple as economy, premium, business or first. Within each cabin there are multiple codes and price offerings, each with limited availability. The best deals? Yeah, there’s an extra limited amount of those.

a sign with text and numbers on itDouble Search

Aside from setting price alerts for free, and using the crucial 10 step countdown to ensure you book at the perfect time, there’s one last fool proof way to save on plane tickets. Search for all passengers in one search, and then search for prices one passenger at a time. The larger the group, and sometimes even just for two, you’ll find a dramatic price difference.

Why This Happens

For a variety of reasons we won’t bother to try understanding, airlines and online travel agencies will often just grab two of the higher priced tickets, rather than booking the one lower priced ticket and any of the remaining tickets from the higher fare. This can be as insignificant as $10 or so, but also can account for $100’s of dollars. Now you know. Double search- and rest easy.

a row of seats in an airplaneOne Consideration

Certain airlines offer credit cards which allow free bags for anyone on the same reservation. If someone you’re booking with has elite status, your chances of upgrading can also be greater if you’re booked on the same reservation. If either of these apply, consider savings versus potential benefits. If they don’t, don’t hesitate to book separately and enjoy the savings elsewhere!

Do you always remember to search for separate tickets?


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. search for tickets like you’re going to book for one person, and then compare the cost of booking two or more tickets. see if one comes out cheaper.

      1. A good example of this is booking using the Alaska search engine. For some reason, Alaska only allows one award premium class booking per flight at their advertised points rate as per their chart. The second premium award ticket will cost significantly more points than the first. For example, if I try to book a RT from NYC – SFO in “first” class, I can do it for 50K points. The second passenger will cost twice as much. If I book two passengers at once, they will both pay the higher price. So, it is important to search both ways and plan accordingly.

  1. My understanding is they have to be the same fare class to be on the same PNR, therefore it grabs the lowest that meets the number of pax.

  2. how do I minimize the odds of losing the seat (s) next to the lower priced option – It would not be a happy time if we were split up. 2 browser method?

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