Money overspent on plane tickets is one less: mojito, souvenir, indulgent meal, I Love New York t-shirt or any of the other things you simply can’t leave a trip without. Don’t overspend on plane tickets. When it comes to purchasing- getting the best deal is sadly, often a lot more complicated than just pressing the number of tickets and entering your card details. Here’s why, and what you can do to save when booking multiple airline tickets. Oh and once you’ve booked, here’s how to make flying economy feel like a breeze.
We all know that prices go up and down, and that there are best practices for finding the most ridiculously good deals. Truth be told, things are even more complicated. In economy alone, there are more than 10 “selling classes”, which refer to what type of ticket you’re buying and any rules. The more flexibility- the more expensive. Often, the cheapest tickets only have a limited number of seats on every flight. These have letters like Y, B, M, K, Q, T, U, V and each letter only has a few tickets to be sold in that category. It goes without saying: people want the cheapest ones, but availability is often very limited.
Yeah, rather than just grabbing any available tickets from the cheaper fare bucket (lowest price), and then moving over and grabbing the rest from the more expensive bucket- the airline or booking site will just grab however many tickets you’d like from the more expensive fare bucket. Rip off! Why not just grab as many low ones as possible? We know why. This can cost upwards of $50 per ticket when booking two or more tickets. When you multiply each ticket, the numbers can really add up. But you can stop this!
ALWAYS, always compare the cost of booking multiple tickets together with the cost of booking each ticket separately. If the flight is nearly empty and many of the cheapest fares are available, the price may be the same. If not- you’ll know you saved yourself some tragic tourist t-shirt or cocktail money! We all love to be tragic tourists from time to time, and money in the pocket is never a bad thing! Long story short: never book two or more tickets together without checking to see if a lower fare is only available for one. ExpertFlyer is gold for researching this!
One of the most lucrative benefits of holding (many but not all) airline credit cards is the free checked bag for the cardholder and anyone on their reservation. Essentially, if you have a card where you receive this benefit, it’s important to consider the potential ticket savings versus the savings on checked bags you may miss out on, by being on separate reservations. Similarly, if you have someone with top elite status booking tickets, it may be worth staying on their reservation in the event of weather or need to rebook. Just a thought.
FYI, in many cases, you can ask to merge onto one PNR (reservation confirmation) or if you book together, you can always ask to split PNR’s so you can make changes/upgrades separately.