Category Archives: Travel Journal

Update: Timing is Everything!

Wed, March 7th

So, I bought my tickets on Tuesday! I am so excited!

I was even more excited about the price I paid. I paid about $600 less than I had originally budgeted largely thanks to my credit card points. But the awesomeness of it all is that the same tickets were being sold for about $500 more only hours before on my credit card rewards portal page! By waiting until early Wednesday morning, I was able to capitalize on the credit card company updating its systems (midnights) and the adventitiously late updating of United price schedule.

So, in the end the price I paid to visit a family members graduation before I head over to Europe was the same price of the ticket to Europe from where I live the next day. Lesson learned: timing is crucial, don’t wait too long, but don’t rush things either!

Facts:

  • United doesn’t charge a fee for your 1st checked bag on a transatlantic flight. (I plan to backpack so I’ll definitely save money there!)
  • United is partners with the national flag carrier of one of the countries I’m stopping in. Definite savings there!
  • When airlines say they offer internet access on board, it only counts for that portion of your trip that’s over the continental U.S. (not over the ~5-hour segment above water) on a transatlantic flight.

Related pages

Money Tip: When to Buy?

 

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Update: Almost bought airline tickets today

I was going to, but…

Okay, so I haven’t explained one of the ways I plan to save a great deal of money on my airline tickets. About 3 months ago I made sure my credit score was impeccable, and then I applied for one of the most beautiful credit cards I’ve ever seen… I’ll decide later if to tell you what card it is :P. Anyway… so the credit card offers no foreign transaction fee (this will be awesome if I ever need to use it on the other side), and it gave me quite a bit of cash back within the first three months because I was able to buy a ton of stuff for friends, for which they made immediate repayment. For every cash back dollar I apply to a airplane ticket, I actually get to redeem for $1.25. So, with all these in consideration, my plane ticket should be substantially lower than otherwise! Of course I have to factor in that the card charges an annual fee and that if I don’t pay any balance in full, I get charged interest. 

So, this brings me to my dilemma.

For the dollars to be worth more, I have to purchase the tickets through the credit card company’s online booking system. Using http://www.travel.bing.com (like I suggested in a previous post), my ticket is supposed to cost around $1,400 – $1,600. But, checking the online booking system today I saw that their lowest ticket for the same dates cost about $1,800! Of course, I then went into bargain-finder overdrive! Because the ticket that I am getting is a multi-city ticket (I want to go to my sister’s graduation and visit some family in London), I tried rearranging dates and schedules to figure out of that would lessen the cost. Well, after a while I found a fix. Instead of flying into London from my home town, I would fly into Dublin instead. Because the London airports are a lot busier than Dublin’s they charge higher landing fees and other charges for the airlines, thus inflating my ticket price. Now, the point of flying into Dublin was because I remembered the jewel of a website I had found the other day, http://www.RyanAir.com. They provide domestic flights at really low prices <– already stated haha. Connecting time looks great and because I was already using the company to get from London to my study abroad in Spain, I would be able to purchase them together.

However, after all this chaos, and the creation of an awesome plan B, I remembered that I had forgotten the first rule of airline ticket shopping! I was buying a ticket on a Sunday! Everybody knows that weekends are the worst days to buy tickets! Well, at least for domestic flights that is. So, instead of rushing for plan B, I’m going to wait to check prices (and my luck) on Tuesday!

I’ll update you guys on Tuesday with what happened.