Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Trick to save money on flights

If you are going to be flying to the same city on a repeat basis for short business trips during the week, and you know your schedule in advance, here is a trick to save substantially on airfare.

Let's say you are going to travel from New York to Detroit for two weeks in a row. Both weeks you will fly out Monday and return on Thursday.

When I checked the prices on flights a couple months ago, the round trip Monday-Thursday flight cost about $500.

But if you flew out LGA-DTW on Monday week one and returned on Thursday of week two, the flight was $250. Similarly, if bought a round trip ticket from DTW-LGA on Thursday of week one and then LGA-DTW on Monday of week two, it was $250.

In both cases, you added a Saturday night stay, and so the airline assumes that you are a leisure traveler instead of a business traveler.

I've used this trick almost a dozen times and there doesn't seem to be any policy against it. I was a little worried that the airline would recognize I had an open ticket and invalidate the second one, but that hasn't happened - yet.

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