Archive for the ‘budget travel’ Category

British Airways Miles tips from “The Points Guy”

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

Brian Kelley is “The Points Guy“, a frequent flyer who helps others get the best from their credit card frequent flyer deals and other travel offers out there.

In an excellent and detailed series of articles linked below, Kelley offers a lot of advice on the British Airways points system, which based on my limited experience offers some challenges in terms of fuel surcharges and other added on fees.   After signing up for new cards my wife and I now have over 200,000 miles to use, but I’m concerned that the “free trips” to London I thought we’d score from this are fading away fast, though it appears BA may allow us to combine several segments – a promising development.   I’ll be reading Kelley’s advice carefully to try to maximize the benefits of the British Airways Frequent Flyer Program.

 

British Airways Frequent Flyer Travel Tips from “The Points Guy” Brian Kelley:

General tipsPost 1 – Booking BA Awards, Post 2 – Booking Partner Awards, Post 3 – Oneworld Alliance, Post 4 – Taxes and Fees, Post 5 – Household Accounts, Post 6 – Companion Ticket, Post 7 – Using ExpertFlyer for Partner Award Availability, Post 8 – The Art of the Stopover, Post 9 – Leveraging Miles and Cash Redemptions, and Post 10– Using Qantas.com to Find Oneworld Award Availability. Also, be sure to check out my post on the credit card deal itself and the lengthy Q&A in the comments section.

Airport Codes for US Airports, Canadian Airports, and International Airports

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

The rumors are true – The QuickAid.com Airport Directory has added a very robust list of Airport Codes from around the world divided into Airports from the USA, Canada, and International Aiports.    Click below or in the page menu above for the lists of codes or for Airline Phone Numbers and Websites.

US Airport Codes | International Airport Codes | Canada Airport Codes | Airport Directory

Airline Phone Numbers and Airline Websites

If you are shopping for flight travel bargains consider starting your search with the big “consolidator” websites Kayak.com and  Orbitz.com  (Kayak often lists Orbitz flights so I usually just use Kayak).       Try to use the “matrix” or “flexible dates” features to expand your search to 3 days before and after your preferred departures.   Small adjustments in times and dates often yield large savings.

This search will give you a good starting price to try to beat with other sites, which should include Expedia, Travelocity, and the actual airline websites from the best deals you’ve found so far (though going to Airline sites is often redundant as they generally have the same info that is fed into Kayak.

A problem with Kayak is that it does not have all the airlines so if – for example – you are in a market served by Allegiant you may find much better deals than will be listed in any consolidator.      Allegiant only travels to a few big locations from dozens of small rural markets, but if you are lucky enough to live in those markets and are travelling to Las Vegas, Mesa AZ, or Los Angeles California you’ll be rewarded with massive savings on the order of 1/2 to 1/3 the  normal flight costs.

For International Travel budget conscious flyers will want to work even harder, looking for flights that may not be on a daily schedule and therefore may not appear in all your searches.   Also, word of mouth is often a great way to find out some good starting points for international flights.     You may even find that a good travel agent can get better deals than you can find online since they will have the experience and knowledge that will allow them to find “hidden gems” or good promotional deals you may not become aware of.

So, as with any endeavor try to stay patient, do a few hours of searching and talking, and save yourself a bundle on flights.    Keep in mind that spending a few hours to save a few hundred dollars represents a substantial return on your time investment and puts you in better shape for your future travel needs.


YAPTA cheap fare search using "wisdom of crowds"

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Yapta is trying to be “Your Amazing Personal Travel Assistant”, using the collective wisdom of thousands of other Yapta subscribers to find cheap fares. I have not used the service yet but it’s a neat idea in that it could harvest information from a large number of travelers and then work to “optimize” their experiences based on all the extra info. Unfortunately many such efforts can get bogged down when it comes to monetizing the enterprise. For example if Yapta knows that your best travel day would be Tuesday with a Saturday layover but the Yapta advertisers want them to book more Friday departures there can be a subtle shift in focus. This is even happening at Google where the shading on advertising is slowly diminishing, blurring the distinction between “organic” and ad results.

But good luck Yapta! If you provide unbiased air travel info from a broad sample of air travelers you could be on your way to success.