With some airfare tricks and traps, this week’s Travel With Val focuses on tips for smart flyers. Valarie D’Elia filed the following report.
There’s a roundtrip flight from New York to Paris that only does departs from JFK and returns to Newark, but it arrives at one Paris airport and departs from another.
If that’s not enough to trip you up, the carrier marketing this flight is British Airways, but the flight is operated by American Airlines on one leg and Open Skies on the other, known as a “code share.” So should you check in at British Airways, you might find yourself at the wrong counter.
Next, if you’re like a lot of people you probably think that taking a “direct” flight is the way to go.
Hold onto your tray table ‘pardner.
“Non-stop means non-stop, yes. Direct doesn’t necessarily mean non-stop,” said Peter Thornton, an analyst at airfarewatchdog.com.
Let’s look at this one a little more closely.
“Non-stop flight is what it says. From your departure to arrival point, but a direct flight means it can have a stop in between but has the same flight number,” said Thornton.
A connecting flight, on the other hand, has two flight numbers and you always change planes.
And what about the best time to book summer travel?
“Start looking end of September and October for the following summer a lot of times when deals happen for a year period they will be available then,” said Thornton.
Wait, what about that 21 day advance purchase rule?
“It would be available anytime starting 21 days from now until 330 days from now,” said Thornton.
And when to buy and fly?
“Usually the cheapest days to travel are Tuesday, Wednesday and, Saturday is usually a cheap day to travel, not necessarily when to buy the tickets though, the sales can happen at any point in the week,” said Thornton.