Travel myths
Published May/June 2015

Cheap Tricks

5 myths about finding low airfares

BYDeEtte Person
The airline industry has changed quite a bit over the past few years. And with that, many of the tried-and-true tricks of finding a cheap airline ticket are now a thing of the past. Here are a few misconceptions and the realities:
 
Myth #1: There’s an exact time each week when you can find the best prices.
Reality: Airfares are changing constantly, but it can be helpful if you sign up for alerts from individual airlines.
 
Myth #2: With travel websites, there’s no need to use a travel agent.
Reality: Travel agents have the ability to look at flights for more airlines and classes at one time than individuals. To find the best fare, they also can work with air consolidators (who purchase tickets directly from the airlines at special negotiated rates and resell them for drastically lower rates), which travelers do not have access to. 
 
Myth #3: If your ticket is nonrefundable, you never can get your money back.
Reality: Depending on your ticket type, you might be able to change flights and apply all or some of the value of your original ticket. Also, if your flight is canceled, significantly delayed, or the schedule has changed drastically, you still might be eligible for a refund.
 
Myth #4: You don’t need to worry about seat assignments because you can get them assigned or switched at the airport.  
Reality: Selecting your seat assignments as soon as possible is important for seating your party together. Some airlines will not release seats to be assigned until 24 hours in advance unless you pay a fee or have a certain level of frequent-flyer status.
 
Myth #5: You can still get a bereavement fare. 
Reality: This is no longer offered by some airlines, but even if it is, check current fares because they might be lower. 
  
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