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25 Surprising Airline facts and myths you never knew

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About Air travel

Everyone is flying at some point. Okay, maybe not everyone, but most of us. Some have done that numerous times already. Do we know everything about the airlines and air travel? Have you ever wondered why we do certain things before, during or after the flight? Even frequent flyers hardly ever ask themselves why certain procedures are in place. Children are sometimes curious, but get something like “It’s supposed to be that way” kind of an answer. Let’s look at some common misconceptions and urban myths and try to get to the truth. So here are 25 surprising airline facts and myths. Not all of them are true.

Flight and airline facts

  • Morning flights are better because the air is less bumpy. There is also less chance to hit thunderstorm, as these tend to happen mostly in the afternoon. So set your alarm clock  early!
  • Flight times are adjusted so that the airlines could have better on-time record. If the flight only takes 1 hour, they will schedule it to fly 15 minutes more, so that even if late, it will still be officially on-time.
  • Landing in the rain can be bumpier, because the plane needs to touch the runway hard to avoid aquaplaning. Although pilots are usually judged by their landing skills, hard landing is necessary and a correct, safe way to land the machine.
  • A way for the plane crew to alert the airport of a hijacking is achieved through leaving the wing flaps (these things that are used to slow the plane down while landing) in upward position. The authorities on land can then react accordingly.

airplane

 did you know

Safety

  • Oxygen Masks are made to last for about 15 minutes. One shouldn’t wait too long, as changing the altitude would make you pass out within 15-20 seconds. Actual times vary from 11 minutes to 22 minutes, depending on the delivery system and number of passengers using it. 
  • The lights are dimmed when landing at night for a reason – to make sure your eyes get adjusted to the dark. This way, if you need to evacuate, you are more comfortable to move in the dark.
  • A lot of people are afraid of the lightning. The truth is planes get struck all the time, so no need to worry. The engineers have taken care of the construction to withstand the stress.
  • There is no safest place to sit on the plane – seats next to the wing are usually less bumpy though. If the plane crashes, it really depends on the circumstances who survives and who doesn’t.
  • You shouldn’t travel is you have severe cold, as it can lead to damage to your ears drums and you may lose your hearing

Planes don’t retire

funny plane surprising airline facts

If properly serviced, a plane does not have to retire, so even very old planes can still be fully operational

  • If an engine failure happens, a plane can still run with just one engine working and pilots probably won’t tell you about it. If both engines fail, the plane can glide in the air for some time, reducing its speed and altitude.
  • The real reason why you need to put your laptop away during landing is because you may harm yourself or others if the plane touches down too hard. Headphones need to be removed because the captain needs you to hear instructions.
  • Turbulence is not dangerous for a plane as its construction is designed to stand the stress. For pilots it’s just another annoying obstacle and they try to avoid it in order for passengers to have stress free flight.

Many passengers are afraid of flying. Mostly its uncontrolled fear of something going wrong – unknown noises and bumps. The truth is flights are safe. To illustrate just how safe they are, here is a chart of fatal probability of different modes of transport (and other factors).

death by you odds

Drinking water

You should never drink tap water from the toilets – only bottled water can be trusted. It can be quite polluted and cause poisoning. The same goes for water used to make tea and coffee – apparently the tanks are hardly cleaned. Bear in mind that boiling water can’t reach 100C in the air. Bring a water purifier with you – and clean the water within minutes!

You get served frozen food which is kept for upto 72 hours

Pilots

  • Pilots sleep a lot of times while the plane is in auto pilot mode. The reason for that are cheap, loud hotels and lack of rest.
  • Different food is served for two pilots in order to avoid food poisoning.
  • Pilots may not be as experienced as you would think. A lot of times, without even knowing it, you will be flying on a subcontractor flight. The requirements for the pilots may be different and not necessarily higher standard. However, it is required by law to inform passengers of such flights . Pilots are never allowed to fly a commercial aircraft until they have been fully certified.

Pilots are humans, just like us

cockpit

And if urged to work 16 hour shifts, sometimes they need to nap during the flight

Attendants

  • Electronics are not all that harmful – in fact attendants often use their mobile phones when others are told to shut them off. Feel free to use your Kindle!
  • One of the popular rumors spreading through the internet: Food trays are hardly ever cleaned. Make sure to think twice before touching them – people traveling with babies often have to change dirty diapers. Usually, the trays are cleaned every night though. 
  • Some sources reveal that flight attendants sometimes wait for passengers to fall asleep before starting to serve meals. This is done to reduce the work load. This may be untrue and false information, but during couple of previous long haul flights I’ve seen that passengers were NOT woken up due to meals being served. 
  • When an empty flight takes place, the crew can entertain themselves by riding on the metal trays down the aisle while the plane takes off. It’s called “aisle surfing”.
  • Most attendants get self-defense training along with first aid, CPR and other disciplines.

Did you know?

The toilet door can be unlocked from the outside, unlocking mechanism is hidden right behind the smoking sign. Also, there are ash trays on the toilet doors beside the no smoking sign , for those passengers who still decide to smoke so that they won’t just trash the lit cigarette in the bin which could lead to a fire.

Extras for sale

Next time you buy earphones, be aware that even if they are wrapped, they may not be new. Quite often, used earphones found on other flights are cleaned and repacked again. Make sure to bring your own headphones and don’t forget an airplane adapter!

Luggage

Luggage is treated quite badly, so make sure no fragile belongings are kept in the luggage or wrap them carefully. Even better – invest in a good travel bag.

Hopefully these little facts will make you more aware of what’s going on during a flight. Figures don’t lie – airplane travel is much safer than traveling by car or train. So, if you are still hesitating and worried about the safety – be assured it is safe. Some places are just too far away to drive, so taking a flight somewhere you always wanted to go is a must, especially since flight tickets are so cheap nowadays. The price is reflected in the quality of service, so don’t expect it to be first class when you haven’t paid for first class. Flight attendants are human too and do their best to be there for us, passengers, and fulfill our every need. Take time to thank them and the pilots. Leave them a magazine, praise for a good landing and who knows – maybe next time your flight will be cleaner and smoother.

 

6 Easy Ways to Get Free Travel

A common misconception is that travel is expensive. But you may be surprised to learn that there are easy, accessible ways to score free travel that don’t require you to be a computer whiz or an expert travel hacker. In fact, most of them are fairly straightforward.

1. Get a Free Plane Ticket With Your Next Credit Card

If you’re serious about getting free travel fast, you can do so in as little as 15 minutes, and it doesn’t have to cost you a thing, if you do it right. There are many travel rewards credit cards that offer a large sign-up bonus. This bonus alone can be enough to cover a domestic round-trip ticket. If you wait a little longer, you can earn more points through purchases and get enough for a free international trip.

Getting started with travel rewards is simple, and using the right credit cards can net you valuable rewards. Here is our guide to choosing the best travel rewards credit card for you.

It never makes sense to go into debt for a free plane ticket. You should pay off your credit card statement in full every month and never carry a balance. It will never be worth paying interest in order to get rewards.

2. Sail for Free

You can score a lot more than free flights. Many people who sail in the Caribbean or even between Europe and the Americas are often looking for extra help to crew their vessels.

You don’t necessarily even need to have experience. You just need to be willing to learn and spend a few weeks at sea. You will learn a valuable skill and have an unforgettable experience.

3. Sleep for Free

Once you get to your destination (whether by a free flight or a free sail), there are some easy ways that you can get free accommodation. If you have a home, consider signing up for a home exchange program. This works especially well if you live in a desirable city, such as New York City, or San Francisco.

If you do have an apartment in a high demand area, it will be easy to find someone who is interested at staying in your home and you should have a great deal of flexibility in your travel dates, but even if you don’t, you may be surprised at how many people are interested in your corner of the world.

Services such as Home Exchange are well-regarded, and although you may have to pay a sign-up fee of $150, you can save more than this initial fee in the free accommodations you will receive after signing up.

For those who don’t have an apartment or home to list, you can still find free accommodations in the form of house or pet sitting. You can find house-sits throughout the world for different dates. If you are looking for a shorter stay, check out Couchsurfing, which is ideal for a few days. You can connect with locals in the city you are traveling to and they will put you up for absolutely free.

And finally, another great way to land free accommodation is by volunteering or staying in places such as ashrams and Sikh temples. Especially in India, you can volunteer your time cooking, cleaning, or being a yogi, and in exchange you’ll get free room and board, plus an unforgettable experience.

4. Volunteer

If you are serious about finding free accommodation, look for volunteer programs. These are available both on a short-term and long-term basis. Travel with the Peace Corps, United Nations, and ArtCorps for assignments that can last one or two years. WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) connects you with farms all over the world who will host and feed you in exchange for a few hours of work on their farm daily.

5. Travel by Foot or by Bike

If travel by plane or boat are not your cup of tea, consider walking or biking. You are guaranteed to have a memorable travel experience, while spending $0 on transportation costs. There are some amazing places in the world you can see by foot. You could hike the Camino trail in Spain. You can stay in hostels and refuges along the way, or you can bring your own tent, avoiding all accommodation costs as well.

Bike trips are another way to eliminate the cost of transportation entirely. Tom Allen provides great resources for planning a bike trip. Usually you can buy a bike for very cheap and it will quickly pay for itself in the savings you’ll make on busses, trains, or planes.

6. Start a Travel Blog

Starting a blog is easy, but building it up is going to take some time. However, if you learn how to start a travel blog and begin building your blog audience now, by this time next year, you could have a following that is actually worth something.

Many hotels, tour operators and airlines will be keen to access your hard-earned audience and they will often offer you free accommodation, trips, and flights in exchange for an honest review on your blog. I know from experience! I haven’t had to pay for scuba dives, hotels, or tours in a very long time! This is technically more of an “exchange” than free travel, but it’s pretty amazing staying in beautiful hotels and getting to share the experience with your readers!

There are many ways to travel for free. All it takes is a little bit of thinking outside the box and some time. Remember that traveling slow is another way to save a lot of money. Consider what skills you have to offer and then remember that you can always barter those skills along the way instead of paying.

This Flight Attendant’s Response to a Female Doctor Offering Her Medical Help Is Infuriating

You Won’t Believe How This Female Physician Was Treated on Her Flight During an Emergency

 

Sadly, it’s no news that working females don’t receive the same credit as their male counterparts, especially working women of color. Facebook user Tamika Cross detailed an infuriating experience she had while on a Delta flight, where she dealt with racism, sexism, and discrimination.

She explained how a woman seated two rows in front of her was screaming for help for her unresponsive husband. Tamika instinctively leaped up as she’s a doctor, but the flight attendant assured everyone aboard that he was just having night terrors. When the man was still unresponsive a couple minutes later, the attendant yelled for any passengers who are physicians. According to Tamika’s post, when she tried to get her attention, the attendant told her, “Oh, no, sweetie put your hand down. We are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel, we don’t have time to talk to you.”

Even as she continuously attempted to explain that she is in fact a professional, she kept getting shot down. The attendant couldn’t believe that Tamika is actually a physician and had the audacity to ask for her credentials. Tamika explained that she is an ob-gyn, but when a white male who also claimed to be a physician came forward, he was brought to the man in need, no questions asked.

The attendant then came back shortly after to ask Tamika for her advice on what to do next. Tamika of course knew exactly how to proceed and offered her help despite the treatment she had just received. The attendant was apologetic and offered her free miles, but Tamika plans to take her shocking experience to those higher, and rightfully so.

We’ve reached out to Delta airlines for comment and will update this post if we receive a response. See Tamika’s full account in her Facebook post below..

10 International Airlines That Make You Actually Want to Fly Economy

13109-5618040697-e2a2d63263-bYou don’t have to be in your golden years to know about the golden age of flying. Those were the good ol’ days: dressing to the nines, cocktailing with fellow passengers, lavish hospitality — you know, the stories your grandparents tell you. Today we’re grateful to grab a bag of Doritos on JetBlue or get handed a bag of biscuits with our coffee on Delta.

Flying Economy on domestic airlines rarely impresses Americans these days — hence those McDonald’s-toting, pajama-wearing passengers. But many international airlines are still doing it right, and, frankly, cater to their own domestic passengers much better than our airlines do here in the U.S. Much progress has been made over recent years with new systems for Wi-Fi, in-flight entertainment, and chef-designed meals — giving fliers much greater choice and variety to occupy their time during a flight, especially on long distance routes. Itching to book that flight? Here are our 10 favorite airlines for flying the distance.

1. Asiana Airlines

Photo Credit: Clément Alloing, Flickr
Photo Credit: Clément Alloing, Flickr

You have to love an airline that refers to its Economy Class as “Travel Class.” South Korea’s Asiana Airlines has a seat pitch at 33 inches, and free In-Flight Entertainment with individual screens loaded with the latest movies and shows to keep you entertained. Meal service includes the Korean mainstay Bibimbap, and more recently the airline implemented the award-winning “Nutritious Ssambap” — a traditional Korean meal loaded with fresh ssam vegetables and nuts. Meanwhile, free high-quality wines in Economy Class are selected by a team of sommeliers. All planes provide in-seat AC power, and basic amenity kits (including slippers) are provided to all passengers on long-haul routes.

2. Singapore Airlines

Photo Credit: Singapore Airlines
Photo Credit: Singapore Airlines

Like the perfectionist city that it calls home, Singapore Airlines is known for outstanding service, generous sized meals, self-serve snack bars, padded seats with footrests and optional lumbar support, and large warm blankets. Passengers have in-seat power or can use the 10.6-inch LCD personal screens to browse the over 1,000 entertainment options (movies, tv programs, music, games and apps) on KrisWorld — the airline’s in-flight entertainment system. Economy class menus include a blend of Asian and international dishes chosen to reflect the cultural flavors of the airline’s destinations. In fact, there’s a team of eight chefs — including Alfred Portale of NYC’s Gotham — that make up the airline’s International Culinary Panel, which is constantly creating new dishes.

3. Virgin Atlantic

Photo Credit: Mike_fleming, Flickr
Photo Credit: Mike_fleming, Flickr

While many airlines choose a traditional vibe, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic stands out for the hip and contemporary in-flight environment — even in economy class. Everyone receives a bottle of water upon settling in as they peruse the amenity kit and K-iD backpacks for little ones. The personal seat-back TV is full of curated entertainment options, and the smartly-dressed British crew is quick to offer free pre-dinner cocktails. For the main event, there’s a tasty three-course meal including a cold starter, choice of three hot main dishes, pudding, cheese and biscuits, and fresh bread, along with either red or white wine. Then its finished off with tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Depending on the flight, the crew will offer afternoon tea, breakfast, or another light meal later on before landing.

4. Cathay Pacific

Photo Credit: Tom Mascardo, Flickr
Photo Credit: Tom Mascardo, Flickr

Comfort is key for Hong Kong-based Cathay, and economy seats for long-haul flights are the LEAP® Live Back™ upholstered seats, each with an adjustable headrest. Each aircraft includes in-seat power, and on-demand entertainment from the airline’s award-winning StudioCX (provided in 10 languages) with a whopping 100 movies, 500 TV shows, 888 music CDs, 22 radio channels, and over 70 games. Or you can connect your iPod, iPhone, or iPad to stream your own music and movies to the screen. Storage options at each seat help keep everyone organized with amenity pockets, hooks to hang coats or sweaters, and cup holders without lowering tray tables. Meal service offers free cocktails and regional main dishes, while First Class passengers traveling to London, Paris, New York, Toyko andMilan receive à la carte menus designed with partner Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

5. Emirates

Photo Credit: Andy Mitchell, Flickr
Photo Credit: Andy Mitchell, Flickr

Most of us have heard about the Dubai-based airline’s luxurious first-class cabin, but the economy class cabins provide a good deal of awesome perks as well, starting with the 100 pounds of luggage allowance at check-in (most airlines allow 50 pounds). Seats are equipped with power outlets, ambient lighting, and the award-winning in-flight entertainment system called Ice with 2,000 channels of programming in multiple languages. Recently, Emirates invested $20 million to equip its entire fleet with Wi-Fi. On most fleets, flyers can get online for free for the first 10 MBs of data — enough for email, social media, and light surfing, and for the next 600 MBs of data, fliers only have to pay a $1 fee. Gourmet meals are served with free wines, beers, spirits, and other hot and cold beverages, while kids get Fly With Me Animals and Lonely Planet Kids Packs.

6. Thai Airways

Photo Credit: Karl Baron, Flickr
Photo Credit: Karl Baron, Flickr

Since the early days, Thai Airways has set the bar with elegant cabins and gracious hospitality. In fact, their economy seats are amongst the best in the industry starting with some of the most generous legroom. Passengers have access to an extensive media library and in-flight entertainment system with multi-lingual movies, TV programs, news, travel and music, or they can learn the basics of a new language in-flight and even practice meditation with the new AVOD system. In-flight cuisine includes meals inspired by the flavors of Thailand with tropical fruits and fresh produce from local farms and artisanal crops in the northern hill country along with free wines, spirits, juices, and hot and cold beverages. Economy Class toilets are supplied with fragrant toilet water, while eye shades and ear plugs are also available on request.

7. Oman Air

Photo Credit: Aero Icarus
Photo Credit: Aero Icarus

Each of Oman Air’s well-designed economy seats boasts a padded cover, one-piece composite seat back structure, and raisable armrest on the aisle side, not to mention a 34-inch pitch. Economy class passengers also have access to a PC power port and Ethernet plug, though it is shared with the neighbor. Friendly crew members start the dining experience by offering hot and cold towels followed by a choice between international and Arabic dishes, along with free hot and cold beverages. The best part: you can connect to Wi-Fi on smart phones for low rates starting at $5 ($15 for laptops).

8. Qantas

Photo Credit: dingram_kiwi, Flickr
Photo Credit: dingram_kiwi, Flickr

Australia’s flag carrier offers a fun and authentic Aussie travel experience starting with the free bespoke Bickfords welcome drink after take-off, as well as snacks like Maltesers throughout the flight. For International Economy, there’s the new dining experience, which means no more trays and quicker service, with meals being delivered and cleared faster. What’s more, customers in Australia can choose their meal (lamb koftas, honey chicken salad, yellow curry) up to 12 hours prior to departure by using the Qantas app. In-flight entertainment includes 1,500 options on A380 and B747 aircrafts.

9. Etihad

Photo Credit: Mighty Travels, Flickr
Photo Credit: Mighty Travels, Flickr

Etihad provides a solid economy experience, beginning with 100 pounds of free luggage. Once seated, passengers can check out the full-sized fleece blanket and amenity kit, complete with a reversible “Do not disturb/Wake me for meals” eye mask and earplugs. Etihad’s E-BOX entertainment system provides over 750 hours of on-demand programming viewable on screens that are at least 10.6 inches wide, or watch TV on one of several channels, including one devoted to sports. Passengers have three meal options (one vegetarian and one inspired by the flight’s destination) and a great menu of beverages and snacks served from the cafe menu, not to mention free international beers and wines.

10. Air New Zealand

Photo Credit: Air New Zealand
Photo Credit: Air New Zealand

Known for outstanding service, Air New Zealand likes to say that the trip fromLos Angeles to Auckland is more enjoyable than New York City to Los Angeles — and they might be right (even though it’s more than twice as long). All planes include on-demand entertainment and Kiwi-inspired cuisine — fruit salad and scones with jam and cream for an afternoon tea snack, anyone? — accompanied by free New Zealand wines. If flying on a 787 or 777-300, passengers have the ability to order food and drinks directly from the seat and can reserve something called the Economy Skycouch, a set of three seats with leg rests that swing up to create a couch/bed in the sky for families or couples.

Where to Find Cheap Holiday Flights

The holiday season is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to start thinking about wintertime travel. Whether you’re heading home to see your family or starting off the new year with a relaxing vacation, your holiday travel plans will be so much sweeter if you can save on the flight to get there. These apps and websites can help you get the best deal on airfare, so you can still travel comfortably on a budget.

Google Flights

Google seemingly does it all these days, but did know you can use your go-to search engine to find the best deals on air travel? Google Flights allows you to search for exactly what you’re looking for in a flight and compare all your options—you can narrow by date, airline, and other flight choices as well.

Kayak

Kayak is another great website that gives you the opportunity to search and compare flight options from all different airlines and websites, so that you can get the best deal. Rather than searching tons of different discount flight websites on your own, Kayak searches them all for you, along with checking online travel agencies and the airlines themselves.

Airfarewatchdog

Airfarewatchdog is a site that lets you search and compare flights across tons of different airlines, big and small. What sets it apart from other flight search tools is that you can set up alerts for all the flights going from your city to your destination city, and Airfarewatchdog will email you low prices on the regular.

Hopper

Rather use a mobile app than a website? With Hopper, you put in your travel details, and the app gives you a prediction as to when your flight will be the cheapest to buy. If Hopper says it’s time to buy, you can purchase tickets through the app—if not, it’ll watch the flights for you and tell you when to strike. Hopper is available on iOS and Android devices.

SkyScanner

SkyScanner is a website and mobile app that, like other flight search engines, allows you to look for and compare flights to get a better deal. It has a special chart that shows you when the cheapest time to fly is, and you can set up alerts for specific flights that will notify you when the price drops so you can buy low. SkyScanner is available on both iOS and Android devices.

Yapta

Yapta is all about helping you get the best deal—even after you’ve already purchased your ticket. With this service, you can find out if the price of your tickets drops after you buy and rebook for the same or a similar seat on the same flight to get a refund on the difference.

StudentUniverse

If you’re a college student traveling home for the holidays, StudentUniverse can help. The site offers special deals for students, but you have to be verified first by submitting copies of your student ID, class schedule and other documents. StudentUniverse also has deals for non-students between the ages of 18 and 25, too.

Hipmunk

If you’re a frequent flier, you probably know by now that not all cheap flights are good flights. Hipmunk is a website and iOS/Android compatible mobile app that doesn’t just let you search for and compare flights—it organizes them by “Agony” and “Ecstasy” ratings, taking into account takeoff, landing, number of stops and other features along with the price, to ensure your discounted flight is actually worth it.

Bye bye, Airline boarding pass. Passport, are you next?

Bye bye, boarding pass. Passport, are you next? Source: Getty Images
Bye bye, boarding pass. Passport, are you next? Source: Getty Images

IT’S the bane of many travellers. How many times have you furiously dug through your jacket pockets and backpack in the hope of finding your elusive boarding pass, while airport staff glare at you and the line behind you swells?

Well in news that’s sure to have some travellers ecstatic — and others nostalgic — the end could soon be near for the travel essential.

At least that’s what Alaska Airlines hopes. It’s aiming to make flying easier by testing a machine that scans the fingerprints of travellers as they check in. It uses biometrics, an automated way of analysing a person’s physical characteristics to verify it is in fact that person.

The pilot program began in April and involves about 200 Alaska Airlines passengers who frequently fly domestically from Mineta San Jose International Airport in California.

The fingerprint scanner. Picture: Alaska Airlines Source: Supplied
The fingerprint scanner. Picture: Alaska Airlines Source: Supplied

The airline partnered with the security firm CLEAR for the trial; the company provides the special machines at 12 US airports as a way to speed up the security process for passengers willing to pay an annual fee of $245.

Those involved in the trial no longer need to carry a boarding pass or bring ID such as a driver’s licence.

“Our vision is simplify the day of travel and have a customer get from their car, through the airport and to their seat without having to pull out a government-issued ID,” Alaska Airlines spokesman Jerry Tolzman said.

Those who took part in the trial initially underwent an enrolment process that lasted 20 minutes. Airport officials were able to look up the passengers’ boarding passes electronically after their fingerprints were scanned.

While biometrics has been tested in some airports around Europe and the US, Mr Tolzman said it has a long way to go — and we probably won’t be able to replace our passports with our fingerprints any time soon. But it will be worth it.

“Using biometrics as identification has a huge potential to simplify the travel experience and eliminate hassles, while adding to the security of air travel. We’re very excited to see where we can take this next.”

Whether similar systems will be used in Australia is not yet known. But we can hope.

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How to Get Cheap Airfare in the Shortest Time Possible

Let’s face it over the last couple of years it has become really hard to get cheap airfare, right? In fact, it is often cheaper to drive, but sometimes flying is what you have to do.  So you end up spending hour after hour looking for cheap flights or discounts, so you save on airfare and don’t spend your life savings.

So to help you to get the best deal you can, I have come up with some tips on how to save on airfare. Keep in mind that flexibility and a little research can go along the way when finding affordable airfare. It can also Help you save money on travel!

How to get the cheap airfare in the shortest time possible

There are so many things you can do to save money on airfare, but lots of them take lots of time.  Here are a few tips to help you get the cheap airfare without taking you weeks to get it!

1. Have Flexible Dates
Having flexible flying dates can save you quite a bit of money! In fact, this might even be the best way to save on airfare. Flying during the weekdays is often less expensive than flying on weekends.

2. Check Package Rates
If you are going to be staying at a hotel, it worth looking into a flight/hotel package. Purchasing your flight and hotel together can end up saving you big bucks on both the flight and hotel room.

3. Frequent Flyer Programs
Sign up for frequent flyer programs, the more you fly, the more you will end up saving! Signing up for the frequent flyer program will also ensure you get the newsletter which often has last-minute discounts.

4. Check the Fees
Just because one airline is $50 less than another doesn’t always mean it is the cheapest option. Some airlines might offer a low flight price but charge more for baggage.

5. Shop Around
When it comes to flying there really isn’t a reason to be airline loyal. Shop around and compare prices and fees. Keeping your options open when it comes to the airline can really help you rack up the savings.

6. Credit Card Offers
Some credit card companies let you earn airline rewards. I only suggest this option if you have a very low-interest rate on the credit card or pay your bill in full every month. If you have a high interest rate on your credit card or only make the minimum monthly payment, you won’t end up saving any money.

7. Priceline
If you are extremely flexible with the day and time you fly, check out Priceline. Priceline allows you to name your own price but you won’t always know the exact flight times or airline. However, this is a great option for those that aren’t concerned with flight times and airline carriers.

Getting cheap flights takes time, but you don’t aways have to be looking online and searching your hours away.  Use these tips when you look for your next flight and get the cheap airfare without all the time!

The time and money-saving tips that airlines will never tell you

Revealed, the secret travel tips that airlines don’t want you to know

  • Experts offer little-known tips and tricks to ensure successful travel
  • Consider controversial ‘hidden city’ ticketing to secure a cheaper fare
  • Make sure you fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays 
  • Delays of more than three hours could result in a payout from airlines

Whether you’ve experienced that last-minute, several-hour flight delay or the unfortunate experience of an airline losing your baggage, almost all frequent flyers can tell their fair share of holiday horror stories.

But, as it turns out, there are ways to ensure that your air travel experience is as seamless as can be expected… despite what the airlines want you to think. 

We’ve talked to the experts to ascertain the most important money and time saving hacks to get you flying like a pro.

Scroll down for video 

Air travel horror stories are common, but there are several little-known time and money-saving tips to help

Air travel horror stories are common, but there are several little-known time and money-saving tips to help

Try 'hidden city' ticketing: buying a cheaper airline ticket for a flight that has a layover at your destination 

Try ‘hidden city’ ticketing: buying a cheaper airline ticket for a flight that has a layover at your destination

1. Consider ‘hidden city’ ticketing for serious savings

This is the idea of buying a cheaper airline ticket for a flight to anywhere that has a layover at your actual destination.

It’s clearly a controversial travel trick, however. When a New York City man developed a website, Skiplagged.com, last year, which helped travellers find cheaper flights through this style of ticketing, both United Airlines and Orbitz filed a civil lawsuit.

It’s also important to note that this strategy only works if you book a one-way flight, have no checked bags, and happen to be heading to a destination that is not a regional airline hub.

The idea involves booking a flight with a stop-off and not taking the second leg of the journey. For example, if you want to fly from Miami to New York, it could be cheaper to book a flight to Toronto with a change in New York, then just abandon the second part of the journey. The same applies around the world.

Flight schedule changed at the last minute without warning? It turns out that full refunds may be possible

Flight schedule changed at the last minute without warning? It turns out that full refunds may be possible

2. Full refunds on flights are possible to redeem

Have you ever booked a flight months in advance, only to have your flight schedule changed just weeks ahead of your trip?

As it turns out, when an airline does that, most are obligated to re-book customers on new flights without any additional fees – and if they newly proposed travel times aren’t acceptable, travellers just may be eligible for a full refund.

Keep in mind, however, that you will likely wind up paying more anyway since fares tend to go up closer to departure meaning that your full refund may not cover the cost of a replacement flight.

In the US, it's been ruled that there may not be 'arbitrary limits' placed on compensation for lost checked bags

In the US, it’s been ruled that there may not be ‘arbitrary limits’ placed on compensation for lost checked bags

3. Compensation owed on delayed bags may be greater than you think

In the United States, the Department of Transportation issued a directive to all airlines stating that in the event of lost checked bags – and also delayed bags – that there cannot be ‘arbitrary limits’ placed on monetary compensation.

Essentially, this means that while often airlines offer very little in compensation (if any) for delayed bags, or simply hand out a future travel voucher or frequent flyer miles, the maximum liability that you can claimed may actually be as high as $3,300.

However, this particular number does only apply for domestic US travel and the limits on international travel are often less.

Want some space to stretch out and relax? Book a flight on days when airlines have more seats available

Want some space to stretch out and relax? Book a flight on days when airlines have more seats available

4. Flight delays could offer a major payout

It’s not just American passengers who benefit from compensation. In the EU, you are entitled to a pay-out if your flight is delayed by more than three hours on arrival – if it was the airline’s fault.

On a short flight, the amount payable is €250 (about £200) per person; on a mid-length flight, it’s €400pp (around £320); and on a long-haul flight, it’s between €300 and €600pp (about £240 to £480), depending on the length of the delay.

And don’t feel obligated to accept vouchers, you’re entitled to the cash, according to EC Regulation 261/2004.

These rules apply to all flights made from airports in the EU irrespective of the airline, and flights made to EU airports on EU airlines. The rules also cover flights from/to Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, even though these countries aren’t in the EU.

But if the disruption was outside of the airline’s control, such as bad weather, air traffic control problems or staff strikes, it doesn’t have to pay out.

If airlines cannot get you to your destination in a timely manner, they may owe you the fare - and then some!

If airlines cannot get you to your destination in a timely manner, they may owe you the fare – and then some!

The U.S. Department of Transportation has a similar rule. If the airline gets you to your destination late – between one and two hours of your scheduled arrival on a domestic flight or between one and four hours on an international trip – you may be owed a compensation of 200 per cent of the one-way fare to your destination.

If the airline can’t meet those time requirements, it owes you 400 per cent of the fare – which could be as high as $1,300.

And if your carrier opts to book you an alternate route on a different airline, the original must still cover all expenses and extras that the new airline may levy.

5. Fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays

Recent research from Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) has found that it’s best to buy tickets on a Tuesday – and ideally, more than 21 days in advance – to take advantage of the best possible rates.

But that doesn’t mean those are the best days to take to the skies, according to USA Today‘s Rick Seaney.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays tend to be the days when airlines have a greater surplus of seats available – likely because they are the least convenient days when it comes to accommodating work schedules and weekend getaways – and so, offer the cheapest fares.

In the United States, after three hours of Tarmac delays, you can disembark the plane

In the United States, after three hours of Tarmac delays, you can disembark the plane

6. After three hours of Tarmac delays, you CAN get off the plane

At least in the United States! The Department of Transport mandates that during a lengthy Tarmac delay in the U.S. (arrival or departure), an airline cannot keep passengers on a plane for more than three hours on a domestic flight or four hours on an international flight without allowing you to disembark.

After two-hour delays, airlines also must provide you with food and water, provide regular 30-minute updates. So even if you are just connecting through the US, this applies to you.

In the UK or the EU, however, no equivalent rule exists. According to the Civil Aviation Authority, while there is not a specific length of time that airlines can keep passengers on a parked aircraft during a delay, it is expected that ‘all operators abide by the regulations that are in place regarding delayed flights and ensure a suitable level of welfare is maintained.’

And all of this, of course, is subject to security and safety considerations.

Take advantage of the fact that some websites allow you to switch the date of your flight without paying more

Take advantage of the fact that some websites allow you to switch the date of your flight without paying more

7. Save hundreds by ‘booking the wrong date’

‘EasyJet’s Flexifares let you switch the date of your flight by a few weeks, without paying more, Steve Nowottny, consumer and features editor at MoneySavingExpert explains.

‘This offers a sneaky way for you to bag peak-time flights for less.

‘For example, you can buy cheap flights during in-term time, then swap for your chosen school holiday date.

Of course, it’s not fool proof – and you’ll need to be careful that the dates will line up correctly to such a plan – but Nowottny insists that some travellers have saved serious amounts using this little-known trick.

Experts also recommend checking out 'code-sharing' to find cheaper bookings between two partner airlines

Experts also recommend checking out ‘code-sharing’ to find cheaper bookings between two partner airlines

8. Code-share and always check for cheap seats

There are plenty of ways to ensure the cheapest possible fare on the flight of your dreams.

‘Sometimes, two or more airlines sell the same flights and booking via one partner is cheaper,’ Nowottny tells MailOnline Travel.

‘For example, a United flight from Birmingham to New York can be cheaper via Lufthansa. This can be a good way of flying with well-known airlines for less.’

The MoneySavingExpert editor also recommends checking how many cheap seats are left on a flight if you’re thinking of booking, but not quite ready to commit just yet.

‘Many airlines let you book seats for up to about nine passengers, so pretend to make the booking for more seats than you need,’ he says.

‘If the cheap fare’s still available for nine seats, then you’ve got breathing space. If the fare shoots up after three, four or five seats, you’ll need to grab it as soon as possible.’

It's also recommended to use a credit card for your booking whenever possible and to keep all documents

It’s also recommended to use a credit card for your booking whenever possible and to keep all documents

9. Whenever possible, use a credit card for your booking

Although plenty of airlines offer incentive for completing a booking on your debit card, it may be wise to pay via credit card instead.

Bob Atkinson, travel expert at TravelSupermarket advises always paying at least £100 of your travel purchase by credit card to give you financial protection in the event of anything going wrong.

If that’s not possible, using a debit card is still preferable to paying with cash, cheque or bank transfer.

10. Keep all tickets, receipts and any other documentation 

To make any sort of successful claim, you’ll need to have kept all travel receipts, tickets and any other relevant documents.

Atkinson also recommends writing your experience down while it’s still fresh in your mind.

‘Jot down as many details as possible at the time of your delay so you don’t forget any key facts,’ he tells MailOnline Travel.

4 dirty secrets of cabin crew (flight attendant)

Cabin crews get a bad rap for being a particularly promiscuous bunch.  People think just because they jet around the globe on a daily basis, this must mean that they indulge in a level of raunchiness that supersedes the average person’s. Surely this must be a generalization or a misconception. Well, it turns out… it’s not.

4. They add extra ingredients to your drinks
If you are rude to them, seriously you deserve this. Cabin crew are humans too and they have emotions. Just because they are always smiling doesn’t mean you have to be rude and treat them with no respect. How would they express themselves? By spitting in your drink or handling your food without hygiene of course!

 

3. They have different partners in various cities
The concept is just like Tinder, but more effective and stable I suppose. Since flight attendants will inevitably fly back to the same cities multiple times, they will have a partner in these cities with whom they can hang out and chill with. These partners will also show them around the city and introduce them to new and exciting places. Most of the time sex is involved though.

2. They hook with Passengers
Especially those in Business and First Class. These flyers are rich and are going solo for a business trip. They would like to have some company and who is better than a pretty flight attendant? Cabin crew take full advantage of these solo business guys and have lots of fun with them, especially if they are pleasing to the eyes.

1. They hook up with Pilots
A lot. Yes, andthey do hook up with pilots frequently.  Many hotel drivers have claimed that once the plane lands and the crew gets into the car, they are like horny teenagers and school kids in the bus. They will be talking about the new hot second officer or flirting with the first officer and captain. New girls are especially keener as they are still giddy from the glamour of flying.

15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers

Do you want to save money on drinks and baggage fees, skip airport lineups, get good prices on flights, keep the kids amused, and stay safe when arriving in airports at unwieldy hours? Then read on, because I’ve rounded up 10 professional travelers and invited them to share their best airport hacks. (See also: How to Get Through the Airport Faster).

1. Apply for Global Entry

U.S. Citizens can clear customs quickly with Global Entry. (Citizens of Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and other countries havesimilar pre-screening programs that work in tandem with Global Entry). Application involves a rigorous background check and interview, but once you’re a member you can clear customs in a jiffy, and also take advantage of special security lines and procedures.

Lisa Ellen Niver of We Said Go Travel is a global citizen who has traveled to over 100 countries on six continents. After traveling with her parents and experiencing the benefits of Global Entry, she lodged her own application. “After you apply and have your interview, you no longer have to stand in long security lines. You are whisked ahead with no need to remove shoes or take computers out of cases. It makes travel seem almost civilized again!”

2. Bring Your Own Liquor

Are you taking a domestic flight (and/or flying a budget airline) and want to have a drink but don’t want to pay the airline’s prices for liquor? Carry on a mini bottle of your favorite libation and mix it with the free soft drink, says Tamara Elliott, who offers savvy practical travel advice on Globe Guide. “This works well since mix (Coke, juice, etc) is already included on-board — plus, the TSA doesn’t have restrictions about what liquids you can bring, just how big they are.”

3. Hitchhike Into the First Class Lounge

Turner Wright of Once A Traveler, who has lived in Japan, South Korea, Peru, Thailand, and New Zealand, has an unconventional method for accessing first class lounges:

Some first class lounges allow you to bring in a guest for free, so as long as you’re not too smelly and relatively personable, just hang out at the entrance and ask someone if he or she wouldn’t mind signing you in (including a sob story about how you’ve been cooped up for 30 hours and/or missing your family wouldn’t hurt).

4. Pay for the First Class Lounge

If schmoozing into the first class lounge doesn’t work (or isn’t your style), you can often buy a pass. It usually costs $30-$50 and gives you access to all the lounge amenities such as comfortable seating, free food and drinks (including alcohol), Internet, and sometimes even showers and quiet rooms for sleeping. If you have hours to kill before your flight or between flights, this can be money well spent.

5. Wear Your Extra Luggage

Benny Lewis as been on the road for over 11 years and was named National Geographic’s Traveler of the Year in 2013. He travels with everything he owns (including books!), and flies budget airlines with over 80 pounds of gear without paying for it. His secret? He wears his luggagewith the unfashionable but arguably practical Jaktogo. “It’s not a great fashion statement, and uncomfortable to wear while you do it, but that’s only necessary while you [check in and] board the plane (since that’s the only time your number of bags are truly checked). The rest of the time, you can walk around the terminal and even go through security with it in its extra bag folded up mode.” (Benny himself a polyglot who teaches people to become Fluent in 3 Months with a variety of tools including a free crash course.)

6. Fly Red-Eye

Matt Stabile, founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheExpeditioner.com andExpeditionerSafaris.com says the best way to avoid the hassle of getting through airports is to choose red-eye (overnight) flights, especially if it’s a long flight. “If you book a flight that leaves past, say, 10:00pm, you’ll avoid rush hour traffic on the way to the airport, lines at check-in are going to be minimal, security will take a fraction of what it takes earlier in the day, and once you settle in for the flight, you can simply go to sleep and wake up at your destination.”

7. Get Help Booking Flights

If flying red-eye doesn’t appeal, Benny Lewis also recommends usingFlight Fox to book flights; he says they can often find a convenient travel time for the same cost as a red-eye flight.

8. Ask for Assistance

Airports usually involve lots of walking and standing in line, which not everybody can manage. If you or somebody you’re traveling with has trouble getting around (due to age or injury), don’t let pride get in the way; ask for assistance.

Jeanne Dee of SoulTravelers3 discovered this life-saver while suffering serious medical challenges and traveling with her family. “Airlines can help you with wheelchair assistance, making the whole process doable for someone with health challenges, and they escort the whole family through security and customs and such.” Jeanne and her multi-award-winning digital nomadic family of three have been on the road non-stop for almost nine years, visiting 47 countries on five continents for $23/day per person.

Although wheelchair assistance shouldn’t be taken advantage of, it’s a huge time-saver if you have a tight connection and are unable to move quickly. I discovered this myself after suffering a near-fatal accident and traveling to the States for medical attention. I would never have made the connection in my condition without being skirted through the airport’s “secret passages” and ushered through special lineups. (Bonus: Your travel companions are escorted through with you!)

9. Eat at the Airport

Tiffany and Chris Soukup of VagabondWay.net have been traveling and working around the world for the last 10 years. They’ve learned through experience that eating a solid meal at the airport can actually be cost-effective, and arriving well-fed helps battle jet lag and even helps you make better (money-saving) decisions. Tiffany uses some hacks to make it cost-effective and fun. “I can’t say the airport is my favorite place to eat, but I look forward to walking around to find where I’ll dine. [Also], look ahead to know what restaurants are at the airport and see if you can get coupons.”

10. Family Travel Hack: Entertain the Kids Without Gadgets

Rachel and Greg Denning of DiscoverShareInspire.com have been traveling since 2007 with their five (now six) children. They know better than any parents how hard it is to keep kids entertained during long hours of waiting in airports, and they say using less technology (tablets, smartphones, etc) creates better travelers.

The mind-numbing, easy entertainment of many [tablet/smartphone] games can lead to boredom, because children get accustomed to being passively entertained, instead of actively entertaining themselves. Reading books, talking, singing, playing games (cards, iSpy, etc.) can hold their attention and lead to bonding and personal interaction, which makes travel more enjoyable for parents and children alike.

She adds, however, that if your kids are already addicted to technology, going cold turkey in an airport isn’t wise; best to start “weaning” them several weeks before traveling. (See also: The Digital Detox – How and Why to Do It).

11. Jump the Line (and Other Perks) With Frequent Flyer Status

“The Guy” dubs his website Flights and Frustration for good reason; he has been traveling internationally with his work nearly every month for over 14 years. He has found a way to use business class and priority lineups even if he’s flying economy. It’s all about achieving elite status with frequent flyer miles. (See also: Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles).

“A prime example is my KLM Flying Blue card. With higher status I can use my economy ticket and still go to the business class check-in queue.” For those with miles but no status, try asking for a points-upgrade. “Inquire at check-in (or even before you go to the airport) to see if you can redeem points to upgrade your ticket to business class. Then it is queue jumping and luxury travel all the way.”

Having status with one airline can give you access to perks on all airlines in the alliance. “I collect frequent flyer points on my Singapore Kris Flyer card for Star Alliance flights. I held a Gold Status with this Kris Flyer card whilst checking in for a domestic flight in the US with United. Due to my frequent flyer status with Star Alliance, they waived the baggage fee.”

12. Go Through Priority Lines Anyway

Turner Wright (of Once A Traveler) doesn’t even bother flashing a frequent flyer mile status card to jump the line. “Depending on the rush, I find it pretty ridiculous to cue up in one security line when there’s an empty one for first class or priority passengers. Usually I just walk up and ask if I can go through, assuming they don’t just wave me in. The same goes for lines at immigration and customs.”

13. Flash Your Travel Rewards Credit Card

Even if you don’t have super-elite frequent flyer mile status, you can flash a travel rewards credit card to gain lounge access. Stephanie Zito has been to over 115 countries living and working on the road for the last 20+ years. In addition to her humanitarian work and Wandering For Good, she’s also the managing editor of the Travel Hacking Cartel and a travel-hacker extraordinaire.

If you live and work on the road and take advantage of lounges for showers, meals, Wi-Fi, and free drinks, it’s worth carrying a card that gets you Priority Pass which allows you to access more than 600 lounges around the world. If you just need a pass or two, many co-branded airline credit cards offer one or two lounge passes a year as a sign-up bonus.

14. Catch a Rest in the Chapel (and a Shower Nearby)

If you’ve got a long layover or delayed flight and need some peace and quiet, look for the airport chapel. It can be a great place to catch a catnap, meditate, or simply enjoy a cell-phone free environment. Stephanie Zito also says it might lead you to a shower in certain parts of the world: “If you’re traveling through the middle east, there is almost always a public shower room somewhere in the airport — you just have to find it. The trick is to locate the prayer area. The showers will always be nearby.”

15. Sleep in the Airport

Wade Shepard has been traveling since 1999 as founding editor ofVagabond Journey, and he has a formula for sleeping in airports. “I usually sleep in the airport when I have an early morning flight leaving between 3 a.m. and 9 a.m. or when I land between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. It’s free, relatively secure, and cuts out the hassle of taking [costly] late night transportation and checking in/out of a hotel at an hour when humans are better off tucked away in bed.” He even argues that it’s safer to sleep in the airport than to navigate a foreign city late at night, where you might be more of a target.

He consults SleepingInAirports.net to find the best places to sleep, and likes to be out of the way but still around other people (who are preferably sleeping) so there is security in numbers. As for his luggage, he secures it: “I either lock my bag to the chair I’m sleeping in or I tie it my wrist — so if someone was to try to snatch it I’d wake up.”

Wade even does this with his wife and child in tow. “Having three people to fend for makes the money saved even greater! I also found it works better just to let my daughter stay up late, go crazy in the airport, then crash on the plane rather than waking her up in the middle of the night and moving her out [of a hotel].”