Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Save On Airfare... Split Your Flights .... Here's How


My neighbor, who flies a lot, was surprised when I told her how I was saving money on my trip to see my parents in CA in September. My best game plan was to fly there on Alaska air, and return on Southwest.

"You can't do that! I thought you had to use the same airlines for round trips."

Technically, it's not a round trip. Most airlines book one-way on everything. When you click the little box telling them you want a round trip ticket, they simply show you all the one-way choices for each leg. Nothing obligates you to book "round trip". You don't get a price break for doing that, either. You're really buying two unrelated flights. For domestic flights especially, don't feel you have to use the same airlines both ways.

Here's the reason I split my trip between two airlines. Alaska was offering $59 flights to San Francisco. I found a perfect non-stop flight on the day and time I wanted to go. (Of course, the cheap flight is always the first one or last one of the day, but that's okay because I wanted to go early.) Checking the Alaska flights home, none fit my time frame. So I jumped over to Southwest. Sure enough, the last flight of the day was a very cheap 3,800 points. On the downside, it does make one stop, but I relax and read on planes, so no biggie. Because I used points, I only paid $5.50 for the airport tax on that ticket.

So next time you book your own flights, think outside the box and don't feel bound to go with the same airlines coming and going.


Speaking of Southwest, today is the last day of their Late Summer and Fall Travel sale. If you are flexible with times and dates, you can get some great deals, especially if you are paying with points.

Don't have points? Get 40,000 bonus points when you apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card and spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from the account opening. I have to refer you for this. If you want to get an invitation from Southwest for this offer, email me with "Southwest" in the subject line, and I'll submit your first name (only) and email address to them. You'll get your invitation within 7 days.
As you can see from my experience above, 40,000 Southwest points can get you several flights. I lucked out with the 3,800 point flight but there are many similar cheap ones if you go earlier or later, rather than mid-day. I use my Southwest Visa as my primary card so I earn free flights. It's also good at Costco now, so that really helps with points.

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