Frequent Flyer Tips

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 22, 2011 2:23 PM GMT
    I thought that since many of us travel, that we should share our airline tips for booking tickets, choosing seats, and so on.

    If you book Economy class on certain airlines and flights, you may be able to choose a seat in Business class. However, you WON'T be given Business class service! This is especially true for American Airlines because on certain domestic routes that are flown with 767's and 777's, the normal three class configuration (First, Business, Economy) is sold as two class (First and a combined Business and Economy), which enables you to choose a Business class seat for an Economy class price.
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    Mar 22, 2011 8:19 PM GMT
    I always get an aisle seat. I have long legs and can stretch my legs out into the aisle and I can get up without having to wake up the other people.

    Order the diet restriction meal. I usually get seafood, vegetarian, or low carb depending on the carrier. If you order a special meal, you get served sooner, and aren't stuck with something you don't want if the other choice of the regular meals is gone.


    Buy dental powder in your local health food store. You can pack it in your carry-on and not have to worry about the security check for liquids and gels.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Mar 22, 2011 8:49 PM GMT
    Anti-bacterial wipes are your friend. Planes don't get the kind of cleaning you'd like them to have. Wipe down all the hard surfaces you'll be touching - arm rests, seat belt buckles, tray tables, etc.

    If you're going on a longer flight and like to nap, check out discount stores for inflatable pillows. They come in the u-shape and the regular small rectangle. They don't take up the room that a regular stuffed pillow will.
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    Mar 23, 2011 11:07 PM GMT
    Consider flying Premium Economy on airlines that offer it. Premium Economy, if offered in the best possible way, is truly above Economy and just below Business. Premium Economy, varying by airline, often features dedicated and/or priority check-in (often with Business Class passengers), enhanced meal service, better seats, Business Class luggage allowances, a separate cabin, lounge access, and more frequent flyer miles if you are a member of a given airlines frequent flyer program.

    Airlines often touted as having the best Premium Economy include Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, V Australia, EVA Air, China Southern, Air New Zealand, ANA (All Nippon Airways), SAS [Scandanavian Airline Systems], Japan Airlines, and Air France.
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    Mar 23, 2011 11:15 PM GMT

    I use Melatonin to avoid jet lag.

    Join the frequent flyer programme of the airline you use the most and take advantage of its partner airlines.

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    Mar 23, 2011 11:19 PM GMT
    When being stuffed into a 747-400, be the first at online checkin and go for seat 21C icon_wink.gif
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    Mar 23, 2011 11:46 PM GMT
    This site will educate about the amenities and pitfalls of seating on most airlines. http://www.seatguru.com/. This enabled choosing a seat in coach on a long-haul flight with a 110V AC connection for the laptop that allowed personal viewing and listening to my media while avoiding the carrier's fee for access to its services.

    Choose a special meal to get your food before others in the cabin.

    A hearing impairment noted in the FF profile allows early boarding with the premium fare passengers and families.

    Airlines usually update their price schedules around 6 pm [local time at the carrier's headquarters] on Tuesday. Check the airline website shortly thereafter. This will allow jumping on promotional and discount fares before they are published and sell out.

    If seated next to or around an unruly child, threaten to pimp-slap the parents if they don't control the little monster.
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    Mar 24, 2011 12:01 AM GMT
    On American Airlines Transcontinental Flights, If your plane is a 767-300, Try and get a crew rest seat. It is Row 17, and considered an "economy seat." The seats lay down like a bed and have footrests. They are even better than the Premium seats. But you have to ask because they only release them at the airport 2 hours before the flight.

    Also right before the flight is a good time to check if exit row seats open up since a lot of people get upgraded at the last minute out of exit seats to business class.

    American also has a platinum challenge that you have to ask for (they don't advertise it) but its not too difficult to make platinum status and then you get upgrades, double miles, and a lot more benefits.
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Mar 24, 2011 12:41 AM GMT
    Columbusite saidI thought that since many of us travel, that we should share our airline tips for booking tickets, choosing seats, and so on.

    If you book Economy class on certain airlines and flights, you may be able to choose a seat in Business class. However, you WON'T be given Business class service! This is especially true for American Airlines because on certain domestic routes that are flown with 767's and 777's, the normal three class configuration (First, Business, Economy) is sold as two class (First and a combined Business and Economy), which enables you to choose a Business class seat for an Economy class price.


    Good ideas here and a very good thread. One thing to note though, on many airlines one has to purchase a full fare in economy class (usually a Y fare) in order to get an upgrade. Y fares are expensive (sometimes refundable, but more on that in a bit) and if it's a short-haul flight (usually 3 hours or less), why even bother with an upgrade anyway? If I were flying cross-country, yeah an upgrade might be nice.

    When booking fares online, one does not know if the fare is either "bulk" or "published." If you call the airline's call center to book your flights, see if bulk air is available. Bulk is refundable (some air carriers will take a fee out of the amount you paid, Delta does that) and Published air is non-refundable. If you have Published air and you cancel the flight, you pay a reticketing fee (usually $150) to use the "value" of the flight you cancelled towards another ticket. If you cancelled a flight from JFK to San Francisco and the value was $400 and you wanted to use that for a flight from JFK to Orlando (and that is $300 round trip), you don't get back the difference. It is lost. In other words, don't cancel!!

    If you live in a city that is a "hub" for a major airline, use that one for convenience. Those that live in Charlotte have literally no choice but to use US Airways as they control about 90 percent of all gates there. If you don't live in a hub city (like me here in Orlando), you can use anyone you like as you'll end up connecting anyway.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 24, 2011 12:46 AM GMT
    [quote][cite]Timbales said[/cite]Anti-bacterial wipes are your friend. Planes don't get the kind of cleaning you'd like them to have. Wipe down all the hard surfaces you'll be touching - arm rests, seat belt buckles, tray tables, etc.

    If you're going on a longer flight and like to nap, check out discount stores for inflatable pillows. They come in the u-shape and the regular small rectangle. They don't take up the room that a regular stuffed pillow will. [/
    quote]

    Travel weekly for work and carry the travel size clorox wipes. You might get some looks, but at least you know it's clean..
  • joarky123

    Posts: 264

    Mar 24, 2011 1:03 AM GMT
    the algorithms that airlines and 3rd party sites use to determine air fare are incredibly complicated (somewhat akin to the 'black box' that the NCAA uses to determine D1 College Football 'champions' and rankings).

    however, most airlines will reset their prices around midnight on Tuesdays and if you go to sites such as kayak.com and do a price history trend, you'll see that prices drop around then.

    best bet is to check around then for cheap ticket prices. and you have to know your price point and be quick to click accept because even if just one ticket on that flight gets bought, theres a high likelyhood that the next ticket price will already have been recalculated.

    i once booked an $850 round trip ticket (Taxes, fees excluded) that took me from Los Angeles to Cusco, Peru (via Mexico City and Lima) to Santiago de Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina and back to Los Angeles (via Dallas) by booking and tracking flights around that time. and i traveled from Mid December to Mid January!

    i took a year to plan this trip so i searched for flights about six months in advance. but for those of you who have time to spare or have the ability to chance it, the best time to book flights is usually about a month out. (or if you REALLY want to risk it, last minute seats the day before, or of).
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    Mar 24, 2011 8:57 PM GMT
    Fly so-called Fifth Freedom routes between cities to save money, in some cases, and fly airlines you'd never experience otherwise unless you were flying directly to that given airlines home country, i.e. Cathay Pacific and a very expensive and long flight to Hong Kong. On ALL of these flights, you are riding on a twin-aisle, i.e. wide-body, plane rather than a single-aisle plane, which would be used between cities such as Toronto and NYC, Madrid and Frankfurt/Paris, and Vancouver and Las Vegas.

    Examples include:
    -Cathay Pacific (prized for their award winning cabin product!) between Vancouver and NYC
    -Air Tahiti Nui between LA and Paris
    -Air New Zealand between LA and London
    -LAN Airlines between Madrid and Frankfurt/Paris (for as little as 45 Euros!)
    -LAN Airlines between Toronto and NYC (which ends April 1st)
    -Philippine Airlines between Vancouver and Las Vegas
    -Jet Airways between NYC (JFK and Newark) and Brussels
    -Singapore Airlines between Houston and Moscow
    -Aer Lingus between Washington D.C. and Madrid (so you don't have to experience Iberia's HORRIBLE in-flight product and service!)
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    Mar 24, 2011 9:49 PM GMT
    In addition to the regular "frequent flyer" personal account, set up a "business account".

    Examples:
    Delta has "Skymiles" and "Skybonus".
    United has "Mileage Plus" and "PerksPlus".
    American has "AAdvantage" and BusinessAAdvantage".

    You can also give out your "Skybonus" number to friends who fly and accrue additional miles to the business account.
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    Mar 26, 2011 6:49 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Tazo995 saidWhen being stuffed into a 747-400, be the first at online checkin and go for seat 21C icon_wink.gif


    On which airline?


    KLM, but I think British Airways and Air France have the same seat layout.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 27, 2011 11:37 PM GMT
    Tazo995 said
    southbeach1500 said
    Tazo995 saidWhen being stuffed into a 747-400, be the first at online checkin and go for seat 21C icon_wink.gif


    On which airline?


    KLM, but I think British Airways and Air France have the same seat layout.


    More universally, if you care about seat configurations look at the seating profiles for planes at seatguru.com - highly useful - and not just for 747-400's - and almost consistently the seating configurations are different for each airline so it's useful to know before you log on to do online check in.