Going On Business
The Network Journal|SPRING 2017

Book it cheap.

Mary Hunt

I’m on my way out the door, headed for California. What could have been a very expensive trip is going to be so cheap that even I am amazed. This is a last-minute trip, so I did not have the benefit of booking well in advance. In fact, I only had five days advanced notice of this trip.

Flight. My first choice in air travel is now Southwest Airlines. I try to keep all of my flights with the same airline to build up frequent flier miles. I’ve found that it is a very competitive airline in most cases. The cheapest round-trip fare for flights that fit my schedule cost a whopping $742. Gulp! Granted, I knew I wasn’t booking 21 days in advance, but still. So, I started the search over. I was pretty sure I’d made a mistake. But no, it really was the best price. I put the reservation on hold to give me time to shop around. Most airlines will do this for 24 hours.

I went straight to the Kayak website (which searches thousands of flights of different airlines and gives results, lowest price first) and input the same itinerary. Within 30 seconds it had pulled up many options for the same date, time and destination. The cheapest: $146 round-trip, including all fees and taxes on Frontier Airlines. Realizing I was about to spend $596 less than the other itinerary, I booked it immediately but not through Kayak. I went on the Frontier Airlines site and booked direct using my account so I got the rewards.

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