How to tell if a cheap flight deal is too good to be true

There’s nothing more exciting than finding a ridiculously cheap flight and deciding to book it immediately. Embracing spontaneity and that “carpe diem” lifestyle is like the best feeling ever – and if you’re a travel junkie, you definitely know what I mean. Every once in a while, those of us avid deal hunters get lucky and find an airfare to some far-flung destination that's priced well below average. But when does a flight deal seem too good to be true? Sometimes, an airline's low fares are a real blessing, but other times, there may be some hidden drawbacks that could explain why you're paying less than you expected, so it's important to be prepared for potential pitfalls before you go Your Purchase.

Whether you're buying a ticket from a sketchy airline, trying to make a backup ticket work, or you happen upon a deal so low that it requires your jaw to drop before you make an impromptu purchase, here's advice for every traveler before you take the bait. You should know about some cheap flights that are too good to be true.

Many discount air tickets mean cheap flying

Many travelers think they can bring a carry-on bag on board for free in addition to their personal belongings and expect to get the obligatory free drink (Bloody Mary mix forever!) and the ability to recline their seats to a trivial degree, but once takeoff is complete, honey of a few inches. But often, discount fares on "basic" airlines come at the expense of such benefits, which many full-price airlines will automatically build into the price of your ticket. Low-cost airlines such as Spirit or Frontier are known for offering super affordable airfares. Yes, they are cheaper, but be aware that you usually have to pay extra to bring a carry-on bag, reserve a seat with legroom, or expect drinks or snacks during the flight, as none of these typical perks are included with the ticket. Low price.

Personal anecdote: A few years ago, I flew to Chicago and caught a nasty cold on the flight on a notoriously shabby airline with cheap fares. I'm not a first class passenger, but let me tell you, flying on that airline while sick was excruciating . I sat at a 90 degree angle for the entire 4+ hour flight, had zero personal space around the tiny seat, and had to deal with the hassle of checking a bag even though all I had with me was my luggage. A small suitcase that you usually carry with you. Under normal circumstances, if you're willing to make these sacrifices (or pay extra for the bonus you want), flights like this are doable because fares are really cheap. But if you're looking for comfort when traveling or rely on free carry-ons or extra legroom, you're better off buying a regular-price ticket on an all-inclusive airline.

Don't rely on standby

My sister worked as a flight attendant for about a year in 2017, and because of that I was able to take standby flights very cheaply during that time, which is usually great. But you don't need a family member in business to take advantage of the standby benefit, although many do - people take advantage of standby policies all the time by buying cheap or last-minute tickets and switching their tickets. Via standby flight.

Sometimes flying on standby is great. But other times, the stress and delays caused by me holding a backup ticket are simply not worth the money saved. The worst happened while trying to fly back from New York to California. I ended up spending twelve agonizing hours in the airport (interspersed with a few public tears, of course) because the flight I was trying to take was constantly overcrowded with ticket-buying passengers as other flights were cancelled. I ended up having to completely rebook the flight and then spent another 4 hours in the airport before actually boarding the plane. I also had to deal with the hassle of requesting a refund after rebooking a brand new ticket. At that point, I would have preferred to have purchased the full price ticket in the first place and gone home already.

That said, if you have the patience of a saint, don't have a specific deadline to get anywhere, and are able to familiarize yourself with each airline's standby rules, this could be a good deal. But if you need to get somewhere by a specific time (or even a specific date ) , or you decide the chance of waiting 12 hours at the airport isn't worth the discount, stick with regular-price tickets and guarantee your fare arrives.

Prices may be listed incorrectly

As we all know, no one is perfect, and that includes computers and the individuals listing their tickets online. Awareness of the existence of "error fares" - or dirt-cheap flights that are incorrectly listed and haven't been corrected by the airline - is something of a trade secret among budget flight aficionados. There are even apps and websites that can help you track cheap flights, and they're often the first to spot the elusive bug fare - and if you're lucky enough to snag one, you can easily book it for a fraction of the price A dream vacation. expected cost. Here's the thing: While many airlines do acknowledge the price of tickets purchased as a result of a fare error, there are certainly cases where they don't. For example, in February 2018, it was reported that Air New Zealand mistakenly listed return tickets to New Zealand at around 10% of their actual value. Many people purchased tickets - some apparently for as little as $100 - but the airline did not honor those tickets after discovering the error, according to reports, and refunded anyone who purchased tickets at the incorrect discounted price.

If you're willing to take the risk of purchasing a ticket that may have the wrong fare listed, it's recommended that you purchase directly through the airline's website, as this reportedly increases the chances of them honoring the price. Of course, don't start making additional travel arrangements until you've officially been assigned a seat and ticket, as there's always the chance that the airline will demand full payment or a refund if an error is discovered.