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6 Great Airline Hacks You Need to Know

Traveling is a great way to broaden your horizons, explore new things, and meet new people. However, the spread of the coronavirus has changed the way we think about travel and how we can move. As the coronavirus vaccine makes it rounds, more and more Americans are getting cabin fever and have already either started planning their next trip or are about to go on one. And while flight prices have hit historical lows, there are still ways that you can save when you fly and have a better flight experience. And with that in mind, here’s what you need to know:

Empty Leg Flights

An empty leg flights is a flight that pilots have to make after they’ve dropped off passengers. These are typically charter planes. The biggest advantage of this is that you can get a private flight for much cheaper than you would normally and don’t have to travel with many people, which can be advantageous in today’s health climate. And of course, you’ll get a premium experience. 

Book Within the “Goldilocks” Window

You may have heard the rumor; airlines hike up the price based on demand, which means the more people searching for a particular flight, the more popular that flight will be. Many travelers assume airlines use cookies to determine how desirable a flight is and it can have a major influence on price tag. 

However, according to Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, this is just another consumer myth (though to be fair—the truth hasn’t been confirmed or denied). Keyes told Travel & Leisure that while airlines do use cookies to collect data and manipulate things like currency and nearby airports, the better bet is to book within what’s called the “Goldilocks” window; 2-8 before an international flight and 1-3 months before a domestic flight. 

Opt for the Priority Pass

You know all those fancy airport lounges open to first and business class ticket holders? Well, you can get premium access even with an economy pass by opting for a Priority Pass. For just $99 for the year, you’ll receive access to airport lounges no matter what airline you’re flying or what airport you’re flying through. Priority Pass offers access to 1,300 airports in over 600 cities, and can enjoy additional airport savings from dining and shopping venues. What’s best is that you can enrich your airport experience directly from the Priority Pass mobile app. 

Sign Up for Travel Alerts

As an everyday consumer, it’s nearly impossible to spend all your time checking for the best flights and opportunities. To save you the time, effort, and expertise required for serious flight hounding, sign up for one of the many available travel alert sights. Scott’s Cheap Flights offer some of the most streamlined options. When you sign up, simply pick your departure airports and get amazing flight deals delivered directly to your inbox. You can also sign up for alerts from popular booking platforms like Google Flights or Expedia. 

Try Flight Freezing

Depending on the platform you’re using or the airline you’re flying, you may be able to “freeze” a particular price. For instance, Hopper’s “Price Freeze” allows you to put a small deposit down to hold the price of a flight for a small window of time. If you decide not to freeze a particular flight, you’ll get your deposit back. However, many people don’t realize that they can “hold” a flight price directly through their airline of choice. For example, American Airlines allows you to protect your flight price by selecting the “hold” option on the “Review & Pay” page of your checkout. 

Check Out Your Flight Seats In Advance

Finding the right seat can make or break your travel experience. Fortunately, there are a few ways to check in on your potential seat before you commit to it. Start by deciding whether you want to sit by the window or in the aisle (chances are you won’t choose an aisle seat unless you prefer to sit in the middle of two friends). 

However, while some might be diehard window-seaters, others prefer to change their preference depending on the flight. For instance, if you really hate turbulence and know you’ll be flying a rocky route during the winter season, you might prefer to sit on the wing of the plane. 

Next, SeatGuru is a must-have tool. You can use SeatGuru to see which seats have favorable reviews on your airliner. You’ll be able to see which seats have good leg space, which are near the bathroom, which have some hidden or disadvantages. 

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