Comments: 844 • Responses: 114 • Date: 2016-04-27 18:25:21 UTCsource
walkaway50k136 karma2016-04-27 18:56:58 UTC
I subscribed to your list about a month ago for all the deals. Really liking it so far, haven't pulled the trigger yet on any, but definitely will in the near future.
Do you have any recommendations for finding special deals from a specific airport? Say MSP. Is there any alerts or anything in particular you would recommend setting up that would monitor flight prices from a specific airport.
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scottkeyes70 karma2016-04-27 18:59:54 UTC
Hey thank you for those kind words! Much appreciated :-)
Even though I have plenty of reservations about Airfarewatchdog, they do a good job of allowing you to get alerts from a specific airport. MSP can be a tough airport for good deals given the Delta monopoly, but it's not nearly as rare as a place like Charlotte, so you've got that going at least!
walkaway50k24 karma2016-04-27 19:08:14 UTC
Thanks for the reply. One other question: do you have a favorite transfer partner for AMEX Membership Rewards points or Chase Ultimate Rewards to maximize travel rewards? I rack up AMEX points pretty quick through my business, so curious if you have any favorites for redeeming those.
scottkeyes29 karma2016-04-27 19:23:52 UTC
Oh man, totally depends on the trip! For UR points I usually transfer to United to get fuel-surcharge-free flights over to Europe. Otherwise I transfer to Southwest because I have the Companion Pass so 2-for-1 on flights.
For Amex I usually go Delta or like, Aeromexico.
But usually it's best to work backwards on these. That is, rather than transferring the points to an airline and then seeing what you can use them for, first pick out what award flight you want, and then figure out transferring your Amex/UR points over.
JLa264111 karma2016-04-27 18:40:41 UTC
Generally speaking, is there a "sweet spot" when it comes to the time you book your flight? I've heard around 50 days before your departure date is best, on average.
scottkeyes155 karma2016-04-27 18:45:12 UTC
Great q! So it varies by what kind of trip you're looking at. Rule #1 though is unless you're booking with Southwest which doesn't have change/cancellation fees, it's best to wait until your plans are firm to book because otherwise the penalties will get ya.
Here's my basic breakdown:
Within those time frames, I like to book when I find a cheap flight that works with my schedule. Booking any earlier, though, especially for normal domestic flights, runs the risk of missing a good future sale/mistake fare.
electricalnoise83 karma2016-04-27 18:52:19 UTC
Are you Becky with the good hair?
scottkeyes165 karma2016-04-27 18:55:08 UTC
I am Scott with very little hair. Sorry to disappoint :-/
Okaloha71 karma2016-04-27 18:28:09 UTC
Looks very advanced. For us noobs, whats the first sign of the cheap flight when we are browsing web?
scottkeyes153 karma2016-04-27 18:31:00 UTC
Ah great question! Basically anything to Europe or Asia under $600 is a great deal.
I also love using the Google Flights tool because you get to see 2 months at a time of prices, so it's pretty obvious if there are a few dates in there far cheaper than the others.
Hope that helps!
Bezawada61 karma2016-04-27 18:42:58 UTC
Thanks for doing the AMA.
Is true that the best time to books a ticket is Tuesday early morning?
Thanks for the Google flight links in your emails.
scottkeyes120 karma2016-04-27 18:46:12 UTC
Nope! That is a persistent myth. It may have been true 20 years ago when airlines' IT systems were far less complicated and they only changed prices once a week on Tuesday mornings, but that's no longer the case.
You're welcome :-)
Wheinsky27 karma2016-04-27 22:27:44 UTC
I thought I read about flights being cheaper on week nights late at night or early morning. Something like the prices change based on demand and less people are booking flights in the middle of the night so the prices are cheaper.
Is there any truth to that? I can't remember where I read it.
scottkeyes40 karma2016-04-27 22:32:29 UTC
Ya, that tends to be true. Prices are going to reflect demand, so less convenient times to fly = lower fares.
sub_surfer25 karma2016-04-28 02:35:58 UTC
I think he was talking about buying tickets late at night or early morning, not when the flight actually is.
scottkeyes48 karma2016-04-28 02:59:51 UTC
Ah yeah no, doesn't make a difference what time of day you buy. Good prices and mistake fares can pop up in the day or in the night
dogshorts54 karma2016-04-27 19:08:31 UTC
Are a majority of your cheap flights simply errors? If so, are you concerned about the frequency of the flight errors decreasing over time?
scottkeyes101 karma2016-04-27 19:18:22 UTC
I would guess that 25% of the deals I send out are genuine mistake fares, while 75% are just sales or otherwise cheap flights.
You know, before finding cheap flights became my job I figured mistake fares were getting rarer and rarer given advances in IT. Since starting, however, I've been shocked at how often they spring up. Sometimes they're just for a few dates and sometimes just for a few destinations or origins, but it's at least a couple times a week I spot a mistake fare.
JefemanG8 karma2016-04-28 04:51:04 UTC
Will they honor those if you buy them or will they refund it?
scottkeyes28 karma2016-04-28 04:54:49 UTC
Almost always, mistake fares get honored. In the rare instances they don't, refunds almost always get delivered within 24-48 hours.
JaapHoop7 karma2016-04-28 05:13:56 UTC
I wasn't sure mistakes fares were real! I once booked a CRAZY cheap flight from Doha to Washington DC and my first thought was 'this must be a mistake or something?' I guess maybe it was.
scottkeyes6 karma2016-04-28 05:24:31 UTC
lolheyaj4 karma2016-04-28 04:58:31 UTC
I know you're AMA is over, so I dunno if you'll see this, but how can one tell if they're seeing a "mistake fare?" (Sorry if this has been answered already, I'm working though all your answers bc this is fantastic info and wanted to ask that before I'd forget to).
scottkeyes8 karma2016-04-28 05:18:27 UTC
Basically just if the price looks drastically different than what it normally is or what it's going for on nearby dates
bustedchalk48 karma2016-04-28 03:00:15 UTC
How screwed are Canadians on finding cheap flights?
scottkeyes35 karma2016-04-28 03:10:47 UTC
Not screwed at all! I've been finding a lot of great deals from Canada, especially to Europe
Morgii7 karma2016-04-28 03:41:44 UTC
Ah, but are these deals solely out of Toronto? It is the major hub for travel (especially internationally) although most airports in major cities are still international airports.
scottkeyes7 karma2016-04-28 03:58:24 UTC
Nope! I search 10 different Canadian airports and have found deals from all of them. YVR and YUL have just as many cheap flights as YYZ for instance
PhotoJim998 karma2016-04-28 05:03:10 UTC
Which 10 Canadian airports?
scottkeyes12 karma2016-04-28 05:11:07 UTC
YYZ, YUL, YVR, YYC, YEG
YOW, YWG, YHZ, YQB, YYJ
Sm4rtiss3xy33 karma2016-04-28 01:52:14 UTC
I had a death in the family a few years ago and I live about 1500 miles away. I have one those families that couldn't be bothered to pitch in for a ticket for me when I couldn't afford one on such short notice.
I missed the funeral and everything and I took it pretty hard. While I was grieving someone told me I should have contacted an airline and explained the situation myself because they have to accommodate indigents traveling for a funeral...is that true?!
It doesn't sound right, but I don't think I'll ever get another opportunity to ask a better source.
Oh- Also, someone else confirmed this, but said it was a military benefit??? Not for civilians.
scottkeyes44 karma2016-04-28 02:53:32 UTC
Sorry to hear about that :-(
What you were told is, unfortunately, not true, at least not for civilians. I have no clue if it's a military benefit, alas, but I've never heard of it. Even the lower grievance fares that airlines used to offer are all but gone nowadays :-/
BuyMeLotsOfDiamonds22 karma2016-04-28 03:39:46 UTC
Former WS flight attendant here. WestJet still offers bereavement fares. Pretty sure Air Canada does too.
scottkeyes7 karma2016-04-28 03:59:57 UTC
Oh that's good to know! Do you have a sense if they're cheaper than what people can find searching Kayak etc.? My sense is that the bereavement fare is just a discount off full fare econ tickets, so they're still more expensive than deep discount econ tix
symberke4 karma2016-04-28 05:15:10 UTC
I think you're right. I did a bereavement fare with delta last fall, the round trip cost about the same as a normal economy round trip booked a few weeks in advance would. But I booked the bereavement one like 12 hours before, and the return flight was flexible.
scottkeyes4 karma2016-04-28 05:23:16 UTC
yeah, the one benefit to my understanding is the fare is flexible
NoonToker32 karma2016-04-27 19:42:52 UTC
I just flew Chicago to LAX round trip for $78 using a search matrix system. How do you make money with your customers if they book directly through the airline?
scottkeyes123 karma2016-04-27 19:47:13 UTC
Great question! So my email list is a freemium model. Paying subscribers get all the cheap flight deals and get notified right away when one pops up. Free subscribers get 1/3 of the deals and get them on a 30-minute delay.
I like not having commission links because I feel like it allows me to only send out deals I think are exceptionally good, rather than having a profit incentive force me to send so-so deals in order to get more clicks.
NoonToker37 karma2016-04-28 02:11:18 UTC
That's an awesome model. Keep up the good work! You are a new age travel agent!
scottkeyes7 karma2016-04-28 02:31:05 UTC
Haha thank you!!
adhi-9 karma2016-04-28 02:49:34 UTC
that is very admirable of you!
scottkeyes27 karma2016-04-28 02:57:04 UTC
I try! I don't love charging people to be on the list, but I think it ultimately works better this way than to offer an inferior product with a ton of referral links
jdquey29 karma2016-04-27 19:10:47 UTC
What's a truth you believe in that very few others do related to travel?
scottkeyes177 karma2016-04-27 19:15:59 UTC
Oh man, that is a great question.
I am not a fan of last-minute spur-of-the-moment travel. It has a real romantic allure to it, but studies have shown that we get as much enjoyment out of the anticipation of travel as we do the actual event. Might as well book well in advance and get to dream of Paris for months :-)
funyunsgood58 karma2016-04-28 00:04:09 UTC
Wow this is ironic considering most of the deals you send out need to be acted on within a day or two.
scottkeyes99 karma2016-04-28 00:15:17 UTC
Haha right? Gotta decide quickly on plans down the road sometimes! That's how my ladyfriend and I got flights to Taiwan/Japan this winter for $193 roundtrip! Get many months to savor the impulse purchase :-)
danger_is_fat30 karma2016-04-28 02:16:46 UTC
My husband and I bought tickets in March to Nairobi returning through Paris for this coming December! We learned of the tickets thru Scotts email and we sat on the decision for a few days. By the 3rd day, I just knew I'd be super pissed if I didn't pull the trigger and they disappeared. Our tickets:$450!
I'm excited for the adventure just slightly more than the planning and anticipation of the adventure!
scottkeyes16 karma2016-04-28 02:32:36 UTC
Ahhh that's so amazing to hear! Thanks for letting me know!!
jdquey6 karma2016-04-27 23:13:32 UTC
Thank you :).
New q, if you don't mind me asking - how would you stretch travel miles from a credit card?
scottkeyes18 karma2016-04-27 23:24:24 UTC
The easy, non-satisfying answer is to only use them for good value redemption. So with AA miles, for instance, it costs as much to fly roundtrip from Seattle to Chicago as it does to fly Seattle to the Dominican Republic. Avoiding domestic award redemptions except in extenuating circumstances is key
j_n_dubya26 karma2016-04-28 03:02:28 UTC
My family is going to Kaua'i over Christmas. I know that tickets will be at premium during that time of the year but right now the tickets are hovering around $1000. Is this to be expected? If not, what is a reasonable price? When should I expect to find the best bargain? How would I find said bargain? Thanks
scottkeyes38 karma2016-04-28 05:05:48 UTC
Hey so good news and bad news! The bad news is, as you might have noticed, this post absolutely blew up and my inbox is resting in peace. Plus it's nearly midnight here. The good news is I promised I would help you find the best price on this flight and will absolutely do so when I get up tomorrow morning. Sorry for the delay!
14travis8 karma2016-04-28 05:30:49 UTC
You're a solid dude, Scott.
scottkeyes13 karma2016-04-28 05:34:58 UTC
No you are!
NipsYChela25 karma2016-04-27 18:32:23 UTC
Which airports get the most cheap flight deals?
scottkeyes49 karma2016-04-27 18:34:11 UTC
Good question. NYC gets by far the most, followed by LAX. After that it's kind of a muddle between SFO, Chicago, DC, Boston, and Houston.
Cheap flight deals can pop up from any airport, of course, but they're less likely to from small airports or ones that have a single dominant airline, like Charlotte with American Airlines.
Seinpheld11 karma2016-04-28 00:00:42 UTC
Do you often get cheap flights from Detroit?
scottkeyes21 karma2016-04-28 00:15:59 UTC
Not the most frequent but not uncommon either. Looked back at my archives and I've sent 3 deals from Detroit thus far in April and 4 in March.
Corbimos5 karma2016-04-28 03:56:20 UTC
scottkeyes12 karma2016-04-28 04:22:35 UTC
centrium18 karma2016-04-27 20:52:26 UTC
How are the cheap flights from Seattle(SEA)? Are there a decent amount of cheap flights from SEA on your exclusive email list? Thanks for doing this, this is fascinating!
scottkeyes19 karma2016-04-27 21:03:10 UTC
Excellent to Asia! Tough to Europe.
Yep, Seattle comes up fairly regularly on the list! I looked back and in March, 11 cheap flight deals went out that included departures from Seattle. Hope that helps!
ClaimhSol13 karma2016-04-27 22:01:28 UTC
Is the rumor that there are certain days of the week that prices drop to their lowest on average true? I've heard Tuesdays are the lowest price days statistically.
scottkeyes33 karma2016-04-27 22:06:03 UTC
That is true for days to fly, but not days to buy.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are typically the cheapest days to fly, while Fridays and Sundays are often the most expensive.
There is no best time/day of the week to buy tickets
signal1510 karma2016-04-27 20:58:31 UTC
I'm near MSP. I was looking for flights for 4 to London or other places in Europe. They are routinely over $1000/ticket. Any tips on getting the family from MSP to Europe without spending over $4k on flights?
Interestingly enough, when I was looking a couple of months ago, if I put in the reverse round trip (origin in London, destination MSP), the flights were only like $600. Why do Europeans not get shafted as badly as we do?
scottkeyes7 karma2016-04-27 21:05:25 UTC
Haha there are so many crazy factors that go into airline pricing it's hard to say who gets the bigger shaft.
When are you looking to go to Europe? And for around how long?
signal153 karma2016-04-27 21:26:50 UTC
Summer, for 7-10 days.
scottkeyes16 karma2016-04-27 21:47:51 UTC
Here's a couple possibilities for a bit cheaper. The dates can be played with:
MSP-Paris for $840 June 6-16
Or MSP-Copenhagen for $713 August 28 to September 7
DickMcFanny10 karma2016-04-27 21:06:18 UTC
Could you help me find a cheap flight to Vancouver, BC?
Preferably from CGN (Germany) or Dublin (Ireland), between August 8th and back before September 15th, with around two or three week's stay?
scottkeyes16 karma2016-04-27 21:09:40 UTC
Here's Dublin to Vancouver for $626 roundtrip departing August 19 and returning September 7 (the dates are fairly flexible)
DickMcFanny22 karma2016-04-27 21:17:08 UTC
557 €, buying it right now.
25% cheaper than all the other flights I've found. You are incredible, subbed to your site.
scottkeyes10 karma2016-04-27 21:21:04 UTC
awesome!! glad you were able to jump on this so quick! :-)
lostinturkey1018 karma2016-04-27 21:30:18 UTC
I'm trying to get from Portland (PDX) to Turkey. If I fly in the first week of August, it's half the price (less than $1000) than if I fly in the last week of July ($2000). Further, if I go to Istanbul (IST) it's much cheaper than if I go to Ankara (ESB) or Kayseri (ASR). Kayseri is my final destination, and it's a four hour drive from there to Ankara, and Istanbul is the other side of the country (12 hour drive).
Is there a way I can do this affordably and not three flight changes? Right now I'm thinking to go to San Francisco, do the direct flight from there to Istanbul via Turkish airways, and pay for a separate flight from there to Kayseri (buying the ticket in Turkey is much cheaper). This gets complicated with work and scheduling though.
I'm sure I'm not the only person going from one hard-to-reach place to another. Do you have any general advice for people in these cases? And I feel Portland and Ankara are cities that shouldn't be that hard to reach!
scottkeyes7 karma2016-04-27 21:37:43 UTC
Great question. So I think you're on the right path to try to get this trip booked into two separate itineraries rather than PDX-ASR. Will definitely be cheaper with two tickets. But like you mentioned, sometimes you have to sacrifice convenience/efficiency in search of the best prices. Not always, but often times the cheapest flights have an extra connection or an overnight somewhere. Just depends on how much inconvenience you're willing to tolerate in order to get the best price
Hivac-TLB8 karma2016-04-28 03:47:11 UTC
Canadian here. Actually Edmonton alberta.
Do you ever get any deals for your slightly northern neighbors?
scottkeyes4 karma2016-04-28 03:55:14 UTC
Absolutely! I flight Canadian-departing flights for the list :-)
jeisrael7 karma2016-04-27 19:03:37 UTC
How did your training as a reporter with ThinkProgress prepare you for this sort of research?
scottkeyes23 karma2016-04-27 19:09:27 UTC
Research and headline writing! Research is much more a skill than just typing something into Google. Learning how to dig was surprisingly translatable into the cheap flights world.
Plus boiling down sales pitches to intriguing one-liners is an important skill whether in journalism or sales/marketing.
P.S. Hi Josh!
iluvapple6 karma2016-04-27 18:46:33 UTC
What are the sources of your flights info? In general, what's the best airfare prediction website?
Thanks for your emails. I already saved a few bucks.
scottkeyes19 karma2016-04-27 18:50:11 UTC
I typically like to use a combination of Google Flights and Momondo to search for flights. Sometimes there are situations where Kayak or SkyScanner work better, but the first two are typically enough.
The airfare prediction tool I'm most familiar with is Kayak's. I take it with a grain of salt, but it also doesn't take a genius to know that Boston to Lisbon for $203 roundtrip is a BUY and unlikely to get any better haha.
You're most welcome! Thank you for being a part of the list :-)
Mind if I ask which deal you ended up getting?
iluvapple4 karma2016-04-27 18:52:35 UTC
SF to NewZealand. LOTR baby \m/
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 18:54:28 UTC
around when you thinking for?
iluvapple7 karma2016-04-27 19:04:40 UTC
Auckland (AKL) - $293 planning around september-ish
scottkeyes6 karma2016-04-27 19:10:07 UTC
oh yeah that was a great deal! nicely done!!
corby3155 karma2016-04-27 19:09:43 UTC
What do you suggest for planning an international flight? How far in advance should it be booked?
scottkeyes6 karma2016-04-27 19:19:15 UTC
For an international flight that's not over the summer or a peak holiday like NYE or Xmas, I recommend 4-6 months in advance. Any longer than that and you risk missing out on a great deal closer in.
For peak holidays and summer though, basically any time you see a good price 6-12 months out.
Shinyshinyskinskin5 karma2016-04-27 19:14:23 UTC
what are the best ways to set alerts and to figure out at what price point to set alerts? I'm trying to get 4 of us to munich from LAX and just found out from a friend I missed a great lufthansa deal (850 direct!) I'd love to go this fall, so have some time to plan for a great fare...
scottkeyes12 karma2016-04-27 19:38:39 UTC
I'm actually not a huge fan of the price alert sites because I don't think they typically do a very good job of finding good deals. (This is a big part of the reason why I started Scott's Cheap Flights.)
If you want to go that route, Airfarewatchdog is probably your best bet.
Otherwise I'd recommend keeping an eye on the list if you haven't joined. There've been a number of great deals from LAX to Scandinavia and Dublin lately, for example. From there it's a super cheap flight to get over to Munich...
Shinyshinyskinskin3 karma2016-04-27 20:06:32 UTC
Ok, thanks! Do you have any tips for traveling with kids? Are any airlines significantly better than others with the kid stuff?
scottkeyes9 karma2016-04-27 20:09:01 UTC
Oh man, I wish I could give you some solid advice on this but I have yet to enter parenthood!
I can recommend a great blog on family travel and frequent flyer miles called Mommy Points
satanslimpdick5 karma2016-04-27 19:02:04 UTC
what are your tips on finding a flight during summer months (think: june of 2017) from Pennsylvania to England? Prices love to skyrocket during the summer months, i've noticed.
Say there's one person in PA and another in England. The person in PA flies out for a trip to England, and the person in England wants to fly back to PA with the person from PA. (round-trip, though) How hard would it be to coordinate tickets so that they're flying back on the same plane but still at a lessened-cost? Would they just have to fly back on two different flights?
also, how long does the offer of two int'l flights last? ;)
scottkeyes9 karma2016-04-27 19:13:50 UTC
The short, unfulfilling answer is it depends. Sometimes a route goes on sale that works in either direction, so it wouldn't be too tough to both get on the same route coming back to the US. But that's not always the case, of course. Whether you get on the same flight will depend partly on luck and partly on how price-conscious you are.
But you're doing right by planning in advance! June 2017 tickets won't go on sale until June 2016, but monitoring them early and buying whenever you see a great price is the right way to go.
The contest runs through May 7th. The tickets are supposed to be used within a year, but whatever I'm flexible :-)
FindMeSteak5 karma2016-04-27 20:35:23 UTC
Whats the best way to find cheap open jaw flights? Im trying to find something cheap that arrives rome, and departs zurich for the end of september. Im seeing some stuff around $800 but with really long flight times.
scottkeyes7 karma2016-04-27 20:42:21 UTC
There's no super easy way, otherwise everyone would do it and the prices would go up :-/
I like to do trial-and-error in Google Flights using a bunch of different departure/arrival airports (you can search 5 at a time) and just playing around with the dates there
pro_canuck5 karma2016-04-27 21:35:32 UTC
I just want to say that I signed up to your emails and though I haven't pulled the trigger on any of the deals, your emails come at a reasonable rate which make them feel like true deals and not like SPAM. So good on you.
Any tips for a Canadian that doesn't live in major city to get a cheap trip to South/Central America?
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 21:39:47 UTC
Awesome! So glad to hear that :-)
Check out Air Canada Vacations. They don't show up in search engine bookings, so you have to look straight on their website. It's usually last minute deals, but if you can make plans within 2 weeks of departure, it's a good way to get some cheap flights
SuckItKarma4 karma2016-04-27 18:59:10 UTC
When finding cheap flights, are you randomly putting dates and locations in or do you have a method to the madness?
scottkeyes8 karma2016-04-27 19:04:55 UTC
A lot of times yes! Especially if I haven't found any good deals to somewhere recently like India or Argentina, I'll poke around more for flights to those places.
Other times I'll get an inkling of a deal but then work to find other possible departing/arrival airports. So say someone on Twitter posts that they found a great deal Boston to Lisbon. I'll first try to replicate that deal, and assuming I can, then start searching for Boston to other parts of Europe, other US cities to Lisbon, and other US cities to other parts of Europe. Kind of a robustness check for all you scientists out there. When I feel like I found basically all there is to find, I send it out to folks on the list.
lovell134 karma2016-04-27 21:24:31 UTC
Hey Scott! Love your concept! As someone who racks up hotel points fairly easily (Marriott Visa + corporate travel), I am hoping your site will help us find the inexpensive airfare to go along with it. We fell in love with Maui on a vacation this last month, but the airfare was horrendous (CMH-OGG). Any tips on traveling to Maui/what about for Economy Plus tickets (extra legroom for tall travelers)?
scottkeyes4 karma2016-04-27 21:30:49 UTC
Ahh very cool!
So I'd be sure to search for flights not only departing CMH, but also DAY/CVG/DTW and even ORD. Could be worth the drive or a separate roundtrip flight if the price disparity is large enough.
Also be sure to search for flights arriving not just in OGG but HNL as well. Flights between Hawaiian islands are quite cheap, so often times worth it to get to HNL on a cheaper trans-Pacific flight then just tack on your final flight to OGG
TileMonger4 karma2016-04-27 20:56:43 UTC
I fly from PDX to ATL often. How do I maximize the value of my dollar?
scottkeyes6 karma2016-04-27 21:01:13 UTC
What are you looking to maximize? Pay the least? Get the most miles? Get the most perks while flying?
TileMonger3 karma2016-04-27 21:14:50 UTC
Lowest total cost. I'm already a Southwest Advantage(?) member, and I typically find their rates to be best, especially when coupled with the ease of flight-change should the unexpected arise.
scottkeyes13 karma2016-04-27 21:17:26 UTC
You're definitely on the right track using Southwest for domestic flights! No change/cancellation fees, plus free bags, are clutch.
One piece of advice I'd offer is to still keep an eye on Southwest prices even after you book. Because there's no cancellation fee, if prices for your route go down after you book, you can always cancel, rebook, and pocket the difference.
TileMonger2 karma2016-04-27 21:20:57 UTC
You're a genius. Thank you.
scottkeyes11 karma2016-04-27 21:28:55 UTC
oh stoppppp you are
LD_in_MT4 karma2016-04-27 21:24:57 UTC
Any advice for travelers that are no where near a major airport? All the great deals seem to be major airport to major airport.
scottkeyes12 karma2016-04-27 21:27:33 UTC
book separate trips to those major airports and make liberal use of Skiplagged, the search engine that finds hidden-city ticketing for you.
it's way cheaper to book a separate flight Des Moines-Chicago and then fly Chicago-Paris than it is to try to book Des Moines-Paris on one itinerary
Slazman9994 karma2016-04-28 01:54:18 UTC
I want to take my girlfriend to Paris for her birthday next February for her birthday and propose. Can you find me cheap fare from Milwaukee or Chicago? Her birthday is Feb 13th.
scottkeyes2 karma2016-04-28 02:54:34 UTC
How long are you thinking to stay for?
baronsuzanchi3 karma2016-04-27 19:50:39 UTC
Hey Scott, many years ago I used a standby service called airhitch.org
Not great if your destination is specific, but I managed to fly to NW Europe on a few occasions for very little.Has booking flights changed so much that a service like this can still be used cheaply?
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 19:56:08 UTC
Huh, hadn't heard of that one!
My hunch is yes. Last-minute seats used to get sold for very cheap because an empty seat is a waste of money, but nowadays airlines tend to jack up the prices for last-minute seats because they're trying to squeeze revenue out of business travelers who are less price conscious and more likely to make last minute bookings.
Sciencegal223 karma2016-04-27 21:29:30 UTC
Subscribed to your premium list last week, crossing my fingers for a great fare to Europe or Japan from SFO in late summer! Today I found a deal for $749 RT SFO-->Tokyo in August, should I rush on it or do you think I can wait and do better?
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 21:34:21 UTC
i think you can do better tbh. no guarantee obviously, but i've seen flights from SFO to Asia under $500 pop up fairly regularly
acesully1033 karma2016-04-27 19:16:01 UTC
Hello! Thanks for all the sweet deals and subsequent trips!
When you first started "travel hacking," how much time (say weekly) did you invest into finding the right credit card/mileage deals? I find it a bit overwhelming at times. What tips do you have for staying organized and keeping your credit score high?
scottkeyes8 karma2016-04-27 19:35:36 UTC
You're most welcome!
So when I was starting out I (shamefully in retrospect) made a big error and violated one of my current cardinal rules of only signing up for miles credit cards that offer at least 50k. I quickly learned though by reading travel blogs which cards are good and which offers to wait on.
It can definitely be overwhelming though, and it's a hobby that is most compatible with people who are pretty organized and like keeping track of things. For that I like to keep a spreadsheet to show which cards I've opened, when, what the spending threshold is, if I've met it, if I've received the bonus, and when to cancel it by.
Re: keeping credit score high, the main piece of advice is just to treat a credit card like a debit card, only spend money that you actually have, and pay off your balance in full every month. If you do that, your credit score will take care of itself and be in the high 700s, if not higher.
RealKeanuReeves3 karma2016-04-27 19:10:35 UTC
I'm trying to visit my girlfriend in July/August who lives in the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul (state in Brazil), and I live in Florida (not sure if that helps), how do you find great roundtrip deals to places like this, or South America in general?
scottkeyes8 karma2016-04-27 19:22:10 UTC
Hi there! In general I like to start by searching from your home airport to your ideal destination airport. In this case let's say it's MIA-MTG. If you want to make sure you're getting the best price, though, don't end the process there.
Instead, also search for flights from MCO-MTG and TPA-MTG. After that, search MIA-GIG and MIA-GRU. It's very possible that flying MIA-GRU will be far cheaper than MIA-MTG, and then from GRU you can catch a separate budget flight on to MTG.
NegativePoints13 karma2016-04-27 21:36:16 UTC
Hey Scott, I haven't heard of yout service before I don't think. But I do know that I'm really interested in a cheap flight :p I've been wanting to visit my half-life-long friend who lives in San Francisco for her birthday this October. (Between the second and first weeks.) I live in Orlando and I'm living off a tight budget rooming with one of my best friends. We haven't met yet but have been trying to make plans since we were young. Any good deals out there for a trip?
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 21:40:44 UTC
Hi there! How long are you looking to stay in SF?
NegativePoints13 karma2016-04-27 22:10:10 UTC
I would like to spend 4 to 5 days out there
*and thank you for still being around to respond, this has gotten me more excited than it should
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 22:14:04 UTC
when's the birthdate?
NegativePoints12 karma2016-04-27 22:15:59 UTC
October 8th :)
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 22:22:14 UTC
So the best I'm seeing is around $241 roundtrip on Frontier plus $60 roundtrip for a bag.
The dates on the search above are Oct. 6-11, but they're fairly flexible. Not an awful price for a transcontinental flight!
NegativePoints14 karma2016-04-27 22:26:02 UTC
That is the absolute best price I've seen come up when I was willing to drop $800 several months ago before moving into a new place.
You're seriously great, Scott, thank you <3
scottkeyes6 karma2016-04-27 22:31:37 UTC
Awesome!! So glad to hear it :-) Have a blast!
mfb-3 karma2016-04-27 19:25:39 UTC
Are you only looking for flights like "within the next months, how do I get cheap to X", or also "I want to be in X from [date] to [date]"?
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 19:31:32 UTC
For the cheap flights list that I run it's all of the above. Sometimes deals are only in the next month or two, and sometimes it's anytime in the next year. It's whatever I can find that's a great price.
yankeecandle13 karma2016-04-27 21:50:01 UTC
Are there many deals with US only flights? Such as MSP to Hawaii?
scottkeyes2 karma2016-04-27 21:58:08 UTC
In general or on the list? If the latter, I do send out good deals to Hawaii/Alaska/Puerto Rico when I find them, but for now not many other domestic flights
argh_name_in_use3 karma2016-04-27 23:31:53 UTC
Have you noticed any impact of the recent, substantial increase in multi-city fares? Or do you typically scan for simple round-trip itineraries?
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 23:35:13 UTC
So that pricing system has mostly been impacting domestic travel, which is less of a focus for the cheap flights list. Mostly I send out round-trip itineraries still, though every once in a while it's a bit more complicated to get the best fare, something along these lines. How-to instructions are included in the email :-)
Crazy_Joe3 karma2016-04-27 21:41:48 UTC
Hi Scott! Had no idea about all these amazing deals. Signing up for the email list!
Question: trying to visit a friend in Maui from SEA. Look at all airlines at all times. Never really see any good deals. Is that just because of Hawaii being such a tourist spot? Cheapest I ever see being around 420-460. Thanks!
scottkeyes4 karma2016-04-27 21:52:13 UTC
Awesome! Excited to have you on the list :-)
Yeah, your assessment is spot on. Hawaii is super popular, and kinda far away, therefore it's pricey. I've seen SEA-OGG as low as $280 every once in a while, and it's more often cheaper if you don't mind driving up to Vancouver, but yeah, $400s is a typical roundtrip price
swaggercoach3 karma2016-04-28 01:51:02 UTC
I need to go to a wedding in Anguilla in August, whats the best way to get a cheap flight out there? (Im in north NJ in the NYC area) Thanks!
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-28 02:48:25 UTC
how long are you looking to stay for? and when is the wedding?
onthelongroadtoruin2 karma2016-04-27 22:31:24 UTC
I noticed that most of your flight tips are from America. I'm looking for some advice flying from Europe (Spain, England or Portugal) to Brazil (ideally) but will go anywhere in Latin/South America. The cheapest I've found is 450€~ to Brazil. Do you have any suggestions or tips on finding anything cheaper?
I'm looking for one way flights around October/November time. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your help and previous tips! You've helped a lot of my friends!
scottkeyes2 karma2016-04-27 22:33:24 UTC
Stepping out for like 30 min but will get back to you once I return!
scottkeyes2 karma2016-04-27 23:32:54 UTC
Here's Lisbon to Rio one-way for 277 Euro. Can leave basically any day in October/November
onthelongroadtoruin2 karma2016-04-27 23:39:21 UTC
That's amazing! Thank you! Would you recommend booking straight away or can I wait a month or so without the prices increasing too much?
Also, are there any companies you'd suggest avoiding booking with? I'm a little wary of scam websites with cheap flights after speaking to a few friends.
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 23:43:40 UTC
Hard to say tbh. I suspect it'll probably be fine because Zika worries are keeping prices down in Brazil, but hard to say for sure.
you can book with orbitz for 289 euro or directly with the airline for 290 euro
less_than_100_probs2 karma2016-04-27 20:42:25 UTC
Hey Scott! I have from after Christmas until Jan 27th off of school and want to go to Europe! I found a flight from NYC to Copenhagen for a little over $400 round trip, this seems very low and I was wondering if I should be more urgent about pulling the trigger?. Thanks!
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 21:05:48 UTC
That's a great price! Is it with Norwegian or another airline?
less_than_100_probs2 karma2016-04-27 21:21:04 UTC
Yeah Norwegian. It's $404 right now. Just wondering if this is rare, and how much roughly it will go up if I wait say 2 months to buy it. Thanks so much!
scottkeyes2 karma2016-04-27 21:28:48 UTC
It's not super rare, but it's still a solid price. Remember that bag fees are extra. Kinda depends how dead set you are on Scandinavia. If you're flexible about where you'd like to travel, I'm highly confident something would pop up in the next few months for January travel to Europe for $400 or less
less_than_100_probs2 karma2016-04-27 21:32:23 UTC
Okay thank you! I was just looking for anywhere to get into Europe then I could just travel within, guess I'll see what else pops up
scottkeyes5 karma2016-04-27 21:33:08 UTC
onmugen2 karma2016-04-27 20:37:12 UTC
I'm trying to find some tickets for my wife and 2 kids from OKC to NRT. Everything is sooooo expensive for the time frame. They are looking at leaving around the end of may and returning in August. Any suggestions of finding cheap tickets for them?
P.S. kids are 6 and 9
scottkeyes2 karma2016-04-27 20:39:45 UTC
I'll take a look and get back to you in a bit!
onmugen2 karma2016-04-27 20:43:04 UTC
Thank You Very Much for your consideration.
scottkeyes9 karma2016-04-27 20:57:00 UTC
So you're right that tix from OKC-NRT are super expensive ($1300s) but if you fly from LAX-NRT you can get them as low as $611/person
for OKC-LAX flights are $300-$350 roundtrip
winkw2 karma2016-04-27 19:50:30 UTC
Where is your favorite destination? I've been following the emails for a few months and seen a few I almost pulled the trigger on (just sucks that I'm in Nebraska). There's been some really great deals!
scottkeyes5 karma2016-04-27 19:54:30 UTC
Ooo great question! Honestly, I've gotta say Mexico. It's an incredibly diverse and delicious country with so much differentiation between it. Far more than just Cancun and Cabo :-P
Ahh yeah Nebraska's tough for cheap flights. Hopefully there'll be more good ones soon!
colleenj742 karma2016-04-27 20:38:48 UTC
When wanting to tour Europe (from Boston), what country is typically the cheapest to fly in to?
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 20:39:22 UTC
From Boston, almost always the cheapest flights are to Dublin (assuming there's not a mistake fare elsewhere)
colleenj743 karma2016-04-27 20:48:55 UTC
Not to get picky... ;-) But what is next on the list that's more on the mainland area to visit italy...spain....paris?
BTW great information here!! Thank you!
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 21:02:14 UTC
Copenhagen or Oslo are probably the next cheapest typically. Paris can be too. It's hard to say too definitively though, since so much depends on what the airlines are offering on a given date.
ilikepho2 karma2016-04-27 23:45:21 UTC
I love this. Any deals round-trip from HCMC (SGN) to Houston (HOU) and back this summer? June-July. I'm trying to get myself, my wife, and my daughter (< 2 years old) there to visit my family for the first time. Bonus for business class! I'm tall, my knee is messed up, and this flight feels like it actually takes time off my life span.
scottkeyes2 karma2016-04-27 23:49:07 UTC
How long are you thinking of staying for?
[deleted]2 karma2016-04-27 19:36:50 UTC
scottkeyes5 karma2016-04-27 19:43:20 UTC
Depends how price conscious you are! If you want the easiest route on the best airline and don't care much about price, I would go with one-stop flights on Singapore, Cathay Pacific, or Etihad.
If you want the best price, looks like China Southern transiting Guangzhou is your best bet.
Empigee1 karma2016-04-27 22:04:14 UTC
Does locating a cheap flight become more difficult if you're looking for a more distant destination, such as Japan?
scottkeyes1 karma2016-04-27 22:05:19 UTC
Usually, unless there's a mistake fare (though those are random).
Flights to the Caribbean or Latin America are almost always going to be cheaper than flights to Europe or Asia, due partly to demand and partly to proximity
rainydaygal1 karma2016-04-27 19:07:39 UTC
I'm trying to find the cheapest way to get to ZAG (Zagreb) for a wedding (from PDX) before 08/27 and then home after a week in London/Paris around 9/09-9/10. What's the cheapest way to do this? Do I book the one way to ZAG, and one way home from London, or do I try and wait for a cheap roundtrip to London and hope I can get to ZAG on time? Or do I just give up on the bigger cities all together and fly home from somewhere else? Thanks in advance! Your emails are a great part of my day. Fun to dream about going to some of these places if I was more flexible!
scottkeyes3 karma2016-04-27 19:40:01 UTC
So I would recommend searching both one-way flights from PDX-ZAG and LON/PAR-PDX, but I suspect the price will be better by doing a multi-city search for PDX-ZAG // LON/PAR-PDX and then just booking your own budget airline flight within Europe.
Thank you for the kind words! Lemme know if anything wasn't clear there :-)
protox881 karma2016-04-27 22:50:37 UTC
I've read through most of your answers and you're one of the first people that I've seen on reddit who doesn't spew the usual garbage about flights are cheapest "exactly 53 days" before departure, "clear your cookies and search in incognito", "buy tickets on Tuesdays".
So do you do any of the "less ethical" (breaking T&C perhaps) tricks like, say, hidden city fares, FDing, or attempt at cabotage?
scottkeyes1 karma2016-04-27 23:29:21 UTC
Haha thank you for that!
I haven't sent any of that stuff out to the email list. I keep my eye on it though
liliputput1 karma2016-04-27 23:31:35 UTC
Wow! Do you also look for cheap flights from Europe? If no, do you have any future plans to do so? So sad I can't enter the raffle since I'm in Europe. Anyway, good work dude!
scottkeyes2 karma2016-04-27 23:35:32 UTC
I don't at the moment because it's still a tiny operation, but hoping to expand perhaps later this year!
anthemrides1 karma2016-04-27 23:14:06 UTC
I like to travel long weekends, domestically, out of BWI. Is there a typical cheapest day to fly out, Wed, Thurs, Fri? What about coming back, Sun, Mon, Tues?
scottkeyes2 karma2016-04-27 23:25:08 UTC
The cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. The most expensive days to fly are Friday and Sunday.
Alex_Hill1 karma2016-04-27 22:28:42 UTC
I had a look at the site and you charge for a few different services, plus ads. How long was it until you started operating at a surplus (or when do you expect to)?
scottkeyes2 karma2016-04-27 22:30:32 UTC
Became profitable in the 1st month! Since I have basically no paid advertising, the expenses are very minimal (hosting, email service, payment processing). The subscription revenue far outpaces the expenses
Ambustus1 karma2016-04-27 22:45:01 UTC
Would you happen to know any saving tips for flights departing from outside the US/Canada? I'm looking for a one-way ticket to Malaysia from London, UK around June 10th.
scottkeyes1 karma2016-04-27 23:28:23 UTC
Yeah! Search for flights from LON-KUL, but also search for LON-SIN, LON-BKK, LON-HKG, etc. and also for MAN-KUL, BRU-KUL, AMS-KUL, etc. Go with whichever one is cheapest!
Ambustus1 karma2016-04-27 23:35:24 UTC
Oh sweet thanks for the tip! On your advice, I just found a flight £100 cheaper to Singapore, then it's only a short cheap flight with AirAsia to KL.
scottkeyes1 karma2016-04-27 23:37:30 UTC
Solid! Nice job!
lll_allow_it1 karma2016-04-27 23:34:07 UTC
Hi! I live in Los Angeles and it's been my lifelong dream to ski Chamonix or Laax - which require a flight to Geneva or Zurich, respectively. I don't care when I go! In your professional opinion, what is the best I can do on roundtrip price?
scottkeyes1 karma2016-04-27 23:41:23 UTC
Did a quick search and best I'm seeing at the moment is $688 roundtrip in late January (doesn't include bag fees on the outbound)
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