Welp folks, this weekend I will be traveling once again for — you guessed it — a wedding! After being a bridesmaid, getting invited to 3 can’t-miss weddings I have decided it’s time to get smart about travel expenses.
I am a big believer in paying a little extra for convenience, whether it’s the time of the flight or skipping layovers, but with the current uptick in weddings I figured I should look into ways to save on travel.
Hacking doesn’t have the best connotation, but when it comes to travel hacking you are bending the rules in a perfectly legal way.
What Are Hacker Fares?
Kayak.com a website created to help users compare flight costs across multiple sites has just launched a new tool called “Hacker Fares”.
There are many ways to technically be a “travel hacker” but the method to saving Kayak employs is comparing whether or not buying two one-way tickets on separate airlines will save. Because of the tricky nature of finding the deals Kayak decided to deem to require a little hacking on their part.
How it works: When looking at fares there is a little option to the left of the search results that allows you to “include Hacker Fares” when you click that trips that have multiple fares available will automatically show up in your search.
The Airline section will show both flight logos and once you click select an image will pop up similar to the one below:
Hacker Fares aren’t available for every round trip destination; I was able to find fares for random destinations across the country. I must say, this new feature can shorten your search tactics by a large amount of time.
Trip Hacker Fare Regular Fares
NY to CA $371 $390
CHI to BOS $157 $187
FL to ME $310 $354
OH to OR $456 $475
AK to MO $571 $576
As you can see the savings range from $20 to $1, not the biggest difference but it’s still something. It is my guess that as Kayak continues to develop this tool there will be greater room to save. The only down side is it may be inconvenient navigating across the various airlines you are using.
D.I.Y. Travel Hacking
Although Kayak is doing more “hacking” than you would be if you did this on your own, there are other ways to find savings loopholes in the travel industry. It takes a little patience, planning and charm but some people have found ways to pay less through their credit card bonuses.
Argue Unfair Fees:Often credit card issuers will go at great lengths to keep angry customers, although this is not the most moral method, some bloggers say threatening to close your account over a something like a renewal fee could get the bank to waive the fee and offer more bonus miles.
Just Ask:This method only works if you’ve recently signed up for a credit card. Most cards offer bonuses that are ever-changing. If you signed up for a card that was re-marketed to offer more miles at sign up, it can’t hurt to call the airline and ask for the difference.
Credit Card Churning:This is one of those tricky ones. Credit card churning is the process of canceling a card only to reapply to earn the bonus. It used to be very popular but more banks are catching on to churners.
The Million Mile Secrets blog had an excellent post explaining the state of credit card churning today. Be wary of the negative side to this process; you could potentially harm your credit score if you don’t space out your reapplication appropriately.