The Prices For Flights Drive Me Insane

I’ve booked a fair amount of airfare over the years and always try to get the best price for the flights I want. At first, I used a program called Easy SAABRE (anyone else remember that one?), that linked into the same system used by travel agents to book flights. I remember the amazement in my travel agent’s voice when I’d call her and feed her the flights I wanted to take and told her what the price should come out to be.

Alas, the days of IBM PC computers, 2400 baud modems and airlines changing fares once a week are long gone. Now prices can change from one second to the next, depending if there’s a difference of any one of many factors that go into the formula the airlines use to set their price.

So how do you beat the system?

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How We Went To The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade With Miles & Points (and $22.40)

Last December, when we were putting up Christmas decorations at the house, Sharon and I were talking about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. Despite living in the area for most of our lives, I had never been to see the parade and Sharon last went to see it when she was three. We had a crazy idea that this would be the year we’d head to New York in November.

The first thing I needed to check was if I could get the time off of work over the holiday. Amazingly, space was there so I put in for the time off and it was quickly approved. Then it hit me. I’d need to make hotel and flight reservations during one of the busiest travel times of the year. The one thing working for me was that I had plenty of notice and I smartly took the Monday after the holiday off so we didn’t need to fly home on Sunday.

I’m always up for a challenge, so I started looking to see what was available (and for how much).

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Delta Abruptly Stops Selling Single Visit Passes To Sky Clubs, But You’re Still Able To Buy Them

Delta Airlines made a surprise announcement yesterday that, effective immediately, they were no longer going to sell single visit passes to Delta Sky Club lounges for $59 (or 5,000 SkyMiles). In 2017, Delta announced other changes to the Sky Club entry policy for all members and others with club access, which included the requirement you must be flying on Delta that day to enter the club. These changes were announced over a year in advance, giving those who purchased a Sky Club membership the ability to decide if they wanted to renew knowing the new policy. However this change only affects those who are not members, so it could be implemented right away.

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Delta has been investing money into renovating their clubs, while at the same time they are looking to increase the revenue from the clubs by charging for drinks and selling food items above the basic lounge fare. So why would they stop selling single day passes, and how can you still buy one?

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Airline Boarding Groups: The Master List

When you check in for a flight, either by printing a boarding pass on your computer or by using a mobile device, you’re provided with a boarding group. This lets you know when you’ll be getting on the plane. Getting  group 3 on one airline might be great but could be terrible for another airline.

Regardless of that number, just know you’re not getting on the plane when the boarding process starts unless you’re a super elite frequent flyer or a disabled passenger in a wheelchair. The passengers with some sort of loyalty with the airline or one of their partners and the passengers who paid for first class will go next. Why not stay seated until your group (or at least the one right before it is called) cause you’re gonna have a long wait just to have your ticket scanned and all you’re going to is stand on the jet bridge for a while before getting on the plane.

Just be patient and don’t be like the people in this video from JetBlue

 

 

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Problem With A TSA Officer, Customs Agent Or Airline? Here’s Where You Can Complain

It’s been said over and over again – flying is stressful. You’re stuck in crowds for a long period of time, there can be delays or other issues that may or may not have an explanation, or a whole myriad of other things that can make you feel ready to punch a wall. On top of that, the TSA officer is confusing your elderly parent-in-law who has dementia, the Customs agent is barking orders with her head turned so you can’t understand them, and the airline employee who has been unreasonable about whether or not your carry on will fit in the overhead is now becoming irate. You can’t do much about the first few examples but here’s what you can do about the latter ones:

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