I regularly get people emailing me at their wit’s end because they want to go from A to B and can’t find a cheap ticket. Somehow I’ve become the Cheap Flight Guru, though I hate looking for flights as much as anyone, the airlines have sucked any fun there was out of it. However, since airfares are sky-high these days, you have to hold your nose and delve into it. (I like getting everyone’s email about all kinds of topics. It’s the best thing about having a website and blog. A new mailbag is coming soon, so keep your questions and comments coming.)
OK, so you want to know a secret of how to start looking for a cheap flight? Check this out, one of my new favorite websites: www.anna.aero’s weekly new airline routes summary. (Their free email newsletter is a total buzzkill as they insist on your mailing address, phone number, company, job title—what, no urine sample? Come on! That’s bush league.)
If nothing else, you have to love Cake of the Week. I wasn’t aware of this phenomenon where airlines trot out elaborate cake designs to celebrate new routes. You can even vote on Cake of the Week, which they have nicely aggregated for your voting pleasure.
The point of this information is that aside from the fact that it is always good to know who flies between two places, there are often introductory low fares for new routes. Your Skyscanners and Kayaks of the travel world don’t necessarily have all this info in their search results, nor can everything be booked through them (Avianca’s new route from Bogota to Cuba, I would guess, for one.)
I don’t know what to make of the photos from Ryanair’s Budapest base launch where three stewardesses are first on the tarmac in the snow, and then indoors in bikinis. I have to believe they are actual stewardesses because Ryanair is too cheap to hire models. Let’s call it Cheesecake of the Week. Hungary’s the best.
How do websites like whichbudget.com and airninja.com keep up with this stuff? I don’t know how they can, that’s why I say in my cheap flight section that you have to have a three-pronged attack. My example, the $83 flight from Florida to Colombia, that was a new route. I practice what I preach!
Thank you to Lisa F. and Aaron L. (I never know how people feel about me using their names) for telling me about Boston to the Azores for $329 round trip on SATA, a Portuguese airline. I kind of dismissed it out of hand, because how are you going to get from Azores to the continent? Anna.aero, however, showed me that you can go onward to Munich and Brussels, the latter with Jetairfly, though booking tickets through discount Belgian airlines is not for the weak of heart.
While I’m in a complimentary mood, kudos to the people who made this nice little website for Indonesian domestic flights that I will be using: utiket.com. I haven’t played around with the international part of it yet, but I like the simple, straightforward design.
There you go. Who else collates this kind of information, analyzes it and then gives it to you in plain English, all to save you money? Who? And I do it for free! Shocking.