Ok so I reached DEEP into my bag of travel tips this weekend.
It's often cheaper to fly THROUGH your destination than it is to fly TO your destination.
It makes no sense so let me explain. If you are flying to a hub the price of your ticket might be $400 but if you're flying to another remote city with a layover at the hub the price of the complete ticket (2 segments) can often be $250! CRAZY I KNOW! So yesterday I wanted to fly from New Hampshire to Washington DC and the flight was almost $500 and so I booked a flight all the way to Orlando for $289 that changed planes in DC and then I just got off the plane and went to my hotel. :)
The 2nd tip is that you can often get a better flight slot by showing up and asking BUT you can only get on it if you didn't check your bags. Unless I have a lot of connections I always try and "Gate Check" my bags and that way I don't have to deal with them taking up my legroom and I get them instantly as I get off the plane instead having to wait, sometimes for an hour, at baggage claim. Flights are often priced by the time of day and the ideal time for me to fly to Orlando today was at 5:30 but apparently the airline knew that so that ticket was close to $300 so I booked the next flight out at 7:30 for $189 and then came to the airport for the 5:30 flight and they put me on that flight for free.
...and the best part of this is that I am telling you all these tricks from United's Red Carpet Club which is their premier lounge. I love these places because they are a quiet little sanctuary outside of the intercoms and chaos of the terminal. They have free drinks and healthy snacks and so if you travel much get access to the clubs. Chris Humphreys just shared on his blog about an AMEX card that can get you in a bunch of the clubs so go check that out too!
I was reading in the USA today that 25% of US flights last year were late! Wow! It was the 2nd poorest annual performance ever. Also, nearly a million seats were sold by US airlines that didn't exist! Resulting in "Oversold" situations. Can you believe we let airlines get away with this rubbish. In what other industry can people sell things that don't exist? Delta and Continental (sorry Mrs. Beckstead) were the worst...and the article said it's just going to get worse.
Ok...later everyone...I've got a flight to catch.