Meteorologist Drew Anderson also doubles as our Eyewitness News travel expert. He has visited all fifty states twice, and he has gone to all the continents but Antarctica. Below, he compiled some travel tips that could save you money the next time you need to fly somewhere or get a rental car.
Be Aware of Change or Refund Fees
Most airlines charge outrageous fees if you need to cancel or change your flight. Two airlines that fly out of the Avoca airport, US Airways and Delta for example, charge a $200 change fee.
If you have any chance of changing or canceling your flight, look into Southwest Airlines. To my knowledge, they are the only airline that does not charge any change fees. If you need to cancel your flight, you have one year to buy another flight with those funds. Essentially, they give you a Southwest gift card good for a year when you cancel.
Southwest flies out of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Newark to name a few.
Join Airline Weekly Newsletters
Every week, I get newsletters from airlines like Frontier and Alaska. They constantly offer me 5 to 14% off flights if I fly in the next month or two. Other airlines do this too, and you’ll hear about special deals on certain routes.
Use Flight Matrix to Find Airfare Deals
This website searches all airlines, but Southwest, at once.
You can’t buy any tickets through this site. I use the site to find the flight and then use the airline’s website to purchase the ticket.
I always search in terms of one-way flights. This allows me to see a calendar of the lowest fares for each month. If you’re flexible on the airport where you take off or land, you can search multiple nearby airports at once to find the best deal.
I used this website to find deal on flights flying from the Avoca airport.
Here are a few of my findings (as of Monday February 9th):
Avoca To Charleston 1-way for $85 in March and on
Avoca to San Francisco 1-way for $150 in February and on
Check The Airfare Price For a Week or Two
If you have the time, I recommend checking the price of a flight for a week or two. There is truth to flights being cheaper during the middle of the week like on Tuesdays or early in the morning.
In fact, I found flights from Avoca to Milwaukee and St. Louis for $119 for a lot of dates. Today, the same flights are 20-30 dollars more. I suspect the price on these flights will go down again.
Are You Flexible with Airfare Deals?
There are a lot of airfare deals out of the Philadelphia or Wilmington, Delaware airport.
Spirit Airlines has had a lot of Philadelphia to Dallas one-way flights for $30-40 and Philadelphia to Las Vegas one-way flights for $40-50.
Right now, they have flights to Dallas for $58 and ones to Las Vegas to $63.
They often have a $24-off coupon code on the homepage of their website, and I suspect the cheaper deals I mentioned will return.
Frontier Airlines has one-way flights from Wilmington, Delaware to Atlanta for $45, to Chicago for $45, and to Detroit for $35.
The catch is both Spirit and Frontier have these deals on only a few days each week. They also allow only one carry-on bag for free. You also get no snack or beverage for free on these “budget” airlines.
Check Your Credit Card Benefits
When you rent a car, some rental companies ask if you want to pay for a Collision Damage Waiver. If you do, you would not be responsible for damage, loss, or theft of a rental car. Otherwise, you or your insurance would be liable.
Many credit cards actually offer free collision damage waivers on car rentals. As long as you use that credit card to pay for the rental car, the credit card would cover the cost of damage, loss, or theft, free of charge to you.
-Meteorologist Drew Anderson