airline http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6453/all en-US 5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/passenger-sleeping-airline-477799187-small.jpg" alt="passenger sleeping airline" title="passenger sleeping airline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life is unfair and so is air travel. Two passengers may pay the same price to fly the same route, but have completely different experiences. Because airlines have varying standards of service, your comfort depends a lot on which airline you choose. Before you purchase your next airfare, check to see whether the airline offers the little things that might make the flight more enjoyable for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tricks-to-make-flying-in-coach-feel-almost-luxurious?ref=seealso">Tricks to Make Flying in Coach Almost Luxurious</a>)</p> <h2>1. Seat Design</h2> <p>Airplane seats seem to shrink by the day. Passengers regularly fight over reclining seats and armrests. At the end of the journey, tall people limp off planes with bruised knees, while everyone else is just happy to be able to stretch again.</p> <p>To get more personal space in Economy Class, <a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Product/seats_americas.htm">stick with these airlines when you fly within the U.S</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Frontier Airlines</li> <li>JetBlue Airways</li> <li>US Airways, and</li> <li>WestJet.</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Product/seats_global.htm">For international flights</a>, choose:</p> <ul> <li>Aerolineas Argentinas</li> <li>Air China</li> <li>Air Namibia</li> <li>Air New Zealand</li> <li>Avianca</li> <li>Ghana International Airlines</li> <li>Malaysia Airlines</li> <li>Royal Jordania Airlines</li> <li>Saudi Arabian, or</li> <li>Thai Airways.</li> </ul> <p>At the other end of the spectrum are airlines with extra small seats.</p> <p><a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Product/seats_americas.htm">Domestic airlines with cramped seats</a> include:</p> <ul> <li>AirTran Airways</li> <li>American Airlines</li> <li>Hawaiian Airlines, and</li> <li>United Airlines.</li> </ul> <p>However, in the case of AirTran Airways, the prices may be <a href="http://www.hopper.com/research/airline-comfort-customer-satisfaction-per-dollar/">cheap enough to excuse such tiny seats</a>.</p> <p>And because small seats are even more painful for long international flights, you may want to <a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Product/seats_global.htm">avoid flying Economy Class on these airlines</a> altogether:</p> <ul> <li>Air France</li> <li>British Airways</li> <li>Cathay Pacific</li> <li>KLM</li> <li>Lufthansa, and</li> <li>Qantas Airways.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Entertainment</h2> <p>Experiencing the miracle of flight means staying still in the same seat for hours, staring at the back of the seat in front of you. This is why in-flight entertainment is crucial.</p> <p><a href="http://www.techhive.com/article/2070166/in-flight-entertainment-which-airline-offers-the-best.html">For domestic flights within the U.S.</a>, Virgin America provides the best in-flight entertainment, with free live TV and basic cable channels. If you're willing to pay more, you can gain access to movies and TV shows. If in-flight entertainment is important for you, you may want to avoid American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and US Airways.</p> <p>If you're flying internationally and want first-class entertainment, you can't go wrong with <a href="http://www.theemiratesgroup.com/english/our-company/Copy_of_awards-accolades.aspx?brand=Emirates">Emirates</a>. This airline has consistently won the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards for the World's Best In-flight Entertainment every year since 2005. Besides hundreds of channels of entertainment, Emirates also offers live updates from BBC News. You can also use the in-flight system to phone someone, send text messages, or send emails.</p> <h2>3. Food</h2> <p>Airplane food has been the butt of many jokes, but some airlines do try to offer decent food on board.</p> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiebell/2012/09/17/master-sommeliers-and-michelin-stars-take-to-the-skies/">Delta Air Lines</a>, for example, creates its dishes by collaborating with Michelle Bernstein, who is an award-winning chef, and Andrea Robinson, who is a Master Sommelier.</p> <p>Thanks to similar efforts on the part of non-American airlines, you can get a taste of authentic international fares while flying. Some of <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiebell/2012/09/17/master-sommeliers-and-michelin-stars-take-to-the-skies/">the best</a> <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/diningtravel/restaurants/foreign-airlines-best-food">airlines</a> in terms of food are Air France, Turkish Airlines, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates Airline, and Etihad Airways.</p> <h2>4. Wi-Fi and Power Outlets</h2> <p>Gone are the days when you could truly unplug during flights. Not all airlines offer Wi-Fi and in-seat power yet, but it's now possible to stay productive in the air.</p> <p>According to a research by Routehappy, 38% of domestic flights now offer Wi-Fi on board. If this is something you want, choose Virgin America or AirTran next time you fly. Many of Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines planes are also equipped with Wi-Fi.</p> <p>Only a small percentage of international flights offer Wi-Fi. You'll have better chances of getting Wi-Fi on board if you fly Lufthansa.</p> <h2>5. Customer Service</h2> <p>It's tough to rate airlines based on something as intangible as their quality of service, but Skytrax, a UK consultancy company, tries regardless. <a href="http://www.airlinequality.com/Airlines/AirlineA-Z.htm">Skytrax gives airlines star ratings</a> based on &quot;the quality of their front-line product and staff service standards.&quot; Seven airlines have received its five-star rating: ANA All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Hainan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines.</p> <h2>Additional Resources</h2> <p>If you need more in depth information about the comfort and amenities of an upcoming flight, refer to these additional resources.</p> <h3>Routehappy</h3> <p>If you're a discerning passenger, <a href="https://www.routehappy.com">Routehappy</a> is the booking site for you. It gives every airfare a happiness score, which is determined by a slew of factors: seats, entertainment, Wi-Fi, power supply, food, airport amenities, and many more.</p> <h3>Momondo</h3> <p>When this website shows you its search results, there is a smiley (or frowny) face for every airfare. <a href="http://www.momondo.com">Momondo</a> rates every flight on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how long the flight will be and how cheap the airfare is.</p> <h3>Hipmunk</h3> <p><a href="http://www.hipmunk.com">Hipmunk</a> sorts its search results by &quot;Agony,&quot; taking into account the airfare price, flight time, and number of layovers.</p> <h3>SeatGuru</h3> <p>This site is a treasure trove of information on plane seating. If you already know your flight, <a href="http://www.seatguru.com">SeatGuru</a> can help you find the best seat in the plane. It has also rolled out a feature to search and book flights. Its Guru Factor (or G-Factor) rates flights on a scale of one to five based on seat comfort and in-flight amenities.</p> <h3>AirlineEquality.com</h3> <p>At <a href="http://www.airlinequality.com">AirlineEquality</a> you can find ratings and reviews on legroom and service. The website design needs a little updating, but it's run by Skytrax and has some useful information.</p> <p><em>How do you fly comfortably? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-defend-your-knees-and-other-air-travel-tips">Wise Bread Reloaded: The Surprisingly Easy Way to Defend Your Knees and Other Air Travel Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free">24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-worst-and-best-airport-buys">The 8 Worst and Best Airport Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel airline comfort flying Fri, 10 Oct 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Deia B 1230390 at http://www.wisebread.com The 10 Cheapest Ways to Fly First Class http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/first-class-airline-dv2073081-small.jpg" alt="first class airline" title="first class airline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There was once a time when you could show up at the gate early, dressed nicely, and have a smiling attendant hand you a free upgrade to first class without even asking for it. Now, access to the front of the plane isn't as easy, and requires a bit more of a scientific approach. But this doesn't mean you need to pay the full fare; in fact very few passengers ever do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso">15 Airport Hacks by Professional Travelers</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 of the cheapest ways to fly first class.</p> <h2>Before You Go</h2> <p>Before you even pack your bag, here are a few handy tricks for nabbing a first class fare.</p> <h3>Search and You Might Find</h3> <p>Most people search for economy fares, figuring that first class fares are out of reach. However this isn't always the case. I was recently searching for a ticket from Toronto to Lima. I did the standard search on a variety of search engines, all in economy class of course. Then, I performed the same search in first class, and &mdash; glory be &mdash; I found a first class flight, for $50 more than the equivalent economy ticket. Airlines will occasionally (and very quietly) offer deep discounts on first class airfare. It always pays to search your desired flight itinerary in both economy and first class.</p> <h3>Mystery Shopping</h3> <p>Using your eagle eyes to fill out a detailed questionnaire about your experience, you can score half price flights, free hotels, and other travel deals with mystery shopping. Half price off a first class flight is a pretty good deal, but it's even sweeter if you wait for a seat sale and get half price off the sale-priced ticket, or take advantage of periodic mystery shopping promotions that entail a free upgrade to first class. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-half-price-flights-and-free-hotels?ref=seealso">How to Sign up For Half Price Flights and Free Hotels</a>).</p> <h3>Frequent Flyer Miles</h3> <p>Although a somewhat obvious approach, I'm surprised at how many people stare at me with wonder when I tell them that all my long-haul flights are in first class, mainly due to frequent flyer mile accumulation. With a little patience and some attention to detail, you can acquire enough frequent flyer miles to fly in first class, which often represents the best value per mile you can get. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles?ref=seealso">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>)</p> <h3>Frequent Flyer Mile Upgrades</h3> <p>Frequent flyer mile gurus will attest to the value of purchasing economy tickets and using miles for upgrading to first class. Although I can't attest to this technique (I usually book it in first class to begin with, just to be sure), you can learn more about it through the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free?ref=seealso">Travel Hacking Cartel</a>.</p> <h2>At Check-In</h2> <p>You've still got an economy ticket in your hand and your bags are packed, but hope is not lost. Here are some techniques for cheap (or free) first class upgrades.</p> <h3>Mention a Special Occasion</h3> <p>Make it known (in as natural a way as possible) that you're just married, or traveling home to hug your mother for your milestone birthday, or celebrating a noteworthy anniversary, and you might find yourself upgraded to first class for free.</p> <h3>Dress the Part</h3> <p>If you dress and act the part, an upgraded boarding pass could land in your hands. Depending on the route and airline, however, don't hold your breath. If you fly frequently for work, you're more likely to score an upgrade with your elite frequent flyer status rather than by having a snazzy suit at check-in.</p> <h3>Ask About Miles/Cash Upgrades</h3> <p>Occasionally at check-in, you can nab a good deal for a cash or frequent flyer mile upgrade to first class. It might be worth an extra couple of hundred dollars if you're getting an upgrade to a first class ticket which sells for thousands more.</p> <h2>At the Gate</h2> <p>No luck yet? That's okay. Here's how to play your cards right at the gate&hellip;</p> <h3>Arrive at the Gate Early</h3> <p>After checking passengers in at the front desk, airline staff usually move to the gate to print out rosters and do other administrative things. If you're at the gate early, you might catch them in this lull before the next rush for boarding begins.</p> <p>If you're sitting there looking nice and were cordial at check-in, the gate attendant might shuffle a few seats around and bump you up to first class. A sob story/special occasion can help if you manage to get chatting with them and ask them for an upgrade. This is how I got my first-ever free upgrade to first class. I'd miscalculated the time after 20-something hours of travel and was sitting at the gate with hours to spare and got chatting with the gate attendant about my mammoth journey, at which point she decided to make the next leg of it much more comfortable for me. It happened again in Australia after a ridiculous amount of continuous travel. I asked (some might say begged) the gate attendant for some reprieve on my final flight, and she pitied me with an upgrade to first class.</p> <h3>Volunteer to Be Bumped</h3> <p>Some airlines overbook their flights, such that at the gate they ask for volunteers to be bumped off their pending flight. In exchange for your benevolence, you'll be remunerated with things like vouchers for food, accommodation, future flights (in addition to your missed flight being rebooked for you), straight cash, and sometimes, an upgrade to first class.</p> <p>If you're eager to take advantage of this deal and don't mind missing your flight, don't wait to be asked to bump; volunteer in advance by (showing up early, and letting the gate attendant know that you're available if they're overbooked.</p> <h2>By the Way</h2> <p>Don't forget about business class. With most airlines and routes, there is very little &mdash; if any &mdash; difference between business class and first class. Although in some cases first class flights offer an additional level of opulence, few people could turn their noses up at a business class upgrade or ticket. It's not &quot;first class,&quot; but trust me &mdash; it's better than coach.</p> <p><em>Do you fly first class &mdash; for cheap? What's your secret? Please share in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-defend-your-knees-and-other-air-travel-tips">Wise Bread Reloaded: The Surprisingly Easy Way to Defend Your Knees and Other Air Travel Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline">5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fool-proof-ways-to-stay-within-your-travel-budget">7 Fool-Proof Ways to Stay Within Your Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free">24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel airline business class first class seat upgrade Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:00:06 +0000 Nora Dunn 1207169 at http://www.wisebread.com Wise Bread Reloaded: The Surprisingly Easy Way to Defend Your Knees and Other Air Travel Tips http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-defend-your-knees-and-other-air-travel-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wise-bread-reloaded-the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-defend-your-knees-and-other-air-travel-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/angry-airplane-passengers-dv2074031-small.jpg" alt="angry airplane passengers" title="angry airplane passengers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>By now you've heard of the contretemps aboard an airliner last weekend during which one passenger prevented the seat in front of him from reclining through use of a device called the Knee Defender. Frustration ensued until the passenger seated ahead doused the passenger seated behind and the Captain diverted to another airport and <em>both passengers</em> were escorted off the plane. Ever since, the Internet has been all worked up about whether or not the Right to Recline is an actual right (<a href="https://today.yougov.com/news/2014/08/29/poll-results-flying/">a recent poll suggests a majority of Americans think it's a right</a>).</p> <p>Economy air travel is not as comfortable as it could be these days. And certainly episodes like last week's are probably best avoided with the simplest knee defense of all &mdash; common courtesy. Crowded travel is uncomfortable for everybody. A little courtesy takes the edge off and brightens everyone's day.</p> <p>With courtesy the floor, what else can one do to make economy air travel more pleasant? Wise Bread's writers have had plenty of suggestions over the years. Here are a few.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster?ref=classicwb">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a> &mdash; Pro traveler Nora Dunn shares the tips and tricks she's learned about navigating that terrifying space between ground transportation and the plane &mdash; the airport.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids?ref=classicwb">9 Things You Must When Travelling With Kids</a> &mdash; Air travel is tough, but adding kids maxes out the difficulty setting. Elizabeth Lang walks you through it.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-keep-you-sane-on-a-plane?ref=classicwb">6 Things to Keep You Sane on the Plane</a> &mdash; Kentin Waits shares what he stows in his carry-on to make a long trip bearable, and maybe even enjoyable.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-airline-fees-that-are-actually-worth-paying?ref=classicwb">8 Airline Fees That Are Actually Worth Paying</a> &mdash; Penny wise, pound foolish applies to air travel too, and Deia B explains which airline upgrades are worth the cost.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-flying-other-ways-to-get-from-here-to-there?ref=classicwb">Alternatives to Air Travel: Other Ways to Get From Here to There</a> &mdash; And if none of that makes air travel an attractive option, Nora Dunn suggests other ways of going. They may not be as fast, but they're bound to be more comfortable.</p> <p>Whether you're Team Recline or Team Knee, the next time you're on a crowded plane, remember this: your fellow passengers didn't decide to cram an extra row of seats on the plane &mdash; the airline did. Keep your cool, stay courteous, and aim your complaints high.</p> <p><em>How do you stay comfortable when flying? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-defend-your-knees-and-other-air-travel-tips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline">5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free">24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-worst-and-best-airport-buys">The 8 Worst and Best Airport Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel airline flying reclining travel Sat, 30 Aug 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Lars Peterson 1199892 at http://www.wisebread.com Sometimes, "Too Good To Be True" Is Not True http://www.wisebread.com/sometimes-too-good-to-be-true-is-not-true <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sometimes-too-good-to-be-true-is-not-true" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008388742XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How many times have you heard people say &ldquo;if it look&rsquo;s too good to be true, stay away from it&rdquo; or words to that effect? Well, I know I&rsquo;ve said them often myself. But sometimes, rarely, there really is a deal that&rsquo;s a steal. Case in point &mdash; pudding cups and airline miles.</p> <p>You may have heard the story before, or perhaps recall the plotline from <em>Punch Drunk Love</em>. It&rsquo;s a real story, and it&rsquo;s completely accurate. For those of you not in the know, here&rsquo;s the rundown.</p> <p><a href="http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,996450,00.html">Davis Phillips</a>, a civil engineer, was walking through the supermarket when he spotted a promotion that seemed too good to be true: &ldquo;Buy 10 Healthy Choice products and get 500 airline miles &mdash; or 1000 miles for purchases made before June 1999.&rdquo;</p> <p>David spotted the cheapest Healthy Choice product, chocolate-fudge pudding cups, and figures that at 25 cents each, $62.50 worth would net him 25,000 miles.</p> <p>However, what if he bought all the pudding he could get his hands on? What would that net him? $3000 and 12,150 pudding cups later, he had his answer. He arranged for a local charity to pull the bar codes off the pudding cups, and in return he donated the puddings to the charity. David wanted the miles, not the desserts. And as this was a donation, he got an $800 tax break. That makes $2200 for over 1.25 million air miles! Not too shabby.</p> <p>I checked <a href="http://www.snopes.com/business/deals/pudding.asp">Snopes</a> and it&rsquo;s 100% true. David Phillips pulled it off, but he wasn&rsquo;t done there. He <a href="http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,996450,00.html">spotted a deal called Latin Pass</a>, which offered 1 million miles for flying 10 Latin American airlines and completing several other requirements by July 1. &quot;It almost pencils out to a better value than the pudding,&quot; said Phillips.</p> <p>Now, is this the only instance of an amazing offer that really was an amazing offer? No, not at all. Sometimes, they require you to jump through hoops or do the seemingly impossible (&ldquo;boss, no one would ever buy 12,000 pudding cups!&rdquo;) or they&rsquo;re counting on you not to get off your butt and do something.</p> <p>Sometimes, it&rsquo;s a fatal miscalculation. Case in point, several years ago there was a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoover_free_flights_promotion">Hoover promotion</a> that was also in the &ldquo;too good to be true&rdquo; category. Hoover was giving away free round-trip tickets to Europe (and later, the USA) for purchases of one hundred pounds or more. After checking the small print, people realized it was a genuine offer. Hoover hadn&rsquo;t figured on savvy customers buying a vacuum cleaner just for the deal, which was worth way more than the product itself. In this case, Hoover did not make good on its promise, as too many people took them up on the offer. It resulted in legal battles, 50 million pounds in legal fees, and Hoover eventually being sold to Candy. All because the promotions department couldn&rsquo;t do the math.</p> <p>So, what is the moral of this story? Should you now let down your guard at every amazing offer? Well, no. But you should also listen to your gut instinct now and again. David realized, on the spot, that this was a deal that would give him money for nothing. But he didn&rsquo;t run head-first to the ATM, drawing out his cash and buying the pudding before doing any more calculations. He checked the rules, did the math, and made sure he was eligible for the miles. Then he pounced.</p> <p>I urge you to do the same. When your gut tells you to pay attention to a deal, do it. You may spend a few minutes wasting your time in a glut of fine print. But you may also find a loophole that nets you a cool 1.25 million air miles.</p> <p>Go on. Get lucky.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sometimes-too-good-to-be-true-is-not-true">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-refill-an-ink-cartridge-with-a-small-piece-of-tape">How to refill an ink cartridge with a small piece of tape</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">Become a Frequent Flyer Master and Earn a Free Flight Every Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tricks-of-the-trade-share-an-insiders-tip-about-your-profession">Tricks of the trade: Share an insider&#039;s tip about your profession!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-search-of-safety-a-moms-8-step-guide-to-toy-selection-and-everyday-use">In Search of Safety: A Mom&#039;s 8-Step Guide to Toy Selection and Everyday Use</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Consumer Affairs air miles airline free offer promotion pudding Tue, 02 Mar 2010 15:00:02 +0000 Paul Michael 5564 at http://www.wisebread.com $9 Fares at Spirit Airlines – But is it a Bargain? http://www.wisebread.com/9-fares-at-spirit-airlines-but-is-it-a-bargain <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-fares-at-spirit-airlines-but-is-it-a-bargain" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/spirit airlines.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="175" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Airfare for less than $50 makes me a little giddy, even though I haven&rsquo;t left the state in over 2 years.<span> </span>So I had to do a double-take on the Red Light Specials over at Spirit Airlines website.<span> </span>$9 fares?<span> </span>Let&rsquo;s take a look.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The conditions of the red light promotion are simple:<span> </span>Book a flight among some very limited dates in April, between some very limited airports in the U.S., from now until 11:59 PM EST on Monday night to get your deal.<span> </span>Rates start as low as $9 (but most of these are intrastate flights). I'm sure that I don't even have to tell you that all of these flight deals are <strong><em>non-refundable</em></strong>, as well.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Since my airport isn&rsquo;t served by Spirit Airlines, I decided to take look-see anyway, using some hypothetical travel scenarios, and comparing them to results I found on Travelocity.<span> </span>Here is what I found:</p> <p class="MsoNormal">To travel from Atlanta (ATL) to Fort Lauderdate (FLL) on April 14th, returning the very next day, it would cost:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>$158</strong><span> </span>($138 + $21 in fees) from the Spirit Airlines Red Light promotion site</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>$210</strong><span> </span>($183 + $27 in fees) for the cheapest flight on Travelocity.<span> </span>Interestingly enough, this flight was the same flight on Spirit Airlines.<span> </span>The next highest airline was AirTran.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">A dozen subsequent searches gave me the same kind of results.<span> </span>Spirit Air was significantly cheaper, in most instances.<span> </span>In only one case, a flight from New York to Detroit, Spirit Airlines was $5 less on Travelocity. There were still quite a few seats left on these select flights, and surprisingly, the flights weren&rsquo;t all red-eye seats in the back cabin.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">While it&rsquo;s not likely that many people are going to be able to take advantage of the jaw-dropping $9 fare, there are still deals to be had, especially if you&rsquo;re heading to Florida in the next month. Visit Spirit Airlines website at <a href="http://www.spiritair.com">www.spiritair.com</a> or visit this <a href="http://www.spiritair.com/welcome.aspx?pg=salesinformation&amp;number=528">direct link</a> to the Red Light Sale for all the details. (If you make a purchase, be sure to uncheck the travel insurance and the $9 fare club fee if you&rsquo;re not interested.)</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em>If you&rsquo;re going somewhere warm, can you bring me back something?<span> </span>Please?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fares-at-spirit-airlines-but-is-it-a-bargain">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-in-flight-amenities-worth-the-cost">7 In-Flight Amenities Worth the Cost</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class">The 10 Cheapest Ways to Fly First Class</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline">5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-defend-your-knees-and-other-air-travel-tips">Wise Bread Reloaded: The Surprisingly Easy Way to Defend Your Knees and Other Air Travel Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline deals flights spirit Sat, 15 Mar 2008 21:01:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1920 at http://www.wisebread.com Headaches, Begone!: 5 Tips for Making Airline Travel Easier http://www.wisebread.com/headaches-begone-5-tips-for-making-airline-travel-easier <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/headaches-begone-5-tips-for-making-airline-travel-easier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/airplane.jpg" alt="airplane" title="airplane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In these days of canceled flights, long lines at airline counters, and more frustrated customers than satisfied ones, there are some things you can do to make your trip go smoothly (or at least MORE smoothly). Headaches, begone!</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>1. Make sure you have enough time between your flights.</p> <p>When your airline rep or the online scheduler tries to force you to have a connection of less than about 90 minutes, see if there&#39;s another option. If the website won&#39;t let you, call the associated phone number. Sure, you might end up sitting in the airport for several hours, but that&#39;s better than sitting there for several days because you missed your connecting flight and the airline can&#39;t (or won&#39;t!) book you on another one.</p> <p>2. Plan for delays.</p> <p>Right now, flights just are delayed. More and more, delay is to be expected, particularly if you&#39;re not flying direct or are coming out of a major airport. Sometimes, delay is even planned into the flight schedule when leaving from some airports (my experience, for example, is that the airlines pad by about 30 minutes when scheduling a flight from LAX). It&#39;s easy to pick up a book or a journal and have it with you, just in case. And sitting down to read when you have to wait reduces your stress and that of the people around you. For a list of the best and worst airports, click <a href="http://www.independenttraveler.com/resources/article.cfm?AID=431&amp;category=13" title="Best and Worst Airports">here</a>. </p> <p>3. Fly out of a smaller airport.</p> <p>This isn&#39;t an option for everyone, but when it is, take it. It&#39;s worth the extra $20, $20, or $50 to fly from an airport with shorter security lines and more accessible airline agents. Think of it as paying yourself for the time you save because you don&#39;t have to arrive as early or stand in line as long. Plus, flights from smaller airports are more likely to be on time than flights from major airports. </p> <p>4. Know your rights.</p> <p>While airlines aren&#39;t held to it by law, there exists an <a href="http://www.astanet.com/govaffairs/trav_rights.asp" title="APBoR">Air Passenger&#39;s Bill of Rights</a>. Some airlines also have their own. Though it&#39;s not law, being able to quote an established document gives you some ground to stand on if you end up in a dispute with your airline. </p> <p>5. Travel light.</p> <p>If you don&#39;t have a bag to check, life at the airport is much easier. With many airlines, you can check in at a kiosk and not have to stand in line. You don&#39;t have to worry about lost luggage. You don&#39;t have to wait for your luggage when you arrive at your destination. Not sure what not to take? Check <a href="http://www.onebag.com/" title="OneBag">here</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/headaches-begone-5-tips-for-making-airline-travel-easier">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class">The 10 Cheapest Ways to Fly First Class</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-sounder-sleep-at-hotels">Tips for Sounder Sleep at Hotels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-travel-accommodations">Save Money on Travel Accommodations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">Become a Frequent Flyer Master and Earn a Free Flight Every Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-underground-guide-to-international-volunteering-review">The Underground Guide to International Volunteering (Review)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline Art and Leisure delays easy travel Wed, 27 Jun 2007 18:33:05 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 779 at http://www.wisebread.com