Getting to the airport on time, finding reasonably priced airport parking, and departing as scheduled are some of today’s toughest challenges. People who flew frequently just a decade ago today would rather avoid hassles like heightened airport security, missed flights, and new amenities fees. Many find it hard to afford increasing air travel expenses. Some delay their trips or defer them altogether as a new frugality sets in.
Jack Lambert, managing partner of ParkSleepFly.com, Inc., would like people to be confident about traveling by air within their budgets. “Rather than cut back or eliminate business or leisure travel, there are ways for companies and individuals to effectively manage their travel costs in a challenging economic environment,” he said. Lambert suggested these steps be taken to curb air travel spending:
Get the best value in airfares
Go online to compare a vast array of ticket prices. Don’t be rigid about the time of day you want to travel. It’s better to have a general time (morning, afternoon, or evening) in mind and investigate departures offered during that period. Moving your departure or return time by just an hour can save on your ticket price.
Be flexible on days, routes
Check if a flight may be cheaper on Tuesday than Monday or Saturday instead of Sunday. Savings can give you what amounts to a free one-day “vacation” stay at an airport hotel. The route you choose can make a difference, too. Resist the non-stop routes most airline websites show you and opt for connecting flights instead, which may save hundreds of dollars.
Reduce luggage, in-flight amenities and standby fees
Do research to understand and compare which airlines offer what amenities for free or at cost, including luggage checks, in-flight entertainment, meals, snacks, pillows. Limit yourself to carry-on baggage, and bring your own comfort items. Last minute changes in your flight plans on the day of your scheduled departure could cost you $50.
Avoid pricey long-term airport parking lot fees
Consider a park-and-fly package that includes free parking and shuttle service. Lambert’s website www.ParkSleepFly.com offers pre-flight hotel and airport parking at special discounted rates. A package includes a night’s stay at an airport hotel, free shuttle service to and from the terminal, and 7 to 14 days or more of free parking.