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We are a society that is saturated with options. From toothpaste to airlines, we’ve got far, far too much to choose from.
Research shows that when people are presented with too many options, they tend not to make a decision at all, or worse, make a bad one. This is known as the paradox of choice.
This paradox has impacted just about every consumer-facing industry. One that has been particularly rough for consumers to cope with is the travel industry.
Today, travelers research a variety of travel destinations and flight options through sites like Priceline, Expedia, Kayak and various others looking for the best deals possible. In many cases, the best deals aren’t found and compromises are made; namely on price or destination.
Websites like those listed above—and the airlines themselves—have more or less trained consumers to passively accept egregious prices that have no correlation to, well, anything.
So despite falling gas prices, more efficient airplanes, and larger budgets, the price of air travel continues to increase.
If you do happen upon a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably was never meant to be.
Mistake fares are somewhat common. In this scenario, a human or computer error uploads an incorrect price for a seat, and that flub is quickly distributed to various travel databases and travel agencies.
If the airline doesn’t correct the error within 24 hours, the price has to be honored. It seems that the only way to get a killer deal on a flight is through a gaffe. This type of situation is what has caused many best-fare- hunting apps, subscription services, and similar platforms to become the bane of many airline’s existence.
Scoring a Sweet Deal on Flights
It’s no secret that today there are a variety of travel tools for getting the best deals, but many of them require users to bundle their flights with hotel packages and other add-ons. Next Vacay is one such subscription service, except there is no push to buy anything other than the ticket you desire.
In fact, through Next Vacay, subscribers are sent customized emails with various destinations based on the airport closest to them, and then they must go to the originating website to purchase the ticket.
This means Next Vacay receives no commission and has no ulterior motives in their services; all of their profits come from their subscribers. You subscribe to access to these killer deals, with no additional fees or surprises.
What makes this service particularly special is the human element it provides to its member s. Next Vacay does not use an algorithm to scrape the web for these bargains; instead, there is an actual team of human beings scouring the web searching for fantastic fares.
This is something of a rarity in digital times; a harkening back to old school travel agents. And this sort of personalized service is welcomed by many.
And as an added bonus, using subscriptions like these, you’ll never fall victim to the paradox of choice again.
Many travelers today, however, are looking for more than a great price – they’re looking for a little bit of leg room, too. Let’s take up a little more space, shall we?
How to Make the Most of Your Flight
This means that many people – especially taller folks – almost require an upgrade to a better seat so their kneecaps aren’t up against their nostrils.
Asking for one outright is almost a sure fire way to ensure you don’t get bumped up. There are some tactics you can use to increase your likelihood of getting those glorious
Firstly, much like a bank or credit union, they are more likely to accommodate your request if you have a relationship with them.
This means joining the airline’s frequent flyer program to build up points or miles can be hugely beneficial; especially if you can reach tiers like “Gold” or “Platinum.”
Even if you don’t plan on flying often or remaining loyal to the airline, it can still boost your chances of getting to move up; plus, most programs are free so you have nothing to lose but the small commitment of time it takes to sign up.
Additionally, if you dress to impress you are improving your chances of receiving an upgrade. If they are going to move anyone up into a “classier” section of the plane, shoulder to shoulder with top-paying customers, rest assured they won’t be picking the
guy in cutoff shorts and flip flops. If you want to make it into business class, dress accordingly.
Another well-known trick is letting flight attendants or desk clerks know if it is your honeymoon, birthday, or some other special occasion.
You probably won’t get away with lying about it so be prepared to prove your claim with the appropriate documentation. You might not get an upgrade out of this, but you are likely to get some token. It’s possible, so speak up.
If none of these methods appeal to you, you might want to try being the first or last one to check in.
Many flights allow you to check in online 24 hours beforehand. If the flight is overbooked, there is a fair chance you might get moved up.
Taking the later route – showing up last – also increases your chances of getting an upgrade at the desk as most economy seats have been filled at this point. Using this method, however, you do run the risk of getting bumped from your flight altogether.
There are risks for trying to game the system.
Since this condition relies on the check-in staff to determine who gets to fly, dressing nicely comes back into play.
And, most obviously, just be nice to people and show them some respect. You’ll be surprised how far this simple gesture can go in an airport full of angry people.
Flying doesn’t have to be a nightmare. International flights to dream destinations can be booked for killer deals these days, and with a bit of luck, you can end up with legroom to spare. Don’t let choice paralysis force you into compromise; there are savvy ways to be a genius traveler. Be the one who scores the bargain deal, not the one who caves and pays full fare.
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