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MEI Travel

10 flight hacks to save you money

Airplane at the gate

A lot of people have to fly to their cruise ship, so we wanted to share 10 easy flight hacks to save you money on your airfare in 2022.

Every dollar you save on your flight, is a dollar you can spend on your cruise, shore excursion, or wifi.

Hopefully one or more of these tips will save you some serious cash on your flight!

The best times to book your flight


First off, you'll want to know the sweet spot when it comes to booking your flight in advance to lock in that lowest airfare.

If you're traveling during the winter, you'll want to book your flight 110 days in advance to secure the lowest rate, especially if the month encompasses Christmas or New Year's.


For spring travel, 76 days in advance is the best time to book, and be cognizant of any month. That includes spring break travel dates, specifically Florida as a destination you'll want to book as far in advance as possible.

For the summer, It's 42 days in advance, which gives you a little bit more flexibility.

And for the fall, 77 days in advance is the most ideal time to save, with many of us having annual Thanksgiving travel destinations in mind.


And if you are returning to see family, just simply set calendar reminders.

For international travel, 8 to 10 months in advance is the sweet spot. Use the Google flight tool to check multiple departure points for the same destination.

Stopover trick

Man in airport

It's important to note for this trick that it only works if you plan on just bringing a carry on. You cannot check bags under the plane with this trick. This can only work for one way flights, as the airlines will cancel any remaining flights in your itinerary. And please do this next hack at your own risk.

Did you know it's sometimes cheaper to book a flight that connects at your final destination and just get off the airplane rather than booking a flight directly?

What most people don't know is that if you search alternative destinations for a flight that stops in the city you want to get off in and just get off the airplane, you can save a lot of money.

Woman in airport

For example, let's say you live in Austin, Texas, and you want to visit family in Chicago. A direct flight from Austin to Chicago with American Airlines on is $216 for a direct flight.

What most people don't know is that if you search alternative destinations for a flight that stops in Chicago and just get off the airplane, you can save a lot of money.

Let's use the same dates, the same times and the same airline for a flight departing from Austin, Texas, to Kansas City that has a layover in Chicago. You'll notice this flight departing from Austin with American Airlines that has a stopover in Chicago, landing at the exact same time as the flight that I just showed you direct that would then otherwise continue on to Kansas City as a perfect time for you to get off the airplane, take your bags and lock in a lower price flight for $143.

The best days of the week to book a flight

Days of the week

A great free app to help you further zero in on the cheapest days of the week to book with a color coded calendar is an app called Hopper. It will help pinpoint the optimal time frame and which day of the week you should book specifically.

A lot of people think the first flight of the day is going to be the most expensive, but it's not. The first flight of the day is one that generally leaves at 6:00, 6:30 or 7:00 is the most likely to have an on time departure since it's the first flight of the day.

The most expensive flights of the day are the ones between eight and 10 a.m. and five and 7 p.m. primarily to business travel back and forth.

Use incognito mode to book your flights

Searching internet

Use an incognito browser or a VPN so you can be presented with the best deals and promotions.

If you are using a VPN, sometimes making it appear as though you are from Europe will sometimes result in you being presented with additional offers and promotions where sometimes airlines are trying to entice international travelers to complete a booking on their website.

Southwest Airlines airplane

One other important tip is if you are using a search engine to reveal the lowest price airfare, you generally want to scroll to the bottom just to see if Southwest is included as a destination. Southwest Airlines often tries to hide its flight data from third party sites so they can get the benefit of you booking directly.

The Southwest website is unfortunately an additional resource that you might want to check, as they don't always come up in standard search results.

Mix and match your airlines

Two airplanes

It might sometimes be cheaper to take one leg of your journey with United and your return flight with Delta. And if you're relying solely upon an airline's website, you won't always see those facts and figures. is another resource that's great for finding mixed airline flight options.

You can also search through and easily book multiple airlines through Priceline or Expedia. And for both of these websites, if you are considering a hotel or a car rental with your booking, the amount of money you could save, packaging it all together as astronomical.

How to unlock the same rates as a travel agent

Girl lying on the carpet holding credit card

For any type of international travel or a complicated journey, I always rely upon both the rates and the expertise of a good travel agent.  But did you know is one of the only websites that gives you access to travel agency rates, unlocking additional promotional prices the average traveler will not see.

Another fantastic resource is, which strives at helping you find the best deals specifically from your local airport.

Price alerts

United website

Instead of spending all of your free time waiting for prices to drop, whether it's Google flights or a website like Skyscanner, which will alert you via email when flight prices for your designated journey include a price drop.

Airline discounted gift cards at warehouse clubs


Costco, as an example, is a warehouse club where you will frequently find gift cards for many of your favorite airlines reduced.

Many of these gift cards don't expire and you can use up to five at a time per member.

Taken advantage of by you or several people in your family five times there's hundreds in savings with this gift card delivered to you same day via email.

Sign up for that airline credit card on the airplane

Flight attendant

How many times have you been sitting there where your flight attendants eagerly pass through a brochure encouraging you to sign up on the spot?

Many of those credit card applications with which you may be presented are incentivized with all sorts of bonuses. You'll have access to an exclusive bonus offered for that specific flight, and those bonus points could be put to use in a beautiful way.

It's also worth noting that you can buy your status for many of your airlines, giving you club access and tons of additional perks.

Find the airline you're likely to travel with most and consider a credit card.

Use Google flights to plan your next vacation

Website url google address in browser

Tis is an untapped tab that a lot of people don't know to use on Google flights.

Let's say you're flying out of D.C. and you're considering some travel between now and July 4th. Click the Explore tab, and from DC, I'm immediately presented with some impossibly low direct airfare options for as low as 74 bucks to Orlando.

Google also brings some great hotel deals into account, if you so choose, but you can really pinpoint if you are going week, day, weekend, how long you want to be there for.

Bonus hack: how to maximize your airline seat

Airplane seat

If you've never used Seat Guru, it exposes some valuable information tied to your seat and its physical location on the airplane while booking through your airline gives you a seat map that indicates the basics.

This website reveals the differences between leg room bulkheads the best and worst seats to book in this free resource is heaven sent for long haul travel.

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