5 Tips on Travel Savings-New Cheap Seats: Airline Value or Victim? In late 2016, United and American Airlines announced a new no frills (at all) cheap seat program. Spurred on by competition with Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines and others, this is the newest approach to low-fare, low-service travel. The days of the PanAm Clipper Ships are long gone. In any case, is the new way to save a good value? Will you just feel like a victim caught up in a bad trip whether or not you are on a business trip or vacation?
Be sure to read the “fine print”. Some programs do not allow refunds or changes. In addition, if you are a frequent flyer member, take a look how these flights work when you try to earn miles.
5 Tips on Travel Savings-New Cheap Seats: Airline Value or Victim? Tip 1:
Check out the “ancillary” fees, and compare with other deals. For example, since you won’t be allowed to carry-on roller-bags, what will you be charged to check bags?
5 Tips on Travel Savings-New Cheap Seats: Airline Value or Victim? Tip 2:
How long is the flight? Since you can’t select a seat ahead of time, you will likely find yourself stuffed in a middle seat. That can still be a good value from Washington, DC to New York but not round trip to Delhi!
5 Tips on Travel Savings-New Cheap Seats: Airline Value or Victim? Tip 3:
Is this a same day business trip or quick overnight? If so, having only a small bag under the seat with a change of shirt and underwear can work. If this is 17 days in Europe, you will likely need more space for stowing a bag.
5 Tips on Travel Savings-New Cheap Seats: Airline Value or Victim? Tip 4:
Consider the type of aircraft used. Having just returned from Quebec City, I had 4 flights on small Embraer jets with less than 50 seats. The good news? There are no middle seats. However, even small bags end up being gate checked. How does this work for cheap seats carry-on limits? Is there a hidden charge lurking there?
5 Tips on Travel Savings-New Cheap Seats: Airline Value or Victim? Tip 5:
If you are traveling with family, especially young children, you are unlikely to sit together.
For other ways to save on travel, please see our TravelTipztr and remaining Blogs. We are constantly updating both for ways to make your money go farther when you travel. See also our new weekly TravelStyle which we just launched.