Even as oil prices have fallen radically--some 40% since 2011--airlines have not passed their savings on to their customers. Consumers have one of two choices: accept the current rates for what they are or, the savvier choice, to strike back as effectively as possible to try to recoup some hard-earned money.
When you think of coupons, you might think of standing behind a little old lady in the supermarket, waiting not-so-patiently for her redeem several dozen coupons at a snail's pace but coupons have come a long way. In addition to getting a more digital-age appropriate name, promotion codes or keycodes, most stores will offer a box on their checkout page asking if you have one and if you do then you'll get some bonus savings. Do a search for, as an example, "Apple Vacations promotion code" and see what options pop up. There are a lot of results to comb through but knowing where to look helps. In addition to perennial favorite RetailMeNot, other sites have sprung up with fewer stores but better-curated offers. Two of these are Groupon (not just for daily deals anymore) and PromotionCode.org, a site devoted originally to travel offers.
In addition to saving with coupons, another great option is calling airline agent directly to book your flight. Ask specifically about a "positioning flight"; an option where the airline is simply moving the plane from one port to another and the cargo isn't the priority. If you have some flexibility in your itinerary you can save several hundred dollars off the cost of the flight if you don't mind leaving at the airline's preferred date and time.
Do you use coupons to make your travels more affordable?
Author: Steve Pame, Sources: PromotionCode.org, Groupon.com, RetailMeNot.com