Photo: Flickr / Gerrit Wenz
Once a cheap trip, travel between small U.S. cities has evolved into a full-scale production as regional carriers get squeezed out of the industry due to cutbacks, fuel prices and reduced demand for seats, reports the Times’ Jad Mouawad. Dizzying itineraries are one thing, but another issue facing consumers is costs: “Fares in the smaller cities have also risen the most,” writes Mouawad.
“Ticket prices out of Bellingham, Wash.; Harrisburg, Pa.; and Fort Myers, Fla., for instance, jumped 16 to 18 per cent from the third quarter of 2010 to the third quarter of 2011, while the average nationwide increase was 6 per cent, according to the latest data compiled by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.”
As we’ve reported before, the best way to get around high airfare is to time when you book your flight. Studies have shown that airfares drop significantly six weeks (120 days) before departure, contrary to the popular belief that it pays to book well in advance.
Here are a few other ways to score cheap airfare per YM contributor and travel expert Daniel Bortz:
Book on Tuesday. “A study by Farecompare.com says the best time to buy airline tickets and shop for travel (domestically) is on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Eastern.”
Fly on a Wednesday. For domestic travel, this is the cheapest day to do it. Seats tend to be more plentiful, which will push the airline to sell them discounted. Other options are Tuesday and Saturday, according to Farecompare.
Fly early. The first flight of the day is typically the cheapest, says Bortz. This also applies to limited-route red-eyes.
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