Travel Tips Tuesdays For Frequent Fliers
Happy Tuesday. Hope you all having a great week
This week Travel Tips Tuesday is for frequent fliers. The list of tips and tricks that will help even the most seasoned jetsetter avoid the inevitable hassles of frequent flying
1. Sign up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
Essentially an express lane for the proactive, these programs are pre-approvals from the US Customs and Border Protection that designate you a low-risk traveler. As long as you’re not a convicted criminal, you’re good to go after little more than some light paperwork and a quick in-person interview.
Essentially, TSA PreCheck ($85) makes US domestic travel simpler, allowing you to keep your shoes, belts, etc. on and cut security lines, while Global Entry ($100) makes returning from an international trip easier, eradicating paperwork and lengthy processing lines.
2. Know that you have a 24-hour window to get a refund
Even nonrefundable flights generally have a 24-hour window during which you can cancel them without having to pay a fee. In other words, pull the trigger and book a flight, then keep tracking it for another day to see if a better rate pops up, in which case cancel and rebook. Or put your airfare on hold on carriers like American Airlines, Southwest, and Virgin America, which all have free 24-hour hold services. United has something called a FareLock starting at $6.99 that lets you wait up to a week before booking, while Options Away ($4 to $45) can hold flights for up to three weeks.
3. See extra cities free
Why not add a free stopover (any connection that’s more than four hours domestically and 24 hours internationally) to a flight you’ve already paid for? Some airlines — and you’ll have to check first — offer free stopovers, generally in their hub city, meaning you can visit an extra destination or two without purchasing any extra tickets.
4. Get into the airport lounge, even if your ticket says economy
Most people don’t know that airport lounges often sell day passes, allowing you to pay to access them. While they are pricey, purchasing them in advance online often gets you steep discounts.
You can also get a Priority Pass ($99 to $399 a year), which gives you access to 700 airport lounges around the world.
Finally, there are lounges that aren’t affiliated with any airlines, and thus also allow you to pay for access.
If you don’t want to pay, however, check your credit card to see whether it gives you lounge access (such as the American Express Platinum, which gets you into Delta and Centurion lounges), or play the long game by being loyal to a specific airline and attaining elite status.
5. Make free(ish) calls abroad
You can make free calls with Skype or Google Voice using its app or the Hangout app. All you need is some Wi-Fi, so buy a local SIM, or get 120MB for only $30 on ATT, for example.