Airfare deals are out there, but only for certain tickets

Michael Finney Image
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Airfare deals are out there, but only for certain tickets
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Economy flyers may be shut out of the best deals.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Matt Purcell had two vacations cancelled because of the coronavirus. His future plans called for a very careful transition back to normalcy.

"We vowed not to do this until we're clear to go, but you know, we work pretty stressful jobs, so we took a chance," Purcell says, "and here we are, we're booked for Maui in May."

It has been hard putting off vacations; just ask Pleasanton's Debra Littrell.

"We are die-hard travelers; whenever we can afford to go, we go, and so I just jumped at the chance to book just a little Hawaii trip," she says. "Just so that we'd be able to get on a plane and go somewhere."

If you are ready to book travel again, be aware the rules have changed for the better. Changing flight dates used to be reserved for big-buck flyers. Now, even yahoos like you and me are getting a break.

Scott Keyes keeps track of these things. Scott Keyes is the "Scott" in Scott's Cheap Flights. He says if you want in on this deal you have to pay attention.

"You can actually change your dates, without having to pay any penalty to do so," Keyes explains. "If your new flights are more expensive, you do have to cover the fare difference, but on most airlines, if your new flight is cheaper you actually get the difference back in the form of a travel credit."

"There is a loophole the size of Texas," Keyes says, "and that's that it doesn't apply to basic economy fares."

So, the deal doesn't work with many of the rock-bottom fares, unless you fly Southwest, where most flight changes have long been free.

As for inexpensive flights, there are some amazing pandemic deals still out there, but if you wait too long, Keyes says they'll be gone.

"If you wait to book your summer flights until, let's say May, chances are there's not going to be many or any cheap flights left by then," he says.

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