Travel Agent Insider: New York Airfares

New York is one of the most spectacular cities in the world, and a mecca for food lovers. It can however be a pricey destination, but with the right preparation you can be sure not to spend more than you have to just to get there. The following tip is true of many major cities but check with your travel agent before booking! If you only intend to buy a flight ticket and stay with friends when you arrive, this could save you a lot of money.

You want to travel to New York but the flights are crazy expensive, why?

Routes such as London – New York cater to tourism but also, significantly to business travellers. This has an effect on the airfares made available to all travellers as airlines try and encourage weekend trips. This is done by ticketing rules on the airfares such as ‘Minimum stay one Saturday night’. In other words, if you try to book a flight on it’s own and you do not stay in the destination over at least 1 Saturday night, the airfare price significantly increases.

Example

Try this – search an airfare on a big airlines website (scheduled airlines flying direct London – New York include but are not limited to, BA, Virgin Atlantic, Delta and American Airlines). First, search flying out on Monday and returning on the Friday of the same week – what does the airfare look like? What if you travel Wednesday to Friday? Now look as if you were to travel Friday to Friday, leaving a Saturday night in the middle, Depending on availability, the price may have fallen by as much as 70%! (Make sure you add the return in for the actual price!).

In the brief search I completed on a well known airlines website, travelling Economy Class without the Saturday night was over £1,468, travelling for less than 3 days without a Saturday night was £2,084 and the best priced flight was £404 travelling Friday to Friday (in other words more than 2 nights stay including a Saturday night). Crazy!

Solution?

Well it is possible to obtain a similar airfare to the £404 even if you wish to travel during the week. This is because airlines offer a particular type of airfare to Travel Agents, that allows them to get the best price for you so long as you have a paid for land based element to your trip, e.g. hotel or car hire. This is not something you will necessarily be able to arrange yourself as you would not be able to access the fare online, so contact your local travel agent who will be able to help you book this. The land element can cost as little as £50, which still give you a big overall saving!

If you are going to be staying in a hotel, then be sure to book a package trip to get the best deal!

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