Sometimes you just need the cheapest fare possible, which can mean that the flights are not wonderful. You might find the intermediate stops are quite long, or perhaps there are too many stops.
Recently I needed to book flights to the United States the cheapest way possible and I lucked out. Not only were the flights cheap, but everything I wanted came up in the itinerary at that price without any intervention from me.
Usually I will hit Skyscanner when I am looking for the cheapest deal as it is great for price comparison. It’s an easy to use interface and in this case I was looking at an open jaw, flying from Ireland to the US west coast and back from the east coast.
My other criteria was to spend under €500 for the entire trip and I wanted to travel on oneworld airlines. I have frequent flyer status and want to earn miles so I stick to the alliance virtually all the time.
A Wonderful Surprise
Before my plans were firm, I checked random dates and saw that this was possible. The cheapest flights were coming up as codeshares with things like 5 hour layovers in Chicago. That was fine, but as time passed they disappeared and the prices increased quite a bit.
Eventually the dates were set and I plugged them in to Skyscanner. Much to my surprise and delight, the cheapest deal was with oneworld and with a set of flights I would have picked myself if money was not an object. Stunned!
So Who Am I Flying?
Skyscanner sent me to the American Airlines web site to book. I ended up with Dublin to Chicago to Seattle with just 2 hours layover in ORD which is perfect. Originating in Dublin is ideal as you can use US Immigration Preclearance which is extremely handy.
For the return, I got Washington Reagan to Boston on AA with just 1 hour and 30 minutes to connect followed by Boston to London Heathrow on British Airways. Another short connection of 1 hour and 30 minutes and then off to Dublin, also on BA. Wonderful!
I also lucked out when it comes to seat selection. People with oneworld Sapphire and above can choose Main Cabin Extra seats for free on American.
This meant I scored 8A on the Boeing 787-8 and 7A on the 737-800 among others. It should be an interesting experience all round as I have never flown international economy class on American before.
Being the frugal sort, I did check combinations of dates around the planned dates just in case I could get it cheaper. All of them were much more expensive so I just completely lucked out.
Not only did I come under budget, but I will also have five flights to review plus the associated lounges and the rest of it. For me, a great result!
What’s your experience with bargain flights? A world of pain or generally easy enough? Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Tomás Del Coro via Wikimedia Commons.
American Airlines ERJ-145 by Gwen K via Wikimedia Commons.