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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Save Big On Argentina Airfare

With only two days until my Argentina departure, the hectic pace of things around here has finally subsided somewhat. With the bags packed and everything pretty much taken care of, there's finally time to continue the blog! For today, I'd like to go over how I saved quit a bit on my ticket.

Discounted Argentina Airfare

As someone who travels quite a bit, I can tell you a few things about airfare. First, pretty much all the big travel sites out there -- Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz -- are not going to save you much on airfare. You can do just as good by going to the airline's own website and booking the fare yourself.

Hotwire is one way to save 10-30% on airfare. There are downsides, though. You don't know what airline you're getting, the tickets can't be changed (not for any reason), and you get no frequent flyer miles. You can't even pick what time you fly out at. However, you can get deals here.

Priceline is a rip-off -- at least the "name your own price" reverse-auction system is. All this does is give you a chance to bid more than the minimum that airlines are willing to accept. Just use Hotwire.

A Diamond In The Rough?

For this trip, I found a little travel agency called Carbone Travel, which claims to be the largest travel agency specializing in Argentina tickets. On a one-way ticket to Buenos Aires, the price was about $600 USD on American Airlines. The direct price from American Airlines was $2500. In fact, no matter what itinerary you look up, chances are that Carbone is going to have it cheaper than any of those other travel sites out there.

As an American Elite Status traveler, I like to travel American to get the perks and earn my frequent flyer miles. Well, unlike Hotwire and these other discounters, Carbone takes your frequent flyer number and applies it to the flight. So, I still get my elite status and still earn my frequent flyer miles. Not bad! I urge everyone who wants to save a few hundred bucks to check them out.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I booked a one-way ticket from Oklahoma City to BA on airfare.com for $542.43 on May 17th just a few days after you leave. I recomend trying sidstep.com as it will search several of the major websites for you to find the best deal.

5/12/2005 10:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry I meant SideStep.com

5/12/2005 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger apartmentsba.com said...

Again, we are thinking the same. I used Hotwire my first trip to Buenos Aires. I did get a good fair but in the end it wasn't worth it. With the no frequent flyer miles and the inability to switch flights that cheap ticket becomes much much more expensive.

I almost exclusively flied American Airlines during my whirlwind (http://threeyearstolive.blogspot.com) travels. I become an Executive Platinum member and I got double miles from them. Every trip to Buenos Aires, I'd log over 20,000 miles instead of the normal 10,000 miles round-trip. 2 trips and I got a 3rd one free.

I almost always used my miles to upgrade to first class which is the best use of miles. I'd buy a $800 or $900 coach ticket and use 50,000 miles to upgrade to first/business class. That ticket would be about $6,000. It would be silly to use 40,000 miles to get a free coach ticket worth $900 instead of paying 10,000 more and getting something of value worth $6,000.

However, if you aren't fussy about flying in comfort than American's free ticket to Buenos Aires is great during the off-peak times at only 40,000 miles (otherwise 60,000 miles). Something else that most people don't know is you can hit two gateway cities with one frequent flyer ticket. So for that same 40,000 miles you can fly from the USA to Buenos Aires then on to Rio then back to the USA all for the same 40,000 miles.

If you use a frequent flyer award ticket with American. ALWAYS take advantage of this. So many combinations. USA-BA-Santiago-USA

I've used Carbone Travel for years. I've found that if you live on the East Coast they have the cheapest prices. For other cities it's not always the cheapest. They are good, honest people though.

5/15/2005 10:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make a good point about the miles. I do not use miles so my whole goal is to find the cheapest flight. Thinking about the chance to one day upgrade to first class I am going to have to look into saving up miles.

5/16/2005 03:13:00 AM  
Anonymous john said...

i just bought a RT ticket from nyc, about 10 days notice, and got non stop direct flights both ways (aerolineas argentinas)... believe it or not i got the cheapest price on Orbitz... an incredible $596 TOTAL including all taxes and fees etc. This was cheaper by about $100 than what carbone was offering for this flight or airfare.com (which i like). Carbone offers a Lan Chile from NYC with two stops (!!) for about $450 but with taxes etc. it's about the same price. Note, watch out for Despegar.com, they advertise cheaper prices but then tack on a $30 fee and they seem to hide costs in the "taxes". Always check airfare.com, but also check everything... i never would have expected to do best on Orbitz, but I did for sure, by quite a bit.

6/29/2005 03:54:00 AM  
Blogger Online Incomes said...

Hey I was just blog surfing amd I found your blog! Looks Great!

I also have a airline singapore ticket
It deals mostly with airline singapore ticket plus other stuff,
You can save up to 50% your next flight!

You should check it out if you get a chance!!

10/01/2005 10:45:00 PM  

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