3 On Your Side: Top Myths When Buying Plane Tickets

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Planning a plane trip anytime soon? Getting the best deal on airfare isn’t always easy. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan takes a look at some of the top myths when it comes to getting a good fare and saving money.

Getting a cheap plane ticket can require some work. Traveler Carlajean Dumlao says “I go directly to the websites first like S0outhwest, United, and I also try different websites like Expedia, Travelocity, try to compare everything to see who has the best deals.”

But experts say spending hours searching websites may be a waste of time. Ross Kenneth Urken is the Personal Finance Editor for The Street. He says, “There’s so much competition between Orbitz, Kayack and Priceline and they’re often sharing information together poking around you’re not going to get that much more of a benefit.”

Think booking far in advance is the secret to the best price? Think again. Urken says, “Airlines know that if you’re booking 9 months in advance for a wedding, you’re actually needing to take that ticket. They seize the opportunity to charge premium prices.”

Booking a flight 6 weeks to 3 months before your trip is best and flying on Tuesdays is generally cheaper. But the idea that you can save money by buying your ticket on a particular day is a myth. The real secret to flying cheaply is flexibility.

Another big myth is that hours before a flight departs, airlines sell cheap tickets. The truth is most flights these days are fully booked or oversold, so there is no need for airlines to drop tickets prices at the last minute.

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