Test your knowledge of all things travel. See how savvy a traveler you are.
LISTEN: Rick takes the mystery out of myths.
Travel Myths: True or False
- First class always more expensive than coach.
False: Yes, it usually is, and more expensive by hundreds and even thousands of dollars but not always – not when it comes to last-minute fares. Last week I priced a few next-day flights (Los Angeles to New York) and as you can imagine with such last minute fares, prices were crazy even in coach. But because the last-minute coach fare was so high, first class could be found for less:
- Coach: $1,823
- First class: $1,278.
One thing to note is these flights are not identical. The economy seat was on a nonstop flight while the first class ticket was a connecting flight with one-stop. Still, with a luxury seat, gourmet food and all the other perks, who cares?
- Airline crews are allowed to treat you like a child.
True: That is, if you’re behaving like one. While we don’t personally know the details about super model Kate Moss’ behavior that led a Flybe crew to alert police to escort her off a flight, media reports indicate foul language was used and excessive drinking allegedly played a part. Flight crews must be obeyed.
- Pilots are perfectly free to take the long way.
True: In fact they must in some situations. According to a veteran pilot we consulted about thunderstorms and delays, it is not unusual to fly “hundreds of miles” off course to avoid a dangerous thunderstorm system. And yes, that can mean a delayed arrival.
- You-know-who is the airline that always has the cheapest fares.
False: If you guessed Allegiant or Frontier or Spirit or Southwest, sometimes they do have the cheapest fares and sometimes they don’t (ditto for American, Delta and United). No single airline always has the best prices. There is only one way to get the cheapest flight every time you shop and that’s by comparing prices.
- The best time to shop is Tuesday afternoon.
True: We’ve seen a lot of other theories but Tuesday is the best day to shop and here’s why: Airlines typically launch airfare sales late Monday or early Tuesday and by Tuesday afternoon, competing carriers will match the new lower prices. Plus, most of today’s sales are only good for a couple of days or so, meaning weekend prices are usually higher.
Notice I said ‘usually’. Again, you must compare fares whenever you shop to be certain of getting the best deal possible.