The Secret Discount: How to Save 20% to 60% on Your Next Flight

Published by Rick Seaney on November 13, 2012

There is no such thing as a free lunch but there are discounts if you only know where to look. Sadly, one particular discount is a secret to most people, which is a shame since it can range from 20% to 60% off.

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Secret Discount Revealed

Why is it a secret? It's simply never advertised as such, probably because airlines believe most people don't want this discount – and some won't. It all depends on what you're willing to endure while traveling since the secret is all about the difference in airfare prices between non-stops and connecting flights.

Non-stops – Paying a Premium for Convenience

Connecting flights – or multi-leg trips – can be significantly cheaper than non-stops typically on longer-haul flights and this is despite the fact that airline ticket fees for a one-stop round-trip flight are $21 more than a non-stop. In effect you pay a premium for the convenience factor of a direct flight. If you don't mind making a stop or two, you can usually save big.

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See for Yourself – Difference in Airfare Prices

The following examples were found over the weekend for departures during the first week in December on a 7-night round-trip flight (prices include all taxes and fees):

Boston to Los Angeles – 42% premium for non-stop

  • Non-stop airfare: $356
  • Connecting flight: $250

Chicago to Atlanta – 52% premium for non-stop

  • Non-stop airfare: $220
  • Connecting flight: $144

Washington D.C to Denver – 22% premium for non-stop

  • Non-stop airfare: $296
  • Connecting flight: $242

New York to Tampa – 25% premium for non-stop

  • Non-stop airfare: $180
  • Connecting flight: $144

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