Have you ever spent an hour on Facebook lusting after someone else’s vacation pics? I know I have. I wanted to know how they were able to travel so much. Feeling a little jealous and full of wanderlust, I was determined to know their secrets.
For the past three years, I’ve perfected a formula for nabbing dirt cheap flights. This allowed me to travel to Japan, Russia, Colombia, and Hawaii in one year. If you’re wondering how to live a jetset life on a Top Ramen budget, today I’m going to show you how. And it all comes down to finding glitch fares.
Today, I’m going to show you how it’s possible for you to travel more often by finding incredible, ridiculous deals. In this post you’ll learn where to find them, how to book them and the pitfalls to avoid.
What are glitch fares?
Every so often an airline will make a mistake when listing a ticket price. This might mean a misplaced decimal or forgetting to include surcharges and taxes. As a result the fare listed is SUPER LOW. Like $100 roundtrip to Hawaii, low.
These error fares can mean being able to travel across the globe for less than a fancy night out. For example, a Etihad listed a glitch fare offering flights from the US to Dubai fo $200 roundtrip.
They’re completely unpredictable, but happen a few times a year. If you get into the habit of checking the below deal sites you’re bound to strike gold.
How to Find Glitch Fares
There are several online communities where people share glitch fares they have found. The best approach is to join as many as possible and check them on the reg. I recommend starting with:
- FlyerTalk (Look for the Mileage Run Discussion)
- The Flight Deal
- Secret Flying
Set up email or push notification to see updates from the website or its Twitter account.
So here’s the rules of engagement for securing the bag:
1. Book now, ask questions later
With glitch fares, time is of the essence. You HAVE to book immediately. A typical discounts lasts 1-3 hours, and at most may last a full day.
Remember most airlines and booking tools have a 24-hour free cancellation policy. (You can double check before you book.) So, even if you’re not sure you can get the time off, book it. You can worry about the details after.
Know that the offer may be from airlines you’re not familiar with or at prices you’re not not used to. But, that doesn’t mean they have to be too good to be true.
Your best bet is to book the flight through the airline, if you can. This will make cancellation less likely. It also prevents the airline from giving you the “you didn’t book your flight through us” run-around. But, what’s most important is to follow the instructions you see them listed with the deal.
2. Be flexible
A key part of booking a glitch is being flexible. The departure city may be a few hours or a whole coast away from you. But, the combined cost of the glitch fare and travel to the departure city, is often still a steal.
If you live in Orlando and the deal is out of Atlanta, price out what getting to Atlanta will cost you. If it’s less than Orlando to the destination, book the glitch fare! This also works for the destination city. If you’re trying to get to Venice and you find a glitch fare to Rome, book it and get a separate ticket to Venice.
You should look for glitch fares at your home airport and nearby cities. I look across the west coast – Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles. I often book fares out of San Francisco and Los Angeles because they are major airline hubs.
3. Buy insurance
When you buy the ticket, pay the extra $15-$20 for travel insurance. I don’t buy flight insurance for most flights, but for you get a glitch fare it’s worth doing. The airline will try to do anything to not have to honor your flight. Having insurance will add an extra padding of safety to your trip that will secure your travel plans.
4. Don’t contact the airline
You don’t want to alert the airline to the error. They will figure it out at some point. But because the fare may result from an error by the airline, they may try to find a way to not honor the price.
Drawing attention to yourself can make them more likely to cancel your ticket. So don’t call to confirm your ticket or to verify the price. Which brings us to the final step…
Once you buy your ticket, it’s time to wait. You’ll have to wait to see if the airline will honor it. Again, do not call the airline. Depending on the airline or booking engine, you may receive one of two emails.
- An email with a six-digit confirmation code acknowledging your trip reservation.
- A message with your itinerary and confirmation number, and a full ticket number.
No matter which one you receive, your ticket isn’t final yet. There’s still a chance the airline can cancel your reservation. You want to be 100% sure that the airline will honor the fare.
For now, hold off on booking your hotel, rental car or activities. Wait a few days and go back to the site that posted the deal for updates.
Most airlines choose to honor the fares to avoid bad PR and upset customers. If they don’t cancel it, your flight time or date might change several times before you leave. Keep checking your itinerary to make sure that everything looks okay.
That’s it, you’re ready to get your $200 international flights. So get to glitching!
Get the on fast track… I’ve created a free cheat sheet with all the websites you should sign up for glitch fares and deals…
You may not have realized you could fly for this cheap. But crazy cheap flights are only the beginning. There’s sites for discount accommodations, cars and more!
So if you’ve been wondering how it’s done and want to create that life for yourself, here’s how. Click here now to get that guide!